What Is It?
Dodge introduced the Charger Hellcat Widebody for 2020, and this newest version reigns supreme atop the Charger lineup. Dodge has done a miraculous job of taking a platform that dates back to the DaimlerChrysler era and keeping it relevant — even sought after — and certainly enjoyable to drive. With aggressive styling, enormous power and a comfortable cabin that easily seats five, the Charger Hellcat Widebody could be the ultimate family muscle car.
Dodge provided us with a 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody painted in Triple Nickel with a Demonic Red interior (appropriately named). The Hellcat is the top-level trim of the Charger so most features are standard; however, our test vehicle was also equipped with the carbon/suede interior package, navigation and travel group, an upgraded Harman Kardon audio system with 19 speakers, a hood painted in Black Satin and Pirelli P-Zero high-performance 3-season tires. Total MSRP lists at $80,315. Competitors to the Charger Hellcat include the Mercedes-AMG E63, BMW M5, Audi RS6, Cadillac CT6-V and the Porsche Panamera —the Dodge Charger Hellcat is in good company.
The widebody treatment is standard on the 2020 Charger Hellcat. This includes new wider fender flares integrated into the front and rear fascia that make the body 3.5 inches wider. These larger fenders make room for 20-inch Carbon Black aluminum wheels shod with massive Pirelli 305/35ZR20 tires. Overall, the widebody treatment not only gives the big Charger a mean look, it also gets unique suspension tuning with Bilstein three-mode adaptive damping, which improves handling and overall performance.
The Hellcat may be best known for its outrageous performance and power, but the Charger also offers a big, comfortable cabin. Seats feature large bolsters for better support during enthusiast driving and are covered in Demonic Red (love that name) soft Laguna leather embossed with the SRT Hellcat logo. The optional black suede headliner and carbon fiber trim work well with the red seats.
Dodge’s Uconnect infotainment system is one of the best on the market. The interface is easy to use with menu items always on display at the bottom of the screen. The touchscreen works well with quick reaction time and menus are easy to read. An additional display in front of the driver provides a range of information including performance and fuel economy.
Roomy Rear Seat
The Charger is no small car, which is a great thing for rear-seat passengers. This large car has a big back seat with plenty of legroom and headroom. Although the middle seat is somewhat stiff, it is certainly usable in a pinch. Aft passengers also enjoy heated seat as well as dual USB ports.
Again — big car means big trunk. The Charger will likely carry more luggage than most 700-horsepower cars.
Under the Hood
At the heart of the 2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat is a 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V8 engine that produces a prodigious 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. Power gets sent to the rear wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission. Dodge claims the Charger Hellcat will hit 60 mph in 3.6 seconds and can pass a quarter mile in 10.96 seconds — our experience behind the wheel gives us no reason to argue with these figures. Top speed is listed at 196 mph, which makes the Hellcat one of the most powerful and fastest mass-produced sedan in the world.
Weighing in at over 4,500 pounds, the Charger Hellcat is not a light vehicle.. And considering its ability to reach high speeds quickly, this Hellcat also requires some big brakes. The Charger Hellcat comes with Brembo ultra-high-performance brakes that feature larger vented and slotted rotors and 6-piston calipers up front, and 4-piston at the rear.
For those who like to track their performance numbers, the 2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat incorporates performance pages that provide a range of telemetry and power data points. Drivers can measure acceleration to 60 mph or 100 mph as well eighth-mile and quarter-mile sprints. There are readouts for braking and cornering as well as horsepower and torque output. Watching the numbers in real time can be addicting; while we love being able to see all these readouts, they can be very distracting . Distractions in a 700+ horsepower car are probably not a good thing.
A big, supercharged V8 engine does get thirsty. During our time with the Charger Hellcat — which included a lot of hard acceleration — we didn’t quite make it to 11 mpg on the trip computer.
On the Road
The widebody Charger looks aggressive, but bringing the engine to life makes it clear there’s more to this car than a mean streak. A pleasing rumble emanates from from two big pipes out back while idling, but drop the right foot and there’s a combination of roaring HEMI V8, whining supercharger and more often than not wheels squealing — not exactly politically correct, but for the driving enthusiast it certainly revs the senses and raises the pulse rate.
The Hellcat doesn’t require much room to reach crazy speeds. In one instance we turned onto a long, straight road, put the throttle down and after what seemed like a few seconds glanced down to see the speedometer had already moved into triple digits — at which time we were thankful for those big brakes to bring down the speed very quickly.
With so much power on tap in the 2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat, it is possible to spin the rear wheels at will — full throttle at 50 mph will even break the wheels free. But even as the rear wheels are spinning the big Charger is surprisingly easy to control — perhaps not a quality typically sought after in a family car, but as they say: Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.
Many will be surprised that the Charger Widebody actually performs quite well even when the road isn’t straight. We expected this big sedan would be handful when the road started winding, but the widebody with its improved suspension and big tires offers amazing grip. According to Dodge, the widebody Charger Hellcat can manage .96 g on the skidpad and is considerably quicker around a track than the previous standard-bodied version.
Perhaps the best qualities of the 2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat Widebody are the comfort and driving ease at sane speeds. Cruising through town at 30 mph is no problem for this car — the driver may be champing at the bit to leave town in the dust, but the Charger can keep things perfectly calm when necessary.
The 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody is certainly unique on the market — a 4-door sedan boasting more than 700 horsepower and a top speed of almost 200 mph, at a price less than $100,000. With aggressive styling and the proper accompanying sound and power, the Charger Hellcat Widebody is not for the timid. But for enthusiasts who need a daily driver with room for the family, who also crave massive amounts of power on tap, the Charger Hellcat Widebody may be the perfect solution.