What is it?
An answer for those who thought that the existing Challenger SRT Hellcat, and its 697bhp 6.2-litre supercharged V8, was a little tame. The Redeye uses most of the same mechanical package that was fitted to the limited-run SRT Demon which was offered in the US last year for amateur drag racers, and which proved capable of turning in sub-10-second quarter miles.
The Redeye has slightly less power – 786bhp against the Demon’s 829bhp – but is able to produce its peak output using regular US-grade 93-Octane petrol rather than the 100-Octane the brawnier car demanded. Both use the same upgraded supercharger and have engines with strengthened connecting rods, stronger pistons and an upgraded lubrication system.
It is definitely not a lithe sports car, with both sides of the Redeye’s power-to-weight ratio being almost equally well stacked. On Dodge’s numbers it weighs 2050kg, yet is still claimed to be capable of both a 3.4sec 0-60mph time and a top speed of 203mph.
What's it like?
As ridiculous as you would hope and expect it to be. At everyday speeds, the Redeye is actually pretty civilised for something with such outlandish statistics. The ride is pliant at low speeds, if a little under-damped, and the light-feeling steering is accurate and free of slop.
Cabin materials feel (and smell) cheap, but it seems well screwed together and, although old-fashioned, the simple design suits the car’s complete lack of pretension. From the driver’s seat, it is often hard to remember just how much cartoon aggression the steroidal styling is projecting, especially in the Widebody, which has chunky arch extensions to cover fatter tyres.
The glove might not be silk, but there’s definitely an iron fist inside it. Push beyond the top inch or so of the throttle pedal’s long travel and the Redeye’s character changes, exhaust note hardening and thrust turning immediately serious. Push harder and it just gets progressively angrier, especially once the supercharger starts to add its wail above 3000rpm. Well before the pedal reaches the floor your brain will be telling you the Challenger is giving its all, but there is more to come. Fully unleashed, the car can spin its speedometer in a way that’s reminiscent of a sports bike, with some truly startling figures arriving amazingly quickly.