There’s no point in reviewing the Dodge Challenger Hellcat Jailbreak.
Its over 800 horsepower and over $110,000 price tag are something you want and are willing to pay or not. So instead of trying to reduce the Hellcat Jailbreak to a simple thumbs up or down, let’s answer some pertinent questions about the car.
What exactly is the jailbreak?
The Jailbreak is a trim level above the Dodge Hellcat Redeye Widebody, meaning its full name is Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody Jailbreak. I know. Very long-winded. The premise of the Jailbreak Pack is to unlock everything previously exclusive to different trim levels, production years, or special editions.
Dodge gave the Jailbreak a more powerful engine variant than the average Hellcat Redeye. From there, the automaker allows you to completely customize the look of your Hellcat. On the outside, you can choose any paint color, brake caliper color, wheel and stripe combination from Dodge’s current or old catalog, and even customize the look of the badges. Inside, you can choose the interior materials as well as the color of the seats and even the seat belts.
How much horsepower does he have?
Eight hundred and seven. That’s the same number as the SRT Super Stock and Demon (in its street setting) limited editions. Dodge starts with the Redeye variant of the 6.2-liter HEMI supercharged engine and, through a revised powertrain calibration, adds an additional 10 horsepower to the standard Hellcat Redeye’s pedestrian 797 horsepower.
How does it feel to ‘launch’ it?
Press and hold the “start” button just before the shifter. Pin the brake to the floor with one foot and the accelerator pedal with the other. The whole car starts to vibrate and wobble as the tires go up in smoke.
Release the brake and the tires will continue to fight for grip. Wrestle the rear in line and hold it tight as the whine of the supercharger fills your ears and your chest begins to feel like someone is pushing you into your seat with both hands. The experience is loud, inefficient, scary, exhilarating, intoxicating and a bit exhausting all at the same time. It’s like being in the middle of a mosh pit.
How fast is it?
It’s not as fast as you might think. The absolute best time to 100 kph that I (or any driver who had the same Dodge test vehicle, since the times were all in the car’s performance pages) was 4.1 seconds. That’s not slow. But it’s literally the exact same time I clocked in the Durango Hellcat last year, an SUV with about 100 horsepower less.
Does it handle well?
Amazing, yes – sort of. The 305/35ZR20 Pirelli P-Zero tires on all four corners work like magic to reduce body roll and help the Challenger glide through corners. But they won’t help you on a full throttle launch, especially if they haven’t warmed up properly. There are hundreds of YouTube videos of Hellcat owners teaching that fact the hard way. But with so much grip and weight to drive the tires into the ground, this Challenger is actually quite fun on back roads.
The steering doesn’t give you much feedback, but is responsive enough to correct oversteer or hold a powerslide. There’s also just the right amount of cushioning to keep things soft while cruising, as well as flat in a turn.
Could you use one every day?
I wouldn’t drive it in the winter. Or even in wet conditions. Even in a light drizzle it was completely unmanageable. Also, the fuel consumption in traffic is about 18 liters per 100 kilometers and you have to use 94 octane.
Speaking of traffic, the engine gets very hot when idling. If you sit in front of a set of lights for too long, you’ll see the temp gauge slowly creep up and up until the fans kick in to cool down the huge, supercharged V8. You will soon be reminded how incredible it is that Dodge is selling you one of these with a warranty.
Other than that, the Challenger is good for everyday use. It’s very comfortable. It is easy to park. It has a huge trunk and a usable rear seat.