By on April 20, 2021

2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat Widebody

2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat Widebody Fast Facts

6.2-liter supercharged V8 (707 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm; 650 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm)

Eight-speed automatic transmission, rear-wheel drive

12 city / 21 highway / 15 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

19.0 city, 11.5 highway, 15.6 combined. (NRCan Rating, L/100km)

Base Price: $69,995 (U.S) / $88,240 (Canada)

As Tested: $82,755 (U.S.) / $93,870 (Canada)

Prices include $1,495 destination charge in the United States and $1,995 to $2,695 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.

Most large sedans exist to provide comfort and some level of luxury to their owners. Some have a bit of sport, and some are bought to haul humans while others are meant to coddle the driver, regardless of whether they’re sporty or not.

Then there’s the Dodge Charger Hellcat, which exists to kick ass while also being an easy commuter.

The justification behind the use of a big honkin’ forced-air V8 in this car is “because we can.” Even though Dodge and SRT haven’t shied away from injecting horsepower and fun into the available trims of its large sedan, it continues to offer Hellcats because market forces and/or regulation still allow it to do so and because some number of people will drop a lot of money on one of these monsters.

Not that I can disagree with their choice.

I mean, sure, I can nitpick and find flaws with the Hellcat, or gripe about its price. But it’s really hard to be harsh when one can vaporize a lot of rubber just by pulling over on an empty rural two-lane, holding the brake with the left foot, and then dropping the hammer before easing off the brakes. The car fishtails and herks and jerks its way forward while you make sure to keep it out of the ditch, all while using the rearview mirror to watch what was a sunny day become instantly cloudy with tire smoke – to the point that rear visibility is practically, though temporarily, nil.

At this point, giggles are induced.

2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat Widebody

Turns out that 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque is its own kind of laughing gas.

Speaking of gas, the Hellcat burns it at a prodigious rate. But that’s hard to care about when you’re laying rubber.

As ferociously fast as the Hellcat as, as much as there’s a cool factor surrounding the kind of muscle sedan that is now a minority of the market, the best parts of the car may actually be the more mundane aspects.

2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat Widebody

For example, the SRT-tuned competition suspension with adaptive damping allows for a mostly compliant freeway ride. On the stiff side, sure, but never obnoxious. Indeed, if it wasn’t for the supercharger whine and a bit of drone from the 6.2-liter V8 when loafing at low rpms, you’d think you were just in a standard large sedan.

The same goes for the steering. It’s heavy but not annoyingly so, and it is never jumpy. The Charger just feels relaxed when you’re behaving.

2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat Widebody

That, to this author, is the Hellcat’s strength, even more than its power numbers or straight-line speed. Drive it gently and there’s very little in the way of comfort or comportment sacrificed at the altar of performance. It can be as much Bruce Banner as it is Hulk. Your choice.

Well, except when it comes to fuel economy. Even keeping a light foot won’t stop the thirst. Prepare your wallet accordingly – the combined mpg number is 15.

You can, of course, select Sport or Track modes to firm up the ride and improve handling, but even in those modes, the car still behaved well when driven lightly.

2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat Widebody

Inside, the cabin is pretty par for the Dodge course. Big knobs for audio and climate controls, integrated infotainment screen, and the generally solid Uconnect system. There are some unique SRT touches – including the fun-to-play-with performance pages in Uconnect – but the cabin, while appointed nicely enough and comfortable, doesn’t feel super special.

2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat Widebody

All that extra dough goes to the engine, suspension, tires, and brakes, apparently.

Which is fine. The interior is nice enough, and who cares about the type of stitching when you can smoke tires like a drag racer?

Looking at the features list, we see the usual suspects. Standard or available features include Apple CarPlay, line lock, Brembo brakes with black-painted calipers, anti-spin rear differential, launch assist, blind-spot and cross-path detection, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, Android Auto, satellite radio, Wi-Fi hotspot, auxiliary port, USB ports, heated steering wheel, Hellcat interior badging, all-season performance tires (305 mm wide, 20-inch wheels), spoiler, projector headlights, LED DRLs, suede headliner, navigation, premium audio, sunroof, and upgraded wheels.

2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat Widebody

The Hellcat gets attention for its name and power and abilities. And rightfully so. But we shouldn’t lose focus on the fact that the Charger Hellcat is also capable of being a comfortable and family-friendly sedan when the driver wants it to be.

That’s almost as impressive as the power numbers. It would’ve been easy for Dodge to drop this engine in and create a car that wasn’t happy unless it was being hooned. Instead, the brand created a sedan that can knock your socks off just as easily as it can get you to grandma’s house in comfort.

Now that’s fun for the whole family.

[Images © 2021 Tim Healey/TTAC]

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24 Comments on “2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat Widebody Review – Family Fun Time...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “707 horsepower”

    Give it a pair of wings and it could fly.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    I feel like such a peon.
    Looked up Hellcat replacement rear tires, starting at 200 bucks each….
    Then again my neighbor has a 632 cubic inch Chevelle and told me the valve lifters are 250 bucks each….

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I rented a Charger GT in fall 2019 for a family trip. It was pretty much this car with 40% of the horsepower. And it was, honestly, kind of terrible. Handling felt ponderous, ride wasn’t great, the seats were uncomfortable, and the engine had weird drivability issues. (In fairness, UConnect and the ZF transmission were really nice.) I don’t think I’d start loving the Charger just because it grew some fender flares and enough power to punt me into the nearest tree in the event of injudicious throttle application.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “I don’t think I’d start loving the Charger just because it grew some fender flares and enough power to punt me into the nearest tree in the event of injudicious throttle application.”

