Trickle-Down Performance: Introducing The 2019 Dodge Challenger Lineup

When the Hellcat came out in 2015, it pushed the envelope to the extreme being the first factory produced car with over 700 horsepower. With its 707 horsepower 6.2L Supercharged HEMI under the hood, the Hellcat quickly became a legend in its own class. For 2018, the madmen at Dodge and SRT tore that envelope open and pushed the Challenger ever further, creating the record breaking 840 horsepower Challenger SRT Demon which quickly sold out all 3,300 units. For 2019, Dodge has just announced a new Challenger trim level joining the ever changing line-up; the Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye. While Dodge isn’t out to create a street legal drag car like they did with the Demon, they wanted something that still pushed the envelope and gave those boys over at Ford and GM a good scare; in an evil way.

Using the technology and performance they built the Demon around, the fine folks over at Dodge and SRT began work on the SRT Hellcat Redeye; starting with the Demon’s 6.2L Supercharged HEMI that has been slightly changed to produce 797 horsepower and 707 lb.-ft of torque and mated to a performance oriented TorqueFlite 8HP90 eight-speed automatic transmission with an upgraded torque converter. From what we can tell, the 6-speed manual is not available on the Redeye.

Being as this isn’t a typical Hellcat engine, the Redeye’s 6.2L HEMI has been fitted with 25 major component upgrades, including a larger 2.7L supercharger producing 14.5 psi of boost, strengthened connecting rods and pistons, high-speed valve train, fuel injection system with two dual-stage fuel pumps and an improved lubrication system. It’s also been fitted with a ton of other SRT Demon features such as the SRT Power Chiller, After-Run Chiller, Torque Reserve (delivering up to 3.9 psi of boost at launch and up to 55 percent more engine torque), high-strength steel prop shafts and 41-spline half shafts.

“With 840 horsepower, a 9.65 quarter-mile time and Guinness World Record certification that it’s the first production car to lift the wheels at launch, the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon earned its place in the record books,” said Steve Beahm – Head of Passenger Cars, Dodge//SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA North America. “The Dodge Brothers would be proud that we’re leveraging the power and performance of this proven engine to bring a Demon-possessed Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye to an even wider high-performance enthusiast audience.”

On the exterior of the Redeye, the biggest difference you’ll notice is the new fully functional dual-snorkel hood that the designers at Dodge say is inspired by the dual-snorkel hoods found on the 1970 Dart Swinger and 1971 Demon 340. “We designed the SRT Hellcat Challenger’s new dual-snorkel hood to focus on another key historical Mopar design element and pay homage to our past with a modern interpretation that looks even more sinister,” said Mark Trostle – Head of Performance, Passenger and Utility Vehicle Exterior Design, FCA US LLC. “Whenever we design a new exterior element, we work hand-in-hand with the SRT engineering team to ensure that everything we create resonates with SRT DNA, is functional and meets their performance goals.”

The hood isn’t just for looks though. As we mentioned, it’s fully functional and every square inch of the new hood plays a key part to the Redeye’s performance. First and foremost, the hood is fully sealed to the air box. When it’s combined with the Air Catcher headlamp and an inlet near the wheel liner, these three sources give the SRT Hellcat Redeye’s HEMI an 18 percent greater air-flow rate than last year’s SRT Hellcat engine (1,134 cubic feet per minute). At full power, this is the equivalent flow rate to 89 adults simultaneously emptying their lungs in 1 second. The revised air inlet path on the new hood also results in an intake air temperature reduction of 4 degrees Fahrenheit which can make a pretty big difference. All of these performance upgrades gives the Hellcat Redeye a new top speed of 203 miles per hour making it the most powerful, quickest and fastest muscle car ever.

In addition to the new hood, the exterior of Hellcat Redeye receives different badging versus the regular Hellcat. The Hellcat badge has been finished in Midnight Grey Metallic and features a sinister red jewel-like eye to stare right into the souls of Camaros and Mustangs. Another new addition to the Redeye is a re-designed Satin black rear spoiler that is larger and curved on either end. Based on what we’re being told, the Redeye should be available with or without the Widebody package. On the inside, you’ll find the same interior as the regular Hellcat except for a few Redeye only interior features that include a 220-mph red speedometer, Redeye logo splash screen and a Light Black Chrome instrument panel badge with the Redeye logo.

2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat
The Redeye isn’t the only change to the Challenger line-up though. For 2019, we see the departure of the T/A, T/A 392 and most surprisingly, the SRT 392 disappear from the line-up. The lack of the SRT 392 choice really surprises us being as the SRT was the true core of the Challenger line-up, going all the way back to the original First Edition 2008 Challenger SRT8. While we don’t blame them for simplifying their line-up (they were up to 12 trim levels for 2018), it’s sad to see the SRT 392 go. For 2019, if you just want a SRT, you’re going to be out of luck. Besides the Hellcat Redeye, you’ll of course be able to get a regular Hellcat. Dodge didn’t want to leave the Hellcat feeling left out, so the performance numbers were bumped up 10 horsepower to 717 horsepower (still an easy number to remember like the previous 707 hp) and the car was loaded full of goodies that you previously found on the Demon.

