In case you hadn’t heard, as our sister site FCAuthority reports, the Mopar gang has pulled the wraps off of a brand-new “Widebody” Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat model, which is exactly what it sounds like: a widened Hellcat-powered Challenger. Yet Dodge’s decision to pack even more bulge onto its already-bulky land barge is more than just an aesthetic one; the 3.5 inches of added width have enabled SRT to fit wider wheels and tires, providing increased grip and traction for superior straight-line acceleration and cornering grip.
How much better? According to Dodge, the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody should now be able scoot to 60 mph from a stop in just 3.4 seconds (down from 3.5), and power through the quarter-mile in 10.9 seconds (down from 11.2). Lateral acceleration has improved by a respectable 0.04 g, increasing from 0.93 to 0.97 g. And of course, the Hellcat Widebody makes the same tremendous 707 peak horsepower as its narrow-bodied forebear.
So, do fans of the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 have anything to fear from SRT’s latest high-powered weapon? Just like before, the answer is really: “only in a straight line.” Right out of the box, a stock ZL1 will run somewhere around the mid-11s in the quarter-mile – good, but not Hellcat good. According to Motor Trend‘s testing, the Chevy also takes about 0.1 seconds extra to reach 60 mph, clocking 3.5 seconds in that category.
But Motor Trend also finds that the Camaro ZL1 can deliver 1.07 g of lateral acceleration, which is a full 0.1 g more than the Hellcat Widebody. In short, on a road course, the new Challenger Hellcat Widebody still oughtn’t be a match for the lighter, nimbler Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Which one any individual buyer opts for will likely come down to brand allegiance.