Dodge SRT. Special Racing Team

Dodge SRT. Special Racing Team

Dodge Viper Engine
Dodge Viper Engine

Chrysler Group, Diamond Star Motors, Daimler Chrysler, Chrysler LLC, Fiat Chrysler, and Stellantis

Chrysler, the American automotive manufacturer is one of the big three American car manufacturing companies. Throughout history, corporate mistakes, bad internal political conflicts, and financial mismanagement. 

In the 1960s Chrysler Group purchased several European brands and controlled them under Chrysler Europe Division. Chrysler Europe Division and its brands such as the Simca, Hillman, and Sunbeam were eventually sold to PS group for $1 in 1978 due to changing markets, lack of demand due to poor build quality and reliability issues, inability to adapt to new safety and environmental regulations, etc.

In the 1970s it began to sell Mitsubishi vehicles branded as Dodge and Plymouth in North America to cut down the R&D costs attributed to the development of their own vehicles.

On the verge of bankruptcy, a $1.5 billion loan guarantee from the US government saved them from going out of business.

Lee Iacocca, the developer of the Ford Mustang, Continental Mark II, Ford Escort, Mercury Cougar, Mercury Marquis, and Pinto cars while working at the Ford Motor company was fired by the Deuce himself in 1978 due to some unrequited ducky love lost between the two. He joined Chrysler and eventually introduced the Chrysler k car, Dodge Caravan, Plymouth Voyager, and minivan. Eventually, he was chosen as the new CEO and led the company to profitability in the 1980s.

Under Lee Iacocca’s leadership, Diamond Star Motors was created to further expand Mitsubishi Chrysler’s joint venture relationship and he oversaw the acquisition of AMC in 1987, bringing the Jeep brand under their control.

In 1998, Chrysler merged with Daimler Benz to form DaimlerChrysler AG, the so-called merger of the equals. But, due to falling US dollar made it contentious with investors and eventually was sold to Cerberus Captial Management and renamed Chrysler LLC in 2007.

Due to the automotive crisis of 2008 and 2010, Chrysler filed for bankruptcy but soon emerged from bankruptcy proceedings with the United Auto Workers pension fund, Fiat S.p.A, U.S and Canadian governments as principal owners.

Over the next years, Chrysler paid back its loan to the US government, and meanwhile, Fiat gradually acquired the shares of other parties eventually ending up with a controlling share of Fiat S.p.A and Fiat ended up purchasing the rest of the shares from the United Auto-Owners retiree health trust, making it a subsidiary of the Fiat S.p. A.

The merger of the two companies was announced in 2014 and the Fiat Chrysler Group was born as a result.

Soon it will become a division of the Stellantis, after the merger of PSA and FCA is complete.

The origin of the venomous snake

Just a few years after Chrysler’s near bankruptcy in the early 1980s, under the leadership of Lee Iacocca, Chrysler became profitable in the 1980s. In 1989, at the North American International Auto Show, a new show car called Viper was unveiled.

Though Dodge and Plymouth divisions were known for their Dodge Charger, Dodge Challenger, Plymouth Cuda performance cars, it was an unexpected move as Chrysler was known for cheap K cars and minivans, not performance cars.    

GM had their halo car, the Corvette in production since 1953, Ford had its Mustang in production since 1964, but Chrysler never had such a halo car since the days of 1960’s Hemi Cuda and Charger Daytona.

Bob Lutz then vice president of the Chrysler, was a huge fan of the original Shelby Cobra and had his own recreation Shelby Cobra car for driving around the town.

Bob Lutz, was a former Ford Employee and worked in the Ford Europe division before following Lee Iacocca to a career at Chrysler.

One day he had a drive in it while thinking about the Chrysler corporation and how no one was able to create a worthy successor to the original Cobra. The Cobra being a lightweight, two-seat, aluminum-bodied car, powered with the powerful Ford V8 eventually became the most desired American-made car among the collectors. Soon, due to the limited quantity produced, it became the most replicated car of all time.  Kit car manufacturers and mechanics with fabrication knowledge were making them and selling them like crazy and some good quality accurate recreation could easily surpass the value of a modern 1980s sports car.

Lutz and Tom Gale, the designer of the Chrysler, decided to do something about this, and eventually, their joined efforts resulted in the 1989 Viper concept car.

Dodge Viper revolutionized the sports car industry and invigorated the Dodge brand. No one has anything like that before. The design and the engineering methods behind the car were too futuristic and hardly any other American automotive manufacturer could make something like that. 

They were in need of a new powerful powerplant and decided to rely on a variant of the V10 engine that the Chrysler was developing for their 1994 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty trucks.

1994 Dodge Viper V10
1994 Dodge Viper V10

The engine was based on Chrysler 360 cubic inch V8 and Roush Engineering successfully created a V 10 engine for the concept car using two 360 cubic inch V8 engines.

The tube chassis and wheels were made by Boyd Cottington. The steel body was handcrafted by the employees of Metalcrafters.

Carroll Shelby of Shelby Performance, the creator of Shelby Cobra, Shelby Mustang GT350, and GT500, was already a consultant of Chrysler and gave his supervision and advice during the creation of the Viper.

When they finally unveiled the Dodge Viper in January 1989 at the Detroit auto show, they couldn’t believe the positive embrace it got. It was a unique car and no other manufacturer made a crazy bonkers car like that at the time. 

Chrysler received letters from people requesting the company to build the Viper. Some even went further and sent bank checks and deposit slips. Chrysler had no other option rather than to build it.

Team Viper was eighty-five engineers who’d left their regular jobs at the company to build the first two test mules. Lee Iacocca drove around a one and being satisfied with the performance, he gave the team three years and a $50 million budget to make it ready for production.