      YMMV but I really enjoyed the *driving* part of my R/T and I think dynamically it held up pretty decently to the more expensive offerings I test drove in 2018 (or the Stinger I did end up buying).
      However, the Dodge build quality and reliability was atrocious. If it wasn’t for that I’d probably own a 392 now.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        I really should try a 392. I haven’t driven a V8 LX car since the first generation and I’m sure it’s a different experience from the V6 rental boats, even the ones with 20″ summer tires.

        • 0 avatar
          nrd515

          I love my 392 Challenger. People rag on Mopar’s supposed lack of quality, but I’ve had nothing but going back to 2003, and the problems were very few. My present car will be 3 years old in a couple of months and the problems have been…zero. A friend’s ’17 Scatpack has had zero issues in almost 4 years. I know a couple of people with 392 Chargers and they all love them. Almost evey single repair my last 3 vehicles has had to have is due to the terrible roads in NW Ohio. Looks like my car will make it through this winter without needing any front end work or tire replacement.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “People rag on Mopar’s supposed lack of quality,”

            ¯_(ツ)_/¯

            Here’s some quality issues I was having on my 4yr 40K mile car around when I traded it in.

            i.ibb.co/m4hwmxz/IMG-20180522-153751141.jpg
            i.ibb.co/V37Mx1x/IMG-20180522-153857640.jpg
            i.ibb.co/jH2b9R9/CH2.jpg
            i.ibb.co/dQ1BRys/CH3.jpg
            tinyurl.com/y8hvevtz (not my car but I was suffering similar door panel warping).

            For the first two years I was chasing electrical issues, the third year was fine, but in the fourth year every plastic panel started deforming and the interior adhesives began failing.

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        That’s what scares the crap out of me. Chrysler’s quality control is all over the place. I love the Ram pickup….but spotty quality eliminates it from consideration.

    • 0 avatar

      “Handling felt ponderous”

      It felt Handling ponderous even when it was a new model under DC. I test drove it in 2004 or 2005 it felt like a whale in contrast with Intrepid which I liked and which felt like a much smaller car and was more stylish inside and outside.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      The SRTs have different suspensions. Thay’re still big barges, not Miatas, but their handling is not troublesome at all.

  • avatar
    36hp

    Will we each have a Saturn V rocket with wheels before we all die of climate collapse?

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    The loss of cars, especially as cool as this, is going to be sad…

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    TTAC Automotive Safety Moment:

    • The Dodge Charger Hemi 2WD and Dodge Charger 2WD have significantly higher driver death rates than other vehicles in the same segment (select “large” “four-door cars”) [latest available data]:
    https://www.iihs.org/ratings/driver-death-rates-by-make-and-model

    This includes driver deaths only – doesn’t even count all the other people you can take out along with yourself. So cool.

    • 0 avatar
      MRF 95 T-Bird

      The other day I was driving up 95 into New England in my 2018 Dodge Challenger GT awd doing the speed limit and a bit above when I was passed by a gaggle of four 392 and Hellcat Dodge Chargers weaving between lanes at a high rate of speed like they were doing a Hollywood film.

      • 0 avatar
        Featherston

        Of my three most recent “idiot almost crashes into me” incidents, the first and second were Challengers that were speeding and weaving.

        Still, I find something appealing about them, especially in R/T form.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Wow! Here I thought insurance companies charge more as the performance goes up ’cause they hate fun.

  • avatar
    turbo_awd

    I saw too many videos of “Hellcat applies WOT at highway 40-50 mph+ and spins out” to really consider one when shopping a couple of years ago. Found a quote on a hellcat forum something like: “Let’s be honest – we’ve all had one or more moments where we thought ‘Damn – I screwed up and I’m going to die as a result\'”.

    Now, if it had AWD, I’d be more interested..

  • avatar
    jack4x

    Those wheels look almost identical to the “Sidewinder 2” Viper wheel design.

  • avatar

    Under French leadership these fine Chrysler muscle cars won’t last long. It was good while it lasted.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    Ironic that this color hue was how I configured a Challenger wide body on the Dodge website. I usually scoff at the myriad LX products driven by mostly Low T customers or parollees. But I kind of get it. Where else can you buy a purple car with 700hp and get a warranty?
    Given the latest trend of USDM virtue signaling there’s some mild urgency. I really want to have a really fun car that fits 4 people (and one that makes unique sounds) before my children get imprinted that cars are only refrigerators that can also charge your phone while getting shuttled in silence to boring places.
    Make mine a purple 6mt with only the Alpine radio option.

    • 0 avatar
      nrd515

      If you live anywhere it gets cold, you want remote start and the heated wheel and seats. My ’18 Scat Pack Challenger is the first car I’ve owned with a heated wheel, and I will never own a car without it. I would give up the heated seats first. I myself would never buy a manual car as a daily driver, especially when the 8 speed torqueflite auto is available.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    Manual only. I’m not so much into ultimate speed, more for the experience. My fun car is driven by me , not the otherway around. This car only works for me if you keep it cheaper, otherwise you price your way into more well rounded vehicles.
    I want to keep it silly, so Tesla driving friends say “you paid this much for a cloth interior?”

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