2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody Review

The sound and the fury are real


Amos Kwon, Editor-In-Chief



Positives: Insane amounts of power on tap, frightening physical presence is like no other mainstream American car, acceleration is other-worldly, shocking room for five.
Negatives: Low rent interior isn't much different from the base Charger, harsh ride, mediocre steering, supercharger whine can be polarizing, as thirsty for gas as the day is long, muy expensive.
Bottom Line: There's no other four-door on earth like the Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody. It's a muscle car whose reputation precedes it. It's just too bad you can't exploit all this power without a dragstrip or racetrack. If it's shock and awe you want, look no further.
There's no question that Dodge makes the craziest mainstream muscle cars on earth. And their vehicles sell, unlike the Chevy Camaro, which will end production as soon as 2023. The four-door Dodge Charger, however, sells more units than the Ford Explorer and the Kia Sorento SUVs. The most insane version of the venerable four-door, five-passenger Charger is known as the SRT Hellcat Widebody, which receives a horsepower bump all the way to 797 (up from the regular Charger Hellcat's 707) thanks to a larger supercharger. Not only does it possess unearthly levels of power, but it also looks the part with huge fenders and the dramatic Widebody treatment all over. We drove it for a week and tried to stay out of jail. Read our detailed review below.
 

Driving Experience

9.6

 

The Charger Hellcat Widebody weighs in at over 4,500 pounds, but all that power makes quick work of things. It's astounding how quick the beast is, and it's not just for straight line speed (although that's where its very impressive strengths lie).

Ride Quality: The Charger Hellcat Widebody is firm in Normal mode and crazy firm in Sport and Track modes. This is not a vehicle for cushy rides. You feel it all.

Acceleration: 0 to 60 in a mere 3.5 seconds is supercar fast. Launch control helps you keep wheelspin in check, but anything shy of using that results in tire smoke.

Braking: The powerful Brembo brakes have more bite than the standard Hellcat, and it stops shorter than its somewhat lesser brother. Brakes modulate well and are nicely progressive.

Steering: There's good effort in the big steering wheel but not much feedback to speak of. Turn in is pretty quick, and the setup is on center.

Handling: There's virtually no body roll, and the beefy Widebody performance suspension and huge rubber keep things composed in the turns. It is, however, a heavy car, and you feel it when you push it hard into the corners.

Technology

7.8

 

The Uconnect 4C system isn't as good as the new Uconnect 5 system, but it still operates well and looks good. Performance Pages are just what the car needs for track and drag racing days, so it's a much-appreciated tech feature.

Infotainment System: The 8.4-inch screen isn't especially large, but it's clear and easy to read. It responds decently, but some of the functions are buried and not quick to access.

Controls: The big shifter is easy to use, as are the large HVAC control knobs and buttons. There are still too many touchscreen controls for our liking, stuff you don't want to have to fuss with when you're mashing the gas on this monster.

Styling

9.2

 

We love the way the Charger Hellcat Widebody looks from the outside. It's all kinds of muscular beauty and menace. It's the interior that makes this thing seem like a dinosaur. It also needs seats that aren't as big, bulky, and loungy.

Front: The optional Satin Black hood, big scoop, and the black mesh grille and intakes give it a purposeful and angry look.

Rear: It looks as good as the front fascia. The wide taillights, big spoiler, and fat exhaust tips are only accentuated by the huge fender trim and the wide tires.

Profile: The side view shows off the thick fender trim pieces that give the Charger Hellcat Widebody a special look. It's the best-looking version of the charger.

Cabin: Although there are badges and copious use of Alcantara suede, the interior of the car is dated and overly bulky. There's a lot of black plastic, too. It's not all that different from the base car, and that's disappointing for $92k.

Comfort

7.9

 

You can seat five in here, and there's a decent amount of space. It's ergonomics and harsh ride don't help matters in terms of comfort, but at least there's some solid leg and headroom. Passengers do have to deal with the loud whirring of the supercharger.

Front Seats: The seats are big and cushy. Although they're comfortable and have decent bolstering, they seem too bulky for a performance car. We'd rather see Recaros as an option.

Rear Seats: Rear legroom is a good 40.1 inches, so occupants have ample space, and there really is room for three across, even though the middle passenger has a flat seatback.

NVH (noise/vibration/harshness): It's a noisy car mostly because of the powertrain, but muscle cars of this ilk are not supposed to be quiet. Otherwise, it's a solid car that doesn't exhibit creaks or rattles inside.

Visibility: Visibility is decent, but the seating position could be better. The C-pillar is thick and sloped, but it's not terrible to look out the side rear windows.

Climate: The climate system works well with big vents and responsive heated/ventilated front seats.

Safety

5.2

 

The Charger passes some of the crash tests with good scores, but it suffers in other areas. It also does not have much in the way of advanced safety features, though there are a few standard features.

IIHS Rating: It fails to earn any top scores due to "marginal" for the important small overlap front: driver-side crash test and "poor" for headlight performance.

NHTSA Rating: The feds actually give the Charger five stars overall, despite the fact that there were some demerits in front occupant crash testing and side barrier testing.

Standard Tech: The Charger Hellcat Widebody comes standard with ParkSense Rear Park-Assist System, ParkView Rear Back-Up Camera, and Blind-Spot and Cross-Path Detection. There is no automatic emergency braking feature.

Optional Tech: None.

Storage/Cargo

8.2

 

Despite the fact that the interior isn't great for small-item storage, the Charger has a solid amount of trunk space. It's no road tripper, but you can get away for a weekend without a problem.

Storage Space: The center console has a semi-deep tray in front and a useless shallow tray next to the shifter. The medium-sized center armrest compartment and cupholders help.

Cargo Room: 16.5 cubic feet of trunk space is about the size of the Lexus LS luxury sedan and a couple of cubes shy of the big BMW 7-Series. It's 3 cubes larger than the Ford Mustang's. That's pretty good for a muscle car. Too bad the rear seats down fold down to take on longer items.

Fuel Economy

4

 

If you're looking for good fuel economy, you're totally barking up the wrong tree in the wrong neighborhood. The thirsty supercharged V8 is a monster and drinks gas like it's going out of style. We didn't even push it that hard, and our numbers were no bueno.

Observed: 10.3 mpg.

Distance Driven: 99 miles.

Audio

8.7

 

The upgraded Harman Kardon system is very good, and it's worth the extra $1,995 to get 9 speakers, an amplifier, and surround sound. Plus, you need a system like this to hear music above the sound of the near-800-hp engine.



Final Thoughts

There's no other sedan on earth like this. It will get more looks than a lesser-powered (but quicker) BMW M5 Competition that costs about 50% more than the Charger Hellcat Widebody. Nobody needs this much power, of course, but it's great to know that this car still exists despite the fact that earth and most of its population want it obliterated. It's insanely quick, insanely loud, and about as subtle as a bunker buster bomb. It's just too bad the interior seems really low rent for what you pay, but if you can get past that, you have a great dinosaur of a vehicle. But a crazy powerful dinosaur that will make the rest of creation pee itself.
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