How much heat can you expect from a bite of this hot chili pepper? Running a streetable 5.5 pounds of boost and 91-octane fuel, you can figure on spiking the output of a 5.7L to 432 hp, about 102 horses more than stock. And the 6.1 Hemi, force-fed with a max of 6.5 pounds, jumps to 560 hp, a gain of 135 horses. Torque output goes from 420 to 510 lb/ft.

Those numbers look great on paper, but what's it feel like in your mouth, er, behind the wheel? This type of blower, essentially a belt-driven turbo, requires getting up a head of steam first, but unlike a positive-displacement Roots or twin-screw system, there's no limit to how fast it can spin. That means the power delivery is very linear--in most cases. It really all comes down to how hard you hit the loud pedal.

If you stomp on it, spiking the revs and popping the clutch, you can fry the hides like a hot rod with a Jimmy blower sticking through the hood. Problem is, when you don't hook up the tires, the acceleration time might be only a tick or so quicker than that of a stock Hemi.

But if you drive smarter, not harder, and roll on the throttle, you can let the Vortech build up the boost in a steady fashion. Using this approach, the Charger feels like a fighter jet on takeoff, hurled off a carrier deck by a steam catapult. The horizon zooms up so quick, you might find yourself saying, "We have liftoff!" And that's way hotter excitement than anything you'll ever see on the Food Network.

Vortech Engineering