Dodge’s rejuvenation under Fiat’s umbrella continues at the Chicago Auto Show with the unveiling of the range-topping Charger SRT8. As with every SRT model, the highlight of the performance orientated version of the Charger is the new 6.4-liter HEMI V8 powerplant producing 465HP and 465 lb-ft (631 Nm) of torque. According to Dodge, the new engine is not only more powerful than the 6.1-liter HEMI unit it replaces, but also more frugal thanks the standard Fuel Saver technology, which cuts off four-cylinders in certain situations in order to improve fuel economy.
The HEMI is coupled to a 5-speed automatic transmission that can also be operated via paddle-shifters – a first for any SRT model.
“We’re continuing the fast-paced rebuilding of Dodge as our performance brand, and the expansion of our SRT product lineup in 2012 is an important part of our rejuvenation”, said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO, Dodge Brand — Chrysler Group LLCs. “The new 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 builds on the iconic four-door fastback coupe design of the all-new Charger and adds a much larger power band across the rpm range, along with intelligent performance attributes and safety and creature comforts for customers who are passionate about performance driving.”
The Charger SRT8 also comes with adaptive damping suspension, which can adapt to specific conditions by monitoring the vehicle speed, steering angle and speed, brake torque, throttle position and lateral acceleration. The refined, fully hydraulic steering system and oversized 4-pot caliper Brembo brakes round up the technical tour de force.
On the outside, the 2012 Charger SRT8 can be recognized due to its exclusive front and rear fascias, complemented by a new rear spoiler, “racetrack” LED tail lamp and split five-spoke, 20-inch lightweight forged and polished aluminum wheels.
Inside, the SRT-exclusive steering wheel with a flattened bottom, carbon and aluminum trim pieces, plus sport seats set this car apart from the standard Charger.
The new Dodge Charger SRT8 will go on sale in the U.S. this fall as a 2012 model.
2012 DODGE CHARGER SRT8
Introduction Date: Fall 2011 as 2012 model
Engine: 6.4-liter (392 cubic inch) HEMI V-8
Estimated Power: 465 bhp
Estimated Torque: 465 lb.-ft.
Estimated Handling: .88g on skidpad
Estimated Top Speed: 175 mph
Estimated 0-60 mph: High 4-second range
Estimated ¼ mile: High 12-second range
By Csaba Daradics