by Gerhard Horn
The Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock makes the current German power wars look… cute. The BMW M8 Coupe is a prime example. It came along with a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 producing up to 617 horsepower, which is more than the 603 hp produced by AMG's twin-turbo V8 in the S63 Coupe. The Super Stock has 807 hp. War ended.
Instead of simply adding ten or so horses to get the more significant figure, Dodge completely terminates this silly war by launching a Challenger with 807 hp. If the car world were a school playground, the Challenger SRT Super Stock would be the bully. It punches Jerry in the neck, takes his lunch money, buys too much candy with it, and as a result, vomits all over the other kids' school bags.
The SRT Super Stock is a sort of replacement for the limited-run Demon, but production will not be limited. This is good news, as Dodge is essentially democratizing power. The Demon suffered from inflated prices, ending up in the hands of a select few. Thanks to the Super Stock, more people can spend their weekends in drag (races). Of course, it's not the Germans but rather the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 that the Super Stock must conquer, so is that what it does?
The 2021 Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock hasn't changed significantly from the newly introduced 2020 version. It picks up the torch of the limited-run Demon and is equipped with numerous features that help the owner on his quest toward getting the best quarter-mile time. Do you see that bright light in the distance? That's the sun reflecting off Vin Diesel's head as he's sprinting to his nearest Dodge dealership.
As part of a larger model lineup upgrade, the Super Stock gets a new black chrome finish for the grille and rear spoiler. There's also a new memory feature for the driver's seat, steering column, side mirrors, and radio presets.
See trim levels and configurations:
|SRT Super Stock||
6.2L Supercharged V8 Gas
This particular Challenger is named after the Super Stock drag racing class. The cars that compete in this class look ordinary but are anything but under the hood. Dodge remained faithful to the racing class the Super Stock is named after. A widebody kit is standard on the 2-door body, but you don't get any badges. Only car nerds will identify this car, as the main difference is a set of 18-inch lightweight alloys with 315/40R18 Nitto drag tires. It also has a black chrome finish on the grille, spoiler, and fender badges. A simple badge would have been nice to set it apart, but on the other hand, we do like the idea of sneaking up on unsuspecting super sports car owners.
All Challenger models use the same 116-inch wheelbase. Widebody models like this are slightly shorter than the standard car, measuring 197.5 inches. The overall width with the mirrors is 85.4 inches and 78.3 without. Widebody models are just 57.5 inches tall. The Super Stock is on the heavier side of the Challenger spectrum, weighing in at 4,454 pounds, but removing the rear seats saves you 49 lbs.
While the Super Stock might not have many visual cues to set it apart from other Challengers, the Challenger model range has never been accused of being sedate. It's an aggressive car, and you can order it in a wide variety of ostentatious colors with equally exuberant names. All are no-cost, and the palette consists of Frostbite, F8 Green, Go Mango, Granite, Hellraisin, Indigo Blue, Octane Red, Pitch Black, Sinamon Stick, Smoke Show, TorRed, Triple Nickel, and White Knuckle. New for this year is Dodge's 50th Anniversary color named Gold Rush.
For an even livelier exterior, you can add several stripe options for $995, or a Painted Satin Black Graphics Package ($3,495), or a Black Satin Painted Hood for $1,995.
There's only one Challenger SRT Super Stock, and it sends all of its power to the rear wheels. The engine responsible for the 807 hp and 707 lb-ft of torque is the same supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V8 used in the Demon. It provides 10 hp more than the Redeye, but, crucially, one horsepower less than the Demon. If you fill the Demon with racing fuel, the power increases to 840 hp. That means Demon owners retain their bragging rights. The full 807 horses are delivered at 6,400 rpm, which means you get an extra 100 rpm to play around with, not that most people will notice. Peak torque is available from 4,500 rpm.
The claimed performance specs are mighty. Dodge claims it will get to 60 mph in 3.25 seconds. More importantly, it will complete the quarter-mile in 10.5 seconds at 131 mph. The top speed is limited by the tires and is set at 168 mph.
Now, we know there will be some who say that there are various supercars and electric cars that offer the same sort of performance. That's true, but supercars tend to cost around $300,000, approximately $220,000 more than the Dodge. And sure, some electric cars will outsprint it, but they lack the pantomime, vibrations, and sheer thrill that only a supercharged V8 can provide. This engine growls like it's possessed, accompanied by the banshee-like scream of the supercharger.
