Two things stop Dodge from releasing its Direct Connection Stage Kits!

In March, Dodge opened ordering for its new Direct Connection factory-backed lineup of performance parts, through its new Dodge “Power Brokers” dealer network. However, at the launch of the program, parts were limited to just the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye and SRT Super Stock. The Direct Connection program has promised performance-based goodies for the entire Dodge//SRT lineup.

Direct connect Dodge Challenger SRT development vehicle (code name DC-170) (Dodge).

In his recent interview with Dodge CEO, Tim Kuniskis, Muscle Cars & Trucks (MC&T) discovered two reasons why we don’t see an extensive list of Direct Connection options: the ongoing semiconductor shortage and the federal government.

“If we didn’t have a shortage of chips for the controllers and approval from the EPA right now, we would actually have the stage kits available and for sale right now. I hope we have those in the next few weeks. We had a supply chain breakdown with the chips for the controllers needed in the ‘Pre-Stage Kit’ to make this all work. We think we have solved that now,” Kuniskis told MC&T. “We should get those controllers in a few weeks. So not stopped, just delayed due to delivery problems.”

Direct connect Dodge Challenger SRT development vehicle (code name DC-170) (Dodge).

“We have the kits ready to go. The MAPs are ready, the pulleys are ready, we can launch,” Kuniskis said. “But the problem is that I don’t have the full stamp of approval of CARB’s EO certification yet, and why ship it without the CARB approval? That is one of the distinguishing factors between our factory warranty and EO certification.”

Kuniskis assured the MC&T team that the kits “will not be cancelled, only postponed”.

2014 Dodge Dart GT with the Scat Pack Stage 3 kit. (Cleverness).

In 2013, Dodge announced a line of “Scat Pack Stage Kits” for its Challenger, Charger, and Dart models. The Scat Pack Stage Kits were planned to provide additional performance for those Darts equipped with the 2.4 liter “Tigershark” inline four cylinder engine. While the Challenger and Charger kits were released, the kits for the compact Dodge Dart never made it. This caused quite a stir in the Dart enthusiast community.

We’re sure Dodge doesn’t want to make the same mistake again.

The three kits Direct Connection has already announced for production include the following for the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye and SRT Super Stock…

Nameplate

Model year stage kit Part # PK Launch date
Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye 2019 to 2022 Red eye precancerous stage 77072579AB 802** March
Challenger SRT Super Stock 2019 to 2022 Red Eye Stage I 77072581AB 840 March
2019 to 2022 Red eye phase II 77072583AB 885 March
2019 to 2022 Red eye stage III To be determined In development To be determined

Redeye Pre Stage Kit –

The Direct Connection Redeye Pre-stage Kit. (Mopar).

For 2019 to present Dodge Challenger SRT® Hellcat Redeyes and exclusive to Direct Connection, this Wi-Fi device allows owners to upgrade their engine calibration with the push of a button. Simply plug this device into the car’s OBD-II port and select the calibration associated with your purchased stage kit. Includes a portable engine monitoring device and mounting hardware. Monitor and record performance data, 0-60, 1/4 mile and 1/8 mile, and check diagnostic codes with different gauge screens and customizable themes and colors.

Kit includes –

  • Direct Connect tuner kit
  • Factory-set calibration for improved engine performance up to 802 hp / 707 lb.-ft. according to SAE J1349 correction factor
  • Legal EO for 50 States (EO #TBD)
  • Performance air filter
  • 180°F Performance engine thermostat
  • Factory matched calibration with 5° spark ahead

Direct Connect Tuner Kit Features –

  • Full-color, HD, 5-inch touchscreen
  • Lightning fast read/write times
  • One-Touch, easy menu navigation
  • Customizable meter screen
  • Layouts with up to 5 different meter screens per layout
  • Custom color mixer to customize gauge arcs and backgrounds
  • Full data logging capability
  • Performance tests such as 1/4 mile, 0-60 mph
  • WiFi update
  • AFM/MDS options for active fuel management
  • Read and clear diagnostic trouble codes
  • Correct speedometer and adjust speed/rev limiters

Cost – $1,195 USD

Redeye Stage I Kit –

2019 Dodge Challenger SRT HELLCAT Redeye Widebody. (Cleverness).

For 2019 to Present Dodge Challenger SRT® Hellcat Redeyes, boost your engine performance to 840 horsepower at the touch of a button when used in conjunction with the Redeye Pre-Stage Kit – NO TOOLS NEEDED. (Requires purchase of Redeye Pre-Stage Kit).

Includes high-quality calibration key code, which unlocks factory matched Stage I calibration. 840 horsepower is achieved by enabling high-octane functionality through the Direct Connection Tuner Kit.

Turnkey Horsepower Upgrade for the Challenger Hellcat Redeye –

  • Factory-set calibration for improved engine performance up to 840 hp / 770 lb.-ft. according to SAE
    J1349 correction factor
  • Legal EO for 50 states (EO # TBD)
  • Enables high octane functionality
  • Powerful calibration key code that unlocks Stage I calibration

Cost – $395 USD

2020 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody. (Cleverness).

Redeye Stage II Kit –

For 2019 to Present Dodge Challenger SRT® Hellcat Redeyes, increase engine power to 885 horsepower at the touch of a button when used in conjunction with the Direct Connect Tuner Kit. Includes a 426 Hellephant Pulley (80.5mm / 3.17in dia) for a 2lb increase. of boost over stock and high quality factory tuned calibration. 885 horsepower is achieved by enabling high-octane functionality through the Direct Connection Tuner Kit (when high-octane mode is not engaged, performance is 837 horsepower). Requires purchase of Redeye Pre-Stage Kit.

Turnkey Horsepower Upgrade for the Challenger Hellcat Redeye –

  • Factory-set calibration for improved engine performance up to 885 hp / 787 lb.-ft. according to SAE J1349 correction factor
  • Legal EO for 50 states (EO # TBD)
  • 3.17 inch 426 Hellephant Pulley
  • Powerful calibration key code that unlocks Phase II calibration
  • Works in conjunction with high-octane functionality

Cost – $1,195 USD

Direct connect Dodge Challenger SRT development vehicle (code name DC-170) (Dodge).

The Direct Connection program won’t be just for the Dodge brand’s internal combustion engine (ICE) offerings, either. According to Kuniskis, he explains that Dodge has a plan to include the new electrified options coming in the future. By offering unique components for the upcoming eMuscle cars, Dodge can help its dealer network remain profitable as they will lose an important revenue stream in the parts and service divisions. Electric vehicles have fewer moving parts and require less maintenance than conventional ICE vehicles.

You can view the full details of the interview with Kuniskis on the MC&T website.

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