Inside the SRT8 powered Chrysler 300C; Dodge Charger, Challenger, and Magnum; and Jeep Grand Cherokee, the 6.1 HEMI is a fantastic engine. From the factory, it puts out 420–425 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque, making for an exhilarating and very fast ride. Still, with 370 cid of displacement, for some the performance is still a bit lacking. While you can always throw a few bolt-ons to make some extra ponies, those who are serious about making some power are going to want to look at a 6.1 HEMI supercharger.
This article will provide a guide for everything you need to know about supercharging your 6.1 HEMI powered SRT8. We’ll explain how supercharging works, the different types of blowers available, and how much horsepower the 6.1 HEMI can handle. Then, we’ll pick out the top five 6.1 HEMI supercharger kits available today. Let’s begin.
6.1 HEMI Supercharging Basics
Now let’s start with the basics of adding a supercharger kit to your 6.1 HEMI powered SRT8. Before going and purchasing a full kit, it’s important to understand what you might be getting yourself into. Typically, most supercharger builds will need a budget of at least $10,000-$20,000. This includes not just the kit itself, but also installation, supporting mods (like tuning), and other optional upgrades you might find yourself wanting along the way. First, let’s talk about supporting mods for your kit.
Supporting Mods and Tuning
While superchargers are certainly fun mods that give you lots of horsepower, it’s very rare that they are the only mod done to a car. Not only do you need to consider internal upgrades to make your engine withstand the power, but you also need to think about other bolt-on mods and tuning to get the most out of your supercharger kit.
Some basic bolt-on mods that can complement a supercharger kit are long-tube headers, cat-back exhausts, and intake manifolds. Long-tube headers are great mods because they really open up the exhaust flow. By reducing back pressure and increasing scavenging, your engine will be able to flow air in and out of the engine much quicker, creating more power.
Cat-back exhausts connect to the end of long-tube headers and complete the exhaust through the muffler. While they won’t add a ton of power, they will definitely make your engine’s roar much more noticeable. Together, long-tubes and a cat-back will also add an extra ~20 wheel horsepower on top of your blower.
Intake manifolds are also popular upgrades for those running centrifugal kits. They can improve flow into the engine to really take advantage of the new supercharger. On roots and twin-screws the intake manifolds are usually low-rise and part of the kit, making them a bit different to upgrade. But porting is a good way to improve them.
One thing you absolutely must do if you plan on supercharging your SRT8 powered vehicle is tuning. Without proper engine management your 6.1 HEMI will not survive even a mild amount of boost. Making sure you have a capable tuner, and this can include reputable email tuning (e-tuning) over the web, is paramount before starting to purchase for your build. Most kits include tuning for engines that are otherwise stock or only lightly modified.
HEMI Block and Internals Power Limits
Before purchasing your 6.1 HEMI supercharger kit, you’ll want to be familiar with how much power your engine can take before you need to upgrade the internals. The 6.1 HEMI block is made of iron, and is very, very durable. The internals, unfortunately, are not quite as robust. The 6.1 HEMI uses hypereutectic aluminum pistons, powdered metal I-beam connecting rods, and a forged steel crankshaft.
The block and crankshaft are incredibly strong and stout, but the pistons and connecting rods have fail points. For the most part, about 500 wheel horsepower is considered the safe limit for the 6.1 HEMI internals. Past that point, you will want to look at getting forged pistons and forged rods. Additionally, you’ll also want to add head studs and likely a bigger oil pump.
As for the driveline, depending on what you plan on using your car for you’ll want to make some upgrades, too. The more you want to track or drag your car, the more you’ll want to reinforce the suspension and handling. Sticky tires means your drive train will feel some significant shock on launches, necessitating strengthening.
How much boost can my 6.1 HEMI take?
It’s a tricky question about how much boost the 6.1 HEMI can take. In the early years, many tuners and enthusiasts would caution against going past 5-6 PSI without building the engine with forged internals. However, as tuners have had more of a chance to work with the engine, those guidelines have changed.
As of 2023, most tuners and shops will allow stock engines to run as much as 8-9 PSI of boost. That will put you at right about 500–550 wheel horsepower, which is the internals’ limit. Anymore than 9 PSI and ~550 wheel horsepower, and you risk throwing a rod/breaking a piston, which are very expensive and tedious repairs.
Different Kinds of 6.1 HEMI Superchargers
There are three different kinds of superchargers commonly used on the 6.1 HEMI: centrifugal, roots, and twin-screw. All of them have their advantages and disadvantages, and they are all capable of making serious amounts of horsepower and torque.
