Posted on August 17, 2017
The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody Test Drive Review
As the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody heads into late summer production, we thought we’d let our Hellcat fans in Toronto and Mississauga in on what it’s like to drive one of these fat cats. Juicy wide tires make for a nice, sticky ride, with a flow so smooth that any lingering disappointment you might have felt over not nabbing a limited-edition Demon will disappear.
Compared to the standard Hellcat, the Widebody has better cornering grip, improved acceleration, and superior braking capability. That last detail may come as a surprise, since it shares the same Brembo braking package as the standard Hellcat. Dodge charts the Widebody’s quarter-mile at 0.3 seconds quicker, and its 0-60 miles per hour clock-in drops it from 3.5 to 3.4 seconds. On the skid pad, lateral grip increases by 0.04 G to 0.97 G. Not too shabby at all. And Dodge reports that the Widebody consistently drops two seconds off its lap time when compared to the standard Hellcat. You’re looking at a finish of 13 car lengths ahead of the standard Hellcat. Boom!
This big V8 kitty snarls and whines as you head into a first turn, letting you know that 707 horsepower is just right for the job. Sharp but manageable acceleration eases you nicely out of long corners. The steering is hefty but not to the point of wearing you out as you stitch multiple corners together on a long course. The engine can hit a 6,200-rpm redline, snarling all the way. You’ll definitely feel the shudder with every shift, especially in automatic mode. The gear changes are quick, however, and there’s no steam lost as the car surpasses 140 mph. You’ll have a good idea of your speed with an easy-to-read digital speedometer on the TFT display. This is a car that stays balanced, compliant and comfortable throughout a demanding circuit.