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Widebody Hellcat with a new hood design surfaces on Instagram

by Patrick Rall on

The picture shown here turned up on Instagram last night, revealing what could be a new hood design for the 2019 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Widebody – or one of the other rumored Widebody packages coming for the new model year. This image was shared by the Instagram account of @Hellcat_562 – better known around the Mopar world as Walter Alvarado.

He has some sweet Mopars, including a Hellcat Challenger, a Challenger Drag Pak, a 1970 Charger Hellcat project and he has a Demon on order, but recently, he got ahold of what appears to be a partially-assembled widebody Challenger with a never-before-seen hood design. He believes that it will be the hood of the 2019 Challenger Hellcat Widebody, but with rumors of a few different widebody cars being offered next year, this hood could be featured on a naturally aspirated car as well.

The Mysterious Widebody Challenger

So, there are a few things in this picture that are obvious. This is definitely a Dodge Challenger Widebody, but the composite flares have not yet been bolted up. Having seen a Demon and a current Widebody Hellcat with the flares off, I know that this is what the 2018 widebody fenders look like under the flares, so there is no question that this is a widebody car.

Next, while the image has been tightly cropped to hide what is going on around the car, it is likely that this picture was taken during the assembly process – presumably at the Brampton Assembly Plant in Canada where all Challengers and Chargers are built. There is no engine in the car, allowing us to see some yellow-painted flooring that is common around the assembly line in a plant.

That brings us to the hood. Unlike the 2018 Challenger Hellcat Widebody that has a large center scoop flanked by a pair of heat vents, this hood has two front-fascia scoops – one on each side of the hood with a raised portion traveling from the opening back towards the cowl. Mopar used plenty of dual scoop designs on their classic muscle cars, including the 1971 Dodge Demon 340, the 1970 Dodge Super Bee and the 1970 Plymouth Cuda, but this design doesn’t really resemble any of those.

Really, this looks more like the hood design of the LS2-powered Pontiac GTO or the 4th generation Firebird Trans Am than any classic or modern Mopar designs.

What Could Be Under This Hood?

While Alvarado believes that this could be the hood of the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Wiidebody, I have a few concerns about that. The Hellcat hood is designed to feed lots of cool air into the engine bay through the scoop while the vents let the hot air escape. No engine intake air enters through the hood openings, but with the Challenger T/A and the Demon, the front-facing scoop does feed the engine.

If the cooling air obtained with the Hellcat hood is essential, perhaps this dual scoop design will have one bringing cooling air into the engine bay while the other feeds air into the supercharged engine. Of course, it might be like the current Hellcat Challenger, with the scoops only bringing cooling air into the engine bay, but maybe these scoops are designed to feed the engine because there is no supercharged Hemi to keep cool.

There have been rumors that Dodge is working on more widebody Challengers for 2019 that will be powered by naturally aspirated engines. These rumors suggest that there could be two new widebody cars in 2019, one with the 5.7-liter Hemi and the other with the 392-cubic inch SRT Hemi. Neither of those engines need the amount of cooling air that the Hellcat demands, so perhaps this hood will feed those other Hemi engines via a similar intake system to that used on the current T/A.

Using this unique hood design on the widebody Challengers with the naturally aspirated Hemi V8s would allow Dodge to physically differentiate between the Hellcat cars and the non-supercharged models. The real determining factor would be whether or not this car has the Hellcat front end, but since there is no front fascia, it is impossible to know for sure which engine or engines this new hood could cover when it meets production.

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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