Now approaching its fourth birthday, the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is due for a mid-cycle refresh — a pleasant surprise considering the Demon only had one year to live. We weren’t sure how much longer Fiat Chrysler intended to keep the feisty feline around, and considered the possibility that it might already be on borrowed time. But with an updated face coming for the 2019 model year, the odds are good that the Hellcat will remain in production with the rest of the Challenger lineup until 2021.
Visual changes will likely be extremely limited. Dodge understands the Challenger’s look is iconic and doesn’t want to screw up the retro recipe, so it’s once again tapping into the past in a bid to overhaul the vehicle’s current aesthetic. It’s also taking a page out of the Kellogg’s Raisin Bran playbook, as customers stand to gain a Hellcat with two scoops of goodness.
While double-scoop hoods are somewhat common on vintage Mopars, especially in the aftermarket, the last time I recall seeing them looking this extreme on a production vehicle was when Pontiac still existed and was building the Trans Am WS6. My neighbor had one and, for one glorious summer, allowed me to use it while he spent three months in and out of the hospital. The overall impression from the driver seat was that you were operating the baddest thing in the history of motoring. Its hood went on for an eternity and the bulging inlets suggested the sheetmetal was forced to give way to an engine that had outgrown its confines.
Dodge will assuredly offer drivers a similar sensation with the altered Hellcat. Teaser photos of the 2019 model show a new “dual-snorkel hood” that rises at least as high as the present vehicle’s center scoop. In a statement, FCA said it “pays homage to the distinctive Mopar design themes from some of its most famous muscle cars. This new fully functional hood harkens back to the mid-60s and early-70s, but with a modern interpretation that looks even more sinister and provides maximum air intake to the supercharged powerplant.”
That’s all the automaker is willing to give up at the present time. However, FCA says more details will emerge this summer. We have no idea if those will include mechanical updates but, if it does, we expect them to be very modest.
[Images: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]