Dodge Charger SRT8 becomes a 426 HEMI “Autobahn Burner”“A 426 HEMI powered American muscle car,” Peter S. of Germany thought to himself. “that is what I need.” He was annoyed with “autobahn arrogance,” that down-the-nose look you get from hotshots who blow by at speeds in excess of 130 mph in their Porsches, Mercedes, Audis and Touaregs – on this road where drivers can legally let it all out. So he made a late-night transatlantic call to Eric Hruza (pronounced Her-sa) at shopHEMI.com. “Can you turn my off-the-lot Dodge Charger SRT8 into a machine that can burn up the Autobahn?”
"The good news is you’ve got the right foundation, with that HEMI under your hood,” Eric encouraged Peter. “The bad news for your fellow Germans is that we can pump that stock HEMI 6.1 power into a kickass ride.”
So Peter made the “power trip” to the shopHEMI.com shop in Martinsville, VA. He brought us a 2008 Dodge Charger SRT8 and challenged us to create a 200 mile-per-hour racing machine, featuring our naturally-aspirated 426 HEMI, and make it run “green” on E85 Ethanol. It is the kind of project that makes our HEMI engineers salivate.
They delivered nothing less than a total makeover, starting with a transformation of the engine and chassis to handle the stress and abuse of high-speed maximum performance street racing. The Autobahn Burner sports a stroker 426 HEMI engine, an Arrington 90mm Throttle Body, a Stage 2 hand-ported intake manifold, upgraded fuel systems and gauges, trunk mounted fuel cell, Phase 4 custom CNC ported heads, a one-off E85 ethanol custom camshaft, and a complete performance exhaust system which includes Kooks headers and Corsa exhaust, along with appropriate power boosting bolt-on performance parts.
Even the body got the bionic treatment. To stabilize the Autobahn Burner at high speeds yet retain the feel of a luxury ride, we pulled the suspension and upgraded it to a fully “Pedderized” Track 2 system. Every rod, bushing, and spring was replaced in this massive overhaul.
We considered that this 426 HEMI powered American muscle car is heavier than the small foreign cars it would be challenging, so the ride had to be lightened. Our HEMI engineers borrowed various techniques from their racing backgrounds, and then shed a few more ugly pounds by replacing the hood and deck with sleek carbon fiber replacements.
Finally, we reworked how the power gets from the engine to the ground. The solution was a Quaife rear end, and 3-piece performance wide offset wheels. These custom 20” Trueforge Black wheels are wrapped in high-performance Pirelli tires for the engine-to-road power that this HEMI powered muscle-car would require to burn up the Autobahn.
The final challenge was to meet German emission standards and laws, which required a stock air box. The engine was tuned by our HEMI experts using a Diablosport Predator in conjunction with our chassis and engine dynos to make this new American muscle car run unlike any Ethanol-powered green car ever. Emissions standards? No problem. But what about that air box? Performance enthusiasts know that these HEMI engines are choked by the factory air system, right? Most of us change out the system as a first-step modification. In fact, that is why our 90mm throttle body was designed in the first place. In this situation our shopHEMI.com engine builders had to cut, chop, and rebuild the stock air box from the inside out to ensure that it met all local laws, but allowed for larger than stock tubing and a high-flow air filter.
In the end, this stock Dodge Charger SRT8 became a performance engineered, ethanol powered modern HEMI 426 muscle car, worthy of the Autobahn Burner moniker. Word is that Peter S. is taking those foreign cars by surprise and showing them his American taillights.