After Exorcising Its Demon, Dodge Looks Ready to Improve on the Hellcat


Image: Brian Williams/Spiedbilde

What can an automaker do after its limited-run, 840-horsepower performance flagship shuffles off into the afterlife? Move the second-highest rung a little higher.

That appears to be what Dodge is planning for the Challenger. In a world filled with crossovers, electrified powertrains, and looming autonomy, the drag strip-focused 2018 Challenger SRT Demon was just the gas-slurping, go-you-own-way ticket the brand needed to earn a ton of recognition. Now that a brief run of Demons has settled into climate-controlled garages and auction blocks across the land, it’s time for Dodge to turn its attention back to the Hellcat.

Recent spy photos seem to back up an unverified report that appeared on the forum (first noticed by AutoGuide) last year, stating that the 707 hp Challenger SRT Hellcat stands to gain some of the Demon’s goodies, as well as extra horsepower.

The report claims the Hellcat Drag Pack contains up to 75 percent of the model-specific trappings found on the Demon, including an Air Grabber hood, grippier Nitto rubber (no drag slicks, though), a “Drag Mode” option in the car’s UConnect infotainment system, and a taller final drive ratio. Any number of other bits could find their way into the lesser model. The list includes SRT’s Power Chiller, which uses the A/C system’s refrigerant to cool intake air, as well as a launch-boosting torque reserve system and transbrake.

Reportedly, the Hellcat Drag Pack bumps the model’s output to 725 horsepower. It’s always good to add aspirational trims and packages to a car line, and the Challenger line is far from fresh (but far from moribund, too). With a planned Alfa Romeo platform swap put off until the coming decade, a Hellcat Drag Pack would keep the Challenger in the headlines and give Hellcat customers a reason to hand more cash over to Fiat Chrysler.

Image: Brian Williams/Spiedbilde

These photos, showing a regular-bodied Hellcat decked out in Demon duds, were snapped outside FCA’s Street & Racing Technology HQ in Detroit. Assuming it’s not a one-off, a debut should occur later this year.

[Images: Brian Williams/Spiedbilde]