Good morning everyone, I'm a new member in SoCal named Matt. I am eager to make my first post on this forum after picking up my 2020 Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody yesterday. This is my first Hellcat, or Dodge of any model, and I literally can't wipe the smile off my face. After over a decade driving BMW, I decided I wanted to break out of that mold, and try something American. No disrespect whatsoever to BMW--my experience with them was wonderful. However, I was not in love with the direction of the design team over there. I found the upcoming 2021 M3 and M4 to look a bit bulbous at best. I'm sure they'll be a delight to drive, but I just needed a change (and more bang for the buck). I considered a 2020 M2, but ultimately felt that the Hellcat was going to be a better value for my needs.
I went into the process expecting to drive off with a Challenger Redeye. I test drove it first, but just couldn't shake the fact that I wanted 4 doors. Luckily, the dealership had just gotten in a Charger Widebody that day, and I was able to jump behind the wheel. I instantly knew it was the car for me (and since they were using the valet key for test drives, I also didn't have a chance to judge the difference between 707hp and 797hp). Either way, I immediately committed my efforts to finding a fair deal on the Charger.
After a bunch of false starts, I made a deal Sunday night with Hunter Dodge in Lancaster, California. I picked up the vehicle yesterday morning. I really have to give a shoutout to Davieon and Kourtney over there, as they were wonderful to work with. It was easily the most pleasant car purchasing experience of my life. One of the reasons I was pumped to make a deal in Lancaster, is that it's on the other side of the Angeles National Forest from my home in LA...meaning my very first day with the car was going to be peak bliss, and I also got to enjoy one last drive with the top down in the BMW.
After picking up my Hellcat, I took the vehicle through Soledad Canyon until meeting the Angeles Forest Highway as it begins to ascend. There was a light dusting of snow recently at altitude, but there was no impact on the roads yesterday. The temperature was in the 50s, and there were no issues whatsoever with ice, salt, or sand. My favorite road in the entire world to drive on is Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Road, which serves to connect the AFH and the Angeles Crest Highway. Its primary function is to provide access to remote areas in the event of wildfire (this whole area was closed for over a month recently due to Bobcat Fire). UBTCR is about 15 miles of supremely surfaced heaven, with absolutely no other road traffic or authorities. The only other company I usually find out there are other auto and motorcycle enthusiasts. Only once have I seen a dead deer on the side of the road--this hunting zone is notoriously tough to bag a deer, making it even more ideal for driving.
I was in heaven enjoying my first experience with my Hellcat on such a pristine and remote road. From there, I backtracked, rejoined the AFH, and took it to the ACH, which returned me to the Los Angeles area. It was at this point that I first encountered slow moving vehicles...and let me just say, I might even enjoy driving the Hellcat at slow speeds as much as I enjoy it at higher speeds. Driving this at low to moderate speeds in traffic reminds me of walking my dog when he has a ton of energy and just wants to charge full force ahead. I have to really work to apply pressure to his leash to moderate his speed, making the dog walk more engaging for me. Driving my Hellcat gives me that same sense of control--the beast just wants to let loose, and it takes a lot of effort to keep it in check. That to me is fun. Because in LA, there's going to be a lot of driving at pretty low speeds, so I'm thrilled that it's such a joy.
In any event, I'm about to take the car out to Malibu to ride some of my favorite roads up in the canyons. I wanted to stop in and introduce myself. If anyone else is in the SoCal area and wants to ride one day, definitely let me know. Driving the scenic roadways of Southern California is what keeps me sane these days, and I'm always eager to discuss SoCal driving with others who are familiar with the kind of quality roads we've got access to here.
I've been reading this forum to educate myself and watching every video I can find on Youtube...but if anyone has any advice on this car that they want to share, I am all ears. Also, if anyone has any experience with the satin paint finish, I'd say that's the one element of my purchase that causes me a little extra anxiety. I've never had a car with satin exterior before, and I'll admit the pamphlet that came with the car is a little intimidating. I guess I will only be getting this car professionally detailed, or doing the work myself. My days of $7.99 drive through car washes are over.