By on April 24, 2018

Image: Brian Williams/Spiedbilde

What can an automaker do after its limited-run, 840-horsepower performance flagship shuffles off into the afterlife? Move the second-highest rung a little higher.

That appears to be what Dodge is planning for the Challenger. In a world filled with crossovers, electrified powertrains, and looming autonomy, the drag strip-focused 2018 Challenger SRT Demon was just the gas-slurping, go-you-own-way ticket the brand needed to earn a ton of recognition. Now that a brief run of Demons has settled into climate-controlled garages and auction blocks across the land, it’s time for Dodge to turn its attention back to the Hellcat.

Recent spy photos seem to back up an unverified report that appeared on the Hellcat.org forum (first noticed by AutoGuide) last year, stating that the 707 hp Challenger SRT Hellcat stands to gain some of the Demon’s goodies, as well as extra horsepower.

The report claims the Hellcat Drag Pack contains up to 75 percent of the model-specific trappings found on the Demon, including an Air Grabber hood, grippier Nitto rubber (no drag slicks, though), a “Drag Mode” option in the car’s UConnect infotainment system, and a taller final drive ratio. Any number of other bits could find their way into the lesser model. The list includes SRT’s Power Chiller, which uses the A/C system’s refrigerant to cool intake air, as well as a launch-boosting torque reserve system and transbrake.

Reportedly, the Hellcat Drag Pack bumps the model’s output to 725 horsepower. It’s always good to add aspirational trims and packages to a car line, and the Challenger line is far from fresh (but far from moribund, too). With a planned Alfa Romeo platform swap put off until the coming decade, a Hellcat Drag Pack would keep the Challenger in the headlines and give Hellcat customers a reason to hand more cash over to Fiat Chrysler.

Image: Brian Williams/Spiedbilde

These photos, showing a regular-bodied Hellcat decked out in Demon duds, were snapped outside FCA’s Street & Racing Technology HQ in Detroit. Assuming it’s not a one-off, a debut should occur later this year.

[Images: Brian Williams/Spiedbilde]

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12 Comments on “After Exorcising Its Demon, Dodge Looks Ready to Improve on the Hellcat...”


  • avatar
    Lytnin6

    I did not know that the Dodge Demon had this “Power Chiller” technology until I read this. I thought the Ford SVT group patented this system (or system very similar) in the early 2000’s with the Ford F150 Lightning prototype they made, which was never released. I Understand this looks like it uses a dedicated coolant lines to the radiator, but still. What’s up with that Dodge?

  • avatar
    mrentropy

    All Challenger Hellcats should be wide bodies, as far as I’m concerned.

    • 0 avatar
      IHateCars

      ^This!

    • 0 avatar
      MoparRocker74

      Agreed! Widebody AND, the Demon’s 18″ wheels with fattie tires. The 20″ DUB thing was awful from day one and just gets worse. Having shitcanned 2 sets of factory 20’s (’05 Ram and ’09 Challenger) the difference between the 17’s and 18s respectively is eye opening. 20’s blunt the acceleration and braking capabilities while riding like absolute crap. The thinner sidewalls and higher unsprung weight of big rims translates EVERYTHING right to the car. Comfort be damned, I hate knowing I’m jackhammering my suspension into crap with ugly rims I don’t even like.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    The devil is in the details!

  • avatar
    Syke

    So it’s old, outdated, too large, too heavy. So what? I’m happy that FCA continues to turn them out, even if they’re not to my personal taste.

    The automotive equivalent of Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way”.

    Played by Rammstein.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Seems like a 2.5% boost in horsepower is scraping the bottom of the barrel in order to maintain customer interest.

  • avatar
    Paulinator66

    More power is great and all but FCA needs to figure out what to replace these cars with. Unless they already have that in the pipeline, and it’s the world’s best kept secret, they can’t milk this platform forever. . .can they?

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