Don't let this Mopar publicity shot fool you; the 440kW Stage Three Charger is not street-legal.
Don't let this Mopar publicity shot fool you; the 440kW Stage Three Charger is not street-legal.
Carbon-fibre spoilers and 20" rims given even the Stage 1 Redline a lot of street cred.
Carbon-fibre spoilers and 20" rims given even the Stage 1 Redline a lot of street cred.

Chrysler's Mopar performance division is winding up to unleash a series of Redline go-faster packages for the already-not-slow Charger R/T sedan, sensibly arranged in order of ferocity - and there will be a fully-loaded Stage Three show car on the Chrysler stand at the Detroit motor show next week.

And this is how they work:

Stage One is largely cosmetic, starting with a full-width carbon-fibre chin spoiler and a body-color grille surround with black “crosshair” insert.

Carbon-fibre scoops highlight the body-side scallops and a three-piece carbon-fibre rear spoiler adds additional downforce, while 20” gloss-black rims with polished accents round off the look.

The flight deck gets has aluminium shift and instrument-panel bezels, and stainless-steel pedals with a rubberised pattern for improved traction.

Stage Two is all about handling and braking, starting with a front-tower cross-brace and front tower brace caps to improve body-shell rigidity and, in particular, stability under heavy braking.

And that braking is provided by super-soft, racing-spec brake pads for extra bite and resistance to fade - always a problem with big, heavy American cars.

Stage Two also includes a free-breathing 'cat-back' performance exhaust, which liberates a few extra kilowatts while allowing the Charger to speak with considerably more authority than the standard set-up.

Stage Three, however, is when things get serious, as the standard 276kW, 5.7-litre Hemi V8 gets ditched in favour of a 440kW, seven-litre 'crate' engine with a forged-steel crankshaft and H-beam style con-rods carrying 11:1 compression ratio forged-aluminium pistons, and a special sump casting to keep the oil flowing and prevents oil aeration by the crankshaft. The complete engine is 45kg lighter than the iron-block 5.7.

A 'crate' engine is Mopar-speak for a high-performance competition engine that's not available in any model on the dealer's floor.

Some are street-legal, some are not; Chrysler warns that this one isn't, probably because it won't pass EPA emissions regulations.

In the bad old days, you had to order a competition engine separately in a crate (hence the name) but these days Mopar has graduated to producing complete cars with a variety of go-fast packages such as the Redline.