Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s (FCA) Brampton Assembly Plant in Brampton Ontario is celebrating 30 years of continuous automobile production. Originally opened in 1986 to build the front-wheel-drive LH vehicles (i.e. Chrysler Concorde, Eagle Vision, Dodge Intrepid, and the like) the plant covers over 2.95 million square feet and sits on 269 acres of land. The high tech facility houses 581 different robots and employs 3,452 employees including a number of our very own members (hi Rab!).
Rab McLarnon was kind enough to organize a tour back a couple of years for a select number of lucky LXForums members so I’ve had the honor of actually going through the birth place of Modern Mopar Muscle. The assembly line employees were extremely professional and friendly as we stood and stared, mouth agape, as beautiful Challenger, after Charger, after 300 rolled down the line. We started at one end of the colossal facility where rolls of sheet metal come in and finished at the opposite end where completed vehicles drive off the line. The four story parts bin where robots automatically grab pieces off the shelf just in time to be assembled on to the next car is especially impressive.
Watching body meet chassis on the factory floor, with my fellow enthusiasts, I felt a tremendous amount of pride and admiration for the teams of people that bring our cars to market. We owners owe a serious debt of gratitude to the men and women who so carefully and meticulously craft the vehicles that we love, obsess over, modify and race.
So Happy Birthday Brampton! Keep up the good work and here’s to the next 30 years of ass-kicking, chest pounding, adrenaline pumping, Modern Mopar Muscle production!!
Drag strips around the country are opening for the 2016 season and with this ideal weather comes a new set of Hellcat Challenger quarter mile records – one with the 8-speed automatic transmission and one with the 6-speed manual transmission – and one is the quickest Hellcat car in the world.
Ricky Ellison's Hellcat
First up, as of last weekend, we have a new quickest Hellcat Challenger in the world, as Ricky Ellison’s High Horse Performance-tuned automatic transmission car ripped off a pair of 9.5X runs. Ellison’s Hellcat has a new upper and lower pulley, larger fuel injectors, header-back exhaust, lightweight front and rear Weld racing wheels, MT drag radial tires and a tune from High Horse Performance. No weight has been removed from this Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat with the exception of the lighter wheels, so this car weighs more than 4,500lbs when it hits the track.
On his first run out last weekend, Ellison set the new Hellcat Challenger record with a 9.592 ET at 141.05 miles per hour and he did so with a 1.38 short time. That is some serious traction from such a heavy, powerful car, and Ellison backed up that record on his next run with a 9.582 at 141.74 miles per hour. In running a 9.58 and 9.59, Ricky Ellison owns the quickest Hellcat Challenger in the world, along with being the quickest automatic transmission Hellcat car thus far.
Ricky Ellison's Challenger run
Next up, we have the manual transmission Hellcat Challenger record, which was previous set at 10.86 by Jon Sipple – who was also the first to put a manual transmission Hellcat car in the 10s.
Sipple headed back to the track last weekend with a new tune and a 100-shot of nitrous on a car that is otherwise very near stock. Sipple’s modifications include a stronger driveshaft, sticky drag radial tires and a cold air intake, so the only real power adders are the bottle and tune, while the tires help put that power to the ground.
Jon Sipple's Hellcat
On Sipple’s first run last weekend, he laid down a 10.71 at 131.62 miles per hour, beating his old record by a tenth and a half. He backed up that run with a 10.625 at 133.61 miles per hour and even on a “bad run” last weekend, he ran a 10.84 – beating his old record time.
The problem for Sipple last weekend was that the clutch was slipping with the extra power, so he spent this past weekend swapping in a high performance clutch. In other words, look for Sipple to break his own record very soon.
Jon Sipple's Challenger run
Finally, while this record is not a new one, we have to recognize the quickest Hellcat Charger in the world. In hunting around, I cannot find an example of a Hellcat Charger running quicker than the 9.71 run shown in the video below. The owner/driver of the world’s quickest Hellcat Charger is a woman named Linda and her mods include an upper and lower pulley swap, a catless midpipe, a 3.09 rear gear, a new driveshaft, sticky tires and another High Horse Performance tune.
The video below shows Linda’s record run from last year, with the record run starting around the 2 minute mark of the video. There are several runs leading up to the Charger record run.
