Car review: Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye in the UAE
Bonkers power, killer looks
WE WERE WARNED. People kept telling us with a knowing smirk: "you'll become addicted." 'Not us', came our defiant reply, 'we're professionals, not dopey lead-footed teenagers.' Our assumption was that we'd been there, done that, seen it all and bought the T-shirt when it came to powerful cars. Could anything really emerge with an engine, which could still genuinely take our breath away? Then, much like in a sitcom where a question is asked and the camera smash-cuts to the protagonist immediately faced with the answer, we met the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye - a vehicle so bonkers it's deserving of an elongated moniker. To be frank, this muscular creation can call itself whatever it wants because after one journey behind the wheel the toothy grin permanently affixed to your goofy face will render you incapable of speech. Maybe they should simply rename it the 'Challenger ahhhhh'?
So, what numbers are we talking?
In no particular order we're dealing with a V8: 6.2-litres of HEMI Demon V8 motor to be specific, combined with a 2.7-litre supercharger, tied to a TorqueFlite eight-speed transmission. Then we throw 797 into the mix. You guessed it, that's a whopping 797hp produced by said engine. Follow these digits up with 3.4: 3.4 seconds to get from 0-100km/h and a top speed of 327km/h and you have yourself the fastest and most powerful muscle car around. And crikey do you feel it. The drive - any drive - is outrageously fun. How could it not be? At first, such output can actually appear impossible to tame. We have to put our hands up and say a few launches into roundabouts almost became drifting sessions. You soon get a feel for proceedings, though, which quickly leads to an appreciation of (or infatuation with) the grunt you have to play with alongside that constant guttural roar. It truly is a difficult task to impart in words this car's wildness. It's like trying to describe a raging bull's motivation. The machine is built to go fast and/or furious.
Is it bare bones inside?
Quite the opposite - the Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye looks to provide an ultimate muscle car heart under the hood and surrounding girthy body, but with all the modern comforts for those actually taking a ride.
Leather seats, room for two in the back and all the mod tech spaced out in sleek racing materials really evoke a track-ready environment while still offering a pleasant experience when you're stuck in traffic for an hour.
We loved the bare metal pedals because we're those types of people.
Does it look as good as the pictures?
In real life it looks better and the highlights are actually functional.
A dual-snorkel hood provides maximum air intake to the supercharged powerplant and pays homage to some of the most famous early-'70s Dodge models like the 1970 Dart Swinger and '71 Demon. From any angle we defy anyone to say this isn't in the top three most recognisably fun cars on the road today.
Would you have one?
Would we have a Hellcat? Hell, yeah.
Engine: 6.2-litre, V8
0-100km/h: 3.4 seconds
Top speed: 314km/h