Dodge's 6.2-liter is a mighty V8 used in many cars. In the case of the Challenger SRT Super Stock muscle car, it's supercharged, taking the outputs all the way up to 807 hp and 707 lb-ft of torque. The full stable of horses is only available at a peaky 6,400 rpm, while peak torque arrives at 4,500 rpm. The latter figure is also on the high side, but the standard launch control takes care of that problem. Dodge's launch control system is more complex than the usual fare, as it allows you to set the launch rpm in 100 rpm increments.
You need a pretty special gearbox to handle so much power, and luckily Dodge has experience with such things. The SRT Super Stock uses the same eight-speed automatic transmission used in all Hellcat models and the Demon. By now, it has proved that it can put down so much power without spitting its gears all over the drag strip.
In the drag strip-ready Track mode, the changes are lighting fast. The power delivery is sensational in this mode as well. Being so unashamedly aimed at setting quarter-mile times, you'd expect the Super Stock to be a handful during the daily grind. Thank heavens for a long-travel throttle pedal, which makes the power easy to modulate.
You could use a Super Stock daily, but it's worth keeping in mind just how fast it is. An inch of throttle travel applied for four seconds is enough to land an overnight stay at the nearest police station.
We say this with as much respect as possible: the Super Stock is a one-trick pony. It's epic in a straight line and it easily spins the tires in the first three gears when they're cold. When the drag radials are warm, the grip is epic. These are usually reserved for track weapons, but in the Super Stock case, it's meant to provide as much grip as possible on the rear axle. It also comes with a limited-slip differential and a Bilstein adaptive suspension. In Track mode, the rebound damping at the front is slackened to send as much weight as possible to the rear. The track Dodge refers to in this mode is a drag strip and not any track with corners.
You can also feel its dedication to straight-line speed in the way it goes around a corner. It does so perfectly fine at a reasonable pace, but on the limit, it understeers. This can be prevented by giving it some stick, in which case it oversteers. Oversteering with grippy drag radials is not advised. They don't grip as other tires do. You have monumental grip until the moment you don't, and then there's no safety net to catch you. The Super Stock is equipped with four-piston Brembo brakes instead of the six-piston brakes you get on Hellcat and Scat Pack models. Its smaller 18-inch wheels don't leave enough space for the six-piston calipers.
Usually, we'd be annoyed with a one-trick pony, but in this case, the trick is so good that we wouldn't mind playing it on repeat. To further enhance the straight-line speed, Dodge includes all of the usual SRT Race Options as standard on the Super Stock. These include Line Lock, Launch Control, Power Chiller, Race Cooldown and Torque Reserve.
The EPA has figures for the Super Stock's engine, but a fair warning before you get to that part. This could go one of two ways. You're either going to be mighty impressed by the way it turns gas into noise and speed or you're going to choke on your gluten-free, taste-free, plant-based afternoon snack.
The claimed figures are 13/21/15 mpg for city/highway/combined, which are impressively - or unimpressively - the same figures as all other widebody Hellcat models, even those with 100 hp less. But as with all high-power machines, these are best case figures, so be prepared for these to dip into single digits if you visit the dragstrip often.
At least the Dodge has a sizable 18.5-gallon tank, which is big enough to get you around 277 miles between refills.
Even though the Dodge SRT Super Stock is a coupe, thanks to its long wheelbase, it can easily accommodate adults in the rear. Getting in there is a nuisance, but it does add some versatility to an otherwise ridiculous car. The cabin lacks a modern touch, but we appreciate Dodge keeping the climate control buttons separate from the 8.4-inch touchscreen interface. Quality isn't that great, and you only get essential comfort and convenience features, but it doesn't matter. It's evident that most of the money was spent under the hood and on the adaptive suspension. This means the interior is nothing more than somewhere to sit while you blast into the horizon. Who has time for seat massagers when you live your life a quarter-mile at a time?
Despite a two-door body, the rear seats aren't simply for show. It's possible to fit three slim adults back there, two if they also have a 'widebody'. Rear legroom is rated at 33.1 inches, but it's the 37.1 inches of headroom that makes a real difference. Front passengers won't struggle, thanks to 42 inches of legroom and 39.3 inches of headroom. The large doors' size and weight can be troublesome for smaller, weaker family members, and visibility isn't excellent. Blind-spot monitoring would have been a fantastic standard feature on an $80,000 car, don't you think? How about it, Dodge?
