Viper Hellcat Swap: Dodge Reportedly Considering Official Kit for Direct Connection

Ever since the first Hellcat V8 was built back in 2014, daredevils have considered dropping these blower-fed HEMIs into Vipers. However, due to reasons such as the relative complexity of the job, such swaps are few and far between. Well, according to the YouTubers over at throtl, who are currently making waves with the world’s first Hellcat Redeye-animated Viper, Dodge is considering offering an official transplant kit that would make the whole thing a plug-and-play task.

The 2001 Viper project done by throtl, which we first covered last month, is one of the multiple Hellcat-powered builds the Detroit automaker is supporting. Another example that drag raced this Viper over the weekend (more on this below) is the ex-cop car Dodge Charger gone pickup truck.

As such, the company gifted a couple of vloggers/builders with everything a Mopar fan could wish for. We’re talking Hellcat Redeye motors, the type of Tremec T56 six-speed manuals that can cope with such torque—the Viper’s native T56 can’t—and a $10,000 budget for additional mods.

The resulting machines were thrown at each other over the weekend, at the Roadkill Nights 2022 event. We’re looking at a drag racing competition that saw participants duking it out on the streets of Detroit, namely legal eighth-mile street racing down the historic Woodward Avenue.

Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis came to see the Hellcat-powered Viper

And, before the throtl gang (Mickey Andrade, Evan Beckerman, Quinn Clark, and Ricky Fernandez) put the supercharged reptile to work, Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis dropped by to take a look at the creation.

The Dodge head honcho has a lot on his hands these days—supporting the vloggers is just a tiny fraction of a massive campaign that sees the company transitioning from the ICE (internal combustion engine) muscle cars that have been around since the 1960s to EV muscle.

In fact, the said drag racing event kicked off the Dodge Speed Week. And, yesterday, the carmaker gave us its 2023 ICE offensive, which ranges from the return of the Durango Hellcat to a carbon fiber body for the 1970 Challenger, along with some beautifully hermetic releases like a Drag Pack Durango one-off.

However, Kuniskis couldn’t skip the Hellcat Redeye-transplanted Viper visit, since the carmaker itself experimented with this last decade. However, before the Gen V Viper was retired in 2017, Dodge offered at least two reasons for not giving it a Hellcat heart. It seemed that the width of the supercharged 6.2L V8 wouldn’t allow it to clear the chassis rails, while the tall blower HEMI presumably wouldn’t fit under the hood.

However, as Kuniskis reveals in the video below, it seems his team attempted to complete the swap while including the ZF eight-speed auto rather than using a beefed-up Tremec six-speed manual like the one we have here.

We tried doing this a long time ago and we couldn’t get it to fit. And you know… I’ll bet why… because we were trying to put an eight-speed in it, too,” the CEO explains while gazing at the engine bay of the Viper.

As the guys told the Dodge helm man in the clip, installing the motor wasn’t all that complicated in the end. Even so, they had to fabricate some engine mounts for it, while relocating the air filter and AC lines.

Plus, as shown in the second video documenting the build, they also threw in an aftermarket oil pan to ensure better lubrication during drag racing, but fitment didn’t seem to play a role here. nevertheless, with the tail shafts of the factory and the custom six-speed trannies not being in the same place, the team had to take this into account when installing a mount for the gearbox.

Now, once the CEO left, Mike came to the camera, stating that Dodge is now considering a Viper Hellcat swap kit: “They actually want to make a kit and make it available to the general public,

Hellcat Viper vs. 1,500 HP Challenger

They (throtl) took the Hellcat-ized Gen II Viper—which now makes up to 850 hp—drag racing and made it all the way into the finals, where it did battle with Westen Champlin’s 1,500 HP Challenger.

For the record, this Dodge Challenger is no longer features Champlin’s favorite twin-turbo goodies that provided compound boost together with the factory supercharger. Instead, it features a custom bottom end that pushes the displacement of the Hellcat Redeye V8 past the factory 6.2L, while adding a 200 shot of nitrous to the fury of the supercharger, among others.

If Dodge does complete a Hellcrate kit for the Viper, we should see it in the 2023 Direct Connection Catalog

Since Dodge is constantly expanding its Direct Connection performance parts (a fresh batch came with the said releases of yesterday), if such a part is developed, we’ll probably see it as a Hellcrate kit for the 2023 Direct Connection Catalog, presumably involving a stick shift.

We’ve reached out to Dodge to ask about the development and will update the story if the carmaker provides fresh details.

Meanwhile, the prototype of Dodge’s first electric muscle car—the production version is scheduled for 2024—should debut within the next 24 hours. And we’re eager to see how the Mopar people can massage the battery formula into the madness that is this segment.



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