Dodge's purest expression of automotive muscle, the Challenger coupe, gets a significant refresh for 2019 that broadens the performance envelope of a car that already stuffs a lot of performance into a mid-size package.
The Demon is gone after just one model year, but its engine lives on in a new Hellcat Redeye trim, a new range-topping beast with 797 hp and 707 lb-ft of torque, which Dodge says is the most powerful production V8 engine and makes the Redeye the quickest (0-96 km/h in 3.4 seconds) and fastest muscle car (quarter-mile time of 10.8 seconds at 210 km/h and a top speed of 326 km/h).
But 2019 also brings a bunch more changes to this mid-size coupe.
The standard Hellcat sees gains of 7 hp and 6 lb-ft of torque, for new totals of 717 hp and 656 lb-ft and all Hellcat models get a new dual-snorkel hood that recalls Dodge muscle cars of the 1970s.
The Challenger Scat Pack 392 Widebody gets the same fender flares as the Hellcat along with a power-bulge hood that used to be exclusive to the Hellcat.
And at the bottom of the range, the Hemi-powered Challenger R/T and a new RWD GT variant gain a high-performance suspension and better steering, as well as 20-inch painted wheels, new hood and front splitter and more aggressively bolstered front seats in houndstooth cloth. Additionally, the R/T can be optioned with 20-inch forged wheels, limited slip differential and improved handling balance.
The Hellcat's engine is a supercharged 6.2L V8, while the Scat Pack uses a 6.4L naturally aspirated motor good for 485 hp/475 lb-ft. R/T trim gets a 5.7L making 372 hp and 400 lb-ft, and the GT and SXT share a 3.6L V6 that makes 305 hp and 268 lb-ft.
Six-cylinder cars come standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission. It's available in all variants, but most V8-powered variants can also be had with a six-speed manual.
Even without the Demon halo model, Dodge is clearly eager to maintain its position as the maker of some of the wildest muscle cars you can buy today. The Challenger handily outpowers its closest competitors: The Ford Mustang tops out at 526 hp in the Shelby GT350, while the Chevrolet Camaro's most potent variant is the ZL1 with its 650 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque.
Fuel consumption estimates range from 12.4/7.8 L/100 km (city/highway) with the 3.6L engine to 16.7/10.4 in cars with the 6.4L engine and manual transmission.
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