If you're a lone ranger who only cares about sprint times, Dodge can remove the rear seat entirely, charging $1 for the pleasure.
Dodge is not as obscene with interior color options as it is with the exterior. There's only one no-cost option, and it's cloth Houndstooth seats with the SRT Hellcat logo. A leather and Alcantara Appearance Package adds $1,795 to the price but you will also have to add the Plus Package ($2,095) and the Driver Convenience Group ($1,295). Nappa leather requires both the latter two add-ons as well. The Laguna Leather Package is available in three colors and will cost extra as well.
The standard plastic interior trim looks poor, but you can upgrade to genuine carbon fiber inserts and suede headliner for an extra $1,595.
This is yet another department where the 2021 Challenger SRT Super Stock is surprisingly versatile. The Challenger comes with 16.2 cubic feet of trunk space, and that's more than enough for the weekly shopping trip or a weekend away for a family of four. The 60/40 rear seats can be folded flat for more cargo capacity, and if you opt to remove them entirely, you get a large cargo net instead.
Interior storage consists of dual cupholders up front, a large glovebox, and another compartment underneath the armrest.
The standard features list is good rather than spectacular. The driver gets a six-way power-adjustable seat with four-way power lumbar adjustment. Leather is standard on the steering wheel and shifter, and the former is heated as well. Convenience features include remote keyless entry and go, a universal garage door opener, and dual-zone climate control. All of the driver assistance features are locked behind a paywall, and some (forward collision warning, for example) aren't even available on this particular model. Fortunately, you do get a rearview camera and hill-start assist as standard.
The 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen infotainment system is well-known and widely used in the Stellantis portfolio. It's one of the better units and is highly intuitive. As standard, it features Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity, voice commands, two USB ports, and a six-month subscription to SiriusXM. A six-speaker Alpine sound system is standard on the Super Stock, but you can upgrade to an 18-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.
The Challenger has remained recall-free for 2020 and 2021 so far. It also appears to offer an enjoyable ownership experience. For the last two years, the Challenger received 85 out of a possible 100 points in the J.D. Power ownership survey. That's an above-average rating in the automotive world. Its most impressive score was in the "driving experience" category, where it received 97 points out of 100.
Dodge covers the Challenger with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.
There is no dedicated safety review for the Challenger SRT Super Stock, but the NHTSA gave the 2021 Challenger range as a whole the full five stars for safety. It received five stars for a side impact and four stars for the frontal crash and rollover tests. The IIHS's test is less rosy as the Challenger scored a good rating in the moderate overlap front and side crash tests, but returned a marginal score for the small overlap front crash on the driver's side. Roof strength, head restraints, and seats were evaluated as being acceptable rather than good.
Dodge is starting to fall a generation behind in this category. As standard, the Super Stock has six airbags, ABS, stability control, hill-start assist, tire pressure monitoring, rear parking sensors, and a rearview camera. A few additional safety features are hidden behind a paywall, but a few driver assistance features aren't even available. While forward collision warning isn't offered on the Super Stock (lesser Challengers do have access to this feature), blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are available optionally.
Some secretly laugh at cars like this and their inability to cope with real track time, but there can be no doubting the Dodge SRT Super Stock's insane mastery of its chosen field of expertise. We guess it depends on what your definition of track time is, which boils down to whether you respect drag racing or not.
We love a good drag race. There's an old anecdote suggesting that car racing was invented the moment Karl Benz built his second car. And that first race was likely a drag race. It's entertainment in its rawest, most enjoyable format. Two cars line up in front of the Christmas Tree, and only one emerges victorious ten seconds later. Throw in some noise, smoke, and a crowd vibrating in anticipation, and you have the recipe for a really good time. In this world, the Super Stock makes complete sense. It's a nerdy numbers car, and while some people may look down at their noses at the Dodge, a larger group of car nerds will spot the drag radials and tell-tale lightweight alloys, point and say, "that's a hella cool car."
The only thing that annoys us is that it's not faster. We know Dodge can do better because of the Demon. We know Dodge promised that it wouldn't make more Demons, so the existing 3,000 cars retain their value, but it could have made more effort to give the Super Stock its unique character.