The Viper was many firsts for the Chrysler. It was the first time they ever created a tubular space frame for a production car. It was also the first time they built a car body using plastic molding technology. It was also the first time they built an all-aluminum engine.

Their creation was eventually unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in 1991. It was also chosen as the pace car of the 1991 Indianapolis 500 championship and was piloted by Carroll Shelby himself. 

1991 Dodge Viper Indianapolis 500 Pace Car
1991 Dodge Viper Indianapolis 500 Pace Car

The limited-edition automobile did far more for Chrysler than anyone expected and Chrysler was no longer known as the producer of boring pensioner’s K cars or “soccer mom minivans “.  Chrysler was known as the producer of this elegant beast.

Dodge Viper became the halo car of Chrysler automobiles and represented what they were capable of creating.

Dodge Viper eventually became a DNA donor for many vehicles produced by the Chrysler Automobile in the later years.

1992 – 2002 Dodge Viper RT/10

1994 Dodge Viper
1994 Dodge Viper

Dodge Viper was all about allowing the driver the best driving experience possible. It was all about excitement and passion.

The interior instruments were all driver-focused, and Dodge tried to simulate a cockpit-style interior. 

1992 Dodge Viper Interior
1992 Dodge Viper Interior

The 1992 Dodge Viper RT/10 was powered with a 488 cubic inch V8 power plant. Lamborghini also helped with the design of the V10 engine.

1992_Dodge Viper engine
1992_Dodge Viper engine

The transmission system was a six-speed manual gearbox. The power delivery of the setup was 400 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque.

0-60mph was achieved in 4.2 seconds and 0-100mph in 9.2 seconds with a top speed of 165mph.

It ran the quarter-mile in 13.90 seconds with a top speed of 109mph.

In 1996, the Viper RT/10 received some extra boost and the performance figures are now 450 horsepower and 490 lb-ft of torque. Due to these changes, it could perform way better than it did before.

It ran the quarter-mile in 12.4 seconds with a top speed of 117.3mph.

1994 Dodge Viper RT 10 SR I
1994 Dodge Viper RT 10 SR I

From 1992 to 2002, a total of 10,013 Viper RT/10 cars were produced.

1996 – 2002 Viper GTS

1996-2002 Dodge Viper GTS front
1996-2002 Dodge Viper GTS front
1996-2002 Dodge Viper GTS
1996-2002 Dodge Viper GTS

In 1995, the second-generation Viper GTS was unveiled as a 1996 model year car and a year later the 1996 second-generation Viper RT/10 also went through some significant changes.

The 1996 Dodge Viper GTS is widely considered as a spiritual successor to the Shelby Cobra due to the similarities they shared. It basically looked like a Dodge Viper RT/10 with a hardtop roof attached to it, but according to the Chrysler, 90% of the components of the car were new.

Weight was reduced due to the changes in chassis building and body molding methodologies. Despite the weight loss, it received many creature comforts like standard air conditioning, airbags, power windows, power door locks, and power mirrors.

Many of these improvements also were included in the revised 1996 RT/10 as well.  

The Viper GTS was also powered with the same 488 cubic inch V8 power plant used to power the Viper RT/10. Viper GTS delivered 450 horsepower and 490 lb-ft of torque. 

Dodge Viper GTS-R number 91, Daytona winner 2000
Dodge Viper GTS-R number 91, Daytona winner 2000

Viper GTS became the basis for the Viper GTS-R Competition coupe and was used by the Chrysler-backed Oreca team to win the 24-hours of Le Mans for three years straight. They also won two American Len Mans Series Championships and five FIA GT cups.

Team Viper also created a variant of the GTS from 1999, called the American Club Racer (ACR).

The Viper ACR is actually a track-focused street-legal car with several modifications to improve handling and overall performance. K&N air filter and polished intake horses were installed and provided an extra 10 horsepower.

The Air-condition system, front fog lights, sound system were removed and reduced up to 60 pounds in total.

Suspension modifications derived from the Viper GTS-R cars and unique one-piece 18-inch BBS wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport high-performance tires were included to improve handling.

2000 Dodge Viper GTS-R Concept
2000 Dodge Viper GTS-R Concept

In 1999, 215 of these ACR Vipers were sold and another 218 were sold in 2000.

Due to the superiority of the ACR Viper over the stock Viper GTS which was considered as the spiritual successor to the Shelby Cobra, the ACR Viper earned the nickname of “Super Snake”.

A total of 7332 Viper GTS cars were made from 1996 to 2002.

SRT

During the 1990s, following the massive success of the Dodge Viper RT/10 and Viper GTS, Chrysler decided to produce another performance-oriented car called Chrysler Prowler. Chrysler Prowler was an unusual car and as a matter of fact, it was the only mass-produced hot rod ever.

2001-2002 Chrysler Prowler front
2001-2002 Chrysler Prowler front
2001-2002 Chrysler Prowler
2001-2002 Chrysler Prowler

Chrysler Prowler was designed and produced by the Specialty Vehicles Engineering Group. The Team Viper and Specialty Vehicles Engineering Group merged and become the Performance Vehicle Operations (PVO) and then renamed Street and Racing Technology (SRT) in 2004.

SRT’s first creation is by any means not a supercar, but it was capable of rivaling supercar performance. 

2003 -2005 Dodge Neon SRT-4

 

2003-2005 Dodge SRT-4
2003-2005 Dodge SRT-4

Chrysler designer Tom Gale’s own son brought home a Japanese-made compact car to tune it. This was a big blow to his ego and he decided that he should convince the management to build a compact car with a good amount of performance capabilities to attract the youth buyers.

Then he ordered some of the young members of a product planning to develop a competitive sport compact version of the Dodge Neon.

These youngsters then went on to replace the stock engine of the Dodge Neon with a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine from a PT Cruiser. They then mated it with a New Venture Gear T 850 manual five-speed transaxle. To improve suspension, five-position shocks were added. Upgraded springs were also given. The special steering gear was included to improve handling.

