2020 Dodge Charger Widebody Collection: SRT Hellcat and Scat Pack Unleashed

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Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

“Accelerate! Aggressive braking, turn right! Steady on the throttle and hold the line! Steer out of the corner; now increase your speed,” shouted my drive partner and race instructor. Wow, what a glorious “rubber melting” and “smoke inducing” time I had scorching up the runway at Sonoma Raceway in Northern California this past week in Dodge’s 2020 Charger Widebody collection. Emotional exhilaration was manifested from every stage of analyzing Detroit’s bad boys on both the circuit and public roads.

Company officials listened to Charger customers who desired more stimulating models compared to what Challenger was receiving. So here we are!

I first experienced the Widebody Package on a few Challengers tested this and last year on and off the track. I was highly impressed by both the styling and controllable power of the HEMI V8. Now Dodge is offering Widebody on the Charger SRT Hellcat as standard and as a $6,000 option on the Charger Scat Pack. Its fender flares have been integrated into the 3.5” wider front fascia along with an array of advancements such as 20” by 11” Carbon Black forged rims (SRT) and competition suspension tuning with SRT-tuned Bilstein 3-mode adaptive damping. Widebody also receives a newfangled mail-slot grille, side sills, and rear spoiler unique to the SRT Hellcat.

With the 2019 race season commemorating 50 years of motorsports action in the Sonoma Valley, the technical and fast 2.52-mile road course was a perfect venue for evaluating the power, handling, and capabilities of the 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody and Charger Scat Pack Widebody. The hilly course features more than 160 feet of elevation change from its highest point and 12 turns, which genuinely showcased the maneuverability of the wider tracked 4-door muscle-car. Its Pirelli 305/35ZR20 all-season performance tires alone take up plenty of real estate which translates into better traction from the latest Charger models.

The interior of the Charger Widebody is very similar to that of the standard Charger with Uconnect multimedia services as the nucleus. Its flat-bottom racing wheel with paddles shifters is one of the best in the business, and the Carbon & Suede Interior Package rejuvenated the cockpit.

Honestly, I’m more of a Challenger fanatic than that of a Charger, mainly due to Challenger’s sinister frontend and sexy rear. However, the Charger is far more comfortable and convenient for those escorting family members or crews that roll with them consistently. The Charger is practical in typical, daily driving scenarios in comparison to the Challenger, which is heralded for its aggressive looks, muscle bragging rights — Demon and Redeye — or dragging competence. The 4-door performance sedan wonderfully does some of that but also allows you to run daily errands and work commute without feeling like a helmet is needed. Though, you still have some stellar numbers to back up your vehicle’s superhero side. In fact, Dodge says the Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody is the fastest and most potent mass-produced global sedan since it reaches 60 mph in 3.6 seconds, has a top speed of 196 mph, and can blaze a quarter-mile in 10.96 seconds. Pretty impressive for a ride you’ll be escorting your kids to daycare in!

 

Before hitting the raceway, I chose an FB Green — aka Incredible Hulk Green — Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody laced with Dual Carbon Strips to enjoy a thrilling but respectable drive on the beautiful backroads of Sonoma Valley. The Michigan native is backed by Dodge’s power-hungry 707-horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI Hellcat V8 engine, which unleashes 650 lb-ft of pavement-pounding torque when called upon. It’s paired with the TorqueFlite 8-speed transmission. Similar to Bruce Banner in civil form, the SRT Hellcat is pretty tamed when its aggressive alter-ego is not required for Marvel duties as I would later experience on the backstretch.

The latest model received electric power steering (EPS), which felt more in-tune with a standard sedan opposed to the typical, taut steering of a traditional muscle car. This was highly notable during slow-speed parking lot maneuvers. Of course, the system can be adjusted through SRT Drive Modes when aggressive steering is needed for scenarios like the slalom, which we also ran through at the raceway. In truth, the SRT swiftly sped through the cones left and right with minimal body roll. SRT Drive Modes also lets drivers customize the vehicle’s mannerisms by adjusting suspension settings, paddle shift speed, horsepower, transmission, traction, and the steering as mentioned above. SRT Drive Modes’ settings include Street, Sport, and Track. Before my hot laps Dodge set the vehicle up in mostly track except for traction control, which we left on for obvious reasons.

More Videos: Charger Widebody Presentations

Thanks to Brembo 15.4” 2-piece vented, slotted rotors and front 6-piston calipers and rear 13.8” vented, slotted rotors and 4-piston calipers, I felt as confident as ever pushing the SRT Hellcat. As imagined, extremely hard and repetitive braking from high speeds was efficient and directional in accordance with the front fascia. I was amazed at the vehicle’s fluidity through the racecourse. However, I initially felt more comfortable behind the wheel of the Scat Pack than the Hellcat because I kept thinking that those 707 supercharged horses were going to dominate the steering and suspension, which usually means disaster. Boy, was I wrong! Both behaved admirably.

The 2020 Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody is blessed with the naturally-aspirated 392 HEMI 6.4-liter V8 with 485-horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque, allowing the muscle car to achieve 0-60 mph in 4.3 seconds and complete the quarter-mile in the mid-12-second range. It is also unified with the TorqueFlite 8-speed transmission and rolls with 20” by 11” Devil’s Rim with a split 5-spoke Granite-layered style. Brass Monkey 20s are an optional choice if you want that 90’s LA look.

In total, my 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody came to $78,315 but starts at $69,645. Yet, you can jump in a Charger SXT RWD for just $29,895 or other RWD or AWD models within those price ranges, whether it’s the $36,395 Charger R/T or the $45,995 Charger Scat Pack Widebody. A special Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition receives a little more horsepower at 717 and goes for $74,140. Only 501 units will be available to represent the production run of the 1969 Charger Daytona that it is commemorating. All prices exclude the higher $1,495 destination charge. Customers can order now with deliveries taking place in early 2020.

Although the fuel cost to operate your Widebody will be above average, a few racing components such as Launch Assist to regulate wheel slip for better acceleration, and Line Lock, which brakes the front wheels for stationary burnouts, will keep Charger Widebody owners smiling for days. Stay liquid!

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