• 2020 Dodge Charger Widebody Hellcat and Scat Pack

First Drive: 2020 Dodge Charger Widebody Hellcat and Scat Pack

These Charger Widebodys have unmistakable street presence, they sound great.

Brian Makse By: Brian Makse October 11, 2019
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THE PROS & CONS

    • What’s Good: 100% American attitude, made in Canada
    • What’s Bad: Tall seating position

SRT has been offering their tuned versions of the Dodge Charger in recent model years, with powerful V8s, corner carving suspensions, and a whole lot of attitude. 2020 marks the first time this four door family sedan is available with muscular bodywork that matches the athleticism of the engines. These Widebodys are three-and-a-half inches wider than the standard Charger and underneath that bodywork there is a wider wheel and tire package, and a completely reworked chassis.

For 2020, you still have your choice of either Hellcat or Scat Pack versions. The Hellcat obviously refers to the 6.2 litre supercharged HEMI V8, which produces 707 horsepower and 650 pounds of torque. (Don’t forget that Dodge calls this the low output version of this engine.)

The Scat Pack uses the 6.4 litre – or 392 cubic inches –  HEMI V8 which makes 485 horsepower and 475 pounds of torque. Still massively impressive numbers and by the way it looks and drives, you won’t often miss the extra 200 or so horsepower of the Hellcat.

There is one special edition available for the 2020 model year, the SRT Hellcat Widebody Daytona 50th Anniversary and along with unique trim – and it looks brilliant in exclusive B5 Blue – it gets a little bump in power to 717 horses. The Daytona is limited to just 501 units.

2020 Dodge Charger Widebody Hellcat and Scat Pack

2020 Dodge Charger Widebody Hellcat and Scat Pack

2020 Dodge Charger Widebody Hellcat and Scat Pack

The Hellcat and Scat Pack both use eight speed automatics that are geared identically. The main difference is that the 8HP90 of the Hellcat is a bit stronger to withstand all of the engine’s torque. Both use limited slip diffs, however, the Scat Pack uses a 3.09 rear axle and the Hellcat has a 2.62.

As for the numbers, according to Dodge, the Hellcat does zero to sixty in 3.6 seconds, the quarter in a tick under 11 seconds and tops out at 315 km/h. The Scat Pack is not much slower, certainly in the real world and maybe only on the drag strip would you notice a difference. Zero to sixty in 4.3 and it’ll do the quarter in twelve point four.

There is also a new electric power steering system with three modes of assist, which are tied to the different drive modes or can also be driver selectable with a custom drive mode. That works great for me, because I generally go for more assist.

The base Scat Pack gets four-piston Brembo calipers clamping one-piece vented rotors all around, with 360 mm rotors in front and 350mm in the rear.

Optional on Scat Pack and standard on Hellcat Widebody is the biggest brake set up you can get on a Charger. Here, Dodge uses a six-piston Brembo caliper with a massive, pizza-sized 390 mm rotor in front. Hellcat Widebody has the same four-piston Brembo and one-piece rotor in back as Scat Pack.

Mark Trostle, Head of Design for Dodge and SRT, told us what went into transforming Dodge’s big sedan into a Widebody.

2020 Dodge Charger Widebody Hellcat and Scat Pack

2020 Dodge Charger Widebody Hellcat and Scat Pack

2020 Dodge Charger Widebody Hellcat and Scat Pack

“What we’ve done is, take a little bit of the influence from the Challenger Widebody and Demon that we’ve had, added three and a half inches of width to the vehicle with some new flares and a new front fascia,” Trostle said. “The flares actually integrate into the fascia and that allowed us to change the expression of it a little bit further. You see the mail slot grille really played up the size of the openings of the lower mouth, the outboard air intakes as well. Everything is functional on the front end, but of course, we also wanted to make sure it had an identity that was true to the DNA of Dodge and SRT.

“A few of the other changes that we’ve made to the car, is we have a new side sill, that you see that integrates well into the wheel flares. We’ve got a new set of wheels as well, for the Widebody. We have a new rear fascia as well and we’ve played up the size of the opening. The air extractors in the rear exhausters, made those a little bit larger. We have a new diffuser, a two-tone finish on it as well. Really accentuates around the exhaust tips on it. And again, it integrates the wheel flares to it. Both from a front view and a rear view, the car just looks planted and solid to the ground.”