Equal length half shafts were created to minimize torque steer of the powerful front-drive Neon.

The end result was spectacular and was a huge commercial success as well.

According to the Car and Driver magazine, the Neon SRT could reach 0-60mph in 5.6 seconds and ran the quarter-mile in 14.2 seconds with a top speed of 102mph. It could reach 100mph in 13.8 seconds. The top speed was an astonishing 153mph.

This thing is fast even in the present performance standards.

Dodge was planning to sell 3000 Neon SRT-4 cars but sold more than 25,000 cars from 2003 to 2005.

2003 -2007 Dodge Viper SRT-10

2004-2006 Dodge Viper SRT-10
2004-2006 Dodge Viper SRT-10

The first-generation Viper was unveiled in 1992 and in 1996 the revised Viper RT/10 and the Dodge Viper GTS were unveiled.

Dodge Viper RT/10 and Viper GTS were successful performance cars and outperformed even the exotic supercars at the time.

The 2003 Dodge Viper came SRT-10 replaced the GTS and RT/10.

It also had new looks and came with a true convertible top and a more aggressive and muscular outer look.

The Special Vehicles team was going to convert an existing Viper RT/10 to turn it into a convertible with a folding top. But soon it becomes clear that to turn the existing RT/10 into a convertible they had to replace 90% of the body panels.

So, they decided to abandon this approach and assigned Osamu Shikado, a Japanese-born engineer and designer who has been with Chrysler since 1994, to design a new Viper convertible.  

To enhance the muscular form of the new Viper, the body was given a strong profile with a higher beltline, an aggressive rear fender shape, side gills, a lower hood and a large grille opening featuring the Dodge signature crosshair design, integrated engine louvers for effective airflow in the engine compartment. A pillar position was pushed back to allow for bigger doors, and rear wheels were also moved back for the same reason.

The chassis was also improved making it stronger but 36 kg lighter than before.

The interior design was assigned to Ralph Gilles, a young designer. He wanted the interior to be straightforward with basic shapes and it has to be of good fit and finish.

The result was a driver-oriented cockpit design with more passenger space, better ergonomics, a seven-speaker stereo system with radio, and a CD player. 

The new Viper SRT-10 was powered with an all-new 505 cubic-inch V8 delivering 500 horsepower at 5600rpm and 525 lb-ft of torque at 4200rpm which was a significant improvement over the first-generation Viper RT/10 and second-generation 1996 Viper RT/10 and Viper GTS.

8.3-liter V10 engine, from a 2004 Dodge Viper SRT-10
8.3-liter V10 engine, from a 2004 Dodge Viper SRT-10

Despite the power increase, the engine weight was reduced to just 230kg.

Despite the significant amount of additional power, the power curve was smoother and wider making the engine easier to live with.

In 2004, Dodge introduced a limited-edition Mamba package. These Mamba edition cars were featuring a black interior with red stitching and trim and eventually, 200 cars were produced.

In 2005 the SRT added another bonus for all owners of SRT vehicles called the SRT track experience. All owners of SRT vehicles were eligible for a day at the track with a professional driver as their personal instructor completely free of charge.

Participants were provided with SRT-supplied vehicles and were available in twenty-five tracks around the US. Participants who want to give it another try were supposed to pay $500.

2006 Dodge Viper SRT-10
2006 Dodge Viper SRT-10

The Viper SRT-10 coupe was unveiled at the 2005 Detroit Auto show as a 2006-year model. It shared much of the body panels with the convertible but burrowed its rear and side styling from the Competition Coupe concept. It looked more like the previous generation Viper GTS and retained key design elements like the double-bubble roof and the original tail lights. It also came with the original GTS Blue paint with white stripes on the first edition cars.

The engine powering the SRT-10 coupe delivered 510 horsepower at 5600rpm and 535 lb-ft of torque at 4200rpm.

No cars were produced for the 2007 model year and Chrysler just extended production of the 2006 model while preparing for the fourth generation Viper.

2004 -2006 Dodge Ram SRT10

2005 Dodge Ram SRT 10 front
2005 Dodge Ram SRT 10 front

Performance Vehicle Operations (PVO) started working on a Ram sports truck design. This was eventually called the Dodge Ram SRT10.

PVO created a vehicle that blends functional aerodynamics and a modified suspension to improve handling and stability. Brake calipers with fifteen-inch rotors in the front wheels and fourteen-inch rotors in the rear wheels were also added to improve braking and handling.

Suspension modifications included stiffer springs, Bilstein monotube dampers, suspension lowering of one inch in the front and two and a half inches at the rear.

2005 Dodge Ram SRT 10 engine
2005 Dodge Ram SRT 10 engine

The Viper sourced 505 cubic-inch 500 horsepower V10 engine and a T-56 six-speed manual gearbox was chosen to power the Ram SRT10.

The 2004 Dodge Ram SRT10 became the fastest and most powerful production pickup truck ever when it reached 150mph with the help of the viper sourced V10 engine. This is the same handcrafted V10 engine that you could find in a Dodge Viper.

This earned it a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s fastest production pickup truck with a top speed of 154.56mph.

2005 Dodge Ram SRT 10 double cab front
2005 Dodge Ram SRT 10 double cab front
2005 Dodge Ram SRT 10 double cab
2005 Dodge Ram SRT 10 double cab
2005 Dodge Ram SRT 10 double cab rear
2005 Dodge Ram SRT 10 double cab rear

2005 Dodge Ram SRT10 Quad Cab was capable of hitting 0-60mph in 5.3 seconds and the top speed was 155mph. It ran the quarter-mile in 13.7 seconds with a top speed of 103 miles.

