When the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat was introduced with a new, lower-than-ever base price, the company got the base price down by removing an array of premium standard features. Items that were standard equipment on the Hellcat Challenger in prior years, such as heated and cooled leather seats, HID headlights and automatic high beam controls, rain sensing wipers and several high tech safety features, became parts of option packages for 2019. This allowed the company to boast of a lower base price, but it also allowed prospective buyers who care more about performance and less about luxury gadgetry to save a few bucks.
With the 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat coming standard with the new widebody package, many people expect to see the supercharged sedan following the same path as the coupe in an effort to keep the base price down. However, in looking more closely at the press release that introduced the widened 2020 Charger Hellcat, several key features are mentioned, highlighting the fact that all of the premium amenities are still standard equipment for the new model year.
2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat Comes Loaded
After publishing our piece yesterday with speculation on pricing for the 2020 Dodge Charger widebody, we received a handful of comments about how FCA will likely strip down the “base” Hellcat sedan to bring down the starting price. That got me looking through the press release from June and I quickly found that the heated-and-cooled, power-controlled leather seats are standard, as are the heated flat-bottomed SRT steering wheel and the heated rear seats. Also, the automatic high-intensity discharge (HID) projector headlights with LED accents come standard, as does the Blind-spot Monitoring System and the heated, power-adjustable exterior mirrors.
Those are all key features that Dodge moved from “standard” to “optional” status with the Challenger Hellcat in order to reduce the base price, but with all of those same items being standard on the 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, it seems unlikely that the sedan will see the big drop in base price that we saw with the Challenger.
No Real Rival
In other words, with the introduction of the widebody package as standard equipment for the 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, the base price of the supercharged sedan is likely to reach a new high-point, but unlike the Challenger, there is really no close competition for the 700+ horsepower four-door. With the Challenger, Dodge has to compete with the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro, but with the Charger, the closest true competition in terms of performance and features are European sedans like the BMW M5 and the Mercedes-Benz AMG models. The M5 and the AMG sedans all cost significantly more and offer less power than the Hellcat Charger, so even if Dodge adds $6,000 to the pricing of the 2019 models, the 707-horsepower sedan will still cost less and outperform those European models.
Those folks hoping to see a reduction in the pricing of the 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat will be disappointed to read all of this, but at the end of the day, even if the supercharged sedan costs $80,000, it is still a performance bargain compared to the closest real competitors.