First up are centrifugal superchargers. Centrifugal superchargers look and act a lot like turbochargers, but like other superchargers, they are belt powered. On centrifugal blowers, the belt drives an impeller and spins a compressor that sucks and then pushes compressed air into the engine. Centrifugal blowers usually sit alongside the engine and are located before the throttle body. Air passes from the intake, through the centrifugal blower, and then into the throttle body and intake manifold.
Next are roots superchargers. Roots blowers are also belt powered, but they do not compress air. They essentially act like air pumps, pushing more air into the engine where it then gets compressed. They are by far the simplest type of supercharger kit available for the 6.1 HEMI. Roots blowers sit on top of the engine and on a low-mount intake manifold. On these engines, the throttle body (if there is one) is usually located before the blower where the air intake connects.
Lastly we have twin-screw superchargers. These look and act like roots blowers, but they compress the air before pushing it into the engine. They are essentially fancier and more efficient versions of roots blowers, but at a much higher price. Their placement is the same as roots blowers. Chrysler/Dodge uses twin-screw style superchargers on the SRT Hellcat and Demons running on the 6.2 HEMIs.
Which Supercharger Offers the Most Power
One of the most important differences about the various supercharger styles are how and when they deliver boost. Roots and twin-screw kits will offer immediate boost and give you by far the most low-end torque. This is because they are able to reach full boost immediately, even at low RPM.
Centrifugal blowers will not offer the same response down low, though it will still be better than stock. However, centrifugal blowers are capable of much higher peak boost. This is due to how the compressor works, which is similar to a turbo in that it takes time to build up more boost. On the top-end, they will easily outflow and outperform both roots and twin-screw kits.
If you’re looking to squeeze the most amount of horsepower and torque out of your build, centrifugal blowers (or even twin-turbos) will be your best bet. If you’re more interested in a moderate build that excels on the street, the instant spool of a roots or twin-screw blower might be the better option.
Best 6.1 HEMI Supercharger Kits
Now that we have a good understanding of the 6.1 HEMI and what it takes to supercharge it, let’s jump into recommendations! The top 5 best 6.1 HEMI supercharger kits are:
- Kenne Bell
These five supercharger kits offer a good blend of power, performance, price, and reliability. This is not an exhaustive list of superchargers available for the 6.1 HEMI, as there are dozens and dozens available. Instead, our list only prioritizes the top options available on the market. You cannot go wrong with any of these choices, they are all top notch 6.1 HEMI supercharger kits.
From the factory, the 6.1 HEMI dynos at about 350–380 wheel horsepower, depending on fuel, weather, dyno type, etc. Listed power outputs below assume a medium of 365 wheel horsepower stock.
1) Kenne Bell Mammoth Supercharger Kits
Price: $ 7,099.00 – $8,949.00
Power Output: 525+ wheel horsepower (over 1,000+ horsepower capable)
CARB Approved: No
Our first option is the Kenne Bell Mammoth 6.1 HEMI supercharger kit. Kenne Bell is one of the leading names in the industry, and they make supercharger kits for a wide variety of MOPAR and Ford vehicles. They have incredible quality and an outstanding reputation within the industry, and we highly recommend their kits.
With the Kenne Bell 6.1 HEMi supercharger kits you have a wide array of blower options. You can choose between 2.8, 3.2, 3.6, 4.2, 4.7, or 4.9 liter blowers. This means you can make anywhere from 500 wheel horsepower to well over 1,000 wheel horsepower depending on what size you pick.
Aesthetically, they look very clean and smooth, and they are all twin-screw style blowers. The massive liquid-cooled intercooler looks very tough and provides a nice visual. The air intake is located very low in the engine bay, ensuring the coldest supply of air possible. These kits are a bit pricey, but they are definitely worthwhile and will last a very long time.
2) ProCharger Supercharger Kits
Power Output: 500+ wheel horsepower (over 1,000+ horsepower capable)
CARB Approved: Yes
Next up we have the 6.1 HEMI ProCharger kits. ProCharger, like Kenne Bell, has a fantastic reputation in the supercharger industry and community. Due to heavy marketing, they are widely featured on many YouTube builds and on social media. Still, they are known for making quality products, and have kits available for tons of performance engines spanning many manufacturers.
Similar to Kenne Bell, you have a lot of different blower sizes to choose from. The standard kit uses a P-1SC blower, but that can be upgraded to a P-1X or D-1X fairly easily. The P-1SC will start at about 500 wheel horsepower, and can reach up to 825 horsepower. The P/D-1X are rated for 875 and 1,000 horsepower, respectively. Or, as shown in the 1,500 horsepower Charger video from earlier, you can go even bigger with a F-1A supercharger.
The ProCharger blower is a centrifugal style blower. It has both intercooled and non-intercooled options, but we definitely recommend getting a cooler. They will massively lower temps and defend against detonation. There is a CARB approved version with a registered EO number.
