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Bad in Black

Supercharged SRT8 Is One Wicked Street Car

Tommy Lee Byrd - July 26, 2012 10:00 AM

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For a car guy, buying a new car is a tricky decision.

Weighing out the options is always a tough process, but sometimes you know what you want long before the fellow at the car lot throws his best sales pitch your way. Some guys study for months before making the big move, but when it came time for Leigh Fragnoli to find a new car, he didn’t mess around.

He bought a 2010 Dodge Challenger SRT8 off the showroom floor and wasted little time with the stock configuration. While the new Hemi engines provide impressive numbers and an unmistakable sound, he wanted more, so he contacted a late model performance shop, Injected Engineering, which was just down the road from his Canton, Georgia, home. Leigh gave them the keys and allowed them to transform the car from an ordinary Mopar into the car you see here — an aggressive Challenger with plenty of grunt to back it up.

Leigh will attest to the fact that hot rods are never complete, and he made it very clear that he wants to eventually make more power and continue to modify the appearance of his Challenger. The car is primarily driven on the street, to car shows and cruise nights, but with enough peer pressure from the guys at Injected Engineering, he might just take it down the quarter mile one of these days. So far, he’s put 4,600 miles on the car, and he’s thoroughly enjoying the new and improved set-up.

First on the long list of modification is the Injected Engineering Stage 1 suspension package, which consists of H&R lowering springs all around, with SPR upper control arms up front and Mopar Performance upper control arms out back. Rolling stock consists of 22x8.5- and 22x10.5-inch ADV.1 Track Spec 10 wheels, wrapped in Nitto Invo rubber, sized at 255/30R22 up front and 285/30R22 in the rear. Traction is obviously limited by the extremely low profile tires, but Leigh doesn’t drag race (yet), so he’s very happy with the overall looks and performance.

In terms of horsepower, Leigh’s Challenger ranks highly, thanks to a Kenne Bell 2.8-liter supercharger. To help support the eight pounds of boost produced by the fully polished, twin-screw blower, the crew at Injected Engineering also installed an intercooler. Other components that help the 6.1-liter Hemi stay alive are the MSD coils, Kenne Bell Boost-A-Pump and a precise tune from Aric Carrion of Injected Engineering. Using a Dynojet dynamometer, Aric tuned the Challenger with Diablosport CMR software, with a result of 503hp and 485 lbs-ft of torque at the rear wheels. The modern Hemi has a completely stock long block, meaning the rotating assembly and cylinder heads are exactly how Dodge manufactured them. With no modifications to the majority of the engine, the fact that it gained over 125hp with a supercharger install is a testament to the great flow capabilities of the stock Hemi engine.

Without question, 500 rear wheel horsepower makes for a killer street car, even with the Challenger’s hefty qualities. Leigh’s Challenger sounds awesome with its Magnaflow cat-back exhaust system, which features three-inch piping. The team at Injected Engineering tuned it on 93 octane pump gas, so all that power can be made without breaking the bank for racing fuel. Behind the Hemi is the stock NAG1 transmission, which is an electronically controlled, five-speed automatic. The stock torque converter still does the job, but the original shifter was swapped for a Hurst AutoStick.

As if the big Hemi wasn’t already cool enough, Leigh wanted the engine bay to pop a little more, so he installed lots of chrome-plated and polished aluminum goodies, including Injected Engineering’s own billet aluminum and carbon fiber accent kit. The Moroso coolant and power steering reservoirs, along with the custom intercooler reservoir, offer a race-ready feel, while the nicely detailed coil covers add show car flair.

The custom details don’t stop with the engine bay, as Leigh outfitted his Challenger with a Cuda II fiberglass hood, a 2011 Challenger SRT8 front splitter and smoked lights all around. Custom painted body trim, a billet aluminum fuel door and custom grilles are also on the list of body modifications. As for the inside, Leigh’s Challenger is mostly stock, aside from the Aeroforce Interceptor gauges inside a Razor’s Edge pod, and a Grant steering wheel.

Leigh’s build proves that everyone approaches the “new car buying experience” a little differently. Some folks refuse to modify their precious machines, while others throw down the gauntlet. We like his style and he admits that he has further plans for the blacked-out Challenger. He wants bigger brakes, a custom audio system and a lot more power with the addition of a 426 stroker kit and a bigger Kenne Bell supercharger!

Just like any car guy, Leigh doesn’t know when to quit, but that’s what this hobby is all about. For now, he can enjoy his superbly detailed Challenger and continue to blister the streets and turn heads at local car shows and Mopar meets.

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