We have known for some time that the Direct Connection performance division was returning to support the Dodge brand. Today, the first real details on these internally-designed performance packages were announced with increases of up to 885 warranty-friendly horsepower for the Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye. There are also some upgrade options for the Challenger SRT Hellcat in non-Redeye form, but these packages only apply to 2019 models and newer. As a 2017 Hellcat owner, I am hoping to see these kits expanded to include the “older” Hellcats and over time, we expect that there will be Charger packages as well, but right now, these performance packages only apply to 2019-and-newer Challenger Hellcats and Redeyes.
Update – while the video below states that these kits only apply to 2019-and-newer models, the Direct Connection catalog states that the Pre-Stage Kit and Stage 1 Kit for the non-Redeye models do apply to 2015-and-newer models.
“Direct Connection will continue its rollout next year with a lineup of 200-plus parts, and with a network of Dodge Power Brokers dealers trained and equipped to help enthusiasts take that performance to the next level,” said Tim Kuniskis, Dodge Brand Chief Executive Officer – Stellantis. “The opening of orders for Direct Connection performance parts in the first quarter of 2022 is just the start — the lineup of Direct Connection products and Dodge Power Brokers dealers will continue to grow in the years ahead.”
Based on that quote, it seems that there is a good chance that we will see more options for Chargers, but for now, here is what Direct Connection has in store for supercharged Challenger owners.
Challenger Hellcat, Redeye Pre-Stage Kit
First up, we have the Direct Connection Pre-Stage Kit for the 2015+ Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and 2019+ SRT Hellcat Redeye. This kit includes a high capacity air filter, a 180-degree thermostat and the handheld tuning device. The handheld tuning device offers an array of gauge and information options, but most importantly, it comes with a pre-programmed engine tune that lifts the Hellcat from 717 horsepower to 722 horsepower while the Redeye improves from 797 to 802 horsepower.
In short, with the air filter, thermostat and tune, both Hellcat and Redeye owners pick up 5 horsepower. Most importantly, when the pre-stage kit is installed by an approved Power Broker dealership, this extra power won’t impact your stock engine warranty.
The Pre-Stage Kit for the either the SRT Hellcat or the Redeye costs $1,195.
Challenger Hellcat, Redeye Stage 1
If you own a 2015+ Dodge Challenger in SRT Hellcat or 2019+ Redeye, once you have had the Pre-Stage Kit installed, you can move onto Stage 1. This package builds on the Pre-Stage items, lifting the SRT Hellcat to 757 horsepower and 696 lb-ft of torque while the Redeye climbs to 840 horsepower and 770 lb-ft of torque. That is a total increase of 40 horsepower and 40 lb-ft of torque over the stock Hellcat numbers (based on current stock figures) while the Redeye picks up 43 horsepower and 63 lb-ft of torque.
In the SRT Hellcat, the extra power comes by adding a 3.17-inch pulley. In the video, they refer to it as the Hellephant pulley, but we believe that this is a Litens Hellraiser pulley. In the video below, you can see the Hellraiser logo on the Direct Connection pulley, but perhaps Hellephant is the name chosen for marketing purposes.
For the Redeye, there is no pulley swap for Stage 1. Instead, the Stage 1 package includes a unique race gas engine tune that leads to the same output as the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon when running on 100-octane race gas.
In short, Stage 1 is a pulley and a new tune for the 2019+ Challenger SRT Hellcat while the 2019+ Redeye gains the power from just a tune.
For the SRT Hellcat, the Stage 1 Kit costs $895 while the Stage 1 Redeye package costs $395, plus the cost of the Pre-Stage Kit.
Challenger SRT Redeye Stage 2
Finally (for now), we have the Direct Connection Stage 2 package, which is currently only available for the 2019+ Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye. This package adds the 3.17-inch Hellraiser pulley and a unique engine tune, resulting in 885 horsepower and 787 lb-ft of torque. When installed by a Power Brokers dealership, this extra power comes with the factory warranty in place. This kit costs $1,195.
These Direct Connection performance upgrade packages will officially go on sale sometime late in the first quarter of 2022, which would be anytime from mid-February through the end of March. Again, they will only be available for purchase and installation through official Power Broker dealerships.
You can watch the video reveal of the Direct Connection performance packages in the video below.