That seems to be a major issue for sure—especially those who don’t want to fork over that kind of cash just for gas—but the pandemic showed that “enjoying the visceral pleasures” should be taken care of immediately. And for Will, that meant heading out and purchasing a Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye Widebody.
‘Pop Culture Hit’
“After driving one, I tip my dopamine-soaked cap to those buyers. On an emotional scale of one to ten, the fastest mass-produced sedan in the world is somewhere in near-earth orbit. Jeff Bezos unloaded much more than the $90,050 sticker price on our test car to get there,” he writes.
“Our tester made it easy to see why the thing’s a pop culture hit. It wore a ‘Go Mango’ paint job, which is a kind of orange, solar-plasma blast, and came with a speedometer that tops out at two hundred twenty mph. It looks unsubtle, and drives no differently. The freeway starts to feel like a strobing video game as the high whine of its supercharger adds hair-on-fire flare. A quarter mile passes by in the mid-ten seconds. You become friends with the fourteen-inch Brembo brakes. Hilariously, a car seat fits in back just fine.”
However, after some thought, Will did revert back to a question that had been on his mind: “Haven’t electric cars like the 1,020-horsepower Tesla Model S Plaid turned the fuel-sucking Hellcat into a dinosaur?”
To answer that question, Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis chimed in. “The technology (of electrics) is amazing—you can have better control of acceleration and traction, you have instantaneous power,” he told the magazine.
“Every mainstream product is going to go toward electrification. And when they do, and we have economies of scale that make it more affordable, it’s going to be the muscle car war all over again,” he continued.
One Big Flaw – ‘Overconsumption to the Point of Waste’
The gas-guzzling issue was also noticed by Duncan Brady at Motor Trend, who was able to spend ten days and 1,670 miles with the vehicle.
“The Charger Hellcat Redeye exhibits overconsumption to the point of waste. In my first week with the car, I averaged 10.5 mpg. Following my 1,000-mile weekend road trip, that number rose to an acceptable 18.3 mpg. Hear me out, though: 1,670 miles at 18.3 mpg comes to 91.3 gallons of gas. Watching multiple Priuses and plug-in hybrid Ford Fusions pass by had me temporarily yearning for a fuel sipper; 797 horses don’t do you much good when they’re bridled behind a truck, fearing starvation,” he writes.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.