3) Magnuson TVS2300 Supercharger
Power Output: ~465–485 wheel horsepower
Type: Hybrid Roots
CARB Approved: Yes
Up third is the Magnuson TVS 2300 Supercharger Kits for the SRT8 Jeep Grand Cherokee and SRT8 Chrysler/Dodge 300C/Challenger/Charger/Magnum. Affectionately known as “Maggies” by many enthusiasts, Magnuson has been an ultra reliable name in the supercharger industry for many years. They started in the early 2000s, and make blowers for both aftermarket and OEM.
Their 6.1 HEMI supercharger kit features a TVS2300 hybrid roots style blower. The TVS2300 is the same supercharger used on the Cadillac CTS-V, Mustang Shelby GT500, and Corvette ZR-1 – so you know it is capable of some serious performance with solid reliability. Included with the kit is a front-mounted heat exchanger for the intercooler, an electric water pump, and reservoir for the intercooler cooling liquid.
In terms of the kits on this list, the Magnuson offers a smaller amount of power. On the Grand Cherokee the Magnuson TVS2300 will add 100 wheel horsepower and 100 lb-ft of wheel torque, on the other vehicles it ups that to 120 wheel horsepower and 120 wheel torque. It is a very high quality system and can be combined with headers, tuning, and a camshaft for even more power. They are CARB approved with registered EO numbers.
4) Whipple Gen 5 Supercharger
Power Output: ~515 wheel horsepower
CARB Approved: No
Fourth on our list is the 6.1 HEMI Whipple Supercharger Kit. Like the above names, Whipple is considered an industry standard when it comes to supercharger kits. They started making them in the 1980s and 1990s, and are the premier for the twin-screw design along with Kenne Bell.
For the 6.1 HEMI, there is a kit available featuring a Whipple W18RF 3.0 liter supercharger. It adds 150+ wheel horsepower over stock, making about 515 wheel horsepower on the lower end. The W18RF blower is a twin-screw design, and reaches 99% volumetric efficiency. The Gen 5 blower provides an upgrade of about 50 horsepower over the Gen 4.
The kit comes with everything needed, including larger fuel injectors, fuel rails, spark plugs, integrated intake manifold, and air-to-water intercooler. It is a well put together 6.1 HEMI whipple supercharger kit, though it is quite pricey for the power output.
5) Edelbrock Supercharger Kit
Power Output: 556 horsepower (~470 wheel horsepower)
CARB Approved: Yes
Last on our list is the Edelbrock stage 1 supercharger kit for the 6.1 HEMI. Edelbrock is one of the oldest names in the performance industry, first making racing products back in the 1930s and 1940s commercially. During the muscle car era, they were well known for their carburetors and intake manifolds, and now they make all kinds of equipment, including superchargers. Their supercharger kits are widely reviewed and have a solid reputation in the racing community.
Available for the 6.1 HEMI in the Edelbrock kit is a TVS-R2300 roots blower, which is similar to the above Magnuson blower. It makes 556 horsepower and 501 lb-ft of torque at the flywheel, which equates to roughly 470 wheel horsepower and 445 lb-ft of wheel torque. It comes with an air-to-water and high-capacity intercooler, and runs at 6 PSI of boost.
While Edelbrock is absolutely known for quality, the pricing on this kit makes it a little hard to swallow. Especially considering it only adds about ~100 wheel horsepower, it’s hard to justify it being the most expensive kit while also being the least powerful. They are well reviewed, so if you absolutely need the Edelbrock name and can sacrifice some power, you won’t be disappointed.
Chrysler 6.1 Supercharger Upgrade Summary
The Chrysler/Dodge 6.1 HEMI is a very solid engine that responds incredibly well to supercharging. It is bigger and stronger than the 5.7 HEMI, and can make more horsepower while still staying reliable. The Dodge 6.1 is a little underpowered from the factory, and adding a blower is an easy (though expensive) way to fix that.
There are many different 6.1 HEMI supercharger kits available. The Kenne Bell and Whipple are twin-screw designs that are very well put together. The Kenne Bell will make by far the most power, but the Whipple kit is no slouch either. The roots-style Edelbrock kit is decent, but its price tag makes it questionable.
The ProCharger kit provides a centrifugal option that has been shown to make as much as 1,500 horsepower. It is a reliable option that starts at 500 wheel horsepower and can go as high as you need. Finally, the Magnuson “Maggie” 6.1 HEMI supercharger is another solid kit. It provides a good bump over stock without sacrificing quality, and it priced very well.
Which kit do you have on your 6.1 HEMI powered SRT8? Let us know in the comments below!