Seeing Redeye

Dodge transplants the Challenger SRT Demon dragster’s monster engine into an SRT Hellcat, creating the ’19 Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye capable of tackling road and track without requiring a parachute for braking.

Bob Gritzinger, Editor-in-Chief

October 4, 2018

3 Min Read
2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody
Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye is a tire-smoking, high-performance demon.

PORTLAND, ME – The signature whine of a supercharger and distinctive exhaust burble are nothing new for the Dodge SRT Hellcat, but 797 hp – the SAE-official rating of the ’19 SRT Hellcat Redeye – makes this all-new Challenger in to a different animal.

Powered by the same blown 6.2L V-8 and ancillary systems that rocket the 840-hp ’18 Demon down the quarter-mile in 9.65 seconds, the Redeye muscle car gives up 43 hp to its limited-edition dragster predecessor en route to a 10.8-second ¼-mile and a 203-mph (327-km/h) top speed.

“We basically took the heart and lungs out of a Demon – and it’s a pretty big heart and lungs – and married it to a Hellcat,” says Chris Cowland, director-Advanced and SRT Powertrain Engineering, FCA North America.

The result is a far more realistic road-to-track-and-back muscle car compared with the Demon, one that we enjoyed motoring through hill and dale on public roads between our Portland, ME, digs and the Club Motorsports private race course in New Hampshire where it’s possible to truly wring out the beast under the Redeye’s dual-snorkel hood.

Aside from the aforementioned mechanical sounds that accompany every burst of acceleration in the Redeye, on-road drives in the big coupe prove fairly civil, loping along at about 1,200 rpm in eighth gear at 60 mph (97 km/h), posting between 18 and 22 mpg (13 and 10.7 L/100 km) observed fuel economy. At this rate, the engine feels like it is barely breathing, turning at just a few hundred revs above idle.

Out on the track, however, the Redeye is nothing short of a near-NASCAR handful, requiring judicious throttle lest one rip the rear end loose while cornering. The car’s substantial reserves – up 80 hp and 51 lb.-ft. (69 Nm) to 707 lb.-ft. (959 Nm) compared with the “regular” Hellcat – combined with an extra 200 lbs. (91 kg) on the Redeye’s nose, create an entirely different driving dynamic compared with lesser Challengers.


Supercharged Demon engine in Redeye produces 797 hp.

For comparison purposes, Dodge provided Challenger R/T Scat Pack models decked out in the $6,000 optional Widebody trim, adding 3.5 ins. (89 mm) of fender room allowing a boost to 305 rubber for extra stickiness.

After lapping Club Motorsports’ 2.5 miles (4 km), 15 turns and 700 feet (213 m) of elevation changes in the retina-ripping Redeye, the R/T Widebody packing a mere 485 hp and 475 lb.-ft. (644 Nm) from a naturally aspirated 6.4L V-8 seems relatively manageable and tractable.

The Redeye and R/T Scat Pack Widebody packages represent the biggest changes in the Challenger’s ’19 lineup, the former carrying on the legacy of the dragstrip-intended Demon and the latter upping the handling, design and muscle-car bona fides well beyond the meat-of-the-market 5.7L Challenger R/T.

For niche buyers, Dodge also adds the R/T Scat Pack 1320 with Demon-derived features intended to give this Challenger the edge in quarter-mile dragstrip dashes. They include a transmission brake, line lock, specially engineered Nexen drag-spec tires and launch assist.

Not to be left out of the upgrades, the standard Hellcat adds a dual-snorkel hood that aids intake flow and helps boost output 10 hp to 717 and adds 6 lb.-ft. (8 Nm) of torque to 656 lb.-ft. (889 Nm) for the new model year.

Unlike the limited-edition Demon (3,300 copies), the Hellcat Redeye’s mix of Demon powertrain and Hellcat chassis is available to anyone with an available $72,745 to spend (not including $1,700 gas-guzzler tax and $1,395 delivery charges). Pricey, but far less than the dragstrip-special Demon originally listed at $84,995 and now posted online at $130,000.

For those who find the standard Hellcat more than enough, FCA drops the base price $5,000 to $58,650 for this model year.

Production of the ’19 Challenger models begins this fall at FCA’s Brampton Assembly Plant in Ontario, Canada.



About the Author(s)

Bob Gritzinger

Editor-in-Chief, WardsAuto

Bob Gritzinger is Editor-in-Chief of WardsAuto and also covers Advanced Propulsion & Technology for Wards Intelligence.

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