2020 Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody and Hellcat Widebody

Automobiles.com photograph by Brian Wong

Dodge’s announcement that Widebody variations of the Charger can be coming for the 2020 mannequin yr have been met with private delight. Largely as a result of I do know what “Widebody” means in Dodge parlance: a critical improve in efficiency. I headed to Sonoma, Calif., to check the up to date 2020 Charger Scat Pack and Charger SRT Hellcat with Widebody additions on coastal streets and the highway course at Sonoma Raceway. (Per our ethics coverage, Automobiles.com pays for its personal lodging and transportation at such automaker sponsored occasions.)

Associated: 6 Issues You Ought to Know In regards to the New 2020 Dodge Charger Widebodies

Dodge beforehand launched the Challenger’s Widebody Package deal with lots of the identical modifications discovered on the Charger, and we have been massive followers of these upgrades. On the Challenger, they made a automotive that was quick in a straight line however troublesome to regulate extra accessible and faster across the bends. For the Dodge Charger, which I’ve at all times most popular to the Challenger as a result of its longer wheelbase gives extra stability, these modifications would seemingly have the identical have an effect on.

What’s Included in a Dodge Charger Widebody Package deal?

Widebody upgrades are supposed to improve the Charger’s grip, dealing with and braking traits to higher match the Scat Pack and Hellcat’s unbelievable quantities of horsepower, and meaning an extended checklist of upgrades, beginning with the tires.

Each the Scat Pack and Hellcat trip on customary 20-inch Pirelli P-Zero 305/35ZR20 all-season efficiency tires, that are a reasonably ridiculous 11 inches large (the earlier tire for each automobiles was 9.5 inches large); summer season tires are non-obligatory. The automotive’s total width is up three.5 inches due to giant fenders which have been expanded to accommodate the brand new rubber, and people fenders are the simplest approach to pick a Widebody mannequin from a daily Charger.

There are additionally suspension upgrades, and the Scat Pack Widebody provides bigger and extra highly effective brakes taken from the Hellcat: Brembo-sourced six-piston fronts and four-piston rears. The Charger Hellcat additionally makes a transition to electrical energy steering for the primary time — Dodge says it is because the hydraulic system couldn’t sustain with the upper steering masses offered by the added grip from the tires and stiffer suspension.

Beginning with the 2020 mannequin yr, all variations of the Charger Hellcat get the Widebody Package deal upgrades customary, which could be very a lot a change for the higher. For Charger Scat Packs, the bundle prices  $6,000, and it’s an improve I like to recommend for anybody who intends to drive the Charger on a highway that isn’t completely straight.

Extra Grip, Extra Go

The 2020 Scat Pack and Hellcat engines are the identical as 2019. For the Scat Pack, it’s a 485-horsepower, 6.Four-liter V-Eight that makes 475 pounds-feet of torque mated to an eight-speed automated and rear-wheel drive. Within the Hellcat, it’s a 707-hp, supercharged 6.2-liter V-Eight that makes 650 pounds-feet of torque. Although it additionally has an eight-speed automated, the Hellcat’s engine is designed to deal with the upper torque load.

Each engines are nonetheless ridiculous; the Scat Pack runs from zero-to-60 mph in simply Four.three seconds and the Hellcat in three.6 seconds, that are exceptional instances given the Charger’s measurement. Driving the Widebody variations of each, I discovered that they nonetheless have the identical sensation of pace, simply with simpler entry. Mashing on the throttle, particularly within the Hellcat, nonetheless ends in quite a lot of noise and spinning tires, however it’s noticeably simpler to place down the Charger’s prodigious energy with the added grip — particularly popping out of turns.

Suspension of Disbelief

The revised suspensions, mixed with the added grip from these large tires, do wonders. Each fashions have Bilstein adaptive shock absorbers however totally different suspension tuning. The Hellcat Widebody has 32 % stiffer entrance spring charges in comparison with final yr’s mannequin and bigger sway bars entrance and rear. The Scat Pack Widebody has 27 % stiffer entrance springs in comparison with common Scat Pack fashions and a bigger rear sway bar; each have retuned shock absorbers for the stiffer springs.

On the monitor, the distinction between the usual automotive and the Widebody twins is instantly obvious. The Widebody grips tougher onto the highway and stays flatter, permitting you to hold extra pace into turns with higher confidence. And as I discussed above, this extra stability together with the broader tires means which you could get again onto the gasoline extra shortly and the automotive gained’t lose its rear finish. You additionally get a a lot sharper preliminary turn-in, and for an enormous automotive the nostril feels fairly gentle. That is more true within the Scat Pack than the Hellcat; it has much less weight within the engine compartment and it feels the extra agile of the 2 by an honest margin.

The Hellcat’s transfer away from a hydraulic steering system had me cautious, however after driving with the digital energy steering system, my issues have been alleviated. There’s good suggestions, even in a monitor surroundings, an space through which many EPS programs wrestle, and it additionally made the Hellcat a bit simpler to make use of at low speeds as effectively.

What additionally impressed me was how the added monitor prowess didn’t appear to have a detrimental influence on the Charger’s cruising traits. Driving the streets and highways round Sonoma, I discovered that each vehicles nonetheless rode very effectively and fairly quietly. Aside from once you get on the gasoline, then that good V-Eight soundtrack cranks up. I believed these widened tires would possibly imply quite a lot of highway noise and a few wobbliness over damaged pavement, however the suspension did a superb job of gliding over highway imperfections with out transmitting these into the cabin. That is true even in Sport mode, with its stiffer suspension settings.



2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat Widebody

Automobiles.com photograph by Brian Wong

Ought to You Select a Charger Scat Pack or Charger Hellcat?

The Widebody Package deal enhances the nice traits with little to no drawbacks besides that possibly now it’s slightly tougher to suit into parking areas. Added grip and stability was the proper enhancement for the Charger, and it makes the vehicles much more pleasant to drive, with none sacrifice to the Charger’s prodigious grand touring proclivities.

What was attention-grabbing for me to contemplate was which one I’d fairly have. My preliminary thought was the Scat Pack Widebody would come out on high for a couple of causes, beginning with worth. That as-tested Scat Pack Widebody stickered at $61,445 (together with vacation spot expenses), whereas the Hellcat Widebody jumped to $79,410. The Scat Pack gives greater than sufficient energy, handles higher, and on the monitor I felt I might drive the automotive nearer to its restrict, which was extra enjoyable. In a Hellcat, you’re nonetheless fairly nervous that an excessive amount of accelerator will immediately kick the rear finish round, whereas the Scat Pack Widebody is extra forgiving.

Nonetheless, Sonoma Raceway is a really hilly monitor and it was arduous to argue towards the Hellcat’s potential to roar up its steep grades with out hesitation. Within the Scat Pack, the acceleration wasn’t fairly as snappy. There isn’t actually something like driving a Hellcat; it’s like wrestling with a really joyful bear (although with the Widebody upgrades you not less than get to place some armor on).

On the finish of the day, the Scat Pack continues to be the winner for me — you save $18,000, you possibly can drive it tougher, it handles higher and 485 hp is a lot to get you wherever you might want to go. However there aren’t any mistaken solutions right here, only one that’s a bit righter than the opposite. Should you resolve that 707-grin-inducing horsepower is an excessive amount of to cross up, you’ll get no argument from me.

The 2020 Charger Widebody fashions go on sale in early 2020.

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2020 Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody

Automobiles.com photograph by Brian Wong

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L.A. Bureau Chief Brian Wong is a California native with a tender spot for convertibles and free parking. He’s primarily based in Los Angeles. E-mail Brian

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