2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat Widebody Daytona Review – Fifty years ago, Dodge commissioned Creative Industries to build the 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona as a homologation special to satisfy NASCAR rules. The extraterrestrial-looking coupe conquered at the race track, broke records, and frightened any onlooker possessed of a weak constitution; it’s claimed that even the carmaker’s general manager at the time, Bob McCurry, considered the 2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat the ugliest car he’d ever laid eyes on. Time having worked its magic, Dodge is celebrating the now-iconic Winged Warrior with the 2020 Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition. The new model goes without a nose cone and vertical stabilizers, but it does loose 717 horsepower from its 6.2-liter supercharged V8, which is 10 more than the standard car.
2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat Widebody Daytona Review
The grunty sedan will be available in four colors: Pitch Black, Triple Nickel, White Knuckle, and B5 Blue exclusive to this model. B5 was the original paint code for a Blue Fire Poly hue available on Dodge and Plymouth products built between 1969 and 1972. Evoking the original as well as highlighting the decklid spoiler on the new Charger, the black, nickel, and blue sedans get white “Daytona” decals on the rear quarter panels and a white spoiler, matching white 2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat badges on the front fenders. White cars get blue “Daytona” decals and spoiler, and Hellcat badges in a bright finish. Twenty-inch Warp Speed wheels finished in Satin Carbon on all-season Pirellis and black Brembo brakes complete the exterior overhaul.
Inside, heated and cooled 12-way adjustable performance seats are trimmed in Nappa leather and Alcantara, with blue cross-stitching joining seatbacks embroidered with the word “Daytona.” The flat-bottomed, suede-wrapped steering wheel with silver stitching and “velour-bound” floor mats will only come in this model, the festival of special appointments also including the dynamica suede headliner, carbon fiber instrument panel and bezels, light black chrome trim pieces, and blue stitching on the dash, shifter, center console armrest, and door panels.
Dodge will only produce 501 units, said to match the number of cars necessary for NASCAR homologation at the time, and each wears a plaque identifying it as “X out of 501.” NASCAR rules in 1969 demanded 500 units, actually the car Dodge built in 1968 to race was called t he Charger 500, in fact. Also, Creative Industries built 503 1969 Charger Daytonas for the U.S. and another 40 for Canada, but who’s counting? Another thing about the original car: They were expensive, they didn’t like street duty, and dealers couldn’t give them away, often resorting to removing the nosecone and wing to get the cars off lots. We don’t think there’ll be any such issues this time around.
Dealers begin taking orders for the 2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat Widebody Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition in the fall, deliveries to commence in early 2020. Before then, visitors to this weekend’s Woodward Dream Cruise in Pontiac, Michigan can check out the sedan at Dodge’s display at the Modern Street HEMI Shootout.
When you’ve already got 707 horsepower, can 10 more make a tangible difference? Dodge certainly thinks so, and with the introduction of the—take a deep breath—2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition, the Charger is finally collecting those bonus 10 ponies that the Challenger SRT Hellcat received for the 2019 model year.
Although it’d be nearly impossible to recreate the bulbous nose and high-flying wing of the 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona for a current production vehicle, the 2020 Charger Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition does co-opt the rear stripe graphic treatment. It also gets a unique “Daytona” decklid and a coat of Daytona-exclusive B5 Blue paint. The car will be available with Pitch Black, Triple Nickel, or White Knuckle paint, too, but the exclusive B5 Blue will probably be the one that collectors zero in on. (On White Knuckle cars, the Daytona decal and spoiler are blue, and the Hellcat badge has a bright finish.) A set of 20-by-11-inch Warp Speed wheels with a unique satin carbon finish wrapped in 305/35ZR Pirelli all-season performance tires (three-season tires are optional) provide traction, while black Brembo six-piston front and four-piston rear brakes with vented rotors do their best to erase speed.
As with the Challenger, the 2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat extra 10 horsepower come via a revised powertrain calibration. Dodge hasn’t mentioned if the calibration will migrate to the rest of the Charger Hellcat lineup, but it seems like an obvious move.
As a reminder, the 1969 Charger Daytona was designed specifically for NASCAR competition, and a prototype of the car was the first to post a 200-plus-mph average lap speed, a record that stood for 17 years. Only 501 units, just enough to meet production homologation requirements for the series, were produced. Fittingly, Dodge will only make 501 copies of the 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition.
Interior nods to the original 2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat include blue accent stitching on the black heated and ventilated leather and synthetic leather performance seats that feature “Daytona” embroidered seatbacks. The blue accent stitching continues throughout the interior, appearing on the center console armrest, door panels and armrest, dashboard, and shifter. The flat-bottom steering wheel has contrasting silver and blue stitching accents, while velour-bound floor mats have a touch of blue stitching. Both are unique to the Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition. The instrument panel and console bezels are carbon fiber, and a faux-suede headliner completes the look. And because any limited edition is pointless without a callout, a custom IP badge located on the passenger side with Hellcat and Daytona logos identifies each vehicle as X out of 501.
The special edition is slated to make its official in-the-metal debut on Saturday, August 17, at the Modern Street Hemi Shootout event during the annual Woodward Dream Cruise in Pontiac, Michigan. Dealer orders for all 2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat models, including this one, open in the fall, and vehicles will start arriving in Dodge/SRT dealerships in early 2020.