Plug and play is awesome. Do you remember the early days of personal computing, when a mouse or keyboard would come with four floppy installation discs completely indistinguishable from one another? Remember when your cat would jump up on your 60 lb monitor and you’d be prompted to find a driver for his fuzzy butt? No more. Now peripherals are all plug-and-play. They introduce themselves. Except printers. Printers are still uptight and traditional, probably because of the actually-using-paper thing. They don’t like to talk about it.
Thankfully, Hypertech’s new Interceptor (which is on sale over in the store – hint, hint. Nudge nudge. Saynomore) line of performance chips for cars and trucks, namely Chryslers, Jeeps, and Ram trucks, is happy to dispense with the formalities, and installing one is easier than plugging in a USB mouse (be honest: do you ever get it right the first time?).
The Interceptor programmer is sittin’-in-a-tree with Mopar, juicing up Chrysler’s 6.4, 5.7, and 3.6 liter mills, found in 2011 and later 300s, Challengers, Chargers, Ram 1500s, Wranglers, and SRT-8 Cherokees.
As with most Hypertech computers, it’s a rather clandestine little device, just a pair of incognito black boxes with braided black wiring harness. It looks factory, nothing flashy or obtrusive, walking the walk without even bothering to talk the talk. Nothing furious, but plenty fast.
Like plug-and-play, fuel injection came with a whole host of blessings, including quickly-programmable fuel maps to get the most power out of your engine. For the Interceptor, that means up to 33 extra horsepower and 40 extra lb-ft of torque. It also offers quicker throttle response and better gas mileage while cruising, all without any button-mashing. You could do that with carburetors, too, but it took a bit more work.
That’s because the Interceptor plugs into your stock wiring harness in about 15 minutes. Installation is the scary kind of easy. They could put an Interceptor and a Challenger’s wire harness in a dentist’s office waiting room next to those little twisted-abacus block sliders, but the kids would figure it out too quickly and demand your iPad to play Doodle Ninja.
The underhood unit has three groups of two connectors each, one for each input – cam sensor, map sensor, and intake air temperature sensor. One end goes onto the sensor, and the other into the car’s wiring harness, so all the signals are being routed through the Hypertech. The in-car unit only has a single pair of plugs, for the gas pedal wiring, and works the same way.
And that’s it. Thirty-three horses from a quarter of an hour’s work is quite a scientific achievement. As performance tuners go, you can’t get much easier. Maybe humans are actually capable of inventing a plug and play printer.
Check out Hypertech’s own installation video to see for yourself just how easy it is.
You can also check out Hypertech for more videos and information.
Andy Sheehan, Editor