The Challenger Hellcat Redeye Is Absolute Power That Corrupts Absolutely

Modern man considers himself discerning. If an investment is plagued with risk, he waits for better opportunities; if a habit becomes unhealthy, he changes his behavior; if the tide gets rough, he gets out of the water. But what happens when that prudent gentleman faces temptation so profound, even experience and logic prove ineffective?

He does a burnout.

Though every cell in his learned mind screams, “Act like an adult,” he conjures a cloud of tire smoke so dense he can’t find the exit. And only when each breath feels like the collective inhalation of ten cigars does he even consider his decision (potentially) misguided. But too late: The smoke has cleared, his foot has buried the throttle, and he’s too overcome by the sound of supercharger whine and V8 bellow to spend another second in doubt.

Challenger Hellcat Redeye Review
Miles Branman/The Manual

It really isn’t fair; the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody is the giant red button placed under the nose of a child. And somehow, with 797 horsepower and 707 pound-feet of torque – several times the performance potential of an average car – the Redeye doesn’t require a special driver’s license, a training course, or a list of character references – just $78,745 from your piggy bank.

Press that button and all inhibitions drain as quickly as the 4,500-pound hotrod high-tails it to 60 mph (3.4 seconds), assaulting your eardrums and those within a several-mile radius with the most sinister soundtrack of the present era. The noise is so loud, it’s somehow deafening – at least discriminately so. While G forces and decibels pummel your body, it’s easy to overlook the cheap plastics and dated design of the Challenger’s interior. The R&D money’s been well-spent elsewhere.

Challenger Hellcat Redeye Review
Miles Branman/The Manual

Thankfully, tunnel vision does permit a glimpse of the Hellcat’s classic muscle car dials, which optimistically display 220 mph on the speedometer (203 mph is the real limit), and intricate performance metrics on an 8.4-inch infotainment display. Here’s where you’ll find goodies like line lock for drag strip warmups (or gratuitous burnouts), launch control for traction-optimized acceleration, and a lap timer for road course antics. If you can pause the hell-raising, you’ll also appreciate standard Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a Wi-Fi hot spot (but who really needs podcasts when you’ve got power?).

Whatever your speed, the Challenger’s cushy leather seats with heating and ventilation accommodate all body types for any length of time in the saddle. And on the subject of user-friendliness, the Hellcat doesn’t suffer from supercar notions like the Mustang GT500 and Camaro ZL1, meaning you can see out of its windows and don’t need to practice yoga to get in the driver’s seat.

Alas, if only a cloud of angry hornets greeted anyone who opened the Hellcat’s door, man might have a chance to resist its allure. Instead, only a thin strand of environmentalists has any hope of the defying the gas-guzzling, corruptive Redeye. Rest assured: If there’s a chink in your moral armor, this car will exploit it.

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