In the early 2000s, 469 hp was enough to make the Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG the fastest sedan in the world. Today Dodge lays claim to that crown with the 2021 Charger Hellcat Redeye. Like its Challenger platform-mate, it has even more horsepower than the ‘standard’ Hellcat model. But to give the Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye record-breaking speed required more than simply increasing output.
How the 2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye hits 203 mph
The ‘base’ Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, which now comes standard in Widebody form, has 707 hp and 650 lb-ft, Automobile reports. That’s thanks to a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 that’s now found in the Durango Hellcat and Ram 1500 TRX, albeit in different states of tune.
In the 2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye, though, the engine makes 797 hp and 707 lb-ft, Automobile reports. The extra horsepower is courtesy of a larger supercharger, a higher redline, more boost pressure, and an extra fuel pump, Car and Driver reports. The V8’s internals are also stronger, as is the driveshaft and the axles, though the 8-speed automatic is unchanged. True, that means the 6.2-liter supercharged V8 is thirstier than ever. But it also means the Charger Hellcat Redeye has a claimed top speed of 203 mph.
And to make sure that the Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye consistently delivers that level of speed, it has a few power-preserving features. Like all SRT products, it has launch control and a performance software suite, Motor Trend reports. The sedan also has a ‘Power Chiller’ that uses the A/C to cool the air in the intake, Hagerty reports. And during launches, the Charger Hellcat Redeye closes its supercharger bypass valve to build boost faster.
The Redeye revisions also include a new front splitter, different air extractors in the hood, and an upgraded rear diffuser and spoiler. And because it’s a Widebody model, the Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye has wider tires than the narrow-body Charger. That’s useful not just for hitting 203 mph, but also for braking and handling, MT reports.
The 2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye offers more than just more power
Speaking of braking and handling, some of the 2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye’s upgrades keep those two things in mind.
The super sedan has adjustable Bilstein dampers, Motor1 reports. However, the suspension is set up differently than in standard Charger Hellcats, MT reports. The front springs are stiffer and both the front and rear anti-roll bars are larger. As a result, the Charger Hellcat Redeye grips and turns remarkably well, Hagerty reports. Plus, the changes are Charger-exclusive; the Challenger Widebody isn’t getting them.
The Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye’s wide tires also mean it brakes well. Despite the extra power, it actually stops sooner than the non-Redeye Charger Hellcat, Car and Driver reports. Both models have the same Brembo disc brakes, though. However, for 2021, the brake pads are copper-free to comply with upcoming environmental regulations, The Drive reports.
Could it go even faster?
Interestingly, the 2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye’s 3.6-second 0-60 mph time roughly matches the standard Hellcat, Motor1 reports. That’s because you can only add so much power before traction at the launch becomes the limiting factor.
It’s at higher speeds and longer distances that the Redeye’s extra power really shines. And not just in terms of top speed. In Car and Driver’s testing, the 2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye ran the ¼-mile in 11.5 seconds with a trap speed of 126 mph. In comparison, the non-Redeye model ran it in 11.9 seconds with a 124-mph trap speed.
Theoretically, giving the Charger Hellcat Redeye AWD would likely slash 0-60 mph and ¼-mile times. However, it’s not really possible to give the 797-hp sedan AWD, MT reports. The V6 GT model’s system won’t work with the SRT models’ suspension design and wheels, not to mention the horsepower and torque. Maserati’s AWD system can’t handle the power, either. The system in the Durango Hellcat and Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk could work, but it doesn’t fit.
Still, having the world’s fastest RWD production sedan isn’t a bad claim to fame.
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