We have talked a great deal about the return of the Dodge Direct Connection program, which includes high performance upgrade packages for the Challenger Hellcat and Redeye. The “standard” Hellcat has two package options (Pre-stage, Stage 1) which lead to 757 horsepower, while the Redeye also has a Stage 2, lifting the output to 885 horsepower and 787 lb-ft of torque with 100-octane racing fuel. These kits present a great chance for owners to add quite a bit of power without voiding their warranty, but not all Dodge owners are excited for the release of the Direct Connection performance packages.
Some 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon owners are a bit annoyed at the fact that they bought the ultimate Mopar muscle car, only to be overpowered by a full production Challenger Redeye. The Demon boasts 840 horsepower and 770 lb-ft of torque when running on 100-octane race gas, so the Redeye with the Stage 2 Direct Connection package has an advantage of 45 horsepower and 17 lb-ft of torque.
Fortunately, based on what we have heard in speaking with some of our connections inside of the company, 2018 Demon owners could soon have some Direct Connection stage kits of their own. According to our contacts, who wish to remain unnamed, adding performance kits for the Demon is as simple as coming up with a tuning package for the 2018 Demon system – and they are in the process of doing so now.
Demon Direct Connection Possibilities
The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon produces 808 horsepower and 717 lb-ft of torque when running on pump gas, but with the integrated high octane mode, the output jumps to 840 horsepower and 770 lb-ft of torque. The fully stock Challenger Redeye offers 797 horsepower and 707 lb-ft of torque with pump gas and there is no race gas option in standard form, but with the Direct Connection upgrades comes a slightly smaller pulley and a pre-programmed engine tune that is loaded into the system with a handheld tuning device, the output climbs to 885 horsepower and 787 lb-ft of torque.
A 2019+ Challenger Redeye with the Direct Connection Pre-Stage and Stage 1 kit offes 840 horsepower on 100-octane race gas. That is achieved by adding a low temperature thermostat, a high flow air filter and the engine tune needed to make the most of the racing fuel. For those readers who aren’t keeping track at home, that is the same output on the same fuel as the 2018 Demon. This doesn’t come as a huge surprise, seeing as how the Demon engine is just a slightly more aggressively tuned version of the Redeye engine with the ability to run race fuel. When the Redeye is set up to run the high octane fuel, the two engines are practically identical.
With that in mind, the Demon should stand to benefit from the Direct Connection Stage 2 kit in the same way as the Redeye. In other words, a Demon with the 3.17-inch Hellraiser pulley and the specific engine tune should offer the same 885 horsepower as the Stage 2 Redeye. Figure that the Demon crate comes with the air filter from the Direct Connection Pre-Stage kit, so the Demon would only need the tuning device and the pulley to match the 885-horsepower Redeye.
More importantly, Dodge has hinted that there will be a Direct Connection Stage 3 kit and while we don’t have any details on this, the output will surely top 900 horsepower and 800 lb-ft of torque. Provided that our information is accurate and Direct Connection is in the process of working on Demon performance packages, the limited production 2018 Challenger should also benefit from the Stage 3 kit.
Frankly, we expect that the Stage 3 Direct Connection kit for the Redeye and Demon will yield far more than 900 horsepower and 800 lb-ft of torque, as those are relatively small jumps of 15hp and 13 lb-ft of torque, but we picked those numbers for the sake of discussion. Realistically, the output for Stage 3 will likely be quite a bit higher than “only” 900 horsepower and 800 lb-ft of torque.