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Charging the Suspension: 2015 Dodge Charger RT get Hotchkis Sport Suspension

HOT ROD logo HOT ROD 10/19/2018 Hot Rod Network Staff
018-2015-Dodge-Charger-RT-Hotchlkis-Sport-Suspension-16b
018-2015-Dodge-Charger-RT-Hotchlkis-Sport-Suspension-16b© Hot Rod Network Staff 018-2015-Dodge-Charger-RT-Hotchlkis-Sport-Suspension-16b

This is the new muscle car era with big power and heavier cars. But instead of just drag racing, the new form of automotive expression is corner carving for autocross, track days, or just slicing off that 270-degree freeway on-ramp at twice the posted speed.

The Charger's 2006-up LX/LD platform has quickly revealed its willingness to respond to upgrades. While engine upgrades are certainly popular and fun, track-rats know that adding better tires and suspension is usually worth more than just pure horsepower. That may sound counterintuitive, but the facts don't lie. If you can plant the power earlier than your competitor coming off a corner and enter the corner later because of a better suspension, you'll have the advantage.

Hotchkis Sport Suspension has been working on this Mopar platform since the first ones hit the streets in 2006. The company quickly developed an upgrade that not only improves handling while maintaining a highly acceptable ride, but they also lowered the car. This is not a one-size-fits-all effort either. The Hotchkis website lists 25 different options depending upon the car (V-6 or V-8, R/T, SRT8 or other body style) and which combination of parts you desire.

Each of these kits is specifically designed for each body style and engine package. This is necessary because Chrysler has done a great job of making these cars handle and ride well. So improving upon an already solid package is no easy task. In the case of the Hotchkis TVS package, this includes both springs and sway bars.

Shannon Hudson recently purchased a 2015 Charger RT complete with a 5.7 Hemi, and, of course, it only took a few weeks to decide it needed upgrading. The Hemi was strong, but he felt the stance and handling could be even better. Hudson is a converted drag racer, who now prowls the streets looking for an excuse to attack corners. His first upgrade was to add a set of factory 20x9.5 Hellcat wheels. He found these on Craigslist along with a set of 275/40AR20 Pirelli P-Zero tires. Hudson's original factory wheel and tire package was a 245/45R20, so this was a major step up tread width. But that still wasn't enough.

That's when he discovered Hotchkis had a complete Total Vehicle Suspension (TVS) package for his RT. It was clearly the right path that would both improve its handling and also drop the ride height as the rear rested a little too high. Hotchkis was also close enough, that we slogged down there through typical L.A. traffic to have technician Corey Bedortha pop the suspension in place. He was finished in four hours, but we learned that he has literally completed dozens of these installations so it might take a first-timer a little longer. The job can be accomplished in your driveway, but it'll be challenging mainly because you'll need some specialized tools.

We followed Bedortha's effort to give you an idea of what it takes along with the results in terms of a better stance. While we weren't able to produce before and after times on a slalom for example, our before and after at-speed photos were not cheated. Hudson pushed the Mopar through a nearby canyon corner at 70-plus mph. The baseline enjoyed the benefits of the superior Hellcat wheel width and Pirelli P-Zero tire combo but the addition of the Hotchkis TVS made a noticeable improvement. This makes for an excellent everyday driver package that delivers on the handling promise without sacrificing ride. Your kidneys will thank you for that.

TVS - Total Vehicle Suspension

Stock Dia. Hotchkis
Front Bar30mm (1.2")38mm (1.5")
Rear Bar17mm (5/8")22mm ( 7/8")

Charger RT Ride Height Change

Hotchkis SpecActual Change
Front2 1/8"1 1/8"
Rear1.8"1 "

Parts List

DescriptionPNSource
TVS kit for 2015 Charger R/T w/ 5.7L80120-1Hotchkis
Sport Sway bar kit for 2011-up Charger R/T22111Hotchkis
Bilstein rear shock absorber24-216951Hotchkis

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