2022 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

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2022 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Review: Smoking Is Allowed

Despite the Challenger having been around for more than a decade in its current form, the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat lives on to spite the ever-tightening legislation around vehicle emissions. But while rivals like the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 sacrifice outright power for the ability to corner and lap tracks with grace and pace, the Hellcat eschews these traits in favor of traditional muscle car allure. In Redeye form, it's a 797 horsepower, straight-line-smashing, tire-smoking monster of a machine that has left drag strip crowds in awe to the soundtrack of a shrieking 6.2-liter supercharged V8. Sure, it might not have the handling prowess of the modern muscle car, and yes, it laughs in the face of global warming, but a spacious cabin, massive trunk, and old-school kind of muscle car charm are hard to ignore. We could say they don't make 'em like this anymore, but Dodge does, and we couldn't be more grateful.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 9 /10
  • Performance 9 /10
  • Fuel Economy 6 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 9 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 10 /10
  • Reliability 7 /10
  • Safety 7 /10
  • Value For Money 9 /10
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2022 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Changes: What’s the Difference vs the 2021 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat?

The news that the Dodge Challenger will be replaced at the end of 2023 is still fresh, so fans of the gas-guzzling supercharged V8 Dodge muscle cars have only two years left to buy one. Electrification will no doubt play a starring role in the new one, for better or worse. So it's perhaps not surprising that Dodge isn't making any wholesale changes to the Challenger SRT Hellcat models in their twilight years. No doubt realizing that these cars are very popular among thieves too, Dodge is making a deluxe security alarm standard equipment on all the 2022 SRT Hellcats. In other news, Dodge has relaunched its Dodge Connection performance-parts program that was first offered in 1974 and will again offer mild to extreme warranty-friendly, dealership-installed driveline, suspension, and powertrain parts. Lastly, a new Jailbreak option is becoming available, but only for the Redeye Widebody. It unlocks some ordering restrictions and is ideal for customers who want to customize their vehicles. Normally unavailable feature/color combinations can be had, potentially resulting in unique one-of-one cars. Over 20 categories are covered, including seats, paint colors, wheels, brake callipers, and more. You even get a Jailbreak plaque on the dashboard.

Pros and Cons

  • Blistering power and acceleration
  • Addictive engine note
  • Mean, purposeful styling
  • Comfortable and spacious interior
  • Enough space for four occupants
  • Well-sized trunk
  • Chief rivals handle a lot better
  • Predictably thirsty
  • Some cheap interior materials
  • One-trick pony

What's the Price of the 2022 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat?

The base Challenger SRT Hellcat starts at an MSRP of $61,380, but that's before adding tax, licensing, and registration costs, along with a gas guzzler tax of $1,700 and a destination charge of $1,595. Next is the SRT Hellcat Widebody at $67,380, the more powerful SRT Hellcat Redeye at $72,980, and finally, the SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody at $78,980.

Best Deals on 2022 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

2022 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
SRT Hellcat
6.2L Supercharged V8 Gas
6-Speed Manual
Rear-Wheel Drive
SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody
6.2L Supercharged V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
SRT Hellcat Redeye
6.2L Supercharged V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
SRT Hellcat Widebody
6.2L Supercharged V8 Gas
6-Speed Manual
Rear-Wheel Drive
6.2L Supercharged V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
See All 2022 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

The Challenger's weight dictates much of what it does - and doesn't - do well on the road. On the plus side, for a sports car with this much power and scenery-blurring speed, the SRT Hellcat is surprisingly comfortable and supple. This car is a joy on the open road where there is enough space to easily accommodate its significant size. Together with the comfortable seats, it's a car you can live with every day. Only more confined spaces in town will frustrate as the coupe does begin to feel its size.

Through more acute bends, you quickly realize that the word "nimble" isn't part of the Challenger's vocabulary. It feels as big and as heavy as it is when you try to hustle it, while body roll isn't as well-contained as in rivals like the Mustang and Camaro. The Widebody is a bit better thanks to its broader tires and its greater composure at higher speeds, but it can't quite overcome the Challenger's heft. And yet, somehow, the SRT Hellcat's flaws add to its charm - the relative lack of grip, the prodigious power, and the rather unpredictable body movements combine to create a muscle car that has surprises up its sleeve at every turn. You won't like all of those surprises, but unlike some meticulously-honed sports cars that could be described as clinical, there is zero risk of dozing off behind the wheel of the Hellcat, despite the rather numb steering.

Stopping power is ample thanks to the Brembo braking system with six-piston front calipers and four-piston calipers at the back.

Verdict: Is the 2022 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat A Good Sports Car?

For better or worse, the Challenger SRT Hellcat adheres faithfully to the muscle car brief. In a straight line, it's an absolute riot, with smoky burnouts available on demand and, when those tires actually connect with the asphalt, epic acceleration - especially in the new SS drag-strip special, which is now the fastest-accelerating muscle car. Its bulging body and boisterous supercharged engine ensure that you'll get noticed wherever you go. Added to these talents are the Challenger's large cabin, the accommodating trunk, a brilliant infotainment system, and a surprisingly compliant ride. It really only starts to lose out to the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro when the road gets twisty; here, the Challenger starts feeling out of its element, hampered by its sheer bulk. The Challenger also doesn't have the best safety scores, a sign of the coupe's age. But it's a car that never stops entertaining - this "Hellcat" easily lives up to its name.

What Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Model Should I Buy?

Because the Challenger SRT struggles to manage its incredible power output off the mark, the SRT Hellcat (with 717 hp) is more than enough power and provides nearly the same thrills as the Redeye. In Widebody guise, the SRT Hellcat is over $10,000 cheaper than the Redeye Widebody but adds the flared bodywork that dramatically enhances the Hellcat's personality, while also adding wider wheels for a bit more grip. We'd spec ours in Octane Red paint and add dual silver stripes, the Driver Convenience Group, and the Plus Package.

2022 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Comparisons

Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Ford
Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Coupe Chevrolet

2022 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat vs Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

With 760 horsepower from its 5.2-liter supercharged V8, the GT500's peak output sits right between the SRT Hellcat and SRT Hellcat Redeye. Ford claims that the GT500 will do 0-60 mph in 3.3 seconds, just marginally quicker than the SRT Redeye - both cars are exceptionally fast, though, as long as you can get them off the line smoothly. The latest GT500 isn't just quick, it's also adept through the corners and more poised than the larger and rather clumsy Challenger. Ford's latest dual-clutch transmission is also super slick and this, together with the GT500's better handling, makes it the better driver's car. The Challenger wins back points in the cabin because its seats are more comfortable, it has far more space for rear passengers, and the trunk is larger. The GT500 is slightly cheaper than the Hellcat Widebody Redeye, while the regular Redeye is a super close match on price. Both cars do their legendary badges proud - by a whisker, we'd side with the Ford for its better handling characteristics.

See Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Review

2022 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat vs Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Coupe

Similarly to the Ford Mustang Shelby, the Camaro isn't as practical as the Challenger: the Chevy has a much tinier trunk (9.1 cubic feet to the Challenger's 16.2), less space in the back, and is an absolute nightmare to see out of clearly. The Camaro ZL1 is a special machine from a performance perspective, though, and despite making "only" 650 horsepower, it's pretty much a match for the more powerful Hellcat. An available track package ensures that the ZL1 is the better track tool by far, yet it maintains a comfortable ride. The Challenger is still the better cruiser and has a more comfortable rear seat, though. If carrying passengers around is important to you, the SRT Hellcat is the more versatile car, but if you think precise handling should be part and parcel of a modern muscle car, then go for the Camaro ZL1 Coupe, instead.

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