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Should Dodge build a widebody Challenger Hellcat?

by Patrick Rall on

There have been plenty of sightings of what appears to be a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat with a widebody treatment similar to the Demon.  This is the case for building the car, and some evidence that Dodge may be planning one.

One of the biggest complaints with the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is that the stock tires aren’t enough to handle all of that supercharged power. Many owners quickly do away with the standard 275-wide tires for something wider and stickier while complaining that FCA didn’t install wider tires from the factory. Many owners have swapped to 305 and 315-wide rear tires without what they perceive to be fitment issues, so they see no reason why the company needed flares on the Demon to fit the 315s.

Making 315s Fit
While it seems simple enough to stick a wider tire on the Hellcat Challenger from the factory so long as it doesn’t extend out of the wheel wells, as we learned when speaking with Dodge design boss Mark Trostle last week, the automaker has different requirements than private owners.

If you buy a Hellcat Challenger and put a set of 315 tires on the back, your only real concern is that the tires don’t stick out past the edge of the rear quarter panel, since that is illegal in some areas around the United States. The 315s might be tight, but it is close enough that owners get away with it on daily driven cars.

The automaker has to face both corporate requirements and federal safety requirements, and those go well beyond the tire being technically inside of the body lines. Because of that, the company had to add the 45 millimeter flares for those big, wide tires.

Wider Hellcat Tires with Demon Flares
Dodge could solve one of the biggest problems with the Hellcat Challenger by adding wider wheels and tires, but before they developed the widebody flares for the Demon, the engineers couldn’t get bigger tires to fit with all of those aforementioned guidelines. However, now that the engineers have designed the flares and the unique sheet metal under the flares (and paid for the stampings), there is no reason that they couldn’t offer the Demon’s widebody design on the 707 horsepower Hellcat Challenger.

The biggest problem with the widebody design is that some people in the Mopar community hate the look, so for those people, the Hellcat Challenger should continue to be offered with the current exterior form and 275-wide rear tires. For those who care more about their function, and who want big, wide tires to fit cleanly within the bodywork, the Demon flares could technically play a big role in improving the performance of the Hellcat Challenger.

Dodge Demon Hellcat fender flares

Spy shots show what appears to be a Hellcat Challenger in every way, except for the unique wheels and the Demon’s widebody package – including the flares and the wider chin spoiler. The unusual wheels appear to have big, wide tires on them, making it look as though there a standard Hellcat Challenger with the widebody setup is being tested. Wider tires would offer better traction on launch, but we can also expect improving braking distances and improved cornering capabilities simply from adding the wider tires.

In the end, the Hellcat Challenger needs wider tires (in the opinion of most owners), and to add wider tires, the company needs to use a widebody package. Dodge now has a widebody package for the Demon that will fit the Hellcat, so it seems likely that the company could address one of the key complaints from Hellcat owners by adding the newly developed widebody kit from the Demon to the 707 horsepower Hellcat Challenger.

Dodge Challenger Demon - Hellcat widebody car?

It has long been rumored that the Hellcat Challenger would get a factory widebody package. One was developed for the Demon, but there doesn’t seem to be any reason that the flare option wouldn’t be offered for the Hellcat. So long as the people who hate the flared look can still buy the “regular Hellcat”, it seems like the addition of the widebody option package on the Hellcat Challenger is a no-brainer.

Of course, the spy shots showing a Hellcat Challenger with the Demon flares could be something as simple as a long-term test car for the flares, but we are keeping our fingers crossed that we will eventually see a widebody package with wider wheels and tires on the Hellcat Challenger.

Patrick Rall was raised a Mopar boy, spending years racing a Dodge Mirada while working his way through college. After spending a few years post-college in the tax accounting field, Patrick made the jump to the world of journalism and his work has been published in magazines and websites around the world.

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