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Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat wide body spied testing

Dodge has been sprung testing a wide-body version of the Challenger SRT Hellcat at its headquarters in Michigan, but Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Australia has reaffirmed that the performance coupe and its Charger sedan sibling will not be coming Down Under in the near future.

The current-generation Challenger and Charger remain left-hand-drive-only propositions, which unfortunately closes the door on a local birth until as early as when their next-gen models arrive at the start of the coming decade.

FCA Australia PR boss Glenn Butler said "it is too early to say" if these two vehicles would indeed be sold locally as part of their next generation, but it appears they are on the company's agenda.

'Australians have an affinity with rear-drive sedans and coupes, and certainly ones that have a V8 engine  up  the front,' he said.

"Right-hand drive needs to be part of the development program, and then opportunities like Australia can be looked at quite seriously," he said.

Unsurprisingly, tyre-shredding heroes like the SRT Hellcat variants of the Challenger and Charger would stand to do rather well locally given the country's penchant for performance-oriented cars, and Mr Butler agrees.

"Australians have an affinity with rear-drive sedans and coupes, and certainly ones that have a V8 engine up the front," he said.

A 6.2-litre supercharged V8 petrol engine currently resides beneath the bonnet of the SRT Hellcat, producing 527kW of power and 874Nm of torque. These outputs allow the Challenger version to sprint from zero to 96km/h in 3.6 seconds.

Despite their insanity, those figures pale in comparison to that of the SRT Demon which punches out 626kW and 1044Nm, while on its way from standstill to 96km/h in a scant 2.3s.

Furthermore, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk – which shares its engine with the SRT Hellcat twins – may still get an Aussie release, with Mr Butler confirming that FCA "are working on it".

As previously reported, FCA Australia boss Steve Zanlunghi revealed in February this year that the local arm has "two hands up" for the all-wheel-drive bruiser.

Furthermore, Mr Butler suggested that such a model would inevitably help pave the way for the SRT Hellcat to arrive in either body style.

"Every little bit helps … if we can, we certainly will," he said.

Out in the open and completely undisguised, Dodge appears to be preparing to appease fans of the Challenger SRT Demon that missed out on the limited-edition dragster.

Apparent changes include  prominent  flared  wheelarches  and a presumed 89mm width expansion in line with the SRT Demon.

Set to slot in-between the regular SRT Hellcat and flagship SRT Demon, a wide-body coupe would offer much of the visual theatre of its big brother, but without the overriding drag-strip focus.

Spy shots reveal carry-over SRT Hellcat badging and bonnet, as well as wheels and tyres that differ from the SRT Demon.

However, apparent changes include prominent flared wheelarches and a presumed 89mm width expansion in line with the SRT Demon.

It is unknown if there are any changes to the powerplant, but outputs are likely to remain the same.

A public debut for the wide-body Challenger SRT Hellcat is expected to take place during the American Summer this year.

Should Dodge build the next-generation Challenger in right-hand drive and sell it in Australia? Tell us what you think in the comments below.