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A white and black 2022 Dodge Charger is shown from the front parked at a racetrack.

Breaking Out of Jail Isn’t Free, But It Sure Is Fun with the 2022 Dodge Charger Hellcat

It’s amusing that one of the most family-friendly performance sedans on the market now can be purchased with a Jailbreak package. No stranger to snarky humor, Dodge has been appealing to the wilder side of its customers for quite a while. The 2022 Dodge Charger is letting buyers break out of design jail.

Before any rules can be broken, though, it might be helpful to know the basics of the model that is doing the rule-breaking. As one would expect, you will have to spend a lot of money to be granted access to any get-out-of-jail-free cards. That means the only model with the Jailbreak option is the SRT Hellcat Widebody Redeye trim of the 2022 Charger.

Characteristics of a Hellcat Redeye

The Hellcat is bred for the pavement, which is where the casual observer can find evidence of its presence: dual black stripes on long stretches of road, or the odor of burned rubber as vestiges of its aggressive nature. In fact, the SRT Hellcat Widebody Redeye is recognized specifically by its wider stance—a full 3.5 in. beyond the typical Charger width—and Pirelli tires that leave 11-in. stripes on the road after a rear-wheel burnout session takes place. The wider track improves the stability of the Hellcat in both of its Widebody forms, a much-needed adjunct to its high-powered capability.

At the heart of the Hellcat’s impressive speed is the 6.2-L supercharged V8 HEMI engine. For the SRT Hellcat, this engine whips up an adrenaline-inducing 717 horsepower. In the SRT Hellcat Redeye, an even more thrilling 797 horsepower propels the 2022 Charger through its natural habitat. Widened fenders make room for the enlarged, 20-in. wheels of black-painted carbon fiber, which reduces weight for better speed. An available functional hood scoop and dual heat extractors allow the SRT Hellcat to keep its engine cool as it builds up speed, and Brembo brakes branded with SRT markings provide the extra stopping power the Hellcat requires for its improbable capability.

With such a power plant at its beck and call, the SRT Hellcat pushes its speed limits with zero to 60 times of 3.8 seconds. More wily and muscular is the Hellcat Redeye, which readily outruns its sibling with zero to 60 times of 3.5 seconds. Gearing up all this quickness is the eight-speed automatic transmission, which does its job admirably when called to duty. As the apex predator of the 2022 Charger pack, the Hellcat Redeye can achieve speeds as high as 203 mph under the right conditions—a hair’s breadth faster than the 196 mph of the SRT Hellcat. To assist with ride quality to manage all the excess equipment, Bilstein adaptive dampers deliver competition-quality handling and support for its Widebody stance.

The black interior of a 2022 Dodge Charger shows the steering wheel and information screen.

Inside the Belly of the Beast

Approach every Hellcat with caution, as this is a vehicle with teeth that can chew up all but the most experienced drivers and spit them out with a Cheshire smile. As a full-size sedan, the 2022 Charger can seat five rather comfortably within its cavernous interior, and rear-seat passengers have an ample 40.1 in. of room to comfortably stretch their legs. Some might argue the Charger’s interior invites too much road noise, but the Hellcat knows its audience; too much insulation would hinder the growl of the HEMI engine. When your claim to fame is the “fastest and most powerful mass-produced sedan in the world,” you want everyone to hear you coming.

Features like a configurable digital driver display, leather seats, carbon fiber trim, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel are found in every Hellcat interior. Upscale details like ambient lighting that extends to the front cupholders, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and heated outboard seats are what set the Hellcat apart from its brethren. The Hellcats also embody a drag-racing spirit with Performance Pages, which include a track mode that keeps detailed accounts of the Hellcat’s behavior when unleashed in a closed course. Sport seats will keep front passengers well-bolstered, and seatbelts are recommended for safety in the field.

Breaking Free of the Cellblock

Once you can recognize the signs of the Hellcat in the wild, you can then transform its traditional styling with the power of Jailbreak features. Dodge places the keys to the design kingdom directly in the drivers’ hands. Before the designing begins, however, a word of caution about its increased capability: As part of the Jailbreak package, Dodge increases the horsepower of the Hellcat Redeye from its already face-plastering 797 hp to an even more stomach-dropping 807 hp. Take heed, drivers of the beast.

When entering the Jailbreak zone, future drivers are given a vast, almost limitless number of options for designing their very own Hellcat. Base color options begin with the lucky number 13, including Sinamon Stick, Frostbite, and Hellraisin’. Next, stripes, hood, spoiler, and roof colors are offered up for choosing. Then, spruce up your Hellcat with the right wheels and tires for galloping the streets. Five colors of brake calipers extend the packaging for stopping power with flair, and then Jailbreakers must choose the badge they want to wear as the trophy of their Hellcat status. Final markings for the exterior include options for either black exhaust finishers or a black spoiler—for extra menace.

To further embellish the Hellcat, the interior is given its own unique features as well. Leather in a mostly dark, cavern-like palette is the standard appearance, with a single two-tone option available to give the interior some eye-catching contrast. Seatbelts can harness passengers in Demonic Red, Hammerhead Gray, and the less obtrusive Sepia tones, while the connectors are offered without the Sepia as a matching option. The Hellcat brain—its infotainment system—can be upgraded to include the power of navigation, its audio system elevated to Harmon Kardon status if desired. The bezel, console, steering wheel, and headliner all require the buyer’s input for finishing details, and floor mats with embroidery to match the seatbelts are the last flourish to complete the Jailbreak—before Dodge hands over the keys.

A silver 2022 Dodge Charger is shown from the rear driving on a track.

Pricing a Hellcat’s Jailbreak

To purchase the freedom of a Hellcat’s design, pay about $995 for the Jailbreak package. That does not include a number of other fees, like a $2,100 tax for gas-guzzling, $995 to add stripes, and $995 for the necessary cooling provided by the hood scoop (all fees are approximates). On the Builder page, before any of the customizing begins, Dodge lists the pricing for the standard Hellcat without the optional equipment; then, as choices are made to build your unique Charger, the builder tool displays the price you pay—sort of ominous, but it beats sticker shock.

Be wary of the additional options, as they inflate the value of the Hellcat Widebody; it’s very easy to get overzealous in imagining how your Hellcat will look when Dodge finally releases it from the factory into your care. Thankfully, Dodge will give you two sets of keys—or fobs, if you please—one in black and one in red—so you can unleash Hellcat power gradually and safely. The black fob is for playing it safe in the streets. Head to the track, where it’s safe to open the throat of your Hellcat and let it roar; that is where the red fob is utilized.

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