Supercharging an engine for more power is nothing new; racers and even OEM manufacturers have been using superchargers and other forced-induction systems for years to boost the power their engines produce. In fact, before superchargers were utilized in the automotive world, airplane piston engines were equipped with superchargers to counteract the effects of thinner air at high altitudes, allowing aircraft to fly higher and more efficiently because their engines could make sea-level rated power, even up at altitude. While automotive supercharger systems may seem high-tech to the layman, in reality, a supercharger is nothing more than an air compressor that pressurizes the air going into the engine. Since more air is going through the engine, more fuel must also be added to achieve the right air/fuel mixture. The result is more power through increased cylinder pressure, and the power levels that supercharged engines can reach is nothing less than astounding.

When most of us hear the word supercharger, we envision the roots-style blower that adorns Top Fuel Hemis at NHRA events. While this style of supercharger is efficient, makes great power, and looks impressive sticking out of the hood, it just isn't practical for a car that's driven regularly on public roads. As an alternative, centrifugal-style superchargers-named for their centrifugal compressor-are smaller, very efficient, and don't have to be mounted on top of the engine, so they're a great choice for underhood applications.

When the guys at Procharger told us they'd developed a supercharger kit for the already potent Charger R/T with the 5.7 Hemi, and that rear-wheel gains of 100-plus horsepower were attainable with an engine-friendly 6 psi of boost, we had to try it out.

By now you may be thinking, Hey, if a supercharger just blows more air into the engine, I'll just duct my leaf blower into the carburetor and go racing! In reality, it's not that simple. As a function of compressing air, superchargers create heat, and that heat is transferred to the intake charge. Since a hot intake charge is counter-productive to power, the Procharger kit includes an air-to-air heat exchanger-called an intercooler-to cool the compressed air back down. Also, since a supercharger forces more air into the cylinders, more fuel must be added to keep the fuel/air mixture in the correct range. In a fuel-injected car, such as our '06 Charger R/T, adding fuel is accomplished by installing the larger injectors provided in the kit, and tuning the car's factory computer to supply more fuel with a supplied Diablo computer tuner. In addition to reprogramming the engine computer's fuel curves, the Diablo tuner also adjusts ignition timing to prevent detonation due to higher cylinder pressures. If you're thinking this is high-tech, you're right. Fortunately, the engineers at Procharger have done their research carefully, providing an easy to install kit complete with a preprogrammed Diablo tuner to make the job easy. So easy, in fact, the kit can be installed in about 8-10 hours with ordinary hand tools.

If you're a regular reader of Mopar Muscle magazine, you probably recognize the car we're working on. This car belongs to Alan Allard of AAR Quality Fiberglass, and he graciously provided it for our testing. In a previous issue, we installed an aftermarket exhaust on this Charger R/T Daytona model, as well as short-tube headers, gaining some 15 hp. Since we dyno'd the otherwise stock car after the exhaust installation, we know that it was making 255 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels.