What Is It?
The Dodge Charger is part of a vanishing breed — the full-size sedan has almost completely left the American market, replaced by the crossover utility vehicle. Although the Charger’s platform hasn’t evolved much in the last 10 years, this large car endures. And in true Dodge fashion, whatever the older platform lacks gets compensated for in horsepower. It appears there’s no limit to the heat this brand can pack beneath the hood of a production car, and the latest recipient is the 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye with almost 800 horsepower — the most powerful mass-produced sedan in the world.
Dodge provided us with a 2021 Charger Hellcat Redeye Widebody painted in Frostbite blue. As the top-level trim of the Charger lineup, the Hellcat Redeye comes well equipped with standard gear, although our test vehicle also included a carbon / suede interior package, GPS navigation, 3-season Z-rated tires and a Customer Preferred Package with Redeye badging throughout —as well as a 220-mph speedometer. Total MSRP for this vehicle is $86,070. Although this is an extremely hefty price for a Dodge sedan, it pencils out less than competitors such as the Mercedes-AMG E63, BMW M5, Porsche Panamera Turbo and Tesla Model S.
The 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye features the brand’s new Widebody exterior with integrated fender flares that add 3.5-inches to the body. Not only does this improve overall handling, it also makes room for 20-inch Lightweight Carbon Black wheels shod with Pirelli 305/35ZR20 tires. A performance hood with a large functional hood scoop provides additional airflow to the big V8 engine and overall gives the Charger mean, aggressive looks to match its massive horsepower.
Under the Hood
Powering the 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye is the same basic engine that powered the outrageous Challenger SRT Demon, alas no longer in production — a 6.2-liter supercharge HEMI V8 that generates 797 horsepower and 707 lb-ft of torque. Unlike the V8 in the standard Hellcat, this features 25 major component upgrades including a larger supercharger, strengthened connecting rods and pistons, a high-speed valvetrain, a fuel-injection system and an improved lubrication system. Power gets transferred to the rear wheels via a TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission.
Performance figures for the 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye are impressive — especially since the Hellcat Redeye is a full-size sedan. The Hellcat takes about 3.5 seconds to reach 60 mph and can cover the quarter mile in 10.6 seconds at a speed of 129 mph. With enough room, the Charger Redeye will ultimately reach 203 mph. Fuel economy for this Charger Hellcat is rated at 22 mpg when driven calmly on the highway; however, at full throttle the Redeye would drain the tank in about 11 minutes —and what an exciting 11 minutes that would be.
More Than Big Power
The 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye is not simply a Charger with an incredibly powerful engine; the Hellcat Redeye has high-performance Brembo brakes with large 15.7-inch two-piece rotors up front with 6-piston front calipers. The SRT-tuned Bilstein Adaptive Damping Suspension provides a comfortable ride when appropriate, or it can be stiffened for more enthusiastic driving. The driver makes these selections via the SRT Drive Modes selector.
SRT Performance Pages
One of our favorite — and perhaps most dangerous — features found in Dodge SRT products are Performance Pages. On these pages in the display, the driver can measure acceleration, braking and reaction time. One reason these pages can be dangerous — it’s tempting to test the Charger’s zero-to-60-mph time from every stoplight.
Family Night at the Drag Strip?
The 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye also comes with Line Lock as standard equipment. Line Lock engages the front brakes to hold the car stationary while the rear wheels remain free for a controlled burnout. In addition, Launch Control manages engine torque for maximum acceleration. These two features are sure to be family favorites when visiting the local dragstrip.
And even though it may be one of the most powerful cars on the road, the 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye does not sacrifice comfort. Front seats are similar to big heated and cooled lounge chairs trimmed in soft Laguna leather with an embossed Hellcat logo on the seatback.
A Little Dated
Overall, the dashboard of the 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye looks a bit dated, mainly because it is — the last major interior redesign for Charger was in 2015. That said, this Charger does get the latest technology of the proprietary Uconnect infotainment system and an 8.4-inch display. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, as is Bluetooth connectivity. Climate controls are kept separate and engineers added USB ports to the center console.
As a full-size sedan, the 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye features a spacious rear seat with plenty of legroom and headroom. Aft passengers also enjoy heated seats as well as dual USB ports.
Typically, a car offering the power and performance of the Hellcat Redeye would provide little in the way of utility — not so with the Charger. As a big sedan the Charger has a huge trunk, easily capable of swallowing several larger pieces of luggage or golf bags — or helmet bags for the whole family?
On the Road
It may be the most powerful sedan on the market, but the Charger Hellcat Redeye is surprisingly easy and comfortable for everyday driving. If driven like a “normal” car, the Hellcat is perfectly smooth and relatively quiet. When the occasion arises to transport passengers who simply need a ride and don’t appreciate the qualities of a Hellcat, it’s possible for drivers to keep those blissfully unknowing folk happy without any reports of scary driving to unwitting parents.
Spinning the Tires
Even though the 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye can be driven calmly, the temptation to romp on the gas at every opportunity remains hard to resist. It doesn’t take much throttle to spin the tires when traffic lights turn green, and when the tires find grip the acceleration is stupendous. Yet even burnouts are perfectly controlled — no fishtailing or scary moments — the Charger simply stays pointed straight with minor steering corrections as needed.
On an open road, the 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye feels as if it has unlimited power — it doesn’t, but it’s about as close as a vehicle can get. Case in point: As we drove along the freeway next to another vehicle at about 75 mph, simply pressing the accelerator to the floor left the other vehicle as if it were standing still. This Hellcat can be well into triple digits in no time at all.
The biggest surprise of the Hellcat is not raw horsepower but merely how well it handles. Published performance stats reveal this car is fast in a straight line, although it’s also enjoyable on winding roads. The wide body and performance tires — as well as the large brakes and updated suspension — keep the Charger relatively flat in turns. Steering is decent and large seat bolsters keep everyone firmly planted in their place. The 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye is great fun no matter what the road may present.
The Dodge Charger is a big, comfortable car that works wonders as a daily driver for the whole family. For those who desire those qualities as well as cartloads of excitement, the 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye adds about as much adrenaline as one could handle. With outrageous acceleration, mean-looking styling and an intoxicating mix of supercharger whine and HEMI V8 roar, the Charger Hellcat Redeye could be the most entertaining family car on the road.