Many people are concerned that the federal regulations coupled with an ever-changing auto industry will lead to the end of the high performance machines that have come to define the modern Dodge brand. Today, Tim Kuniskis revealed the first phase of the Never Lift two-year plan, which was originally previewed back in August.
As promised, several new programs were introduced ahead of their formal debut, including Power Broker dealerships, the return of the Direct Connection performance program, a new Dodge brand ambassador program and a contest that will see the brand give away 25 new vehicles over the course of 8 weeks.
Today, we bring you a look at the initial details for those four programs, all of which show the Dodge brand’s commitment to their devout high performance enthusiasts, even as boring electric vehicles take over the industry.
According to the folks at Dodge, the Brotherhood of Muscle goes beyond the normal 24-hour, 7-day week, so to celebrate those folks who are always going that extra mile, the company has come up with Operation 25/8. This is an 8-week program, during which time Dodge will give away 25 new cars.
“More than gas, more than batteries, what fuels our run to tomorrow is attitude, a belief that we can always push harder, run faster and flat-out over-deliver on behalf of the brand and the Brotherhood of Muscle,” said Kuniskis. “25/8 recognizes the spirit that makes Dodge, well, Dodge.”
There are no details as to how the winners will be picked, but the last time Dodge gave away a handful of Hellcats, they made the winners do a bunch of math. We arent sure if this contest will be math-based, but if nothing else, the fact that there are 25 vehicles being given away leads to much better odds for winning. More details on this program will be announced on November 12th, 2021.
Chief Donut Maker
Next, Dodge is looking to celebrate one of the “unsung enthusiasts that make up the backbone of the Brotherhood of Muscle” with the Chief Donut Maker program. Yes, that is really what it is called.
“The Dodge brothers were scrappy go-getters. Never content to follow the trends, they were the seekers of a better, faster, more outrageous way of doing things,” said Kuniskis. “And we’re looking to hire someone just like them as an ambassador of Never Lift.”
There are no details accompanying the short message, but we know that Dodge will be looking to “hire” a brand ambassador who will seemingly become a company employee for a year. During that year, he or she will get a Hellcat to drive, a new Dodge-themed wardrobe and a salary of $150,000. These folks will be “tasked” with going to events to represent the Brotherhood of Muscle, and they will receive the title of Chief Donut Maker.
It is suggested that the donut maker name is used because people who make donuts are up, hard at work in the early morning. We kind of figured that this person will have to know how to cook up some smoky donuts with their new-to-them supercharged muscle car.
In any case, it sounds like the Chief Donut Maker for Dodge will live a pretty comfortable and exciting year working with the company. We will have more details on this program on January 12th, 2022.
Power Broker Dealerships
Dodge offers the most powerful collection of vehicles in the North American market and starting later this year, dealerships around the country will have employees in multiple departments who are specially trained in the world of modern Mopar performance.
These dealerships will be part of the new Power Broker program, and in addition to offering the most thorough information on buying high performance Dodge vehicles, they will also be able to provide details on high performance upgrades. These dealerships will also know more than most about Dodge motorsports, but realistically, the key focus of this program is increased sales.
“Every Dodge dealer in the country will continue to provide an outstanding sales and service experience,” said Kuniskis. “But Dodge Power Brokers dealers will offer everything an enthusiast needs to reach the next level of performance.”
In the sales department, Power Broker dealerships will have people who know far more than your average dealership about the likes of the Scat Pack and Hellcat models. They will have more knowledge to help you make the right decision when purchasing a new, high performance Dodge. Also, if you are interested in adding power to your new Dodge before taking delivery, they can provide some details with that as well.
As part of the new Direct Connection program, customers who purchase a new Dodge vehicle can have the parts department of the Power Broker dealership order warranty-friendly components, while the service department will install them all prior to delivery.
In short, a Power Broker dealership can order your dream Dodge performance car and add some extra horsepower before you drive it home – complete with a factory warranty.
Return of Direct Connection
The most exciting announcement today pertains to the return of the Direct Connection performance division. Direct Connection will handle the sales and support of drag pak vehicles, along with the offering individual components and body-in-white Dodge Challenger chassis for people to build their own race cars. Basically, if you don’t buy one of the limited production Challenger Drag Paks from Mopar, you can buy the vehicle shell and the components to build one yourself.
However, the most exciting aspect of the Direct Connection program is the return of performance packages that can yield upwards of 100 horsepower. Most importantly, these kits are 50-state-legal and as long as they are installed by a Power Broker dealership, they will not void your factory powertrain warranty.
“Dodge is a pure performance brand, and the reintroduction of Direct Connection will empower members of the brotherhood looking for increased performance without violating emission requirements or the factory warranty,” said Kuniskis. “We’re doubling down on our commitment to Direct Connection by pairing it with our new Dodge Power Brokers program, so when customers want to unlock the true horsepower potential of their Dodge muscle car, they can connect with a network of dealerships as their trusted resource.”
Today’s statement didn’t go into much detail as to what we can expect in terms of the performance upgrade packages, but we know that Stage 2 will offer nearly 100 horsepower in supercharged models. During the video debut, we got a look at a Hellraiser pulley and a Diablosport Trinity programming device. Those two items together, coupled with a good engine tune, will easily yield an extra hundred horsepower in any of the Dodge supercharged vehicles, whether they are standard Hellcats or Redeye models.
There is also a Stage 3 kit in development which will offer even more horsepower. Should the company put together a kit that includes a smaller pulley, larger fuel injectors and an aggressive race gas tune, similar to the one used in the 2018 Demon, Redeye owners could easily see more than 900 horsepower – but we have to wonder if a kit with that much extra power would retain the factory warranty.
In addition to the extra power packages, Direct Connection will also offer drivetrain and chassis components to handle the extra power. With that in mind, it is possible that the Stage 3 kit could include more than just engine parts, so by beefing-up several areas, the Dodge Hellcat cars will become vastly more powerful without compromising reliability.
The formal rollout of both the Power Broker dealerships and the new Direct Connection performance program will begin on December 15th of this year, so we wont be waiting long for all of the key details.