Dodge has launched a new wide-body version of its Challenger Hellcat, offering drivers more grip to put its immense power down while assuaging long-standing concerns the Hellcat is under-tired.
Thanks to 305/35ZR20 Pirelli P-Zero performance tires wrapped around 20-by-11-inch “Devil’s Rim” split five-spoke aluminum wheels, the Challenger Hellcat wide-body can make better use of its prodigious 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque, enabling the large muscle car to trip the quarter-mile strip light in an incredible 10.9 seconds.
But acceleration isn’t the only performance metric Dodge has improved upon; the new Hellcat wide-body also receives improved cornering grip – 0.97 g, up from 0.93 g in the standard Hellcat – and shorter braking distances.
By maintaining a “square” wheel and tire setup (the same wheel and tire dimensions front and rear) Dodge has ensured its latest creation handles corners with authority, and very little understeer.
Dodge says its new wide-body lapped a 2.7-kilometer test track two seconds quicker than its predecessor, which translates to approximately 13 car lengths in a single lap.
And the wide-body is happy to rack up laps at track days thanks to enhanced engine cooling. Dodge says its Hellcat wide-body can hot-lap continuously for 20-minute sessions at a toasty 37.7-degrees Celsius without issue.
The Challenger Hellcat wide-body, which is 3.5-inches wider than the standard Hellcat, inherits the 840-horepower Demon’s looks without sacrificing creature comforts and/or every ounce of sound insulation that can possibly be yanked from the car.
Rest assured, it’s still plenty loud.
New to the Hellcat for 2018 is an electric power steering (EPS) system which Dodge says is customizable, with unique drive modes and tuning.
To help its customers learn how to handle all that power, Dodge is offering all Hellcat wide-body purchasers a free one-day session at Bob Bondurant’s School of High-performance Driving in Chandler, Arizona.
Dodge is adding more colours to its Hellcat pallet, too, with a total of 15 hues available for the wide-body, including B5 Blue (late availability); Billet Silver; Destroyer Grey; F8 Green (late availability); Go Mango; Granite Crystal; IndiGo Blue (late availability); Maximum Steel; Octane Red; Pitch Black; Plum Crazy (late availability); Redline Tri-Coat; TorRed; White Knuckle; and Yellow Jacket.
Production of the 2018 Challenger SRT Hellcat wide-body begins late this summer with deliveries to dealers expected in the third quarter of this year.
Pricing has yet to be announced, but expect to pay a premium over the standard Challenger Hellcat’s Canadian sticker price of $77,245.
The only downside? The extra aerodynamic drag of the flared fenders lowers the Challenger Hellcat’s top-speed to 313 km/h (195 mph).