The Hellcat receives a standard Tremec six-speed manual transmission or you can get the TorqueFlite 8HP90 eight-speed automatic transmission. SRT’s After-Run Chiller is now standard across the Challenger SRT Hellcat model lineup in 2019 and the Hellcat has been loaded up with a ton of other standard goodies you’ll see below!

Adaptive Damping Suspension — SRT-tuned Bilstein three-mode Adaptive Damping Suspension system includes: Auto Mode = sporty but compliant ride; Sport Mode = firm, maximum handling; Track Mode = firm, maximum handling plus performance shifting and gear-holding feature.

Braking system — braking power comes from the standard Brembo brake system with two-piece, 15.4-inch front rotors and six-piston front calipers for outstanding heat management, thermal capacity and longevity.

Electric power steering (EPS) — electric power steering delivers better steering feel and ease of turning efforts at parking lot speeds. It can be calibrated to optimize steering effort for a variety of driving situations via settings in the SRT Performance Pages.

Launch Assist — launched on the Challenger SRT Demon as a factory-production car first, Launch Assist helps resolve one of the biggest challenges to clean launches and drive line integrity – wheel hop, which happens when tires quickly slip and regain traction at launch, rapidly storing up and releasing energy in the drive line. These high torque spikes can quickly and severely damage drive line components, and up until now, the only solution was to back out of the throttle. The 2019 Challenger SRT Hellcat models use the wheel speed sensors to watch for signs that the tires are slipping/sticking. If hop is detected, the engine control module momentarily reduces torque to maximize traction almost instantly – without the driver having to lift the throttle. Launch Assist reduces loads in the drive line from wheel hop by up to 20 percent.

Torque Reserve — becomes active once the engine speed passes 950 rpm. The system closes the bypass valve, “pre-filling” the intake with boost, manages fuel flow to cylinders and manages spark timing to balance engine rpm and torque.

Launch Control — holds the engine at optimal launch RPM and waits for the driver to release the brake. Launch Ccontrol then uses engine torque management to optimize wheel slip for maximum acceleration. All 2019 Challenger models with Launch Control receive an improved system that increases hold time from five to 10 seconds for optimal launch and consistent straight-line acceleration

Line Lock — engages the front brakes to hold the Challenger stationary but leaves the rear wheels free for a burnout to heat up and clean the rear tires. The system will also let the driver perform a controlled rolling burnout and can engage for up to 200 rear wheel revolutions.

Larger induction air box — with three sources of intake air: new dual-snorkel hood, driver-side Air Catcher headlamp and inlet near the wheel liner.

SRT Drive Modes — accessed via the 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen, drivers can tailor their experience by adjusting horsepower, transmission shift speeds, steering effort, paddle shifters, traction and suspension settings. SRT Drive Modes offer selectable settings for Street (Auto), Sport and Track. There is also a Custom setting for the driver to select individual preferences.

SRT Performance Pages — bring critical vehicle performance data to the driver’s fingertips, including a real-time dyno graph, g-force heat map and much more.

Exterior-wise, the Hellcat remains pretty close to the 2018 model year examples except it’s also receiving the new dual-snorkel hood. While we aren’t sure if the dual-snorkel hood is the only choice for the regular Hellcat, press releases from FCA make us think that’s going to be the case. Returning for 2019 is the available addition of the Widebody package on the Hellcat. Standard on 2019 SRT Hellcat models are 20×9.5-inch SRT Low Gloss Black lightweight performance wheels or the choice of new 20×9.5-inch split five-spoke wheels with the ever popular Brass Monkey finish. Customers opting for the Widebody Package will get available split-five spoke, 20×11-inch “Devil’s Rim” forged aluminum wheels, wrapped in 305/35ZR20 Pirelli P-Zero tires on all four corners.

On the inside of the Hellcat, the previously standard Laguna leather interior has been swapped out for a standard Houndstooth cloth. Of course, there are three other seat options available including Nappa leather/Alcantara (with embroidered SRT Hellcat logo; available with Plus Package), Laguna leather (with embossed SRT Hellcat logo; available with Laguna Leather Package) and the Laguna leather/Alcantara (with embossed SRT Hellcat logo; available with Alcantara Appearance Package) if cloth just isn’t your thing.

Otherwise, the interior remains the same from 2018 with a signature leather-wrapped, flat-bottom steering wheel with a backlit SRT logo and paddle shifters, red gauges with a 200-mph speedometer and the Hellcat logo splash screen at start-up. The interior receives silver stitching found throughout the cabin along with Light Black Chrome accents and a Gunmetal SRT Hellcat instrument panel badge.