The two doors Ram SRT10 came with Pirelli Scorpion tires while the Quad Cab came with Pirelli Scorpion all-season tires.

The two-door Ram SRT10 was priced at $47,605 and the Quad Cab was priced at $51810. Despite the high prices, it sold well.

From 2004 to 2006, a total of 9527 pickup trucks were produced.

2005 – 2010 Chrysler 300C SRT8

Chrysler 300C SRT
Chrysler 300C SRT

When Chrysler and Mercedes Benz decided to merge their two companies in May 1998, Chrysler was the most profitable automotive manufacturer in the world. Mercedes was in the lead when it comes to reliability, customer satisfaction, and technological prowess.

Through a stock swap, the two giant companies become one and it was a merger of the equals according to Jurgen Schrempp, the Daimler Benz chairman at the time.

However, due to the falling dollar rates soon the Chrysler management and employees soon found out that they are in a disposition.

Daimler Benz’s stock value was higher and due to that Chrysler owned only 43% of the German company and the Daimler Benz owned 57% of the American company.

By the early 2000s, both companies regretted their decision to merge with each other. Because, Daimler Benz wanted the merger to result in cost savings in the R&D, marketing, etc. But it never happened.

Daimler Benz decided to sell Chrysler in 2006 due to further financial losses.

Despite being forced to bow their heads to the Daimler Benz, Chrysler got many benefits from the marriage of equals.

The LX platform was jointly developed with American and German engineers. WA850 transmission which is also jointly developed by the Daimler Benz and the Chrysler.

Though most Chrysler cars were front-wheel driven, Mercedes Benz was always about the rear-wheel drive. Daimler Benz management was interested in developing a rear-wheel-drive platform to use for Benz models as well as the Chrysler models.

Daimler Benz provided much of their expertise, tools, rear-wheel-drive parts, WA580 transmission, lightweight high torque rear axle with independent suspension, and all the tooling it needs to fabricate those parts.

Chrysler decided to use the LX platform and the rear-wheel-drive parts and the smooth WA850 transmission to create the 2005 Chrysler 300.

The new Chrysler 300 was named after the 1955 Chrysler 300, a stylish high performing car powered by the first generation Hemi engines. The original Chrysler 300 won several NASCAR and USAC stock racing championships.

Chrysler 300 is a full-size sedan designed by Ralph Giles and Freeman. Giles previously designed the interior of the Viper 3rd generation. Freeman was in the designing teams behind Audi TT and the new Beetle.

The Chrysler 300 was available in rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

Two engine options were provided. The V6 engine and a new 5.8-liter Hemi engine.

It soon was crowned as the 2005 Car of the Year by the Motor Trend.

Car and Driver magazine also gave it big applause by including it in the top 10 cars in 2005 and 2006. 

Though the 5.8-liter Hemi engine was powerful enough to power the Chrysler 300 to acceptable performance levels, it wasn’t enough to convince it as a proper performance car.

Dodge decided to introduce a proper SRT version of the Chrysler 300. The 300C SRT8 was the final product. The 300C SRT8 was powered with an upgraded 6.1-liter SRT Hemi V8 engine delivering 425 horsepower at 6200rpm, and 420 lb-ft of torque at 4800rpm. This is also a coincidental or planned reference to the original 426 cubic inch Street Hemi engine offered from 1966 to 1971 as it also delivered 425 horsepower.

2006 Chrysler 300C
2006 Chrysler 300C

The five-speed automatic gearbox was the only available transmission unit. Developing a manual gearbox to support that kind of power was considered financially unviable as the market demand for manual was also failing.

Exterior modifications like the trunk spoiler, a chin spoiler, 3.5-inch exhaust tips, lowered suspension, and unique SRT branded wheels set it apart from the regular Chrysler 300.

After the golden years of the original muscle cars, American automotive manufacturers were not interested in creating high-performance sedans due to the falling demand for fuel-hungry vehicles.

Foreign brands like the German BMW, Mercedes Benz, Audi, and Japanese brands like Infinity, Acura, and Lexus were the only brands that got the right formula to make a good high-performance sedan.

The Benz C and E class cars, BMW 3 series, and 5 series were particularly famous among the upper-middle-class citizens. Acura, Lexus, and Infinity were the choice of citizens who were expecting a lower cost of ownership in a luxury car.

Chrysler was successful at creating the full-size 300 sedans, they could not make their car competitive enough to challenge a BMW M series sedan or a Mercedes Benz AMG sedan. It couldn’t challenge the reliability of the high-performance models provided by Lexus.

This is why the SRT8 variant of the Chrysler 300C is important because it wasn’t a car that anyone was expecting. Many who were nostalgic about the days of the 427 Chevrolet Impala SS and the big block Hemi-powered Dodge sedans were tempted beyond the words when they heard what the 300 SRT8 is capable of doing.

The 4212-pound car with not so aerodynamic friendly design was capable of reaching a top speed of 173mph.

The 300C SRT8 achieved 0-60mph in 4.9 seconds.

Unlike the original muscle cars, the Chrysler 300C SRT8 came with better braking capabilities to improve handling. It could come to a complete stop from 70mph within 162 feet.

Chrysler 300C SRT8 came with a price tag of $42,095, and it offered a refined spacious interior, expensive looks, and high performance to convince many to give it a shot.

So how much of it was Mercedes Benz derived?

Rear suspension, steering column, five-speed automatic transmission design, and front-seat frames derived from the Mercedes Benz E class W211. The double-wishbone front suspension was from Mercedes Benz S class W220. That’s not the end of it either. 

2008 Chrysler 300C wagon
2008 Chrysler 300C wagon

2005 – 2008 Dodge Magnum SRT8

2007 Dodge Magnum SRT-8 front
2007 Dodge Magnum SRT-8 front

The Dodge Magnum was for people who were interested in a full-size station wagon. Basically, it was the wagon version of a Chrysler 300C and shared many of its components as well.

