Since its debut as a show car in 1964, the Dodge Charger has been turning heads on the street and in film. The 1970 Charger in 2001's The Fast and the Furious has inspired yet another generation of motorheads and fans to hone their driving skills and get their hands dirty. The new Dodge Charger is part of the classic muscle car's seventh generation, aimed at a dedicated subculture and anyone who loves power, performance and aggressive good looks. The SRT Hellcat version of the Charger goes a bit beyond that, nudging into supercar territory. Buzz about a next-generation Challenger, shown to dealers in preliminary form several years ago, indicates that a revolutionary generation eight is on the soon.
What's the seventh generation Dodge Charger like? How many years has it been evolving?
The latest generation of Dodge Charger began in 2011, with a significant refresh in 2015. Designers have been tweaking the appearance, which took a retro turn in 2011 to echo the 1969-70 models and adding power and performance through engine and transmission options. Observers suspect that 2020 or 2021 will see an eighth-generation model.
What interior changes have been made?
The newest edition of the Charger has a host of new interior features and refinements. Depending on the trim package, buyers can get a cold weather package with heated mirrors, heated front seats, and even the steering wheel warms for comfort. Houndstooth cloth performance seats are available or standard depending on the model, and packages with leather get some stitching details on the doors and dash. The GT and R/T are getting performance bolstered seats to match the other performance package updates they're receiving.
What changes are there in the exterior trim and lights in 2019? Are there new paint colors?
Higher-performance models such as the GT and R/T get a hood update and body enhancements along with interior and handling upgrades. The R/T Scat Pack and Hellcat get a new grille with dual air inlets. The list of Dodge Charger paints for 2019, including a few new ones, is said to be Pitch Black, Destroyer Grey, Granite Crystal, Maximum Steel, F8 Green, B5 Blue, IndiGo Blue, Go Mango, Octane Red, TorRed, Plum Crazy, Triple Nickel, and White Knuckle.
What are the drivetrain options -- are there any updates?
While performance features are being updated to provide front braking and torque increases on startup, better engine cooling after hard runs and improved handling, actual power for the Charger is staying the same for 2019. There is a wide range of offerings starting with a 292 horsepower V-6 and culminating in the Hellcat V-8 at 707 horsepower.
What's the current state of the infotainment system and other technology for this year?
The Uconnect system with an 8.4-inch touchscreen provides entertainment and, on upper-level models, access to performance stats via the Dodge Performance Pages. It offers voice commands, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, SiriusXM satellite radio and Bluetooth streaming audio. Optional active safety features available in the 2018 model will continue to be available.
What about new muscle car-specific features on the Dodge Charger?
Dodge is making sure that the Charger, available with four doors like a family sedan, isn't mistaken for one. The R/T and R/T Scat Pack, for instance, include paddle shifters, the performance hood, and body customizations, spoiler and seats. Buyers can add 20-inch wheels in Satin Carbon and Black Noise and access to the Dodge Performance Pages app with detailed real-time data including engine parameters and current G-force readings.
Tell me about the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. What is the Hellcat Redeye?
The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat approaches the power and performance of a so-called supercar, with 707 horsepower in this model. The Hellcat Redeye takes extremes a bit further to 797 horsepower. This Charger borrows not only the engine design but a number of other performance features from the 840-horse Demon, mostly to improve track performance. The Torque Reserve system improves launch torque by more than half, and an after-run cooling system helps lower engine temperatures between track runs. While these features may not trickle down to other models, other performance features are finding their way down the Charger line from year to year.