2019 Dodge Challenger Concept and Review
The news on the 2019 Dodge Challenger is the outrageous 808-hp dragstrip brute, the Challenger SRT Demon, certified by the National Hot Rod Association as the quickest quarter-mile production in the world. The Demon is capable of producing 840 hp and 770 lb-ft of torque on high-octane race fuel.
With the discontinuation of the Viper, the Challenger becomes the only coupe offered by Dodge and one of two non-SUV cars, with a starting price set below the Charger sedan. The Challenger is now the automaker’s sportiest car with a wide range of models, limited editions, and appearance packages.
The 2019 Dodge Challenger will likely come with a choice of the previous four engine options along with the addition of the new Demon supercharged engine. The V-6 and Demon engines can only be paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission and the rest of the engine options have an available six-speed manual. Power is routed to rear wheels with the exception of the new-for-2017 all-wheel-drive GT model. Once we have official info on the rest of the non-Demon 2019 Challenger lineup, we’ll update this space.
Here’s how the 2019 Challenger lineup will likely look:
Model: Challenger SXT, Challenger SXT Plus, Challenger GT
Engine and Transmission: 3.6-liter V-6 – eight-speed automatic
Power: 305 hp/268 lb-ft of torque
Model: Challenger R/T, Challenger R/T Plus, Challenger T/A, Challenger T/A Plus, Challenger R/T Shaker, Challenger R/T Plus Shaker
Engine and Transmission: 5.7-liter V-8 – six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic
Power: 372 hp/400 lb-ft (automatic); 375 hp/410 lb-ft (manual)
Model: Challenger R/T Scat Pack, Challenger T/A 392, Challenger SRT 392, Challenger 392 Hemi Scat Pack Shaker
Engine and Transmission: 6.4-liter V-8 – six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic
Power: 485 hp/475 lb-ft
Model: Challenger SRT Hellcat
Engine and Transmission: supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 – six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic
Power : 707 hp/650 lb-ft
Model: Challenger SRT Demon
Engine and Transmission: supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 – eight-speed automatic
Power: 808 hp/717 lb-ft (91-octane gas), 840 hp/770 lb-ft (100-plus high-octane race fuel)
Equipped with only a driver’s seat, the new SRT Demon is built for the dragstrip. Even so, the front passenger and rear seats can be purchased for $1 each. The Demon’s wheels are 18 by 11 inches with Demon-branded 315-40R18 Nitto street-legal drag radials (on all four corners) with NTO 5R compound. Owners can order a personalized Demon crate with the buyer’s name, VIN, and serial number. The crate can fit in the trunk and contains narrow front runner aluminum drag wheels for track use, tools, jacks, and performance parts like the powertrain control module that allows the engine to operate on high-octane race fuel. It’s the first factory production car with Drag mode suspension tuning, a Drag mode assist that helps prevent wheel hop, and the largest functional hood scoop on a production car at 42.5 square inches. On a prepared drag strip surface, Dodge claims the 2019 Challenger SRT Demon can hit 60 mph in 2.1 seconds, a 100 mph 5.1, and reaches the quarter mile in 9.65 seconds at 140 mph (making it illegal to race on a track without a roll cage, not offered by Dodge).
As the Challenger SRT Demon takes its place at the top of the Dodge performance lineup, the Challenger lineup should continue to offer plenty of other packages and options when you’re considering a car with under 800 hp. On the 2017 model, the Blacktop package consists of 20-inch Gloss Black aluminum wheels, black grille with a Blacktop badge, dual Blacktop stripes along the top of the coupe from hood to trunk, a performance steering wheel, and Gloss Black interior accents. The R/T Classic package features 20-inch Hyper Black aluminum wheels, Nappa leather-trimmed sport seats with suede inserts, HID headlights, and Challenger script badge with dual black or red side stripes. Expect to see interior features like the latest edition of Dodge’s Uconnect infotainment system in addition to available features like the Harman Kardon premium audio system, remote start, and heated/ventilated front seats.
Opt for the Technology Group that will likely return and your Challenger will come equipped with Automatic High Beam Headlamp Control, Rain Sensitive Windshield Wiper system, Adaptive Speed Control (not available with manual transmission), and Forward Collision Warning. Blind Spot Monitoring and the rearview camera are additional safety features.
What We Think
In a First Test review of the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, we loved the whine from the engine bay and said, “The supercharger whine can double as an air raid siren.” The Hellcat is a burnout machine: “Honestly, if big smoky burnouts are your top car-buying priority, stop researching. The Hellcat creates stinky, juvenile white clouds better than any other new car.”
Handling is on the poor side, but that is not what the Hellcat is built for. When you boil everything down, the Hellcat is a straight-line monster: “Get some fatter, stickier rear meats for the Challenger Hellcat and it really does have the intestinal fortitude to embarrass cars costing double and triple the price.”
In a First Drive review of the six-cylinder-powered all-wheel-drive 2017 Challenger GT, we said that “the Challenger GT had no issues accelerating or braking in the snow, but we noticed it felt particularly slow in passing maneuvers on a wet two-lane highway. It made us wish we had the all-wheel-drive option with the more powerful Hemi V-8 engines.”
The Challenger SRT Demon has an Eco mode that limits the horsepower output to 500, starts the coupe in second gear, and will short-shift the remaining gears for maximum fuel economy.