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Auto Show:  2012 Detroit Auto Show

Dodge Charger Redline: Detroit Auto Show

author photo by Nick Palermo January 2012
  • Three factory-designed kits enhance the four-door Charger
  • Appearance and performance upgrades include spoilers, wheels and exhaust
  • Available aluminum 426 Hemi crate motor produces 590 horsepower

Dodge's star of the Detroit Auto Show is definitely the new Dart, a small and efficient sedan that takes styling cues from the full-size Charger. But the Charger still showed up, and in this version, efficiency clearly takes a back seat to swift quarter-mile runs. The Mopar-tuned Charger Redline packs a 590-horsepower aluminum Hemi crate motor that's so fierce it's not legal for public roads. The motor is the final slice of a three-part package that offers appearance and performance upgrades like spoilers and wheels and performance parts like a cat-back exhaust.

Mopar's Stage One kit is the mildest, mostly enhancing the appearance of the Charger. It includes exterior accessories in carbon fiber - a chin spoiler, door scoops and a rear spoiler - and a matte black roof treatment. The grille surround is finished in the body color while the signature "crosshair" insert is black. Mopar Black Envy wheels are 20-inch, also painted black, with polished accents.

Inside, the shift bezel and instrument bezel are aluminum, and the perimeter of the instrument bezel is trimmed in red, a detail also found in the new Dart. Stainless steel pedals with a rubberized traction pattern round out the Stage One interior upgrades.

Stage Two brings mechanical tweaks that improve performance but also enhance the aural experience of the Charger Redline. Drivers may sense crisper handling thanks to the additional front-tower cross-brace and brace caps and high-performance, fade-resistant Mopar brake linings. The Mopar cat-back exhaust, however, delivers not only a horsepower bump but a throaty exhaust note to please the ear.

At Stage Three, things get crazy. The lightweight aluminum Gen III 426 Hemi V8 is dropped into the Charger Redline, boosting output by 220 horsepower over the stock Charger R/T. The professionally built monster of an engine, called the "elephant motor" by the folks at Chrysler, is positively race-spec, with a forged-steel crank and rods and aluminum pistons. An aggressively-tuned valvetrain feeds the big motor under Mopar cast aluminum valve covers.

To say that the Stage Three setup might be a little much for the average driver is an understatement. Surely few owners wish to transform their four-door into a dedicated race car. But the Charger Redline at Detroit provides a glimpse of the array of accessories and parts available through Mopar. These allow owners to personalize their vehicles in a way that best suits their needs and styles. Sometimes having a car that looks like it has 590 horsepower is exciting enough.

What it means to you: Mopar's accessory parts and packages can transform a full-size family sedan into a full-blown race machine. But owners can also specify the Charger Redline at a milder point in between.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Dodge Charger Redline: Detroit Auto Show - Autotrader