We also spoke with Jim Wilder, Vehicle Development Manager for Challenger and Charger SRT programs, to understand in detail the suspension changes that went into developing these Widebodys.

“With the Scat Pack, we put more front spring in the car, 27% more spring in the car. We did not change the front sway bar. What we did is we put 52% more roll stiffness in the rear of the car, in the sway bar. By doing that, we made the car more neutral,” Wilder told Wheels.ca. “The car has less front-end weight than the Hellcat, so your front-rear distribution is better on the Scat Pack and that’s why it feels a little more nimble that way.

“With the Hellcat, we put a bunch more spring right in the front. We put 38% more spring in the front and we increased the sway bars on the front and the rear in that car. 18% stiffer in the front and in the rear, we went 52% stiffer, like the Scat Pack. We’re really trying to focus the Hellcat on rear grip. 650 foot-pounds of torque. That’s a lot of torque to put to the ground. So, we really had to manage that. The Scat Pack has less torque, so that wasn’t as big a concern.”

SRT has been using adaptive Bilstein dampers with great success for years and given the changes Wilder noted, they’ve been recalibrated for both Widebodys, as well.

Naturally, SRT includes the important performance tricks like launch control and line lock. As with all SRTs, there are the Uconnect-based Performance Pages where you can set the display to your choice of gauges and the level of detail is perfect for enthusiasts.

Both of these Charger Widebodys are wonderfully wicked to drive. Sure that visual attitude tells everyone else what’s up, but behind the wheel, these are brutally quick, loud, and capable four door sedans. The signature supercharger whine of the Hellcat is icing on this super sedan cake.

2020 Dodge Charger Widebody Hellcat and Scat Pack

2020 Dodge Charger Widebody Hellcat and Scat Pack

2020 Dodge Charger Widebody Hellcat and Scat Pack

Like Wilder said, the Scat Pack is a little lighter on its feet, particularly on track, making it slightly more rewarding than the Hellcat when you’re chasing lap times. However, most customers aren’t going to drive their Chargers on the track frequently, so that abundance of power from the Hellcat makes it a little more appealing for daily driving.

At the push of the throttle, the thrust of these V8s just throw you into the back of your seat, but it’s that slightly longer wheelbase that gives the Charger a little more comfortable ride and noticeably more control at and beyond the limit.

The transmissions shift quickly up and down the box, whether you’re shifting manually or letting the gearbox take care of itself. Braking is very competent, with good feel and excellent modulation. I love these brakes. With the size of these Chargers, you will feel some pitch and roll, of course, and it’s all part of the experience.

Steering is direct and precise, though you’re going to get more feedback through the seat of your pants and your eyes, rather than through the steering wheel. Visibility is fantastic and don’t forget that this is a proper full-size sedan with a full-sized interior.

2020 Dodge Charger Widebody Hellcat and Scat Pack

2020 Dodge Charger Widebody Hellcat and Scat Pack

Of course, you’re asking yourself what these Widebodys cost. Here’s the breakdown.

Scat Pack starts at just under $60,000, Hellcat at $83,495, and Hellcat Daytona, if you can get on the list for one of these limited editions, is $88,940 plus options.

These Charger Widebodys have unmistakable street presence, they sound great, especially that supercharger whine from the Hellcat version, and they do amazing things that no full-size family sedan should. At a time when countless carmakers offer endless stale sedans, it’s great to see a four door that’s fully filled to the brim with character.

2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody / Scat Pack Widebody

BODY STYLE: full-size, four-door luxury sedan.
CONFIGURATION: front-engine, rear-wheel drive.
ENGINE: 6.2-litre supercharged V8 engine (707 hp, 650 lb/ft of torque) with an eight-speed automatic transmission or a 6.4 litre naturally aspirated V8 (485 hp, 475 lb/ft torque) with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
CARGO CAPACITY: 470 litres.
FUEL ECONOMY: TBD at press time
PRICE: Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody, $83,495; Charger Scat Pack Widebody, $59,945 plus destination fee of $2,595
WEB SITE: Charger

Wheels.ca


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