Dodge recently pulled the wraps off of yet another addition to its muscle car lineup. With Dodge muscle cars multiplying like rabbits, it’s getting hard to keep track of them all. The new one that’s getting the most attention for the 2019 model year is the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye and its widebody variant.
The Redeye slotted between the regular old, milquetoast, 717-horsepower Hellcat and the purpose-built drag car that is the 840-hp Demon. The Hellcat Redeye is powered by the same supercharged 6.2-liter V8 that gives life to the Demon, but it only makes a measly 797 horsepower and 707 lb-ft of torque.
Obviously, that’s a ton of power for any road-going car, and it’s not hard to see the appeal of such an absurdly powerful muscle car. But who is this thing for? Are there really a lot of discerning muscle car buyers going to Dodge dealers and thinking that the regular Hellcat just doesn’t have enough power and that the Demon is a bit much?
So you’re getting an extra 80 horsepower with the Hellcat Redeye over the standard Hellcat. How much extra performance does that get you? According to Dodge’s own numbers, the Hellcat runs the quarter mile in 11.2 seconds at 125 miles per hour and the Redeye clocks in at 11.1 seconds at 131 mph. I know every split-second and every mph counts in drag racing, but is it really worth the upgrade for that small of a bump in real-life performance?
I suppose the Redeye kind of makes sense when you take into account the fact that the Demon’s limited production run is already over. But it still begs the question: who thinks the Hellcat doesn’t have enough power? Personally, I think it has less to do with the Hellcat not having enough grunt and more to do with shoppers who are eager to spend the most money on the highest-horsepower car you can get at a Dodge dealer. Dodge saw what a hit the Hellcat was and decided to turn up the heat, put little red eyes in the Hellcat emblems and add about $10,000 to the MSRP.
I think it’s also an attempt for Dodge to get more mileage out of the engine and supercharger that it developed for the Demon — so they made the Hellcat Redeye as a low-cost way for the company to crank out another absurd muscle car that will surely have no trouble selling. Not to mention the fact that it keeps the Challenger fresh, and it might make us forget that the car is now more than a decade old. And like any other crazy muscle car, it will give Dodge more attention so it can sell more Durangos, Journeys and V6 Chargers.
So I get it. I just think we may have hit peak Hellcat.