The Chrysler Group management has promised that there will be a Hellcat-powered Jeep Grand Cherokee available by the end of 2017 and it is widely expected that this Hellcat Jeep will be named the Trackhawk, but there has been no official information as to what to expect from the newest high performance SUV. Fortunately, based on what we know about the Hellcat Challenger and Charger, and what we know about the Grand Cherokee SRT, we can make some guesses as to what we might see when the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk debuts with the Hellcat Hemi.
First and more obviously, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk (provided that they do use that name rather than SRT Hellcat for the trimline) will be powered by the 6.2L Hellcat Hemi. I expect that power to be channeled to all four wheels via the same heavy duty 8-speed automatic transmission which is found in the Hellcat Challenger/Hellcat Charger and an advanced all-wheel drive system – one which will likely be developed specifically to handle the monster power of the Hellcat Hemi. Based on concerns about the 4WD components being able to handle the power of the Hellcat, there have been rumors that the Trackhawk would be rear wheel drive, but I do not believe those rumors to be accurate.
Improving other aspects of performance in the Trackhawk will be an advanced adaptive suspension system similar to what is offered in the Hellcat cars, but this system will be specially tuned to make the Trackhawk the best-handling SUV in the world. Combine that advanced damper system with the massive 15.4” Brembo brakes from the Hellcat cars and we have an SUV that will corner and stop just as well as it accelerates.
After the Hellcat Hemi has been nestled into the engine bay, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk will almost certainly get a new front fascia and a new hood which will help to both introduce plenty of cool air to the engine and the advanced cooling system while also removing excess heat from the engine bay. Look for the Hellcat Jeep to have more open grille space than any past high performance Grand Cherokee along with a vented hood that will likely be similar to that on the Challenger and Charger – with both a front-fascia air intake and a pair of vents flanking that central scoop. We can also expect that the Hellcat Grand Cherokee will have some unique wheels, but I wouldn’t expect it to look very different than the current SRT Jeep along the sides and across the rear.
Finally, the interior of the Hellcat Jeep should be nothing short of a premium cockpit, with Laguna leather sport bucket seats that are both heated and cooled, a multi-zone climate control system and a premium infotainment system – including the SRT Performance Pages with performance timers, G-Force meters and full controls for the adaptive suspension and the drive system.
Basically, look for the Trackhawk Jeep to have many... [Read More]
Dodge has really out done themselves this year. You can race your friends on a 1/8 mile drag strip, win a Hellcat motor, meet Richard Rawlings from Gas Monkey Garage, and more! This is a great time to be affiliated with the one automotive brand that really "gets it".
**Dodge Owners - You're Invited** 5th Annual Woodward Party hosted by Dodge and the LxForums/ Scat Pack Forums exclusively for Dodge owners!
We’ve been invited by the Dodge brand to be their guests, Friday Aug 14th, at the Dodge display directly on Woodward Avenue.
In celebration of the Woodward Dream Cruise the LxForums, Scat Pack Forums and Dodge are hosting an exclusive forums member party on Friday 8/14/15 from 6-9 pm on Woodward Avenue (13 Mile and Woodward)!
We will be located smack dab in the middle of the Cruise, directly on Woodward Ave, on the best night of the entire event (Friday)
We will be feasting on food featured by the world famous Vinsetta Garage (one of the trendiest restaurants in the area for you foodies)
You will have full access to the Dodge exhibit at the Dream Cruise where you can check out their latest and greatest (can you say “here kitty, kitty”?) and rub elbows with the brass from Chrysler. Latest year Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis hung out with us as did Richard Rawlings from Discovery's Fast and Loud. This year we are expecting the guys from the TV programRoad Kill (who will be filming an episode)!
Live Entertainment (the Rock band was awesome last year)
WRIF (radio station) give aways
Tee shirt (worth $20+)
Prime car show parking on Woodward Ave
We are finalizing a bunch of other cool stuff including SWAG and entertainment. Check back here for updates.
ATTENTION PLEASE READ: Space is limited to 150 LX/LC/LD only (Dodge) vehicles. Party is open to Forum members and their guests. You will be mailed a parking pass, wristbands, map and instructions. You must have a parking pass to enter (for those of you from the area you know how crazy traffic and parking is on Friday). There is a zero tolerance if you do not have the proper credentials- you will not get past the Royal Oak police.
We are charging $20 per per person so that we don’t get people signing up to save a spot and then flaking out. I know this is more expensive this year but this price still does not cover our costs (It has taken me so long to post because we've been working the price down). I'll be taking care of the balance.
There are 2 steps to sign up:
1) Go here to register (if you have trouble with the form send me a PM and I will get you access. Site supporters had some issues last year)