The 2021 Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock has a price of $80,170, which excludes the $1,495 destination charge and $2,100 gas guzzler tax. This may seem expensive, but to get similar power from a German machine… well, you simply can't. Unfortunately, it's tricky finding one selling for the advertised MSRP, as dealers are charging markups based on demand.
There's only one Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock, and it's RWD and comes with a supercharged 6.2L Hemi V8 developing 807 hp and 707 lb-ft of torque. That makes it among the most powerful production cars in the USA, at least until Tesla officially launches the 1,020-hp Model S Plaid. According to Dodge, the Super Stock will sprint to 60 mph in 3.25 seconds and on to a top speed of 168 mph. It can likely go faster, but the super-sticky drag tires limit the top speed. The quarter-mile time is said to be 10.5 seconds.
Rear-wheel drive is standard, as is an 8-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission. The Super Stock is equipped with lightweight wheels and massive 315/40 Nitto drag radials to transfer all that power to the road. A model-specific Bilstein suspension is included, and it can adjust the front dampers to send more weight to the rear tires, thereby boosting traction and sprint times.
In addition to all of this, the Super Stock comes with line lock, launch control, SRT performance pages on the touchscreen interface, and an SRT power chiller that uses the air conditioning to help the engine cool down. Comfort, convenience, and safety features seem like a side note for the Super Stock. It has the basic comfort features like dual-zone climate control and an infotainment system that can play songs, but who cares? When it comes to super-niche cars like this, only the performance figures matter.
There are a few packages available for the Super Stock. The coolest is the Rear Seat Delete Group, which costs a total of one dollar. The Plus Package costs $2,095, but you also have to add the $1,295 Driver Convenience Group as well. The Alcantara and Laguna leather packages upgrade the seats to higher quality and both retail for $1,795, but to get these seats you first need to add the two previously mentioned packages. This isn't a bad thing, as the latter adds a crucial safety feature that you need in this vehicle: blind-spot monitoring. The Plus Package takes all the nicest features available on some of the other packages and combines them. These features include Dark Engine-Turn interior accents, Alcantara/Nappa leather seats with a Hellcat logo, a power-adjustable steering column, a premium stitched dash, and a memory function for the driver's seat, side mirrors, and radio.
Since there's only one model available, we'd instead look at what options are worth adding to a new Challenger SRT Super Stock. We believe a car like this deserves a shouty exterior color, which is why we'd have Go Mango with a Painted Satin Black Graphics Package. To add to the black theme, we'd paint the brake calipers black for $595. The interior looks mega with Black/Demonic Red Lagana leather seats. This option automatically adds the Plus Package, Laguna Leather Package, and the Driver Convenience Package. The only thing left to add is the Carbon/Suede interior package. That takes the retail price up to $91,030, including the $2,100 gas guzzler tax and destination charge.
It seems odd to compare a car against itself, but there is some method to our madness. As mentioned earlier, the Super Stock is a one-trick pony. The Hellcat Redeye is a more rounded muscle car that's nearly as fast. Independent tests have shown that the 797-hp Redeye can get to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, while the quarter-mile is completed in under 12 seconds. At the top end, it's much faster than the Super Stock. Dodge claims a top speed of 203 mph.
The $10,000 cheaper Redeye is better suited to a twisty track, though it's not exactly a sporty masterpiece. You'll never beat track records, but the Redeye will provide loads of sideways action. The standard six-piston calipers are much better suited to track use. The only thing the Super Stock has going for it is the fact that it's the most. It has the most power and the best-claimed acceleration and quarter-mile times. Considering this is an emotional purchase, that's enough reason to declare the Super Stock as the winner.
The Ford is proof that you can have it both ways. Ford claims the GT500 can sprint to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds, and you won't be able to feel the difference from behind the wheel - unless you live at the drag strip and have access to a timer.
What we love most about the GT500 is that it doesn't just go fast in a straight line. It's poised through the corners, and it decimates the Dodge when it comes to ride and handling. The Dodge is bigger and more practical but does that even matter when it comes to cars like these? The GT500 is close to $10,000 cheaper than the Super Stock and it has a broader range of abilities. We also like the model-specific touches on the Ford, which gives it a unique character utterly separate from standard Mustang models. We like the more rounded nature of the Ford, which is why it gets the nod from us.
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