Who in their right mind needs a 797-horsepower sedan? The answer, really, is no one. And yet, the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody exists with virtually no limitations for $78,595. That's right, you can walk into your local Dodge dealership and buy the fastest and most powerful four-door on the planet for less than six figures. And we're not trying to disparage it here – this car is absolutely worth every penny.
The Redye isn't just fast, it's very, very, very fast. But this Charger is also solidly comfortable, great-looking, and equipped with some good tech. There are a few things to be aware of – like the fact that the Redeye requires the best rubber money can buy, which you can't get from the factory. And if you want advanced safety and acceptable fuel economy to go with all that speed, you'll have to look elsewhere. But when it comes to raw, unfiltered power, there is nothing else on the market like the Charger Redeye.
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Remember when Dodge offered the Charger Hellcat in non-widebody form? Neither do we. The extra-thick hips – now standard on all Hellcat-powered Chargers – suit the super sedan so perfectly, it's as if the narrow version never existed. And when paired with 20-inch wheels, a revised front end to better cool the engine, and some subtle tweaks in the rear, it's hard to argue that the Hellcat Redeye isn't the best-looking Charger to date.
Our test car looks especially cool wearing one of the Redeye's many good colors: F8 Green. The handsome exterior hue pairs well with optional orange brake calipers, granite wheels, and a few satin black accents as part of the comprehensive Customer Preferred package ($8,600).
The inside of the Charger Redeye is as nice as it's ever been. Caramel-colored Laguna leather covers the seats, black leather with white stitching coats the dash, and suede lines the ceiling and carbon fiber accents adorn the dash (if you order the $1,595 Carbon and Suede Interior package). Our only complaint is that the cabin does feel a bit outdated, especially considering the recently updated Durango Hellcat is much nicer, thanks in part to the new Uconnect infotainment system. But there's still lots to like visually inside of the Charger Redeye.
Who knew the Charger Redeye could be so comfortable? Even with a supercharged V8 under the hood, the Dodge Charger Redeye doesn't lose the on-road comfort that makes the sedan family so charming to drive daily. The suspension soaks up bumps and imperfections well (even with 20-inch wheels and thin rubber), the cabin is relatively quiet (until you really hammer the throttle), and there's a decent amount of passenger room. But for as big as the Charger Redeye is, it's not the most spacious super sedan in the class.
The Charger's 38.6 inches of front headroom and 41.8 inches of front legroom best the Mercedes-AMG E63 sedan by just a bit (37.9 / 41.3 inches), but the headroom figure is down slightly compared to the larger BMW M5 (40.7 / 41.4 inches). Neither of those vehicles is strictly a Redeye competitor, but it’s as close as we can get in terms of form and function.
The rear is a bit tighter; the Charger's 36.6 inches of headroom are down on both the BMW and the Mercedes, but 40.1 inches of legroom are better than both. And for your 6-foot-tall author, ingress and egress from the second row are a bit tricky due to the tight rear entryway, and the lack of headroom compared to the other two is obvious.
One thing the Charger Redeye does do better than both the BMW or Benz, though, is seat comfort. The big Laguna leather buckets up front are two of the best seats you'll find anywhere; they're extremely soft and form-fitting, and offer modest bolstering for when you do make it to the track. And the rear bench is just as cushy.
Dodge's Uconnect infotainment system is still one of our favorite setups. The home screen layout is clean, the graphics are pretty crisp, and it's all relatively easy to operate. Plus, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard, as does Dodge's comprehensive Performance Pages menu screen.
Performance Pages gives you access to things like a 0-60 timer, a quarter-mile timer, G-force meter, braking distance monitor, and more, all located within the infotainment setup and accessible via an “SRT” button located just below the touchscreen. The timing features and various meters do come in handy on the track, although Performance Pages feels more gimmicky on the road. And it does take a while to load up. Whatever the case, it's a cool option to have.
