2019 Dodge Challenger, Charger revealed: more muscle, hotter Hellcats

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The 2019 Dodge Challenger and 2019 Dodge Charger made their debuts Thursday, shredding tires and shooting bottle rockets along as America’s favorite two- and four-door accessories to sleeveless T-shirts.

The four-door madman sedan Charger now offers a rear-drive only GT version and a hotter Hellcat that pumps more air into the supercharged V-8. 

The 2019 Charger will be available in SXT, GT, R/T, R/T Scat Pack, and Hellcat trim levels that ascend in silliness and price. The SXT is the base versions are powered by a 292 horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 teamed to an 8-speed automatic. All-wheel-drive versions of the SXT are available and add a mild power bump (300 hp) but keep the same 8-speed. Base versions are still equipped with keyless ignition, 17-inch wheels (19-inchers on AWD versions), cloth upholstery, power adjustable front seats, a 7.0-inch touchscreen (8.4-inch touchscreen on AWD versions), Bluetooth connectivity, and parking sensors. A cold weather package likely will be a popular package for AWD shoppers that adds heated seats and mirrors, and a heated steering wheel.

DON’T MISS: Read our 2018 Dodge Charger full review

The rear-wheel drive GT offers the same 3.6-liter V-6 as the SXT AWD, but adds performance suspension upgrades, unique hood and bumpers, 20-inch wheels, paddle shifters, Houndstooth cloth, and an 8.4-inch touchscreen.

Side by side, a GT and R/T probably don’t look much different—they have virtually the same features—but the biggest difference will be found under the sheet metal. The R/T swaps in a 5.7-liter V-8 that makes 370 hp mated to the same 8-speed automatic but a taller rear axle ratio.

The R/T Scat Pack boasts 485 hp from the 5.7-liter V-8 and offers launch control and line lock drag racing assists, and a performance grille for better cooling.

For those unconvinced about the Charger’s power so far, the 2019 Charger SRT Hellcat returns this year with a 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 that makes 707 hp and 650 pound-feet of torque mated to an 8-speed automatic. The ‘Cat now boasts an After-Run Chiller that helps to cool the engine and supercharger after the engine is shut off—”fire-breathing V-8,” don’t you know—and a Torque Reserve system that closes a bypass valve to keep air in the supercharger and keep the Hellcat ready to pounce off the line.

MUST READ: See our 2018 Dodge Challenger full review

The Challenger SRT Hellcat goes further. A lot further.

The 2019 Challenger SRT Hellcat gets a mild power bump to 717 hp this year and still offers a 6-speed manual as standard, or an optional 8-speed automatic. In addition to the After-Run Chiller and Torque Reserve goodies on the Charger SRT Hellcat, the Challenger SRT Hellcat offers a widebody kit for a more menacing look.

Scary looks combine with scary speed in the new SRT Hellcat Redeye that boosts the supercharged V-8 up to 797 hp with more boost, a bigger supercharger, higher revs, and a dual-stage fuel pump. According to Dodge, the Hellcat Redeye will run up to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds, all the way to a top speed of 203 mph.

The Hellcat Redeye gets more cooling—even diverting some A/C from the passenger cabin, if you don’t mind—a dual-snorkel hood, and bits borrowed from the drag-champion Demon such as a steel prop shaft and beefier half-shafts.

If your budget, or driver’s license, is too taxed by the Challenger SRT twins, the 2019 Challenger will be available in SXT, GT, R/T, and R/T Scat Pack trim levels that largely follow the Charger offerings with the same name. The Challenger SXT and GT are available with all-wheel drive and ride atop standard 18-inch wheels, or larger.

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