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2020 Dodge Charger Widebody First Drive

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2020 Dodge Charger Widebody First Drive

NAPA VALLEY, Calif. – The man within the white Silverado is already pissed off. He didn’t recognize the primary two occasions we blazed the rear tires of this 2020 Dodge Charger Widebody Hellcat by way of three gears, so we’d as properly do it once more. That’s proper, sir, we’re primary.

Dodge appears to be enjoying by a special algorithm than the remainder of the business.

Whereas everybody else is nervous about small crossovers and CAFE laws, miles per gallon and electrification, autonomy and Elon Musk, the gang at Dodge is constructing America’s best muscle automobiles ever. Unapologetic, loud, in your face, tire-smoking muscle automobiles. Hellcats, Demons, Scat Packs and Redeyes.

For 2020, the model’s listing of Hemi-powered, rear-wheel-drive tire fryers now consists of Widebody variations of the Charger Scat Pack and Hellcat, borrowing elements and inspiration from Widebody Challenger fashions, which started displaying up for 2018. Dodge may even supply the 2020 Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Daytona 50th Anniversary Version to commemorate the 1969 Charger Daytona, a NASCAR homologation particular with particular aerodynamics for the superspeedways, together with an enormous rear wing and pointed beak with pop up headlamps.

Simply 501 can be bought, the identical variety of Daytonas Dodge needed to construct again within the day to fulfill Huge Invoice France. It’s obtainable in 4 colours, and for 2020, it’s the one Charger to put on B5 Blue, which was additionally initially provided in 1969. It’s a favourite colour of basic Mopar muscle car fanatics.

“Clients stated we have been giving an excessive amount of like to the Challenger and ignoring the Charger,” stated Jeff Strauss, the senior supervisor of Dodge/SRT Gross sales Operations. “That’s not the case anymore.”

The Widebody Package deal can be elective on the Charger Scat Pack (the white car within the above photos), nevertheless it’s standard gear on each 2020 Charger Hellcat and solely provides about 30 kilos to the car. Simply as on the Widebody Challenger, the plastic wheelwell flares widen the sedan’s three.5 inches, and their wider 20×11-inch cast aluminum wheels put on large 305/35ZR20 tires entrance and rear. All-seasons are standard, however the automobiles are best on the obtainable Pirelli Summer time tires. There are additionally new entrance and rear fascias, rocker trim and a reshaped rear spoiler. 

“My principal aim was to make the automobiles look dangerous ass,” stated Mark Trostle, FCA’s head of efficiency, passenger and utility vehicle design. “It was my job to provide these automobiles angle.” Heck of a job, dude.

With 1.6 inches of further monitor width, and all that additional rubber on the street, the Hellcat’s dealing with is noticeably improved over the earlier slender-bodied model. After testing at a number of racetracks, together with Gingerman in Michigan and Nelson Ledges in Ohio, SRT’s engineers elevated the Hellcat’s entrance spring price 32 % and elevated the size of its sway bars. The entrance has gone from 19 mm to 21.7 mm and the rear has elevated from 32 mm to 34 mm. Its adjustable Bilstein shocks have additionally been firmed up, however not an excessive amount of, they usually’re adaptive, switching to the considerably firmer Monitor setting as quickly as you improve lateral calls for.

The Widebody Charger Hellcat’s suspension is not tuned as stiffly because the Challenger model’s, whereas the Charger Scat Pack’s suspension is a little more compliant. Cruising round California’s Napa Valley in Road mode, the Charger Hellcat’s experience is agency however snug and its interior is impressively quiet on the freeway as soon as the Hemi settles down in prime gear. There’s little or no influence harshness on the area’s undulating two lanes and never sufficient head toss to get tiresome. There’s extra of each within the new BMW M340i.

There’s additionally little or no physique roll, simply sufficient that will help you talk with its tires and chassis as you decide up the tempo. That is nonetheless an enormous, heavy car, and its wheelbase is four-inches longer than a Challenger’s, nevertheless it’s impressively agile contemplating its bulk, even on tighter roads.

Anybody who thinks a Charger is just too huge to toss round must drive this one. Regardless of having fifty six % of its weight over its ginormous entrance tires, it’s very properly balanced and turns in even in the event you think you’re in too scorching. The Hellcat is now truly enjoyable to push within the hills. It takes a strong set within the quicker stuff and rotates on the brakes completely in slower corners, permitting you to drive it out on the throttle in lengthy, managed powerslides. However this takes apply. Till you grasp this beast, it is higher to go away its stability management on.

