With the supercharged 6.2 Hemi delivering 707 horsepower to the Dodge Charger and Challenger, the Viper boys are reportedly looking for ways to get back on top. While the Viper may be superior on a tight racing course, the straight-line performance of Charger and Challenger, in five-seaters with all the amenities, large trunks, and automatic or manual transmissions, is a challenge for Team Viper — as is the current series of Corvettes.

2014 dodge viper

The power difference is not that large, and Viper no doubt has a major edge in low-end torque, but some people just look at the top number and say, “707 is bigger than 640 (and for torque, 650 is bigger than 600.)”

We have now had two reports of supercharged V10 engines being delivered. Either way, the supercharger would presumably allow Viper to pass 707, and quite possibly, if the block, internal parts, transmission, and body can endure it, shoot up to, say, 800. That could restart lagging Viper sales and decisively put Viper back on top of the Corvette in performance comparisons, albeit at a high development and production cost.

Why not shoot for, say, a stunning 1,000 horsepower, one may ask? Because that would require a new and expensive transmission and differential, more substantial cooling upgrades, much more incoming air, and quite possibly a new body to deal with the added stresses. Cars are systems, and upgrading the engine often requires upgrades to a large number of other components. The engineering and production costs would skyrocket.  The Tremec TR-6060 in the Viper can handle, at most, 650 lb-ft of torque — no coincidence that the Hellcat maxes out at that number (which is also roughly the capacity of the ZF eight-speed). Even the Tremec TR-9008 can only handle 664 lb-ft. Tremec does have a “Magnum XL” which is good for 700 lb-ft, but would require changes to work in the Viper.

Note: we have now had one other source say that supercharged V10 engines have been delivered to Chrysler.