The 2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat Didn’t Need More Power, but It Got It

In the 1986 film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, the titular character said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” The 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder he swiped in the film packed a V12 producing 226 hp. Would Ferris have said the same thing had he gotten his hands on a 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat harnessing 797 hp?

Yes, you read that number correctly. Aside from a couple of minor exterior changes, the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat‘s big addition for the 2021 model year is more power. But did it need it?

Under the hood of the 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

MotorTrend calls the 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody a “depraved, power-wracked beast.” And it is. It already had an intimidating supercharged 6.2-liter V8 that got 707 hp. 

For 2021 models, the Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody gets 717 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque. The Redeye Widebody model has the same engine on steroids, producing 797 hp and 707 lb-ft of torque. The motor is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission that shifts quickly, and the configuration is rear-wheel drive. 

The Redeye can take a quarter-mile strip in 10.6 seconds at 129 mph, according to Dodge. It’s the most powerful mass-market sedan you can get. With a maximum speed of 203 mph, it’s the fastest too. 

Do you need all that power?

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Most car enthusiasts love power and speed. So they’re fine with dialing up the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. But what are you going to do with all that power, besides enjoying bragging rights?

If you want to take the Charger SRT Hellcat to the drag strip, you’re all set. You can also take it on road trips and cruise around town to show it off to your friends and neighbors. 

But with great power comes great expenses. One is fuel costs. If you live in a city with frequent stop-and-go traffic or navigate a heavily populated area for work, driving a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat can get pricey. City driving further hits your gas mileage.

Those big tires are expensive too. Still, the wider tires and firmer chassis enhance body control and cornering. But be careful when applying the gas pedal to keep traction, according to Car and Driver. The publication also explained that the communication between the front wheels and steering wheel left a lot to be desired.

What else is new?

Aside from the power boost, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat models saw a few other updates. Unfortunately, those changes didn’t including nixing some of the cheaper-looking cabin materials. But both Hellcat models got a fresh instrument panel badge and a special ventilated hood.

The new Redeye borrowed some performance parts from the limited-production Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. Though the Redeye isn’t as powerful as that, its engine is plenty potent. It boasts special 20-by-11-inch rims too.

The Dodge Charger is roomy for a performance car. According to Edmunds, two adults and one child can fit in the back with decent headroom. Thanks to its sedan styling, the Charger is more spacious than typical two-door muscle cars.

However, rear visibility isn’t perfect because the back window is small, the windshield slopes, and the rear roof pillars are wide. And don’t forget to watch your head while getting out of the back because of the rear roofline. Forward visibility is good, but the front roof pillars make seeing through corners challenging. 

But you didn’t come here for the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat’s interior. You came for the power.