It paid tribute to the full-size station wagons of the 1950s to early 1990s. The full-size station wagons were quite popular in the US back then. But, the boom of the more practical SUVs eventually eliminated the demand for full-size station wagons.

The SUVs were offering better ground clearance, better driving position, better visibility, decent off-road performance, and more importantly, they were more spacious.

2007 Dodge Magnum SRT-8 6.1-liter Hemi V8
2007 Dodge Magnum SRT-8 6.1-liter Hemi V8

The Magnum was something that all others were afraid to make due to poor demand for a full-size station wagon.

Dodge Magnum shared the same LX platform as the Chrysler 300C and shared many Mercedes Benz-derived parts as well. Wiring harnesses, seat frames, front suspension, five-speed automatic gearbox design, steering column, and many of the electronics related to climate control, power windows, power shutters, etc.

Just as the Chrysler 300C, Dodge Magnum was also available in rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

The SRT 8 performance package available on the Chrysler 300C was also offered on the Dodge Magnum.

The same 6.1-liter SRT Hemi V8 engine delivering 425 horsepower at 6200rpm and 420 lb-ft of torque at 4800rpm. This engine was mated with the same five-speed automatic gearbox as well.

The four-wheel anti-lock brakes with 14-inch front disc brakes and 13.8-inch rear disc brakes and Brembo Performance four-piston calipers were added to improve braking and to improve handling.

20-inch Goodyear Eagle F1 tires came standard with the Dodge Magnum. All season RS A tires were available as an option.

2007 Dodge Magnum SRT-8
2007 Dodge Magnum SRT-8

Despite its size and added weight, the Magnum was capable of achieving 0-60mph in 5.1 seconds, faster than a modern-day hot hatch. It only took 11.7 seconds to achieve 0-100mph.

According to Motor Trend, it ran the quarter-mile in 13.1 seconds with a top speed of 108.2 mph.

Mercedes Benz E55, the more civilized Bavarian cousin of the wild western Dodge Magnum was then compared to see the performance differences.  They came to a conclusion that the Mercedes Benz E55 was more powerful but the Magnum handled around at a track than the E55 did.

For the final year, the 2008 Dodge Magnum SRT8 got a revised front and rear fascia and an upgraded interior. SRT8 variant got a new hood scoop and a new bright red paint scheme as well. It also got a new lower body treatment as well.

It was ultimately discontinued along with hideous PT cruiser convertible, Pacifica, and Crossfire by the new owner Cerberus Captial Management as it wasn’t making the profits that they were expecting to see.

The Dodge Magnum was then dressed up as a Chrysler 300C Touring with a Chrysler front fascia and was sold in Europe even after 2008.

European market demand for station wagons is higher and due to the performance and handling of the Chrysler 300C Touring, people still wanted to buy them. This eventually lasted until Chrysler decided to cancel it with the 2012 model year.

A total of 2970 Magnum SRT8 cars were made in 2006, followed by 921 cars in 2007, and for the final year, only 239 were made.

The 2008 model year Dodge Magnum is one of the rarest modern American muscle cars ever. 

2006 – 2010 Dodge Charger SRT8

2007 Dodge Charger SRT-8 Super Bee
2007 Dodge Charger SRT-8 Super Bee

The Dodge Charger is the third Chrysler-made car based on the LX platform. The Dodge Charger was introduced in 2005 and was available from the 2006 model year.

Dodge Charger moniker was a reference to the two-door muscle car that Dodge built from 1966 to 1974. However, the new Charger was a four-door full-size sedan while the original charger was a two-door compact.

The new Charger didn’t have any styling cues from the original 1960s muscle cars neither.

The new Charger however had the muscular appearance, and performance like the original Charger did.

Dodge Charger was powered with a 3.8-liter V6 or an optional Hemi V8 engine. It was available as either an all-wheel-drive or a rear-wheel-drive.

 

Dodge Charger SRT-8 Super Bee
Dodge Charger SRT-8 Super Bee

Ford Special Vehicle Operations and SVT

2008 – 2010 Dodge Challenger SRT8

The Dodge Challenger is also based on the Mercedes Benz jointly developed LX platform.

2008 Dodge Challenger SRT-8
2008 Dodge Challenger SRT-8

Dodge Challenger is one of the most iconic muscle cars of the early 1970s.  The original 1970-1974 was one of the best-performing cars of its time and when Dodge decided to reintroduce the Challenger for 2008, the American public was happier than ever.

The designing cues pay homage to the original Challenger and by looking at it, anyone can see that this is actually a modern interpretation of the real thing.

Challenger was a late addition to the 2008 model year lineup and to give a taste of what it is capable of doing, only the SRT8 variant was offered.

Only three colors were available and they were Hemi orange, black, or silver. The SRT Challengers also came with functional dual hood stripes in carbon fiber. Each and every one of the 2008 SRT Challengers also came with a sequential numeric dash plaque.

2008 Dodge Challenger SRT-8
2008 Dodge Challenger SRT-8

The 2008 Challenger SRT was powered with a 707 horsepower 6.1-liter Hemi V8 engine.

This power train was then mated with either a 6-speed automatic Tremec TR6060 transmission or a 5-speed automatic W5A580 transmission.

It could reach 0-60mph in 4.8 seconds and can run the quarter-mile in 13.3 seconds with a top speed of 108mph. The top speed was 168mph.

Goodyear F1 Supercar summer tires were also available as a paid option.

Unlike the original muscle cars, the Dodge Challenger offers good ride quality and handles well thanks to its LX platform underpinnings and sophisticated suspension.  It offers a decent amount of grip even on slippery surfaces.

It was only $40,208 and for that amount of money, offered serious supercar rivaling performance.

