Is the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Worth an Extra $10K?


ELENA SCHERR: This is the 2019
Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. It has 717 horsepower and
656 pound-feet of torque. There’s pretty much nothing
like it on the market, except for this. This is the 2019 Dodge
Challenger Hellcat SRT Redeye. It has 797 horsepower and
707 pound-feet of torque. Is it worth it to buy the
Redeye over the Hellcat? Let’s find out. It’s sort of a Spot
the Differences game when you’re looking at a
Hellcat and the Hellcat Redeye. It’s not the hood. This dual snorkel hood is on the
Redeye and it’s on the Hellcat, and it is fully functional. There’s a new vent down
here for the brakes. When you go more than
200 miles an hour, you really need to
keep those things cool. But the Hellcat
gets that as well. The wide body fender extensions
are the same on both cars. You can get either
car without them. You can get a
narrow body Hellcat. You can you get a
narrow body Redeye. But why would you? The logo is different, though. Instead of being
a bright chrome, it’s this sort of dark smoked
chrome, and it’s bedazzled. Your six-year-old daughter
is going to love that. The rest of the body
is exactly the same. There are no changes
until you get to the back, where the
little duck tail spoiler is a tiny bit wider,
wraps around, and has just the hint of a gurney flap. Dodge calls this the
Hellcat HO, High Output. It’s really the same engine
that was in the Dodge Demon if you remember that car. You might. It made a little bit of
a splash in the news. It was a nine-second car
that lifted the front wheels and had all this crazy
drag racing stuff. And it was also a
limited production run. So if you didn’t already
get one, you can’t get one, unless you’re willing to spend
a lot of money to get somebody else’s. But you can get
the Demon engine. Now, the Demon
was 808 horsepower and the Redeye is rated at 797. Why the difference? Well, basically, just because
it has a different hood. The Demon had a
much bigger scoop, so it was bringing more air in. More air means more
gas means more power. But honestly, there was no
point in driving this car I was like, “Oh, my God! If only I had 808
horsepower, I would have been able to make that pass. But with 797, I just
couldn’t do it!” No, that didn’t happen. If you are super
nerdy, as I am, and you want to know the differences
between this engine and the Demon engine,
it’s very simple. Basically, it has
black valve covers. It has a different badge
on the supercharger. The magical thing
about this car there is never any sort of merging
distance that is too short. Bam! Traffic speed. Is there any reason
that you should be driving an 800-horsepower
car on the street? No. No, there is not. That is not sensible. This is not a reasonable
choice to make. It is probably an
irresponsible choice to make, but it is so much fun. So the question for
me is, what makes this better than the Hellcat? Because the Hellcat starts in
the $50,000 range, and this car starts about $10,000 above that. And this exact car
that we’re driving with all the stripes and
the really nice interior and every single option and
the nicer radio and sunroof, it’s like $90,000. It kind of ruins the
horsepower per dollar value. I don’t know that I
would want to spend $90,000 for the Redeye. But you don’t have to. I mean, again, this
has a lot of options, and you don’t have to do that. But you do need to think, if
you’re looking at these cars, do you want the bragging rights
of 797 horsepower and then you’ll give up
some of the options like the sunroof or
the leather interior or do you want a
fully-optioned Hellcat? For the same amount of money,
you’d get everything on it. You’d just lose 100 horses. The thing that blew
my mind about this car when we first got in it
and started driving was you would not know
that it’s so fast. Obviously, you know as soon
as you put the hammer down. But right now, I’ve got about
this much throttle cruising at 60 miles an hour. Totally comfortable. Air conditioning is on. I could have the radio on
if I wasn’t talking to you. And it’s just like a normal car. It’s not hard to drive. You don’t have to be experienced
with high performance cars to be able to drive this
car around on the street. It doesn’t feel
outrageous or out of line until you get in the gas. But it has a bunch
of safety stuff. So it wants to help you. It wants you to have a good
time and not get into trouble. So you can leave
traction control on. It’ll still step out,
but it will catch itself, for the most part. I mean, it can’t do anything
if you steer it into a tree. So don’t do that. But it has lane change
warnings and airbags. If you went back in time
and told somebody driving– I don’t know– a 1970
Dodge Dart that they could have 800
horsepower that was safer to drive than their Dodge Dart,
they would never believe you. How is the handling? Really good, really nice. It’s not twitchy. It isn’t jumpy. In fact, everything
