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Widebodies in the clear

by David Zatz on

Enthusiasts and spy photographers have been shooting the Dodge Challenger Hellcat Widebody for months, as they shuttled around the Detroit area. Now that the car has been officially unveiled, it’s easy to spot the “fast feedback” cars assigned to FCA employees.

These are cars built to make sure there are no unexpected problems, despite the rigorous testing every car goes through at the Chelsea, Michigan proving grounds, the Arizona proving grounds, and various other testing spots in the US and Canada.

The widebody Challengers use the same bolted-on wheel flares as the Dodge Challenger Demon, spreading tooling and development costs, but have regular “street” performance tires in front and rear, with standard Hellcat engines. While the Demon was designed for the drag strip, the widebody Challenger is a much more general-purpose car; the additional traction from larger tires should help in handling as well as straight-line acceleration.

Dodge has stated that there is no “build limit” on the long-anticipated widebodies, unlike the Demon.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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