2020 Dodge Charger Widebody first drive assessment: Horsepower that handles

The Charger Widebody has an imposing presence. Transfer over for this unhealthy boy.


When you’re in search of supercharged V8 horsepower however solely have turbocharged I4 {dollars}, Dodge has you lined. With its Hellcat-powered vehicles, the corporate provides energy numbers that, in some other timeline, would value tens of 1000’s of {dollars} extra. Proper now, you should purchase a 707-horsepower Dodge Challenger for simply over $60,000. Good golly.

Nevertheless, with nice energy comes restricted dealing with. The Dodge Charger and Challenger
aren’t precisely recognized for his or her corner-carving capabilities, however Dodge is making an attempt to rectify that with new Widebody packages. The Challenger received this replace for the 2019 mannequin 12 months, and for 2020, it is now obtainable on the Charger.

On the Charger SRT Hellcat, the Widebody bundle provides 3.5 inches of width to the automobile. The broader observe means the Charger can accommodate meaty 305/35-section Pirelli P-Zero tires, wrapped round 20-inch wheels. New deep-dish “Warp Velocity” model wheels can be found, as are the traditional “Brass Monkey” ones that I like.


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The Charger is not simply wider, although. Stiffer entrance springs, upgraded sway bars and retuned suspension geometry make the Charger a bit higher poised for cornering than earlier than, whereas a revised digital energy steering setup provides drivers totally different weight settings, referred to as Road, Sport and Monitor. Talking of observe, just a few efficiency goodies carry over from 2019, together with a race cooldown mode that retains the air flowing by means of the engine even when it is turned off, Line Lock for large burnouts and launch management to profit from the Hellcat’s 3.6-second 0-to-60-mph time.

The 6.2-liter, supercharged V8 within the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat places out 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, directed to the rear wheels solely. That is loads to deal with, particularly at my stomping grounds for the day: Sonoma Raceway, with its many off-camber turns, blind crests and quick-entry corners.

I put the Charger in Monitor mode to be able to get the most effective throttle response, heaviest steering and stiffest suspension tuning. I choose to go away the paddle shifters alone, as an alternative letting the eight-speed computerized transmission do its personal factor, downshifting below braking and holding gears precisely as I’d.

The Charger winds by means of a 55-mph slalom with ease, altering route shortly with solely small steering inputs. Within the lengthy sweepers, I’ve to be affected person, ready to completely unwind the steering wheel earlier than going onerous on the throttle. Once I do, the Charger leaps ahead, pushing properly into triple-digit speeds earlier than I stomp on the brakes. The 15.4-inch entrance Brembos have a pleasant chew, however are straightforward to modulate, trailbraking into the apex of the nook. The rear finish wiggles just a little because it lightens up in nook entry, however with the traction management in its normal Road setting, every part is cool and below management.

The takeaway right here is that the Charger continues to be a giant brute, and never a pointy sports activities automobile. However with the added grip from the fats P-Zero tires, and barely stiffer suspension, it would not really feel fairly so unruly.

After all, if 707 horsepower seems like an excessive amount of (it form of is), Dodge additionally provides the Widebody remedy on the Charger Scat Pack. It will get the identical wheel/tire setup because the Hellcat, together with the stiffer entrance springs and suspension tuning. Solely the rear sway bar is upgraded on the Scat Pack, nonetheless, and its naturally aspirated, 6.4-liter V8 places out a still-plentiful-but-much-more-manageable 485 horsepower and 475 pound-feet.

The Scat Pack is my jam. I really feel like I can truly exploit all the ability, getting my foot to the ground on every lap. Positive, my pace is not as excessive on the straightaways, however I am nonetheless going loads quick. The Scat Pack is 0.7 seconds slower to 60 mph than the 707-hp Hellcat, and virtually 1.5 seconds slower within the quarter-mile run, however there’s extra to life than simply straight-line pace. Whereas within the Hellcat I merely really feel like I am alongside for the fun experience, the Scat Pack truly makes me really feel like I am in management.

The Dodge Charger Scat Pack seems to be just like the Hellcat however with much less energy below the hood it is a bit extra frisky.


The Widebody remedy would not actually convey any adjustments to different components of the Charger, sadly — the inside is essentially the identical. There are just a few new badges, and new inside colours. However by and enormous, the Charger boasts the identical comfortable inside it is at all times had. It is fairly outdated at this level, however the supportive seats, beefy steering wheel and the massive dials and buttons really feel applicable in a giant, unhealthy muscle sedan like this.

Each the Scat Pack and Hellcat get Dodge’s Uconnect infotainment system operating on an 8.4-inch touchscreen. Navigation is non-compulsory, however Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are each normal, so drivers do not actually need to spend the cash on the embedded tech. Driver-assistance options are just a little skinny on large muscle vehicles, however there are few tech nuggets right here and there. The Scat Pack has non-compulsory adaptive cruise management, blind-spot monitoring, ahead collision warning and lane-departure warning and help. The Hellcat has blind-spot monitoring normal however the different options aren’t supplied in any respect. 

No matter your poison, there isn’t a arguing the worth of this highly effective sedan. The 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat with the usual Widebody bundle begins at $69,645, excluding $1,495 for supply. The Scat Pack is significantly cheap at $39,995, with the Widebody bundle including $6,000 on high of that. For many who desire a little bit of nostalgia, the Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition is on the market on the Hellcat with 717 horsepower in a restricted run of simply 501 items. Count on to see the 2020 Dodge Charger, in all its trims, at dealerships early subsequent 12 months.

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