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Dodge reveals V8 onslaught... but not for Australia

Dodge has turned up the wick on everything in its range, from the Charger four-door sedan to the Durango SUV. Unfortunately, they're off limits for Australia.

3 months ago
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Scott Collie
News Editor

Dodge has continued to up the power on its once-humble family cars, slotting its Hellcat V8 into the Durango family SUV, a more powerful V8 into the four-door Charger Hellcat sedan, and more drag-focused bones into the Challenger.

Unfortunately, the downfall of Dodge Down Under means all three will remain forbidden V8 fruit for Australian muscle car fans.

The first Dodge to get the Hellcat treatment was the Challenger muscle car, followed closely by a four-door Charger sedan packing its 707hp (527kW) supercharged V8.

Fiat Chrysler has since slotted it into the Jeep Grand Cherokee in the Trackhawk, along with the Wrangler – albeit in concept form.

The wick was turned up again with the Challenger SRT Demon, which packs a 840hp (626kW) supercharged V8.

Rather than updating the Charger, Challenger, and Durango, all which are built around bones approaching 15 years old, it appears Fiat Chrysler has clearly decided keep them fresh with more power. Here’s what that looks like.

Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye

The Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye takes the regular Hellcat wide body and cranks up the power to 797hp (594kW), creating the world’s most powerful and fastest mass-produced sedan in the process.

How fast? It’ll demolish the quarter mile in just 10.6 seconds, and you’ll be doing 203mph (327km/h) flat out.

There are plenty of Demon-inspired changes to the Hellcat Redeye freeing up that extra power. It has a 2.7-litre supercharger running 14.5psi of boost, and the rev limit has been raised from 6200rpm to 6500rpm.

Dodge proudly parrots the fact the Redeye swallows 5.4 litres of fuel per minute at full speed, with two dual-stage fuel pumps instead of one on hand to shovel petrol into the Hellcat’s hungry engine.

It’ll drain its tank in just 11 minutes at full noise, but Dodge says you’ll get 10.7L/100km on the highway with a gentle right foot. If you’re a Hellcat owner with a gentle right foot, please get in touch. We’d like to get you some help.

Plenty of time has been put into cooling, with a redesigned bonnet designed to feed more air to the engine and supercharger. Combined with a reworked grille and air box design, the engine can breathe in 18 per cent more air than the regular Hellcat.

The Charger Hellcat Redeye will also repurpose the air-conditioning refrigerant to cool the engine, another feature nicked from the Demon.

The supercharged V8 will also keep its cooling fan and low-temperature circuit coolant pump running after shutdown to keep the engine in a more comfortable operating zone between sessions on the track.

Power is put to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. The standard 20-inch wheels are wrapped in Pirelli tyres measuring 305/35 at all four corners.

Below the Redeye will sit the regular Hellcat, which has gained an extra 8kW over its predecessor thanks to revised shift points for the automatic transmission.

Deliveries for the updated Hellcat will start early in 2021 in the USA.

Although a number of private importers will convert left-hand drive Dodge models to right-hand drive for the Australian market, Fiat Chrysler doesn’t offer it in right-hand drive from the factory.

Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

Jeep isn’t the only brand within the Fiat Chrysler stable slotting the Hellcat engine into an SUV.

Dodge has fitted its 710hp (529kW) supercharged V8 engine to the seven-seat Durango, creating a family hauler capable of hitting 60mph (97km/h) in just 3.5 seconds in the process.

It’ll demolish the quarter mile in just 11.5 seconds, and tops out just short of 300km/h given a long enough stretch of road.

Along with a more aggressive front end to feed air to the supercharged engine in the Durango, the Hellcat rides on an upgraded suspension designed to be more comfortable in Auto mode and offer better handling in Track mode.

Dodge claims rebound control is 20 per cent better, and understeer has been reduced to help drivers who really want to terrify their kids. Roll control is also improved, to better keep the body in check at higher speeds.

Also on board is Launch Control and a Launch Assist system, which can monitor wheel speeds and individually tweak the amount of torque being sent to each corner when the throttle is buried.

When it comes time to stop, there are Brembo brakes on all four wheels with six-piston front and four-piston rear calipers.

An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard, along with a sports exhaust to deliver a distinctive V8 rumble.

Dodge Challenger Super Stock

It’s not quite a Demon, but the Challenger Super Stock packs a similar focus on drag racing.

Power comes from the same supercharged V8 engine as the Hellcat Redeye making an extra 7kW on pump petrol, and the car rides on 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 315/40 Nitto NT05R drag radial tyres as standard.

That grunt is put to the rear wheels through an asymmetrical limited-slip differential with a 3.09 final drive.

Although the body shell is nicked from the standard Challenger Widebody, the suspension has been retuned for a battering at the drag strip.

In Track Mode, the Super Stock’s front shocks have firm compression and soft rebound damping, while the rears are firm on both counts – but only when the throttle is wide open.

When the driver lifts, the system backs off compression and firms up rebound damping for sharper handling.

Along with the tweaked suspension, Track set the transmission into an acceleration-focused state of tune, adjusts the stability control for straight line running, changes the steering calibration, and diverts the air conditioning to the engine for maximum cooling.

There’s a huge array of programs on hand to help you launch the Super Stock hard. Along with launch control, it has a built in line lock to allow for big, smokey burnouts on the start line, technology to make sure the engine is always on boost, and clever tech to keep the engine cooling active after shutdown.

Dodge says the Super Stock launches harder than the regular Redeye, and will hit 60mph in 3.25 seconds, and eat up the quarter mile in 10.5 seconds.

Production of the Super Stock isn’t limited – it’s a series model from Dodge, which can be ordered from a dealer.


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