Changes to the Dodge and Ram Lineups Include New SRT Hellcat Widebody
Lots of news coming from the FCA this month. Just this week, FCA released information on two new Dodge vehicles and a new Ram truck. We thought after the debut of the Challenger SRT Demon, Dodge would settle down a bit, but they’re showing that Dodge attitude doesn’t stop with just one vehicle, and now they’re modifying the Challenger SRT Hellcat and the Durango. Ram on the other hand has stepped away from attitude and ruggedness as they release the most luxurious pickup they ever made. Let’s discuss.
Maybe it was the release of the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon that made Dodge decide to pump up the Challenger SRT Hellcat, and they decided to give the kitty a feral cat sister, the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody.
Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody
Taking notes from the Challenger SRT Demon, the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody has the same wider fender flares, adding 3.5 inches to the vehicle width. With 20-inch “Devil’s Rim” split-five spoke aluminum wheels and Pirelli P-Zero tires, fender flares are not all the Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody borrows. Whether the new cooling system is straight from the Demon or not is unclear, but the engine in the Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody has similar cooling measures, including a low-temperature circuit with two air/coolant heat exchangers integrated into the supercharger housing to keep air temperatures below 140 degrees Fahrenheit and the engine ready for more racing even after 20 minutes on the track.
Basically, Dodge has made the Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody into a downsized Demon. The exterior is sure looking a lot more aggressive. When it comes to the powertrain, the 2018 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Widebody comes with a power-bulge aluminum hood with a center intake and dual heat extractors, and illuminated Air-Catcher headlamps exclusive to Dodge/SRT vehicles.
In terms of getting that more “sinister look”, quad projector headlamps and aggressive brow “chops” have been integrated into the widebody, along with a front splitter akin to that of the Challenger SRT Demon and the Challenger SRT Hellcat rear spoiler for better responsiveness and balanced handling at high speed. Plus, a new grille and fender badges exclusive to the Hellcat, along with a raised SRT Hellcat badge on the rear spoiler can’t hurt. For stopping power, the Hellcat Widebody is outfitted with a standard two-piece 15.4-inch rotors and six-piston front calipers Brembo brake system. In addition, a first for the Hellcat, is a new standard electric power steering (EPS) system with selectable SRT Drive Modes – Street (Auto), Sport, and Track.
New Dodge Durango Options
The new 2018 Dodge Challenger lineup isn’t the only Dodge model getting upgrades. Like the Scat Pack Dynamics Package released for Dodge Charger and Challenger Scat Pack models, select new 2018 Dodge Durango trims can get the feel and look of the Dodge Durango SRT, minus the SRT engine power. All Dodge Durango R/T models will now share the SRT performance hood with a center air inlet duct, a new cold-air duct system integrated under the hood, and LED fog lamps.
Additionally, all 2018 Dodge Durango R/T models will feature a backup camera, a new sport steering wheel, a driver-oriented electronic T-shifter for driver-controlled gear selection and an Auto Stick selector gate for added control, and several available options depending on the trim. The Durango R/T and Durango SRT exterior paint options will include B5 Blue, available in late 2018. The Durango GT now features a standard power liftgate and Capri and suede bucket leather seats. The Durango R/T comes standard with a nine-speaker BeatsAudio system with subwoofer. This entertainment system is available on the Durango GT and Durango Citadel, or as a standalone package option with the Capri leather seats. Durango GT models equipped with the Blacktop or Brass Monkey appearance package will now also be able to get the Durango SRT performance hood.
“Performance is more than stats, at Dodge performance is an attitude that permeates through everything we do … And new for 2018, Durango buyers can get SRT attitude with every Durango powertrain – from the 295 horsepower 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 to the 360 horsepower 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 to the new 475 horsepower 6.4-liter SRT – strengthening the brand’s promise to deliver performance vehicles with world-class power, technology and standout styling our customers have come to expect.”
– Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Car Brands – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA – North America.
Ram Upgrades Lineup with More Luxury
And now for the luxurious 2018 Ram Limited Tungsten Edition.
“The Limited Tungsten Edition is the highest trim level Ram has made available … The new Tungsten Edition is an example of how Ram directly responds to customer input by offering the industry’s most luxurious pickup. Premium truck buyers will recognize the attention to detail, surrounded by quality materials.”
– Mike Manley, Head of Ram Brand, FCA – Global.
Offering Ram drivers a higher level of sophistication, the new Ram Limited Tungsten Edition is truly a truck trim that is a step up from the others. Notable additions to the pickup truck are a truck segment-first Light Greystone suede headliner and ultra-premium “Natura Plus” Frost and Indigo-colored premium leather throughout the cabin, Indigo-colored carpet with rubber floormats and snap-out Frost and Indigo carpeted inserts, real wood interior components, and unique badges. The Tungsten chrome grille will have “RAM” spelled out in large letters, and the same lettering will be featured on the truck’s tailgate. The Ram 1500 features a sport hood, and all Ram models will have Satin-painted Limited rims.
Inside, drivers and passengers can enjoy navigational radio, remote start, backup camera, power adjustable pedals with memory, a heated steering wheel, front ventilated and heated seats, heated rear seats, and the popular RamBox (Heavy Duty, 6-foot, 4-inch bed only). Standard in technology is an 8.4-inch Uconnect system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and SiriusXM Guardian. Later this year, the Ram Limited Tungsten trim will be offered on the Ram 1500, and later the Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 single- and dual-rear-wheel; Crew Cab and Mega Cab (Heavy Duty); four-wheel drive and two-wheel drive; and short- and long-wheelbase models. The Ram 1500 Limited Tungsten Edition MSRP starts at $55,120.
Pricing for the Hellcat Widebody and 2018 Durango models is yet to be determined. Be sure to look for the new 2018 Durango models and the luxurious Ram Limited Tungsten Edition around late fall, early winter. Hellcat Widebody production starts this summer, and may also pop up in showrooms around the same time.