2009 Dodge Challenger SRT-8
2009 Dodge Challenger SRT-8

The 2009 Challenger SRT was available alongside its lesser-equipped variants.

The base Challenger came with a 3.5L single overhead cam V6 engine delivering 250 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque.

R/T variant came with a 5.7-liter Hemi engine delivering 372 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque when mated with a 5-speed automatic and 375 horsepower and 404 lb-ft of torque when mated with a Tremec 6 speed manual.

2009 Dodge Challenger RT
2009 Dodge Challenger RT

There were a total of three transmission options and those were either a 5-speed automatic W5A580 (standard for the last half of 2009), 6 speed Tremec TR6060 (optional), or a 4-speed automatic 42RLE (standard for the first half of 2009). 

Challenger SRT came with the same 6.1-liter Hemi overhead valve V8 engine with either a six-speed Tremec manual or a 5-speed automatic transmission was mated to the engine.

The Challenger SRT also came with Brembo brakes, sports tuned suspension, bi-xenon headlamps, satellite radio, 20-inch forged aluminum wheels, and a limited-slip differential.

The Challenger SRT variant for 2010 was almost identical to the 2009 model year car.

However, an optional Super Track package was offered for 2010.

20×9 Goodyear F1 Supercar tires, larger rear stabilizer bar, variable displacement performance steering pump (came standard with the 6-speed manual Tremec), anti-lock four-wheel heavy-duty disc brakes with performance brake linings, limited-slip differential, front and rear Sachs nivomat self-leveling shock absorbers.

10.80 seconds on drag radial tires or in 11.20 seconds on street tires

For the 2011 model year, all the variants of Challenger went through some significant changes.

The SE and SE Rallye variants received a new 3.6 liter Pentastar V6 engine delivering 305 horsepower and 268 lb-ft of torque. The SE and SE Rallye also received dual rear exhaust, 18-inch aluminum wheels, four-wheel disc antilock brakes, etc.

2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 rear
2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 rear

The new SRT8 received a new 6.4-liter Hemi V8 engine delivering 470 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. According to Dodge engineers, they sacrificed peak horsepower for low-end torque, a 90 lb-ft of torque more at 2800rpm, than the old 6.1-liter engine delivered.

The two transmission options were either a 5-speed shiftable automatic or a six-speed manual.

2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 front
2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 front

The 2011 Challenger SRT has a top speed of 170mph and achieved 0-60mph in 5 seconds. It ran the quarter-mile in 12.4 seconds with a top speed of 110mph. 

Motor trend tested the car and ran the quarter mile in 13 seconds with a top speed of 111.3mph.

2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 side
2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 side
2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 headlights
2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 headlights
2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 rear lights
2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 rear lights
2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 badges
2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 badges
2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 air intake
2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 air intake

2012 Challenger SRT received a two-mode adaptive suspension system, steering wheel featuring a new paddle shifter system, new sports seats, and a 900-watt Harman Kardon audio system.

2008 – 2010 Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR

2008 Viper SRT-10 blue
2008 Viper SRT-10 blue

The first-generation Dodge Viper became the halo car of Chrysler automobiles, and it gave the public a taste of what the Chrysler was capable of creating other than the normal boring mini vans and k cars.

Development of the Dodge Viper project and the experience it provided eventually lead to the development of many high-performance models sharing the Viper DNA.

However, Dodge Viper’s fate was in a doubt due to the change of managements and financial issues faced by Chrysler at the time.

But Chrysler ensured the public that they have no exact time period to sell its Viper operations or the SRT division though many local and foreign entities were interested to make the purchase.  And they were ready to sell the Viper division if someone makes an offer with a big amount of cash.

Cerberus Capital Management was thinking to get rid of the division sooner but SRT was able to endure ahead with the Viper project while continuing the production of roadsters and coupes.

No Dodge Viper cars were made for the 2007 model year, but the production facility at Conner Avenue started the production again for 2008 and the new Viper came with many updates to make it even better.

Ricardo Consulting Engineering and McLaren Automotive offered engineering support to develop new cylinder heads with computer numerically controlled shaped combustion chambers for the V10 engine. Newly built larger valves, and variable valve timing were also added. These modifications made to the engine ended up developing 600 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque.

All the V10 engines were made at the same plant the Viper cars were produced, the Connor Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit.

The old and tried manual T56 gearbox was replaced with a smooth shifting Tremec TR6060 six-speed automatic transmission.

A larger and more efficient hood scoop was provided for air induction to cool the engine and larger hood louvers.

The 0-60mph was achieved in 3.7 seconds, and it only took 7.6 seconds to reach 0-100mph. The top speed of the Dodge Coupe was an estimated 202mph and the roadster was capable of reaching an estimated top speed of 197mph.

The Viper also ran the quarter mile in 11.6 seconds with a top speed of 126mph.

2009 Dodge Viper ACR
2009 Dodge Viper ACR

Applying the aerodynamic tricks, weight shedding techniques, and performance enhancement techniques learned while developing the previous generation Viper ACR, the SRT division decided to unveil a Viper ACR based on the new Viper. Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR came to life like this.

2009 Dodge Viper ACR rear
2009 Dodge Viper ACR rear

SRT built a street legal track focused machine with all the track focused technologies combined to it and the Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR

 was capable of running the Nurburgring lap in 7 minutes and 22 seconds, making it the fastest rear wheel drive production car to do so at the time.    

2011 – Dodge Charger SRT8

2011 Dodge Charger SRT8 6.4-liter V8 Hemi
2011 Dodge Charger SRT8 6.4-liter V8 Hemi

The 2006 Dodge Charger was a game changer and the improved Dodge Charger SRT8 was even more successful to the Chrysler.

