Wow Factor! The 2023 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Delivers In Abundance
This is one truly exciting car! Quite simply, the 2023 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat is the most powerful gas-engined sedan you can buy in America. In spite of the fact that its driving platform is, by industry standards, old, Dodge has continued to work small wonders on the Charger and it has consistently been at or near the very top of most large car rankings.
Dodge is playing a good game here. While other marques focus on economy and green agendas, Dodge is going for power, and they are doing a good job too! The Hellcat’s supercharged V8 is a joy. The new 2023 Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody Jailbreak manages to deliver a truly staggering 807 horsepower. This is bordering on an automotive miracle. All Charger Hellcats are in the horsepower stratosphere, however, with none having less than 717 bhp.
This is the kind of detail we simply love. 807 bhp in what is otherwise a car for the family! Lucky kids to be in that family. It’s also spacious, and a normal family could genuinely have more than enough room for most activities.
Given the age we live in of sublime electric cars too, in fact the Dodge is no longer the most powerful sedan you can buy. That accolade belongs to the Tesla Model S Plaid, and the Lucid Air also produces more power. But with its sublime orchestrally raucous exhaust, it is the Dodge that will turn bystanders’ heads and get the biggest reaction.
Below, we have a look at what else it is that makes the 2023 Charger Hellcat such a special machine and such a desirable product.
2023 Dodge SRT Charger Hellcat: The Basics
This is a car that is of course very far from basic, but here are its basic stats.
- Body Style: Four-door large sedan
- Seating capacity: Five seats
- Engine: The engine of some people’s dreams, it’s the Dodge Supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V8. Depending on the version, you’ll get between 717 and 807 horsepower
- Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
- Layout: Front-engine, rear-wheel drive
- Introduction Date: 2015 model year
- 2023 Models: Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody
Powertrain: Here comes the thunder!
The engine is why you ultimately buy this car. The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat’s incredibly powerful supercharged 6.2 liter V8 is an engine for the ages. It is able to deliver between 717 bhp in standard Hellcat form, or 793 bhp in the Hellcat Redeye version. It also delivers an incredible 650 pound-feet of torque in the standard Hellcat, and 707 pound-feet of torque in the Redeye. Move on up to the Hellcat Redye Widebody Jailbreak and you get that almost mythical 807 bhp. Jailbreak, remember, is only available in the Redeye Widebody, and on this version you have a really wide range of customization options.
All Charger Hellcat models employ the same quick-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Though you can get other Dodge Charger models with all-wheel drive, Hellcat Chargers are only offered with rear-wheel drive, so take this into account when you’re thinking of the fun you want to have. In terms of cooling that mighty engine, the Hellcat and Hellcat Redeye use dual intercoolers and variable-speed electric water pumps.
Performance: Epic Acceleration
For many of us, it’s all about the acceleration. Dodge claims for the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye a zero to 60 mph of just 3.6 seconds. It is one of that tiny number of cars whose top speed tops 200 mph and comes in at 203 mph. If you get it out on the drag-strip it takes just 10.6 seconds to travel a quarter-mile, and it will be hitting 129 mph as it does so.
These are staggeringly fast times and speeds. Let’s just review that: in 10 seconds, you are hitting 129 mph!
This stellar performance is achieved by using the Charger’s electronic intelligence to help you out. The SRT Hellcat models all offer as standard Dodge’s launch control, launch assist and line lock functions for maximum drag strip performance.
The sedan’s performance parameters can, as you might expect, be fine-tuned using the infotainment system’s SRT Drive Modes Pages. These modes mean you can adjust the transmission’s shifting, steering, traction mode and suspension setup. They are simple to adapt and this is a great way to enhance your feeling for the Hellcat.
Ride and Handling: Do the Twist(ies)
It is not just about straight line speed. Though Dodges and other muscle cars may be more associated with performance that charges them down the superfast straights, the SRT-tuned Charger Hellcat performs very nicely when you shake it around and have it coiling and twisting. It may not be quite like a bionic snake, but it’s deceptively able to grip and twist around even sharp bends at high speeds.
Every Hellcat comes standard with a three-mode Bilstein adaptive damping suspension tuned by Dodge SRT performance engineers. In the front, we have six-piston Brembo brake calipers and 15.7-inch rotors. In the back, Charger Hellcats are equipped with four-piston Brembo brake calipers and 13.8-inch rotors.
In the Hellcat Charger models Dodge gives you lovely 20-inch alloy wheels and top notch Pirelli P Zero all-season tires as standard equipment. Even grippier three-season Pirelli P Zero tires are optional. For 2023, all Hellcat-powered Chargers include the Widebody package, which features what we think are brilliant fender flares for its 305/35ZR20 tires.
Exterior looks remain similar to those of Chargers across recent years, but that’s no bad thing. The overall Charger design is a traditional sedan profile with HID headlights and signature Dodge LED running lights. At the rear you have Dodge’s fun racetrack tail lights.
The Hellcat models are distinguished from the rest of the Charger lineup by a hood with a large, functional mail-slot air intake that feeds the supercharger’s thirsty need for air. As expected in a car like this, a variety of wheel, stripe and brake caliper options are available.
For 2023, the Charger Hellcat’s Jailbreak option will enable you to configure the sedan with a wide variety of appearance options. It’s available for around $1000. The freedom to personalize is, however, only offered on the Redeye Widebody, Having said that, Dodge also offer several pre-configured Jailbreak options, so you are likely to be pretty satisfied by the customized options available.
