Widebody Hellcat ‘Essentially a Demon,’ Says Motorweek

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After 10 years of production, we deserve a fourth-generation Challenger.

Motorweek’s John Davis puts things in black and white in a new video review of the Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody, explaining that it is “essentially an SRT Demon without it’s 840 horsepower Hemi.”

OK, that makes sense because there’s some improvements the Demon had over the Hellcat, but to some, it may feel like a Demon with clipped horns. It’s not a model confused about what it wants to be, but to us it does signal something else more significant — more of which we will discuss later.

Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody

Thinking about the Widebody from another perspective, the associated upgrades do make for a pumped up SRT Hellcat, rather than a slightly more sane Demon. Placing the 305/35-20 rubber under the newly flared arches helps to reportedly “improve” handling, but as Davis points out “it still feels very wide and heavy. Perhaps taking out some weight and lowering it would have been better than just adding wider tires.”

However, sprinkling new excitement on the Challenger is only going to go so far. If you stop and rewind, the Challenger platform is now ten years old. In automotive years, it is ancient, and that’s not just due to its old-school approach to performance. It leaves us wondering what Chrysler will do for the next generation of Challengers.

Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody

One of the biggest issues to overcome is weight and girth. Chrysler will also have to balance a razor’s edge in moving this car closer to pony car territory and leaving the muscle car antics behind. Making a more capable Challenger will be difficult without changing its image, but the Challenger certainly can’t keep going on as it is. As the Camaro and Mustang fight their own respective fight on the twisty road courses, Dodge reluctantly refuses to jump in, fighting a one-car fight on the drag strip.

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Patrick Morgan is an instructor at Chicago's Autobahn Country Club and contributes to a number of Auto sites, including MB World and 6SpeedOnline.

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