• 2018

Stage Fright

Recently, Mopar® re-introduced three stage Performance Packages. Stage 1 is designed for the Dodge Challenger, the Dodge Charger and the Chrysler 300 when equipped with the 5.7L HEMI® engine. The kit includes a cold air kit, cat-back exhaust and a recalibrated powertrain control module.

Factory-optioned performance kits were introduced in the late ‘60s for Dodge and the ‘Rapid Transit System (RTS)’ for Plymouth vehicles. “Back in the ‘60s, Dodge offered the Coronet R/T, Dart GTS and Charger R/T with a factory performance package, which included a hot cam or improved heads and also brake, tire and wheel or suspension upgrades as well,” noted Ed Hessell, Mopar Performance Parts Manager. “These were factory packages. You could drive off the showroom rather than having to build your own performance package. It’s basically harkening back to the days of big muscle and racing down the street or the strip.”

Mopar Performance Parts are designed to outperform aftermarket products. How do they do it? For starters, correct measurements are needed to build the absolute best parts that maximize a vehicle’s horsepower, speed and handling. Aftermarket parts manufacturers can spend countless hours reverseengineering their parts. They try to work backwards in the hopes of getting the part as close to the original as possible. Whereas, Mopar engineers know the exact measurements and intricacies of FCA US LLC vehicles.

Being an OEM gives Mopar exclusive access to data as well as generations of real-world testing. Mopar provides the most precise-fi tting parts, unparalleled engineering, an integrated design approach, plus unrivaled testing facilities and resources.

The new kits also feature a better price point. This is due, in part, to an exhaust system that’s no longer included. Since 2017, FCA US vehicles have had an active exhaust system like the SRT® vehicles. This means there isn’t a need to include an aftermarket exhaust. Since there aren’t any restrictions anymore, the vehicle’s sound is excellent right from the factory.

Tim Kuniskis, Head of Alfa Romeo and Maserati, determined the horsepower for each performance kit when he was heading up the Dodge Brand. The engineers then sat down and strategized how they could achieve these numbers. It was a long and arduous process. The end result was the introduction of the three Stage Performance Packages, designed to boost horsepower and improve torque for 5.7L HEMI engines. It’s a very impressive lineup indeed.

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