2019 Dodge Charger: Hellcat Returns With Handsome New Get-Up

The sedan's base models get a boost in power while the SRT Hellcat gets Demon-derived hand-me-downs.

2019 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat featuring new performance grille
FCA US LLC & © 2018 FCA US LLC

Year, Make, Model: Fiat-Chrysler has just publicly announced the changes that will be coming to its 2019 Dodge Charger lineup in the third quarter of 2018.

What's New: Going forward, Dodge will offer six trim packages for the Charger. On the more affordable end, there are the V-6 powered GT and SXT all-wheel-drive models. The Pentastar engine in both of these trims will see an eight-horsepower increase to an even 300, while the base rear-drive SXT remains at 292 horsepower. R/T models get a new air-channeling hood and several handling upgrades. 

FCA

The real story lies within the Hellcat's visual and performance upgrades.

The more lively Scat Pack and Hellcat Chargers will get more significant upgrades including a line-lock system, revised launch control, and dual cold air ducts in their grills. The Hellcat will receive an After-Run Chiller that continues to cool the Hemi's supercharger after the engine has been shut off, and it will also have a "torque reserve" mode that pre-loads the supercharger for quicker acceleration off the line.

Power figures for the Scat Pack (485 horsepower, 475 pound-feet of torque) and Hellcat (707 hp, 650 pound-feet) variants remain unchanged from the outgoing model year.

New interior options will also be offered across the lineup, including a cold weather package with heated cloth seats.

Quotable: In Dodge's press release, FCA Representative Steve Beahm said, "Despite a shift toward utility vehicles in the United States over the past decade, the Dodge Charger and Challenger continue to buck the trend. Charger and Challenger retail sales have increased 70 percent since 2008, and since the launch of Scat Pack in August 2014, high-performance model sales increased from four percent to more than 25 percent. Charger is on track to lead the large car segment in the United States for the fifth straight year in 2018, and we intend to keep that string alive by updating the product to deliver the performance and capability that our customers demand.”

What You Need to Know: While Fiat Chrysler hasn't reinvented the now 12-year-old sedan, it's added a suite of small upgrades that should benefit the performance-minded customer. Dodge will be taking orders for its new Charger at the end of June, and they will be shipped out to dealers in Q3 2018. Base MSRP starts at around $29,000 while Hellcat pricing is expected to go up slightly from its current $67,995 entry point.

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