CHELSEA, MI – To inject some newness into the aging Charger model, Dodge is adding a widebody package as standard to SRT Hellcat and making it optional on Scat Pack versions of the vehicle for the ’20 model year.
The Charger Widebody is made possible via integrated fender flares that grow the width of the car 3.5 ins. (89 mm), Dodge says, adding the package also includes wider wheels and Pirelli tires (20 ins. by 11 ins.), Brembo six-piston front brake calipers and two-piece front brake rotors, plus a uniquely tuned suspension using Bilstein three-mode adaptive damping.
“People say, ‘no one wants cars anymore,’” Tim Kuniskis, head of passenger cars-Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and Fiat for FCA North America, says in a statement.
“I would tell you that the 40,000 people who bought a Dodge Charger so far this year would probably agree, because to them…the Charger’s reach extends beyond body-style practicalities and it can’t be defined by average industry shifts.”
The reach he’s referring to is the Charger Hellcat’s extreme output, which carries over for the Widebody model. Output is 707 hp and 650 lb.-ft. (881 Nm) of torque from the car’s 6.2L supercharged Hemi V-8, which is mated to an 8-speed automatic.
Other handling upgrades Dodge has made include 32% stiffer front spring rates, .08-in. (2-mm) and 0.1-in. (3-mm) larger front and rear sway bars and retuned shocks.
Race-inspired technologies available as standard include Race Cooldown (keeps cooling the supercharger/charge air cooler after engine shutoff); Line Lock (front brakes hold car stationary for rear-wheel burnouts); Launch Control (manages tire slip at launch for consistent straight-line acceleration); and Launch Assist (wheel-speed sensors monitor wheel hop at launch and modify engine torque to regain full grip).
Dodge says the new Widebody’s top speed is 196 mph (315 km/h) and it goes 0-60 mph (100 km/h) in 4.3 seconds. That compares to a 150-mph (241-km/h) top speed of the ’19 Dodge Charger R/T.
Other claimed performance specs include a 4-ft. (1.2-m) shorter stopping distance of 107 ft. (33 m) from 60-0 mph and a quarter-mile estimated time of 12.4 seconds, “pulling 0.98 g on the skidpad and making it the quickest and best-handling production Charger Scat Pack ever offered,” Dodge says.
The Widebody variant gets standard electric power steering with selectable steering tuning for better grip and to make the car easier to steer at parking-lot speeds, Dodge says, adding the car’s SRT Drive Modes (Street, Sport, Track, Custom) are accessible in the car’s Uconnect touchscreen.
Interior enhancements (see photo below) include an optional carbon and suede package with real carbon-fiber trim, while available interior colors include black or black in combination with sepia or “demonic red.”
The car has FCA’s Uconnect 4C system with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and offers SRT Performance Pages for drivers to monitor real-time data via a dyno graph and g-force heat map, among other metrics.
Appearance upgrades to the car include carbon-black or granite-finish wheels. There’s also a new rear spoiler, new side sills and a new mail-slot grille for improved cooling of the radiator, Dodge says.
The current Charger platform dates back to the DaimlerChrysler days and has lineage to the 1990s-era Mercedes E-Class. Despite its advanced age, Charger sales are up 3.6% through May vs. the same period year-ago to 36,012, per Wards Intelligence data.
The Charger is the No.1-selling model in Wards’ Large Car segment, bucking a trend as the segment is down 15.9% through May due to losses among the other entrants (Chevy Impala, Chrysler 300 and Ford Taurus). The Charger also is outperforming its Dodge Challenger platform-mate, whose sales fell 22.7% through May.
The Charger widebody variants go on sale in early 2020 at Dodge/SRT dealerships in the U.S., with orders beginning this fall. The car is not limited in production, with FCA vowing to build as many as demand requires.