Two Things Are Holding Up Dodge From Releasing Its Direct Connection Stage Kits!

In March, Dodge opened up ordering for its new Direct Connection factory-backed performance parts lineup, through its new Dodge “Power Brokers” network of dealers. However, at the launch of the program, parts have been 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 Connection Dodge Challenger SRT development vehicle (codenamed DC-170) (Dodge).

In his recent interview with Dodge CEO, Tim Kuniskis, Muscle Cars & Trucks (MC&T) Found out two reasons why we aren’t seeing an expanded 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’d have the stage kits really out there and available for sale right now. I’m hoping we have those in the next couple of weeks. We had a disruption in the supply chain with the chips for the controllers that are required in the ‘Pre-Stage Kit’ to make all of this work. We think we have that resolved now,” Kuniskis told MC&T. ”We should be getting those controllers in a couple of weeks. So, not stopped, just delayed because of supply issues.”

Direct Connection Dodge Challenger SRT development vehicle (codenamed DC-170) (Dodge).

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

Kuniskis ensured the MC&T team that the kits “aren’t canceled, just delayed”.

2014 Dodge Dart GT with the Scat Pack Stage 3 Kit. (Dodges).

In 2013, Dodge announced a series of “Scat Pack Stage Kits” for its Challenger, Charger, and Dart models. The Scat Pack Stage Kits were scheduled to provide additional performance for those darts equipped with the 2.4-liter “Tigershark” inline-four-cylinder engine. While the Challenger and Charger kits came to market, the kits for the compact Dodge Dart never arrived on the market. This caused quite the uproar in the Dart enthusiast community.

We are sure Dodge wants to refrain from making the same mistake again.

The three kits that 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 # horsepower launch date
Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye 2019 to 2022 Redeye Pre Stage 77072579AB 802** March
Challenger SRT Super Stock 2019 to 2022 Redeye Stage I 77072581AB 840 March
2019 to 2022 Redeye Stage II 77072583AB 885 March
2019 to 2022 Redeye Stage III TBD under development TBD

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 WiFi-enabled device allows owners to upgrade their engine calibration at the touch of a button. Simply plug in this device to the car’s OBD-II port and select the calibration associated with your purchased stage kit. Includes a handheld 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-tuned calibration for increased engine performance to 802 horsepower / 707 lb.-ft. by SAE J1349 correction factor
  • 50-state legal EO (EO #TBD)
  • Performance Air Filters
  • 180°F Performance engine thermostat
  • Factory tuned calibration with 5° spark advance

Direct Connection Tuner Kit features –

  • Full color, HD, 5 inch touch screen
  • Lightning fast read/write times
  • One touch, easy menu navigation
  • Customizable gauge screen
  • Layouts containing up to 5 different gauge screens per layout
  • Custom color mixer to customize gauge arcs, backgrounds
  • Full data logging capability
  • Performance tests like 1/4 mile, 0-60 mph
  • WiFi update
  • AFM/MDS active fuel management options
  • 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. (Dodges).

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

Includes high-performance calibration keycode, which unlocks factory-tuned Stage I calibration. 840 horsepower is achieved by enabling high-octane functionality via the Direct Connection Tuner Kit.

Turn-key horsepower upgrade for the Challenger Hellcat Redeye –

  • Factory-tuned calibration for increased engine performance to 840 horsepower / 770 lb.-ft. via SAE
    J1349 correction factor
  • 50-state legal EO (EO # TBD)
  • Enables high octane functionality
  • High-performance calibration keycode which unlocks Stage I calibration

Cost – $395 USD

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

Red-Eye Stage II Kit –

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

Turn-key horsepower upgrade for the Challenger Hellcat Redeye –

  • Factory-tuned calibration for increased engine performance to 885 horsepower / 787 lb.-ft. by SAE J1349 correction factor
  • 50-state legal EO (EO # TBD)
  • 3.17-in 426 Hellephant Pulley
  • High-performance calibration keycode which unlocks Stage II calibration
  • Works in conjunction with high-octane functionality

Cost – $1,195 USD

Direct Connection Dodge Challenger SRT development vehicle (codenamed DC-170) (Dodge).

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

You can see the full details about Kuniskis’ interview on the MC&T website.

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