Classic carDodge ChallengerMuscle car

Hellgato: Bagged Dodge Challenger Hellcat With Jdm Vibes.

When Jose Lopez-Cruz first got into cars, his first real vehicle was a V6 Dodge Charger. While that’s not exactly a legendary model, the feel of a big body American car was there, although the SRT performance models were out of reach at the time.

Looking for something a little more exciting, he made the jump to an S2000, which gave him his first taste at modification, and more importantly, a taste for JDM flair.

OEM+ with a Twist

Coming from a history of modification, Jose wasn’t going to let this Hellcat rest on factory appointments. Content with the aggressive aesthetics Dodge blessed the upgraded Challenger with, Jose focused on an OEM+ approach, bringing the big body down to the pavement via a Universal air suspension.

“It allowed me to keep my adjustable dampening from Dodge but also air the car completely out onto the ground when I get where I’m going,” Jose contends. “I can still go to the track and stiffen the suspension, or go on a cross country trip in comfort.”

Fixing the Grip Problem

When it came to selecting tires, Jose felt that Dodge’s largest mistake with the Hellcat was their OEM tire selection. They are “trying to put 707hp to the ground with a 275 square setup. After switching to Nitto and a proper size it’s night and day. I have way more traction, and feel much more comfortable driving in the rain.”

The Nitto NT555G2 is a high performance summer tire that provides owners with a balanced tire for performance driving on the track and on the street, with confidence for trips in inclement weather. Jose hooked the Hellcat up with 265/35/20 up front, and a significantly wider 305/30/20 in the rear.

Don’t Mess with a Good Thing

Under the hood, the Hellcat has been enhanced with a few notable modifications. A Legmaker intake provides roughly 20hp over stock, while also adding a nice touch of carbon fiber to the engine bay.

A combination of a Ripatuned Incognito lower damper sleeve kit and Gates green belt help to make the most out of the stock supercharger. Inside, a Barton short shifter gives the factory 6 speed a better feel.


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