When considering the landscape of high performance sedans, the stereotype is that they come in one flavor: sauerkraut. German. But in reality, there’s an eclectic mix at the buffet. Yet it seems that only recently the Americans were (reluctantly) allowed to sit at the table, thanks to the 15-plus years of work put in by General Motors and three generations of the Cadillac CTS-V. In the past five years, however, another American brand has been putting in the work to offer some Grade A beef to the performance car menu: Dodge. Specifically, the 797 horsepower, 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye.
Yes, Dodge is, and hopefully will remain, a muscle-car-focused brand. Such context implies deviant amounts of horsepower, smooth ride quality, and imposing proportions. The 2021 Dodge Challenger, Charger and Durango possess such qualities in spades, and the brand has taken it upon itself to be a fire keeper of Automotive Americana. Yet they may have, intentionally or not, created something that will make every BMW M and Mercedes-AMG performance sedan blush. Similar feelings likely arise when America asks Germany to cover its part of the NATO defense budget.
Through winding Carolina backgrounds and around a 2.27-mile road course, the latest addition to the Dodge Charger SRT family demonstrated that it deserves to be included in every conversation surrounding top tier performance sedans. It just does so without the pomp. We like that. No need to over-handle the steak.
Like the standard 2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat Widebody, the Redeye features increased front spring rates – 32 percent stiffer than the bygone narrow-body version, thicker sway bars – expanding from 32 mm to 34 mm in front and from 19 mm to 22 mm in the rear, and re-tuned shocks with revised valving to complement those stiffer springs. The tires responsible for making sure all of that 797 crank horsepower makes contact with the pavement, whether its as a plume of burnout smoke or a slingshot down the straightaway, are a set of Pirelli P-Zero 305/35ZR20 section tires in all four corners. Granted, they’re not defying physics here. 797 horsepower exclusively to the rear wheels commands every ounce of respect. This big cat will bite back if you’re not careful. However, this characteristic backs up its menacing looks, and extroverted exhaust note. This thing absolutely screams.
Whatever shortcomings that one thinks the 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye may have, they can easily be compensated with a mash of the throttle.
You wish the interior was nicer? Here, have 797 horsepower. You wish that the infotainment screen was bigger? Here, have 797 horsepower. You wish it was lighter? Here, have 797 horsepower. Have 797 horsepower, four doors, Brembo brakes, Bilstein shocks, adjustable ride settings, and a 203 mile per hour top speed for just $80,090.
Have the fastest thing in the world with four doors, all for half the price of a Mercedes AMG-GT63S.
Should anybody question or mock your choice for not going with a Eurosnob brand, just take them to Gapplebees with the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye, and let them have a mouthful of tire smoke and bald eagle feathers. This is how America does performance sedans: unhinged, unabashed, and undeniably powerful.