Technology has certainly advanced since the automobile was invented, and these advances have never been more apparent than in the latest offerings from Chrysler. And while some of these cars, like the new Dodge Challenger, may resemble muscle cars of the ’70s, the fact is that nearly every system in a new Chrysler vehicle is controlled by a computer or electronics. In fact, almost none of your new Challenger or Charger’s features—from the brakes, to the transmission, the throttle, or even the engine’s air/fuel ratio and ignition timing—are directly controlled without the driver’s input first going electronically through one of the car’s computers. And while the days of tuning your car for more power by tweaking the carburetor or twisting the distributor are long gone, in many ways tuning your late model Mopar for more power has become easier thanks to these electronics.

Unlike the first and second generation Hemi engines, the third generation Hemi isn’t equipped with a carburetor or distributor. In fact, there isn’t even a provision for a distributor on the latest Hemi engine. With electronic fuel injection and coil-on-plug ignition, the 5.7, 6.1, and 6.4 Hemi engines are far more efficient than the older versions, and adjustments to engine tuning are performed electronically, sometimes while the car is driving. Thanks to these electronic controls, ideal fuel and timing curves can be had throughout the engine’s rpm range, improving torque, idle quality, throttle response, and drivability among other things. There are, however, functions programmed into the engine computer that actually decrease performance.

New cars are designed for a variety of drivers, including those who aren’t necessarily looking for optimal performance, so auto manufacturers also use the car’s computer(s) to control functions that affect ride quality and drivability in ways that don’t benefit the car’s performance. Ignition timing is often retarded during transmission up shifts in order to ensure smoothness of operation. The throttle on the late model Hemi is also controlled by the computer instead of direct linkage, and the computer doesn’t always allow the throttle to be opened quickly or even fully, as it would be with direct linkage. Additionally, manufacturers program a safety margin in the computer, knowing that not all car owners will opt for premium gasoline, so the computer doesn’t allow ignition timing or fuel curves to be optimized for maximum power.

In older Mopars, ignition timing and fuel parameters were easily adjustable by twisting the distributor to add timing, and jetting the carburetor to get more fuel to the engine. In modern cars, however, this is all controlled by computer software which is often encrypted to keep the average car owner from changing anything. Chrysler is no different, using special codes in their computers to keep their pre-programmed engine parameters from being altered. Thanks to the free market economy, however, there are companies who realize that car owners sometimes want a little more power from their vehicles, and work hard to crack the computer codes used for changing the tuning parameters of these vehicles.

Diablosport is one such company, and thanks to their efforts we can now tune our 2011 and up Mopar vehicles for more torque, more horsepower, and better throttle response, along with a host of other performance enhancing and convenience features with their Trinity T-1000 tuning system. The Trinity tuning system has been around for a while, and the same unit supports a variety of vehicle brands and engine combinations including Mopar’s Hemi and Cummins powered diesels. The latest Trinity offers pre-packaged tuning programs for both 91 octane and 93 octane gasoline for the late model Hemi, and the big news is that it now supports the 2011 and up vehicles. And if you want to customize your engine’s tuning, the Trinity allows that as well. Parameters such as spark advance and fuel tables at wide open throttle can be modified to match your engine and any modifications that have been done to your Hemi. Other custom tuning options include cooling fan on/off temperature, idle rpm, gear ratio, rev limits, speed limits, shift rpm and pressure, and tire size. As an additional benefit, this tuning often results in improved economy as the engine is working more efficiently.

The Trinity also has a monitoring feature, which allows the driver to monitor a variety of systems in real time, through either pre-set or custom gauge layouts on the screen of the unit. Nearly any engine parameter, including rpm, oil temp, water temp, ignition timing, and more can be monitored, and the user can choose which systems are monitored. Gauge alarms can also be set as a nice safety feature, and the Trinity can data-log parameters as well for future review. The Diablosport tuning system can also be used to review and clear diagnostic trouble codes, eliminating the need for a separate piece of equipment to accomplish this function.

Another cool feature of the Trinity is the “Racing” screen, which is a virtual racetrack that will allow “Christmas Tree” starts with the digital LED lights on the front of the unit. The racing feature will give reaction time, zero to 60 mph, and zero to 100 mph times, as well as eighth-mile and quarter-mile times and speeds. We’ve tested this feature on other Diablosport equipment, and have found it to be very accurate. Of course if you’re going to be racing we advocate obeying all traffic laws and doing it on the track, just like we do here at Mopar Muscle. But if you’re lucky enough to live in a state without interstate speed limits, this is a cool way to test the performance of your vehicle without going to the track.