Things are lookin’ good for Dodge. Like, r-e-a-l good. There was a time when Ford and GM fans knocked on Mopars. (We say that with a chuckle because, who are we kidding? That will never stop.) But seriously, Dodge claimed the crown for “unloved red-headed stepchild of the performance world,” and it’s been that way for decades. Never mind the fact that Mopar brought us earth-shattering power in a straight line with the wedge and HEMI engines. Or that Bobby Isaac set an incredible 28 land speed records during Speed Week in his Dodge Daytona Charger.
The badge has always struggled to get the attention and respect it deserves—until now. The SRT Hellcat stopped the world dead in its tracks and set the record straight about who really is the reigning king of muscle car performance. Similarly, the SRT Demon raised the bar to unforeseen levels. Now, Dodge is hitting the sweet spot between the two unholy titans, and they’re doing it with the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye.
I’ll take my dessert first, please.
Sadly, the SRT Demon was a one-time deal for the automaker. It was always meant to run as a one-year production and, regardless of how popular and breathtaking of a machine it is, Dodge stuck to the plan. Sure, the SRT Hellcat remains a powerful production vehicle, but ever since the Demon showed its face, that 717-hp seems dwarfed. Well, its new sibling is here to change that. The SRT Hellcat Redeye narrows the 91-hp gap between the standard Hellcat and the mind-blowing Demon to a mere 11 ponies.
The 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye engine produces a healthy 797-hp and 707 lb-ft of torque. That’s enough juice to hurl the Challenger platform from 0-60 in just 3.4 seconds and through the quarter mile at an alleged 10.8 seconds at 131-mph. In comparison, the Demon crate package proves that it’s one mean cat, with an incredible 840-hp that decimates the quarter mile with 9.65 second ET.
Now, for the meat and potatoes.
To achieve the power jump on the new Redeye, Dodge perfected a few adjustments to the Hellcat engine. Perhaps the most significant upgrade is the larger 2.7-liter supercharger, borrowed from the Demon. This model of the Challenger only comes with one transmission offering, an 8-speed automatic with an upgraded torque converter. Behind the gearbox, the Redeye comes standard with a 2.62 final drive gear ratio. And drivers looking for a little more oomph off the line have the choice of going lower with a 3.09 gear ratio for the differential. Of course, bringing this thing to a stop is serious business and Dodge turned to Brembo for the right bite with six piston calipers.
With the Demon gone, the Hellcat Redeye brings us as close as we can hope to get to that infernal glory. Out of the box, this version runs pound for pound against the Demon with only a narrow loss. And get this: those who opt to buy this two-headed monster will be a little happier in the finance department than Demon owners. There are two versions of the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye on the market. A standard model, equipped with 275/40ZR-20’s and the wide body, fitted with 305/35ZR-20’s. The Demon landed with a starting price of $84,995. With the sacrificial 11 ponies taken into account, the Redeye’s base cost of $69,650 is practically a bargain!
Want more? Hennessey delivers.
If the nearly 800-hp doesn’t cut it for you, then turn your attention to Hennessey Performance, which already brought forth an upgraded version. This package ditches the original supercharger for one nearly twice as large at a whopping 4.5 liters, and offers a modified throttle body, exhaust, and intake as well. The result is a towering 1,035-hp at the crank, which is about 880-hp on pavement. Throw in road testing and a one-year, 12,000-mile warranty and you’re looking at one helluva upgrade.
This is a pretty bold move from the guys who produced the competitive Exorcist Camaro, which you can read more about here. But hey, who doesn’t love stirring up the pot between two formidable opponents?
Sweetening the pot may seem too good to be true, but there’s still a lot to look forward to with the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye. For starters, there are whispers of Hennessey also adding a 1200-hp package into the mix. Additionally, there’s little known about what fans can expect with the 2021 model year approaching. We know a new generation of Challenger is on the way—could this be a taste of what’s to come? Dodge keeps the Hellcat’s roar in sync with the ringing of Hell’s bells. So, something tells us they’re just getting started.