The 2006 Charger was based on the Mercedes Benz LX platform and used many suspension components, electronics, and transmission systems with the Mercedes Benz E class and S class. It was christened as Charger to pay tribute to the original 1970s Dodge Charger, a two-door muscle car. Many complained that it looked nothing like the original Charger.

However, for the 2011 Dodge Charger, Chrysler management decided to use as much as Chrysler-made components to keep the cost down.

Ralph Giles, the head of the design department for Chrysler, and the head of the SRT division, with the support he and his team got from the Fiat management, decided to make the Charger more kin to the original Charger of the 1970s.

New full-width tail lights were inspired by the 1969 to 1970 Charger.

To make it look like the old Charger, the top of the A pillars was moved back up to 3.5 inches, and C pillars were also moved backward a little. This modification made the roofline sleeker.

The C-shaped recess along with the side door panels and rear end panels was a design element taken from the original Charger.

Due to the bad press and public reviews, Dodge got for the cheap-looking plastic-rich interior, much attention was given to the interior to address quality control and inexpensive material usage issues. 

The Dodge Charger was offered multiple engine options. The SXT and SXT Plus came with V6 engines and R/T, R/T plus, and R/T Max variants were powered with V8 engines.

The new SRT variant was powered with a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 engine delivering 470 horsepower. The Dodge Charger SRT was a rear wheel drive and had a top speed of 175mph.   

Charger SRT8 was given a unique front fascia with an aggressive air intake, unique rear styling with a rear spoiler to improve down force, side sill trim, etc. to make it stand out from the normal Charger.

The interior got several unique aggressive styling cues to set it apart from the standard Charger. Leather-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel with SRT logo in it, heated and ventilated high performance-oriented front seats, special bolstering on door panels, aluminum finish instrument cluster, and shifter, steering wheel mounted die-cast paddle shifters and a new sports model was available in the SRT Charger.

The improved suspension with adaptive shocks provides a decent ride quality and it automatically stiffens up when tighter handling is in need.

The electronic stability control also helps the driver to have more grip and control over the massive performance delivered to the rear wheels.

Brembo brakes and 20-inch forged aluminum split spoke SRT wheels were also provided to improve performance.

2012 Dodge Charger Super Bee
2012 Dodge Charger Super Bee

In 2011 it was announced that the Super Bee will be returning as a 2012 model with a 392 cubic-inch Hemi engine and a unique Stinger Yellow exterior and Pitch-black interior colors.

2012 -2014 Chrysler 300C SRT8

2012 Chrysler 300 SRT-8
2012 Chrysler 300 SRT-8

The new generation Chrysler 300C was introduced for the 2011 model year with a significantly redesigned interior and exterior.

The exterior changes including the thinner roof pillars, bi xenon HID project headlights, LED daylight running stripes within the headlights, a horizontally slotted front grille, a more raked windshield, and revised sheet metal.

Interior was supposed to bring up to world-class luxury standards. 

Dual-pane panoramic sunroof and 20-inch polished aluminum wheels were available as a paid option.

The 2011 Chrysler 300C was offered in Touring, Limited, 300C, and 300C AWD trim levels. The first two variants were powered with a PentaStar V6 while the 300C variants were offered with V8 engines.

The SRT variant of the new Chrysler 300C was unveiled at the 2011 New York International Auto show and it was powered with a 6.4 liter 392 Hemi engine delivering 470 horsepower.

The new Chrysler 300C SRT is capable of achieving 0-60mph in the lower 4 seconds and ran the quarter-mile in 12.9 seconds.

2012 Chrysler 300 SRT-8 rear
2012 Chrysler 300 SRT-8 rear

The Chrysler 300C SRT8 was given a unique lower front-end fascia, large exhaust tips, body color avoiding any chrome trim and larger 20-inch aluminum wheels, a lowered sport-tuned suspension, and larger Brembo brake calipers.

Adaptive damping suspension Bilstein shock absorbers can easily turn the suspension stiffer and more suitable to racing with a single tap of a button.

To make it more fuel-efficient, a new cylinder management system was integrated to activate from 4 to 8 cylinders of the engine depending on the throttle response.

The 2013 Chrysler 300C SRT delivered 470 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. It also delivered the almost same performance.

The 2014 Chrysler 300C SRT was the last SRT variant of the Chrysler 300C offered in US market.

The Chrysler 300C SRT was discontinued for 2015 in the US due to poor demand but is available in Australian and Middle Eastern markets with minor performance updates.

2013 -2014 SRT Viper

2013 Dodge Viper SRT GTS headlamps
2013 Dodge Viper SRT GTS headlamps

Sergio Marchionne, the new CEO appointed by the new owner Fiat back in 2010, offered his blessings to the SRT creations due to his love for high-performance vehicles.

In 2012, he unveiled a new Dodge Viper prototype, and the fifth generation Viper was debuted at the New York Auto show in April 2012.

The new fifth generation Viper was available as a 2013-year model it didn’t carry the Dodge brand logo as before. It was called the SRT Viper, because the SRT division was separated from Dodge and now began its life as an independent performance branch, just like the RAM trucks that also separated from Dodge.

2013 Dodge Viper SRT GTS front
2013 Dodge Viper SRT GTS front

The new SRT Viper was the flagship offering of the SRT division and the launch of 2013 proved that Chrysler wasn’t ready to give up their supercar rivaling performance heritage just yet.

The SRT team was assigned by the new management to create a world-class all-around supercar, to offer the best they could offer.

The chassis was an updated version of the original Viper chassis, making it lighter yet stronger.

The venerable V10 engine was tuned to deliver 640 horsepower, a significant increase over the 600 horsepower of the 2010 model year car. The 660 lb-ft of torque delivered by the engine, set up a new record as the most torque provided by any naturally aspirated engine in the world.

The body panels were made out of carbon fiber and aluminum to make them stronger and lighter. It had more stylish curves here and there to improve the looks as well.

