By on May 2, 2018

Now approaching its fourth birthday, the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is due for a mid-cycle refresh — a pleasant surprise considering the Demon only had one year to live. We weren’t sure how much longer Fiat Chrysler intended to keep the feisty feline around, and considered the possibility that it might already be on borrowed time. But with an updated face coming for the 2019 model year, the odds are good that the Hellcat will remain in production with the rest of the Challenger lineup until 2021.

Visual changes will likely be extremely limited. Dodge understands the Challenger’s look is iconic and doesn’t want to screw up the retro recipe, so it’s once again tapping into the past in a bid to overhaul the vehicle’s current aesthetic. It’s also taking a page out of the Kellogg’s Raisin Bran playbook, as customers stand to gain a Hellcat with two scoops of goodness. 

While double-scoop hoods are somewhat common on vintage Mopars, especially in the aftermarket, the last time I recall seeing them looking this extreme on a production vehicle was when Pontiac still existed and was building the Trans Am WS6. My neighbor had one and, for one glorious summer, allowed me to use it while he spent three months in and out of the hospital. The overall impression from the driver seat was that you were operating the baddest thing in the history of motoring. Its hood went on for an eternity and the bulging inlets suggested the sheetmetal was forced to give way to an engine that had outgrown its confines.

Dodge will assuredly offer drivers a similar sensation with the altered Hellcat. Teaser photos of the 2019 model show a new “dual-snorkel hood” that rises at least as high as the present vehicle’s center scoop. In a statement, FCA said it “pays homage to the distinctive Mopar design themes from some of its most famous muscle cars. This new fully functional hood harkens back to the mid-60s and early-70s, but with a modern interpretation that looks even more sinister and provides maximum air intake to the supercharged powerplant.”

That’s all the automaker is willing to give up at the present time. However, FCA says more details will emerge this summer. We have no idea if those will include mechanical updates but, if it does, we expect them to be very modest.

[Images: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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10 Comments on “Two Scoops of Fun: Dodge Hellcat Gets New Hood for 2019...”

  • avatar
    Tele Vision


  • avatar

    If FCA wants to mine their heritage, the Air Grabber needs to return.

    • 0 avatar

      The old Air Grabber wasn’t exactly effective, particularly in the earlier 1969 versions. In fact, Chrysler did some good studies on air scoops and they found the scoop had to be above a ‘boundary layer’ an inch or so above the actual hood to get into the air flow for any real effect. The problem was that they ended up being pretty damn tall. The specific ones that actually worked were the 1970 Challenger T/A and monstrous 1969 440 Six-Pack lift-off fiberglass hood.

      Ironically, there was a recent version of the T/A hood available not too long ago on the ‘Mopar Edition’ new retro Challenger. I’m not sure its design in that application was too effective, though, thanks to convoluted routing to get to the air box.

      A better type scoop might be the old cowl induction air intakes found on Camaros and Chevelles, particularly the one on the 1970-72 Chevelle SS396 that had a little ‘flipper’ door. Another one that seemed to be effective were the two scoops located below the front bumper on the 1968-69 Oldsmobile 442 W-30 connected to hoses that fed directly to the engine air cleaner snorkels.

      OTOH, this new, dual snorkle Hellcat hood looks like it falls more into the ‘looks cool but doesn’t do much’ marketing category of hood scoop, which is what the vast majority of them were.

      • 0 avatar

        Ah, I did forget that FCA revived the same name for the Demon. I was referencing the older style from the 70’s you speak of. The Hellcat is so over the top, the teeth-laden original Air Grabber seem the perfect hot rod jewelry.

      • 0 avatar

        I would rather see the shaker hood than these. They at least get cool air directly to the intake.

  • avatar

    Wow….the Hellcat has been out for four years already?! It seems like only yesterday when BTSR was upper-casing “HELLCAT” in every second post he made. My, how time does fly….

  • avatar

    Even Chrysler is leaving worthless Ford behind in interesting cars. At one time Ford would have produced an upgraded Taurus SHO to compete with this hellcat.

    • 0 avatar
      The Ghost of Buckshot Jones

      They’re literally slapping a new hood on a car that’s based off a platform from 1995, for a car with a cancelled refresh and death date of 2021.

  • avatar

    @ Matt: I applaud your absolutely apropos application of alliteration.

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