Dodge has just revealed a revamped Challenger SRT Hellcat set to go on sale later this year for the 2019 model year, featuring – among other things – a new, 717-horsepower peak output rating, facilitated by a new, dual-snorkel hood that channels extra intake air directly to its massive factory cone filter. The hood pays homage to some of Dodge’s most revered classic performance cars, like the 1970 Dart Swinger and 1971 Demon, while the 717-horsepower rating represents a 10-horsepower bump over the 2018 model.
Should you still find yourself pining for the now-discontinued Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, there’s now also the 797-horsepower Challenger SRT Hellcat “Redeye”, which we’ve written all about in a separate article.
Granted, the new Redeye can be had only with an eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic; you’ll need to settle for a “measly” 717 horsepower if you want a stick-shift. But there’s more to the 2019 edition of the car than just extra output, and Dodge’s engineers have cooked up a range of new, standard performance features, many of which are borrowed straight from the Demon:
- Launch Assist – Launched on the SRT Demon. Keeps watch over wheel speed at each corner after launch, momentarily disrupting engine torque to re-establish traction when slip is detected.
- Torque Reserve – Also borrowed from the Demon. When engaged, uses a bypass valve to prefill the supercharger, while manipulating fueling and spark timing to maximize torque at launch with engine speed over 950 rpm.
- Line Lock – Locks the front wheels with the brakes, while keeping the rear brakes disengaged to facilitate burnouts – a handy move used by drag racers everywhere to get heat into the rear tires before a pass.
- Launch Control – When engaged, helps facilitate smooth, consistent hard launches by holding engine speed at optimal RPM until the driver releases the brake pedal. The system has been around for awhile now, but for 2019, it’s been made even better with increased hold time (10 seconds vs. 5).
Aesthetically, you’d have a hard time telling the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat from prior model years, were it not for the new dual-snorkel hood. The hood is available in Satin Black, for a sinister, racey look, and there’s even an available Satin Black decklid spoiler to match.
“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,” says FCA Head of Performance Vehicle Exterior Design Mark Trostle. “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.”
As with the current, 2018 iteration of the car, the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat can be ordered with an optional Widebody package (pictured above), which extends the fender flares by nearly two inches on each side, allowing for wider wheels and tires to be fitted for superior grip and traction. The exterior can be had in one of fourteen different colors: B5 Blue, Destroyer Grey, F8 Green, Go Mango, Granite Crystal, Indigo Blue, Maximum Steel, Octane Red, Pitch Black, Plum Crazy, TorRed, Triple Nickel (new), White Knuckle, or Yellow Jacket.
The 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat will enter production this fall, with deliveries slated to start in the fourth quarter.