by Dave Ashton
Dodge recently announced the reintroduction of its Direct Connection program. Enthusiasts were first treated to this concept by Chrysler in 1974, with the same type of offerings today, everything from powertrains to the nuts and bolts.
The first set of parts are available for Challenger models, as long as your car is not older than a 2015 model. Currently, there are 14 kits available for the Challenger model, and 13 kits for the Mopar Drag Pak dragstrip special. The most potent of these kits is the ‘Stage II kit’ for the Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye, taking power levels from 807 HP and 717 lb-ft. to 885 HP and 787 lb-ft. of torque via the challenger’s 6.2L supercharged V8.
This kit has all the mod. cons. to exactly dial in the power and performance you need. A digital controller and touchscreen display allows you to tweak power levels, along with a 3.17-inch engine pulley lifted from the Hellephant engine.
Those out there directly interested in crate engines will have available to them the 1,000 HP Hellephant crate engine, along with other Dodge power plants which include the Hellcat Redeye V8, the standard Hellcat 717 HP V8, the 382 Hemi V8, and the 345 Hemi V8.
There’s even a complete car body available, and NHRA Factory Stock approved engines with all the trimmings. It’s good to note that all these upgrades are still within emission regulations, as long as they are fitted via the Dodge Power Brokers dealer network. These dealers and locations will be made available by the Dodge website in 2022.
If you want to whet your appetite with all the goodies available, the Direct Connection catalog can be viewed online here. A hardcopy version should be available in spring 2022.
The Next Generation Please.
Up until the recent past, the next generation of muscle cars meant ever more power and refinement from the internal combustion engine. Now, carmakers have the double problem of not just having to slowly morph into the EV world, but also attracting millennials and the like to the wonderful world of muscle cars.
Ford is acutely aware of this dilemma, with the average age of Mustang owners going up every year. This is why they introduced the ‘Mustang Millennial Club.’ But, what are Chevrolet and Dodge doing to please both the old and the new?
In the next year or two, we are going to hear plenty about Dodge and Chevy’s electric program. Mainly because they have to swim with the times, but also with the plan to snag the interest of the next generation.
Gm are likely to announce their electric crate motor program in 2022, with Lingenfelter Performance Engineering having already dropped a version of the electric crate motor into their ‘eCOPO Camaro drag racer.’ This one first appeared at the 2018 SEMA show, apparently clocking a 9.84 second quarter-mile time. Ford also has an electric crate motor coming called the ‘Eliminator,’ borrowed heavily from the Mustang Mach-E GT.
Dodge has already announced their EV intentions, with fully electric vehicles coming in the next few years. The shift to completely electric will be slow and steady, most likely gaining new fans, but also losing a few along the way. This is inevitable, just like your favorite singer leaving your favorite band. The new guy or girl may be better looking and a better singer, but to some, it’s just not the same.
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