Our only gripe with the Charger's Uconnect setup is that it feels dated after seeing what Dodge's new setup looks like. The new Uconnect 5 system we tested in the Durango Hellcat and Chrysler Pacifica, both with a much crisper 10.1-inch screen, has more features and a better layout. Here's hoping that the Charger adopts the same setup in the near future.
What can we say about the Hellcat engine that hasn't been said already? It's phenomenal, it's absurd, and it feels even more special with the Redeye’s extra 80 horsepower. Total power figures for the Redeye model come out to 797 hp and 707 pound-feet, giving this Charger a 0-60 time of 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 203 miles per hour. Simply put: This is the fastest sedan in the world, and it feels like it.
Mash the gas from a standstill and the Charger Redeye accelerates with the type of force you expect of a six-figure supercar. The larger supercharger – with a hefty 14.5 psi of boost – lets off a siren-like whine as it spools up, feeding more air into the engine. Intense G forces push down on your face and chest on the way to 60 and up through a 6500-rpm redline. Though, this is assuming you can get the tires to hook up at all.
The Charger Redeye we tested in our first drive rode on optional Pirelli P-Zero summer tires (305/35R20), a $695 option that felt well worth it on the track. The super sticky rubber gave the car lots of grip, which – when combined with the advanced adaptive suspension – made the Redeye feel like one of the most track-focused Chargers we've ever tested (maybe next to the Scat Pack). Unfortunately, our tester wears the standard Pirelli P Zero all-seasons – and that rubber doesn't translate as well to the road.
The standard all-season tires simply can't handle all that horsepower. Quickly depressing the gas pedal, even to half strength from a stoplight, sends the rear tires into a tizzy while the traction control warning lights up the dash like Christmas.
Trying to stand on the pedal without even some of the nannies engaged is impossible – and, arguably, dangerous – resulting in nothing but a cloud of smoke and some sideways-ness. Feather the throttle and you'll be fine for the most part, but even in the tamest Street drive mode, don't press the gas pedal too hard. Our suggestion is to go with the optional Pirelli summer ties, they’re well worth it.
We get it, if you’re buying a 797-hp sedan safety probably isn’t at the top of your shopping list. But consider this: The Charger Redeye lacks any active safety equipment – even automatic emergency braking – contrary to its two main competitors. Both BMW and Mercedes offer comprehensive safety suites.
The BMW M5 Competition comes standard with an Active Driving Assistant, which includes automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, a lane-departure warning, and speed limit recognition. The Mercedes-AMG E63 S, meanwhile, charges extra for things like lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, and adaptive cruise control, but it does have standard automatic emergency braking at least. And those two systems are some of the best currently available on the market.
Again, fuel economy probably isn’t high up on your priorities list when looking at a Charger Hellcat Redeye. The supercharged V8 achieves just 12 miles per gallon city, 21 highway, and 15 combined – and it only sips premium fuel. The Charger Redeye is the least efficient car in the class. The BMW M5 Competition is better, achieving 17 mpg combined, and the Mercedes-AMG E63 S gets 18 mpg combined.
The Charger Redeye starts at $78,595, which makes it somewhat affordable relative to other high-powered (but premium) sedans. The BMW M5 Competition starts at $110,000, the Mercedes-AMG E63 S costs $107,500, and the Audi RS7 costs $114,000. And all three of those alternatives are considerably down on power. Only the new Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing comes close, with a starting price of $84,990. Our car is a little pricier with options, coming in at $87,165. But that’s still not absurdly expensive.
The dearest option is the Customer Preferred package, which costs an extra $8,600 and adds things like Redeye badging (both inside and out), satin black exterior accents, and a Redeye-specific instrument cluster. Frankly, this package doesn’t feel worth the hefty cost. The Carbon/Suede package adds an extra $1,595 on top of that (and does make the interior feel nicer), 20-inch satin wheels are $1,095, navigation is another $995, and there is a $2,100 gas guzzler tax. But we could do without many of those options. The bottom line is: You can still buy a 797-hp sedan for around $80,000.
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Gallery: 2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye Widebody: Review
2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye Widebody