While touring back in 2008 with the Dodge Challenger SRT8, I stumbled across a place called National Speed in Wilmington, NC. Its a small, well-dressed performance shop with a floor clean enough to eat off of.
They tweak and tune everything from 4-cylinder pocket rockets all the way up to V-10 powered Vipers. And its that diversity of projects that has National Speed poised to become the next big name in the tuner game.
Jordan Watson, Performance Consultant for the shop, emphasized the core values of National Speed. Our goal from day one has been to remove the fear of tuning a car, he stated. Owners are understandably concerned about the final results of modifying their car. Will it produce the power you say its going to? Will it remain reliable? And will the car be durable over the long haul? These are all questions we hear and commend consumers for asking. This is a big deal, he added. We operate in the most honest, straightforward ways possible.
Jordan, an admitted gear head from birth, fits in perfectly at National Speed. My parents will tell you that I used to spread car ads all across the floor from the time I was in diapers. Then, as I grew up, I would develop build plans for each and every car of my dreams. As I got older, I graduated to building and driving them in video games like Gran Turismo. Finally, in my teenage years, I progressed to actually working with and driving modified cars. Its been a passion ever since. Performance cars are in my blood. Now, when it comes to his clients cars, he emphatically stated, Im 110% committed.
The great thing about National Speed is that when they get done tuning your car, they have the ability to strap it down on their in-house dyno. As an owner, you get to see the results live in person.
So, when the all-new 2011 Dodge Charger R/T and Challenger SRT8 392 arrived on the scene, we were ready to get thrown to the wolves. While other manufacturers may shudder at the thought of seeing their cars on the rollers, we here at Dodge have no fear.
As you can see, both 2011 models are making serious real world horsepower. Keep in mind, this testing was performed with both cars in bone-stock form on a neutral, non-Chrysler dyno. You could not ask for a more unbiased scenario.
Dodge Car Brand President and CEO Ralph Gilles chimed in, as well. Weve known that our new 392 HEMI would perform well on the dyno. From behind the steering wheel it is real in your seat power you can feel on the road. Gilles added. Our recent 1/4 mile times at Infineon Dragway confirm these impressive numbers. We drove to a 12.44@110 mph, which is the kind of time associated with much higher horsepower cars. Our new owners are going to be amazed not only with the power, but with the amazing handling, too.
After the dust had settled and everyones hearing returned to normal in the dyno room, we asked Jordan what he thought of the new hardware from Dodge.
I am floored by both cars, he exclaimed. The Charger looks ready to attack and its getting my heart pumping. When you look at the SAE numbers (470 hp) on this engine and factor in typical assumed driveline losses (15 percent), this 392 is still pulling some very serious numbers at the rear wheels on our dyno.
Jordan continued, Dodge is accentuating an already great platform. Both the new Charger and Challenger make Dodge more than relevant against the competition.
We here at National Speed have tuned a lot of LX cars in the past. All SRT products have great brakes, suspension and power. We just massage it a little bit, he explained. Expect big things from National Speed when it comes to these vehicles – especially with the 392, Jordan gushed.
That all said, the proof is obviously in the pudding. Dodge has done its homework and fitted both cars with two tremendous powertrains. Both the Charger R/T and Challenger SRT8 392 have been put to the test and passed with flying colors. The video simply does not lie.
Adam Forte, SRT Engineer, summed up these results perfectly. Our hope is that the public understands the tremendous power and overall ability of these cars. They over-deliver on both the performance and value sides – just like the original HEMI.