Different modifications embrace a change to electrically assisted energy steering, which the Challenger Hellcat obtained in 2018. Just like the Charger’s suspension, transmission and traction management, the system’s heft is adjustable, with Road, Sport and Monitor settings. Its effort is just too heavy for the road in Monitor mode, however not when taking a couple of laps of Sonoma Raceway, a hilly 12-flip street course utilized by NASCAR and IndyCar. The 14.four:1 ratio can also be spot on and there’s good really feel within the steering. It isn’t video gamey in any respect.   

After which there’s the facility. The Hellcat’s intoxicating, thoughts-altering, backbone-tingling, infinite energy. You’d swear there’s a nuke underneath its scooped hood. Which there principally is. It’s the identical supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V8 as final yr and it’s nonetheless cranking out 707 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 650 pound-ft of torque at four,800 rpm. It’s straightforward to make enjoyable of its pushrods, however half throttle is sufficient to chunk tires, and its thunderous V8 rumble and maniacal supercharger whine are as invigorating because the depth of its pull.

Sure, its output is 10-hp lower than you get in a Widebody Challenger Hellcat, however you gained’t miss them. The Daytona model can also be rated 717 hp, nevertheless it’s humorous math. The engine is strictly the identical because the standard Charger Hellcat’s – Dodge simply takes the facility score at 6,one hundred rpm as an alternative of 6,000 rpm and delays upshifts at extensive-open throttle with the change from third to fourth. At 6,one hundred rpm, a standard Charger Hellcat makes the identical 717 hp they usually each have a 6,200-rpm fuel cutoff.

There are not any manuals. Each Charger Hellcat Widebody will get a superb ZF eight-velocity automated. Its brief, tight ratios are completely matched to the Hemi and it bangs gears with a snap in Monitor mode.

For acceleration testing, the SRT group went to a number of dragstrips together with US 131 Motorsports Park in Michigan and Orlando Speedworld in Florida. With the stickier summer time tires and the Charger’s Launch Management, which is programmable from 1,200 rpm to 2,four hundred rpm, Dodge says the Widebody Hellcat hits 60 mph in three.6 seconds and covers the quarter mile in 10.ninety six seconds. Prime velocity is 196 mph. The corporate additionally says it’s probably the most highly effective and quickest mass-produced sedan on the planet, and it may be your for simply $seventy one,one hundred forty, together with the $1,495 vacation spot cost. The Daytona prices $four,500 extra.

It’s an enormous fats discount when you think about the efficiency, interior area and different elements, however the deal of the century is the Charger Scat Pack Widebody. At simply $forty seven,490 it prices simply $6,000 greater than the standard-width Scat Pack. It additionally seems the identical because the Hellcat apart from some badging, and with its improved stability courtesy the marginally softer suspension tuning and lighter engine, it rides and handles a bit higher then the Hellcat. Dodge says it’ll pull .98g on a skidpad, whereas the Hellcat manages .96g. Each automobiles get the identical six-piston Brembo brakes.

It’s 485 hp and 475 lb-ft or torque doesn’t sound like a lot in comparison with the Hellcat, however the Scat Pack’s 6.four-liter naturally aspirated Hemi sounds nice and packs greater than sufficient wallop to additionally piss off Mr. Silverado. Dodge claims zero-60 mph in four.three seconds and a 12.four second quarter mile at 111 mph. Do you actually need greater than that?

No, you don’t. However you need extra. And the brand new Charger Hellcat Widebody will match the Scat Pack’s acceleration with its air con on, your spouse driving shotgun, your youngsters within the backseat and a trunk full of bags. It’s the best all-round Hellcat Dodge has created, and it is simply America’s best excessive-efficiency sedan. Positive, an M5 will in all probability depart it for lifeless on the Nurburgring, however who’s truly going there? In the actual world, the Widebody is extra enjoyable to dive than the BMW and its prices about $forty,000 much less.

SRT Improvement Supervisor Jim Wilder stated it best, “The brand new Charger Widebody Hellcat is a car you need to use to drive your loved ones from coast to coast whereas tearing up each dragstrip and racetrack alongside the best way.” Simply be ready to burn by means of a number of truck a great deal of fuel and rear tires through the journey. And be careful for killjoys in white Silverados.

– 2020 Dodge Charger Widebody First Drive –

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