2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack
To replace the departed SRT 392 trim choice, Dodge and SRT have completely revamped their Challenger R/T Scat Pack for 2019. With a 6.4L 392 HEMI under the hood producing 485 horsepower and 475 lb.-ft of torque and an U.S MSRP starting under $40,000, the Scat Pack once again proves to be Dodge’s best bang for your buck muscle car. New for 2019, all Challenger R/T Scat Pack models get a new look, courtesy of the 2018 Challenger SRT Hellcat. The once Hellcat-only power-bulge aluminum hood now comes standard on the R/T Scat Pack along with illuminated Air Catcher headlamps that feed additional air directly into the engine bay. What was once a bare bones muscle car, the R/T Scat Pack now also comes standard with launch control, launch assist, line lock, SRT Drive Modes and SRT Performance Pages. The Brembo braking system has been upgraded to six-piston calipers in the front and four-piston calipers in the rear.

Another huge difference to the 2019 R/T Scat Pack is the available Widebody package. Featuring the same fender flares from SRT Hellcat Widebody, the new R/T Scat Pack Widebody rides on 305/35ZR20 Pirelli tires mounted to 20×11-inch forged “Devil’s Rim” aluminum wheels. The R/T Scat Pack Widebody package also adds a SRT-tuned chassis, featuring stiffer front springs, retuned shock absorbers and larger sway bars in both front and rear, SRT-tuned high-performance adaptive damping suspension, modified front fascia with integrated front spoiler and the re-designed rear spoiler found on the Hellcat.

Exterior badging on the R/T Scat Pack includes new Scat Pack Bee badges and the grille has been fitted with a classic Challenger script and R/T logo. Inside, the interior remains mostly unchanged with a few small changes such as a new Dark Dub Plate finish on the instrument panel and console and new Liquid Titanium accents on the steering wheel, shifter and cluster bezels. Available on both the Challenger SRT Hellcat and R/T Scat Pack is the Rear Seat Delete Group, which allows customers to delete the rear seats, rear seat belts and add a rear cargo net.

2019 Dodge Challenger SXT, GT & R/T
Rounding out the Challenger lineup is the SXT, GT and R/T trim levels. While the Challenger GT was introduced in 2017 as a strictly AWD only trim level, that’s now been changed. An advanced AWD system is now available on both the SXT and GT and RWD is now also available on the previously only AWD GT; confused yet? The Challenger R/T and GT RWD have been loaded with performance features as well including the Super Track Pak that comes standard. What once was a package you had to order and pay extra for, the new standard Super Track Pak includes performance suspension, enhanced steering, 20-inch Granite Crystal painted wheels, steering wheel mounted paddle shifters (with an automatic transmission), performance hood and front spoiler and performance bolstered cloth Houndstooth seats.

Available on both the Challenger R/T and GT RWD models for 2019 is the Performance Handling Group, which brings enhanced braking and handling capabilities. On the GT RWD, the Performance Handling Group features four-piston Brembo brakes (front and rear), wider 20×9-inch Black Noise wheels and a larger rear sway bar. The Performance Handling Group on the Challenger R/T adds upgraded springs, sway bars, Bilstein shocks, bushings and mounts. For an even further upgrade, the Performance Plus Package adds 20×9.5-inch forged wheels, 275/40ZR20 Pirelli P-Zero tires, a limited-slip differential and enhanced handling balance.

For 2019, Challenger customers have a wide array of exterior colors and stripes from which they can choose from. Fourteen different exterior colors and a wide variety of interior trim selections are available including:

Exterior Colors
• B5 Blue
• Destroyer Grey
• F8 Green
• Go Mango
• Granite Crystal
• Indigo Blue
• Maximum Steel
• Octane Red
• Pitch Black
• Plum Crazy
• TorRed
• Triple Nickel
• White Knuckle
• Yellow Jacket

Interior Colors:
• Black
• Black/Caramel
• Black/Ruby Red
• Demonic Red
• Sepia

US MSRP for the 2019 Challenger is as follows:
Challenger SXT RWD $27,295
Challenger GT RWD $29,995
Challenger SXT AWD $30,295
Challenger GT AWD $32,995
Challenger R/T $34,100
Challenger R/T Scat Pack $38,995 – ($1,000 gas guzzler tax [GGT] on manual transmission)
Challenger SRT Hellcat $58,650 – ($1,700 GGT on all models)
Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye $69,650 – ($1,700 GGT )

Production of the 2019 Dodge Challenger lineup starts at the Brampton Assembly Plant in Ontario in the fall of 2018, with vehicles starting to arrive in dealerships in the fourth quarter.

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2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody - interior

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Cody Krueger

Car Feature Editor – Since the age of 4, Cody has been obsessed with everything Mopar. On Christmas of 1998, Cody's parents gave him a rusty '69 Charger shell that his father saved from a field. Cody's garage still features that '69 Charger as well as the additions of a '71 Charger R/T, '71 Super Bee, '73 Duster, '08 Challenger SRT8 and a '13 Ram 3500. Cody can truly and proudly say that he is a true Mopar nut in love with all types of Mopars!

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