Interior Design and Space
Let’s be clear, you probably don’t buy a car like this for its interior. Don’t get us wrong, it’s a good interior, but it hasn’t quite kept pace with the improvements Dodge have made over recent years to the engines. There are certainly some nicely upgraded materials, with a fine stitched instrument panel finish, but the cabin still has more plastic than competitor models.
But don’t be unduly put off. There’s a lot to like and the cabin is pleasant, but it’s not stand-out. Being one of the few large sedans still on the market, the Charger has plenty of room in both rows, with a rear seat that’s wide enough to seat three passengers comfortably.
If you opt for a SRT model, it comes with SRT logo-emblazoned and nicely ventilated Laguna leather seats, which are available in a fantastic shade Dodge calls Demonic Red. You can also upgrade to Alcantara and Laguna leather upholstery, with an Alcantara flat-bottomed steering wheel. The Dodge leather-wrapped, flat-bottomed wheel comes as standard.
The shifter is also nicely done, and is the Dodge leather-wrapped T-handle shifter. It is fitted in a good position on the center console.
There is plenty going on here. The Charger’s five-seat cabin includes a standard eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat and an optional eight-way power-adjustable passenger seat. All Hellcats offer as standard a heated steering wheel and heated front and rear seats. The front seats are also nicely ventilated. Also as standard are dual-zone automatic climate control, seat position memory, and aluminum trim.
In addition, the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat and Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye both feature traditional analog instrument clusters with a customizable digital display nestled nicely between the speedometer and tachometer. We think it looks good. There are also multiple USB ports in the cabins and no passenger will be without easy access to charging.
Infotainment and Connectivity
This is all good! Both Charger Hellcat models include the intuitive and easy-to-use Dodge UConnect 4C 8.4-inch touch-screen infotainment system. It supports Android Auto and Apple Carplay.
As well as being the source of infotainment, the UConnect system is how you access the car’s SRT Performance Pages. (And you will access them!) They allow you to set the Charger’s performance parameters and provide additional instrument panel gauges, timers and performance coaches. For true drivers, they are likely to be addictive!
Though not as big a system as in some competitors, the six-speaker audio system with Alpine speakers comes as standard, while a 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system is available as an option. We guess many buyers will take the upgrade.
Nobody buys a Charger Hellcat for fuel-savings! 6.3 liter engines need feeding, after all.
The EPA rated the SRT Hellcat model of the 2023 Charger at just 12 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway. This is obviously a heavy consumption, but you wouldn’t expect anything else from a car capable of 203 mph. Expense on fuel is the flipside of fun.
Annoyingly, this means the tax is high too. Because of that poor consumption, you’ll pay upwards of $2100 or so in tax because of the so-called federal Gas Guzzler Tax.
Like every 2023 Dodge Charger, the Charger Hellcat has 16.5 cubic feet of trunk space. That’s slightly more room for luggage than its rivals. It’s not a lot, let’s be clear. But on the upside the rear seats fold with a 60/40 split, which creates extra additional space flexibility.
Advanced Driver Assistance and Safety Technologies
If you go for the Hellcat you actually lose some safety tech. Though the standard Dodge Charger is available with extensive advanced safety and driver assistance tech, the nature of the Hellcat means most of those features are not offered.
Because it is an extreme performance car, the Charger Hellcat is not available with forward collision warning or automatic emergency braking or adaptive cruise control. The tech is just not yet that assured to promise things at the speeds the Hellcat can get to. You do still get blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and reversing sensors.
We also like that the Charger Hellcat models come with two keys. The black key limits horsepower to a mere 500 horsepower, while the Hellcat’s red key offers the engine’s full potential. This is useful if you want to control fuel consumption too. In addition, Dodge offer a new two-level security system on new Hellcats. (It can also be retrofitted to older models.) Until you enter a four-digit security code, your engine will only be able to turn at idle speed. Some may find this annoying, but it is a useful safeguard.
Dodge Charger Hellcat Models and Pricing
The Dodge Charger Hellcat comes in two models, starting with the 717-horsepower Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody. The Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody boosts the power to 797-horsepower. Adding the Jailbreak option (around $1000) bumps the Redeye’s power to 807 horsepower.
For 2023, the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody comes in at around $80,000 and goes up from there, depending on options – but remember you’ll have fuel taxes of about $2,100 too. The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody starts at $88,695, and obviously has the taxes also, so you’re looking at over $90,000 for the Widebody. To put these in context, the least expensive Charger you can buy is the V6-powered Dodge Charger SXT. Its base price is $32,500, which is a true bargain.
These prices are pretty competitive and to get a car capable of what the Dodge can do for under $100,000 is a good deal by any standards.
Production and Availability
Believe it or not, though most people think of the Dodge Charger Hellcats as classic American, the entire Dodge Charger lineup is manufactured in Ontario, Canada. 2023 models are available now.
Let’s be clear, there are not many competitors. This is a car with few peers, certainly at that price. The Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing is smaller and produces less power, but actually has a higher price.
From Europe, we have the highly impressive BMW M5 CS, which offers 627 horsepower, while the Mercedes AMG 63-CS, with 603 bhp, but both of these models are considerably more expensive.
Head to Tesla and you have the $94,990 Model S. It actually manages to outpace the Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye in the zero to 60 stakes, but its top speed is a massive 50 mph slower and it comes in at $15,000 higher. If you want a Tesla that comes close to matching the Hellcat Redeye’s top speed, you need to fork out $130,000 for the Tesla Model S Plaid.
In fact it might be the case that the stiffest competition to the Charger Hellcat comes from extreme performance coupes, such as Dodge’s own Challenger Hellcat, or perhaps also worth a look are the Ford Mustang GT500 and the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.