about this car, I think, is even better than
the lower levels, like I just drove a
Scat Pack, and it’s a little bit jumpier than this
car, like it wants to do more. It wants to impress you. This car is like, I don’t
need to impress you. You’re already impressed. And it’s right. Not all love for the Challenger. There a couple of complaints
that I have about it. It’s never had the
best visibility. Some people complain
about the back. That doesn’t bother me
so much, because that’s what all the mirrors are for. But it has a huge pillar here. And you will definitely
come into situations where you’re like, I
would like to turn, and I do not know what’s
behind that pillar. So you get used to it if it’s
your car, but I don’t like it. And I wish it was a
little bit thinner. The other thing that I
think isn’t fantastic about Challenger is the seats. They aren’t bad
for the short term, but they’re sort of in
between race and comfort. And they’re not quite
doing either perfectly. I was sliding
around a fair amount when I was on the road
course in this car, because the seat is big and
not quite bolstered enough to hold me in place. I feel like the
seats aren’t quite as comfortable as they could be. And that is definitely
a point for Camaro, because I have never been in a
car with more comfortable seats than the current
generation Camaro. Aside from the horsepower,
which I know I keep harping on– (WHISPERING) it’s so much– the other thing
that sets Challenger apart from some
of the other cars that you might be looking at
in the two-door high horsepower sporty grand touring
category is the back seat. It’s quite good. You can fit back there. I mean, I can fit
back there, but even if you’re bigger than me,
you can fit back there. I don’t think that this will be
a very comfortable car for four very tall people. I mean, if the seats
are all the way back, you definitely lose
leg room in the back. But no problem for kids,
and really no problem for a combination of adults. The Redeye is a really
easy car to a fully nerd out on, because there’s a
lot of interesting tech in it that comes from Demon. It has this chiller
system that reroutes the air conditioning to cool the
intake charge for the engine. So that your engine gets cold,
even though you’re really hot. That’s race track stuff. I mean, you would absolutely
hate using it on the street. But it’s cool. And again, it’s this
bragging rights thing. It’s like you’re
hanging out with people and you’re all talking
about your cars, and they’re like,
well, you know, I have this very fine
automobile and it has this much horsepower, and
you know, traction control. And you’re like, but
do you have a chiller? And then you win. I really can’t tell you enough
how easy this car is to drive. It’s not even scary. It should be scary. It’s not scary unless you get
on it, then it is very scary. Even though there are a
ton of different versions of the Challenger,
they all really share the basic interiors. So as you spend more money, you
can get nicer leather and nicer trim pieces, but the overall
design of the interior remains the same. And it’s fine. It’s nice enough. It feels good, and
it’s comfortable. It doesn’t look
really expensive. It’s not going to impress people
by the rarity of the materials or the perfection of
the fit and finish. But there’s nothing
wrong with it. It’s nothing that’s
going to bother you while you’re driving. And it’s really not why
you buy this car, anyway. Infotainment is really easy
to use and easy to go through. I don’t love that a lot of the
controls are in the Apps menu, because it wouldn’t occur to
me to look in the Apps menu to, say, figure out
how to sync my phone, but once you know that they’re
there, it’s no big deal. That’s where there are. A couple of them are
a little slow to load, in particular the
Performance pages. So don’t wait till
the last minute if you’re really excited
to find out your G forces. You’ve got to set that up well
before you hit the skid pad. The Redeye is only
available in the automatic. It’s an 8-speed automatic,
the same as the Hellcat. You can’t get a manual,
because they just don’t have a transmission that
can back this much torque. Dodge gives you a lot of
options for customizing the modes and a quick button
to get there, the SRT. You can change all of
this stuff, custom set up, say you want sport trans
or paddle shifters off. Redeye doesn’t have all the drag
racing stuff that Demon has. So it doesn’t have
a trans brake. It does have a launch
control and a line lock. So you can do the burnouts
without using up your brake. So is the 2019 Dodge
Hellcat Redeye a good catch? It has impressive
horsepower and a ton of fun. But you can get 90% of what
it offers in a Hellcat. It’s up to you if you
think that horsepower is worth an extra $10,000. To find out more
about the Challenger Redeye and the whole
Challenger lineup, please visit us at Edmund. If you like this video and
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