Just when you thought Dodge had exhausted every permutation of the Challenger with the mind-blowing, 840-hp Demon, the SRT division has come up with yet another way to slice and dice the muscle coupe. And this latest variation is an enticing one: Called the Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody, this new 707-hp beast adds some serious handling chops and a meaner look courtesy of extra width, meatier tires, and a few other tweaks. You’ll recognize the Hellcat Widebody’s fender flares and front splitter from the Demon. Those bulging fenders increase the car’s width by 3.5 inches, all the better to cover the wider 305/35ZR-20 tires (the standard Challenger Hellcat uses 275/40ZR-20 rubber). Dodge says that these tires improve the Hellcat’s turning and stopping abilities, claiming increased skidpad grip and a two-second-quicker lap time around an unidentified 1.7-mile road course. (We assume these figures are with the Pirelli P Zero performance rubber, rather than the all-season tires pictured.) And even though its 707-hp supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 is unchanged, the extra grip helps the Widebody get off the line quicker, with Dodge estimating a 0.1-second-quicker zero-to-60-mph time and a 0.3-second-quicker quarter-mile.
Another noteworthy mechanical change for the Hellcat Widebody is a new electrically assisted power-steering system that replaces the standard car’s hydraulically assisted rack. This allows for new selectable steering modes that integrate with the car’s customizable SRT driving modes that include Street, Sport, and Track.
Beyond the performance upgrades, the Widebody’s other priority is looking bad-ass. And it does, with the key changes being its more aggressive stance and new five-spoke wheels with a “Devil’s Rim” design. It otherwise shares the standard Hellcat’s hood scoop, rear spoiler, and menacing front grille; the only tweak to the interior is a new red Hellcat badge in the gauge cluster.
For the privilege of owning this better-handling Hellcat, you’ll pay $72,590 to start, or $7300 more than a standard 2017 Challenger Hellcat. It will be offered with the choice of a six-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic when it starts arriving at dealerships this fall.