If you needed any proof that the golden age of muscle cars is right now, the 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody should be convincing. We'll just call it the Redeye for short. The Redeye is the fastest, most powerful street-legal car commonly available in the world right now. Sure, there are Bugattis and other exotics, but the Charger is available for less than the price of an apartment building and you can get one at any Dodge dealer in America.
The specs are impressive. The Charger's supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine produces 797 horsepower and 707 pound-feet of torque. Driven through an eight-speed automatic to the rear wheels, that's enough power to rocket the Charger to 60 MPH is just 4.0 seconds flat. It will cover a quarter-mile in 10.6 seconds and has a top speed of 203 MPH. That's all right off the showroom floor, and it's all yours for $69,995.
Let's pause right there. Just as generations of parents have advised generations of newly-licensed teen drivers, our advice is, "That's too much car for you." Don't be offended; it's too much car for us, too. But just like generations of teen drivers, we have to admit that the allure of massive torque and horsepower is hard to resist.
The Redeye comes with launch control, which spins up all that power before engaging the driveline to maximize initial takeoff speed. It also comes with a "line-lock" that holds the front brakes tight while letting the rear wheels spin, creating a smoky burnout to heat up the rear tires for launch traction. It's easily possible to burn through a whole set of rear tires in a minute or two.
That being said, Dodge did more than just put a big engine in the Redeye. The wheels and tires are big and wide. The "widebody" part of the name covers the oversized fender flares Dodge put on to cover those extra-wide wheels.
Finally, the brakes are similarly oversized to handle the task of slowing the Redeye back down from whatever speed you've been able to manage. For the sake of public safety, let's assume you're at Portland International Raceway or the Bonneville Salt Flats for that kind of driving.
Inside, the Charger gets Dodge's best interior. There's a touchscreen infotainment system, nice leather seats, air conditioning, all the stuff you'd expect. But that's not why anyone buys a Redeye, and you can get all that stuff in a more prosaic Charger for about half the price. This car is about the power and handling.
Last fall, we had the chance to drive the Redeye at Carolina Motorsports Park, and the car performs admirably on a closed course. There's plenty of tire grip, plenty of brakes, and the suspension and steering are tight and responsive. The engine is breathtaking on the straight sections.
Still, the Redeye can surprise you with its drivability on public roads. It's easy to drive this car to work, school, or the grocery store. The power is there if you ask for it, but Dodge did a superlative job keeping it under your control. What remains is to keep yourself under control while driving the Redeye. If you think you can do that, then maybe, just maybe, the Charger Redeye is the right car for you. There's only one way to find out.
2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody
Base price: $69,995
Price as tested: $87,7765
Type: Full-size sedan
Engine: 6.2-liter supercharged V8 (797 hp, 707 lbs-ft)
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
EPA estimated mileage: 12/21
Overall length: 201 inches
Curb weight: 4,610 pounds
Final assembly: Ontario, Canada
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