Dodge’s Challenger Hellcat Widebody looks meaner, grips better

One problem with the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is that it looks fairly similar to a regular Challenger. Yes, there are some styling differences between this 707-horsepower monster and other Challengers, but you have to know what you are looking for. No, it is not the worst thing in the world, but some Hellcat owners might want a less-subtle look.

Dodge is delivering that less-subtle look in the form of the 2018 Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody. It borrows the fender flares from the 840-hp Challenger SRT Demon drag racer for a more muscular look. The makeover should help the Hellcat steal back some of the attention the Demon has been hogging since its New York Auto Show debut in April.

The fender flares add 3.5 inches of width to the Challenger’s body, giving Dodge more room to fit wider wheels and tires. The Widebody version rides on special 20-inch by 11-inch “Devil’s Rim” aluminum wheels, clad with 305/35ZR20 Pirelli P-Zero tires that offer substantially more grip than the tires on the “standard” Hellcat, according to Dodge.

So much grip, in fact, that Dodge says the Widebody is approximately 2.0 seconds faster per lap of a 1.7-mile road course than the standard Hellcat. The Widebody can also generate 0.97g of lateral grip on the skidpad, accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds, and run the quarter mile in 10.9 seconds. Those are improvements of 0.4g, 0.1 second, and 0.3 seconds, respectively, over the standard Hellcat.

Top speed for the Widebody is 195 mph, compared to 199 mph for the standard version. Dodge did not say specifically, but that may have to do with the Widebody’s extra width, which is not good for aerodynamics.

The wheels and tires may have changed, but its 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V8 remains the same. It sends 707 hp and 650 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic. For 2018, the Hellcat gets electric power steering for the first time.

When it first appeared in 2015, the Challenger SRT Hellcat became an instant hit thanks to its mind-boggling performance figures. But it has since been usurped by the Demon, which has even more power and takes an even more aggressive approach to performance. But the Demon is so aggressive (it only comes with one seat) that it is really more of a race car than a performance road car (the National Hot Rod Association seems to think so). The Hellcat remains the better choice for muscle car fans who actually want to drive their cars on the road.

The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody starts at $72,590 (including destination and gas guzzler tax). Dealers will start taking orders next month and deliveries will begin later in 2017.

Photography

This Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer tried shooting with a toy camera

Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Oden Balilty recently rose to the challenge of shooting for an entire day using nothing but a toy camera, and at the end of it even found a few reasons to praise it over his pricey DSLR.
Gaming

Find a fish and get your boogie on with Fortnite's week 8 challenge

The Fortnite season 6 week 8 challenges have arrived as we near the end of this spooky season. The big free challenge this week is the Fortnite fish trophy challenge where you need to dance with different fishes. Here are all of the…
Cars

BMW’s 2020 M340i will show off mix of tech and luxury at the Los Angeles show

The 2020 3 Series represents the seventh generation of BMW's bread-and-butter luxury sedan. Where previous generations emphasized the driving experience, the 2020 3 Series focuses more on tech than ever before.
Cars

Jaguar’s rally-ready F-Type roadster is happiest off the pavement

Jaguar is celebrating the XK120's 70th birthday by turning the F-Type roadster into a rally warrior. Built to FIA specifications, the model receives suspension and braking upgrades plus a full roll cage to protect the occupants.
Cars

Prep your car for the coming snow and sleet with these cold weather tips

Driving in the winter, whether downtown or across the country, is rarely easy. Luckily, we've put together a quick rundown of a few things you should do to winterize your car before the snow officially hits.
Digital Trends Live

DT Daily: Waymo’s driverless cars, ‘Fallout 76’ tips, and Racella

In today's episode of DT Daily, we discuss Waymo's foray into the ridesharing sector, along with various tips for making the most of the recently launched Fallout 76. We also sit down with singer Racella to chat about her new EP, Waves.
Cars

Many adults believe fully self-driving cars are already traversing U.S. highways

The American Automobile Association tested cars with features such as lane-keeping and adaptive cruise control and found them lacking in real-world conditions. Forty percent of surveyed U.S. adults think self-driving cars exist now.
Cars

Want to keep connected on the road? Here are 5 ways to add Bluetooth to your car

The best way to make an old ride feel young again is to bring it up speed with the 21st century. Here's how to properly add Bluetooth to your vehicle, via independent kits, vehicle adapters, or aftermarket head units.
Cars

Jeep’s outdoorsy Gladiator pickup truck bares it all ahead of schedule

Jeep will introduce the long-promised Wrangler-based pickup truck at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Named Gladiator, the model was designed to conquer the great outdoors, not for the construction site.
Cars

The hamster-friendly 2020 Kia Soul will rock out at the Los Angeles Auto Show

Kia has released a teaser image to preview the next Soul. Scheduled to make its debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2020 Soul will keep the outgoing model's boxy proportions but it will wear a sharper design.
Cars

2020 Toyota Corolla sedan aims to offer sharper handling, better tech

The 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan gets the same upgrades as the recently-introduced Corolla hatchback, including a firmer foundation, new engine, and more tech features. Will that be enough to keep the long-lived Corolla nameplate relevant?
Cars

Startup Rivian exits stealth mode with a bold promise to electrify off-roaders

Electric car startup Rivian has finally turned off stealth mode and provided details about what it's been working on since 2009. It will build battery-powered off-roaders instead of taking on Tesla and others in the luxury EV segment.
Cars

Honda will squeeze another model into its SUV lineup at the Los Angeles show

Honda will introduce a new SUV with a familiar nameplate at the 2018 Los Angeles auto show. It envisioned the 2019 Passport as a five-seater alternative to the eight-seater Pilot. The two models will share a platform and many tech features.
Cars

Uber rolls out rewards program that lets its most loyal riders lock in prices

Uber launched a new loyalty program today called Uber Rewards. It offers frequent riders credits to Uber Eats, car upgrades, and the ability to lock in prices on their most traveled routes.