2013 Dodge Viper SRT GTS interior
2013 Dodge Viper SRT GTS interior

Eventually, 150 pounds of weight was reduced when comparing with the 2010 Dodge Viper.

Fifth-generation SRT Viper featured Sabelt leather seats with lightweight kevlar reinforced fiber glass shell made by resin transfer technology. Sabelt, a seat manufacturer who also makes seats for  Ferrari, a sub division of the Fiat group.

The base SRT Viper and Viper GTS both featured a new 10 speaker Harmon Kardon sound system.

The GTS variant offered handcrafted leather finished interior.

The convertible prototypes were spied being tested in the wild, but only the coupe version was offered.

Even with all the electronic safety features, and creature comforts, the new SRT Viper weighted only 3297 when comparing with the original roof less original Viper’s 3272 with no electronic safety equipment.

2013 Dodge Viper SRT GTS
2013 Dodge Viper SRT GTS

For the 2014 model year, a new Viper TA (Time Attack) variant was offered and only thirty-three units were available. The Viper TA came equipped with Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires, matte black Sidewinder II wheels, specially calibrated two-mode Bilstein Damptronic suspension.

The aluminum structural X brace was replaced with a lighter carbon fiber brace to even more weight.

The unique exterior color Crusher Orange along with a black interior was the only available color theme. 

According to the Motor Trend Magazine, the Viper TA was tested at Laguna Seca against the fastest lap record set by Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. The time set by Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 was 1 minute and 33.7 seconds. The Viper TA ran in 1 minute and 33.62 seconds with stock tires and later ran the lap in 1 minute and 30.78 seconds with slick tires.

Each SRT Viper was handcrafted by 64 UAW artisans at the Conner Avenue plant.

2015 Dodge Viper, Viper GT, and Viper GTS

By 2015, the SRT Viper was again rebranded as Dodge Viper, with SRT becoming Dodge’s own high-performance brand.

Due to the falling sales, Dodge offered up to $15,000 price reductions to stimulate sales.

The 2015 Dodge Viper delivered 645 horsepower.

The new Viper GT model filled the gap between the base Viper and the GTS variant.

The Viper GT came with two driver adjustable suspension modes and a five-mode electronic stability control system which was originally present in the GTS variant.

The Nappa leather seats with Alcantra leather accents.

Dodge Viper TA 2.0
Dodge Viper TA 2.0

The Viper TA 2.0 was introduced to replace the original Viper TA. The new Viper TA 2.0 came with an updated aero package featuring a rear wing, new front dive planes, and a new carbon fiber front splitter. 

Only ninety-six Viper TA 2.0 cars were made in its limited production run.

Dodge Viper TA 2.0 rear
Dodge Viper TA 2.0 rear

 The SRT Viper GTS came with a sticker price of $94995. From 2015 onwards, Dodge introduced the one of one program, allowing the customer to customize the Viper GTS to their own needs.

Chrysler offered 8000 exterior color options and 24,000 custom stripe colors, 10 wheel options, 16 different interior trims, and 6 aero packages to choose from. The possible customizable combinations were 25 million according to the Chrysler website.

An online tool provided anyone the ability to customize their own Viper GTS.

Since Dodge Viper and SRT Viper were exclusive limited production run models, a grand total of 33000 Vipers have been built from 1992 to 2014. In comparison, Chevrolet made over 40000 Corvettes in 2014.

2016 Dodge Viper ACR

2016 Dodge SRT Viper ACR
2016 Dodge SRT Viper ACR

For the 2016 model year, the Nurbrugring conquering Viper ACR was reintroduced.  The new Viper ACR came with many upgrades such as its unique track-focused suspension system with ten settings, double adjustable Bilstein coil-over racing suspension height adjustment system and, Kumho Ecsta V720 high-performance tires which were specifically developed for the Dodge ACR.

The Brembo Carbon Ceramic Matrix 15-inch rotors with six piston front calipers were also included to improve braking and handling.

The Dodge Viper ACR’s Kumho Ecsta V720 high performance tires came with a claim that it delivers lap times that are 1.5 seconds faster than off road only race tires

The 2016 Dodge Viper ACR was one of the fastest street legal track cars of its time.

Dodge Viper ACR ran the Laguna Seca in one minute and 22.65 seconds, making it the record holder at the time.

The Dodge Viper is the only a couple of pounds heavier than the original Viper but provides all the electronic safety devices, creature comforts, and 240 horsepower more than the roofless basic Viper with virtually no electronic safety devices.

It retained the original looks of the first-generation Viper and every Viper was handcrafted by 64 UAW artisans at the Connor Avenue plant. Each and every engine was hand-assembled and tuned by SRT technicians at the same plant.

All these facts concerned, we can deduce that perhaps, the Viper is as a matter of fact is a truly unique supercar.

Viper was discontinued in 2017 after being in production for a little over twenty years.

2015 – present Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.

 

2015 Dodge Challenger SRT
2015 Dodge Challenger SRT

The 2014 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat was the world’s most powerful muscle car, and it was capable of reaching over 200mph of top speed making it fast enough to rival many supercars at the time.

It was powered with a supercharged 6.2 liter (376 cubic-inch) V8 Hemi engine. This engine was also available in Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk SUV and Dodge Charger Hellcat SRT. You could get this engine with the Hellcrate engine swap kit as well.

The 5-speed automatic transmission was replaced with a new 8 speed ZF 8HP automatic transmission. 

2015 Dodge Challenger SRT front
2015 Dodge Challenger SRT front

The 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque propelled the big and heavy car faster than anyone ever expected it to be.

Though the Dodge Challenger retained the looks of the original 1970 – 1974 Challenger, it is, as a matter of fact, a comfortable and more practical car than the original ever was. Unlike the original Challenger, the new one offered a decent ride on a public road with the help of its adaptive suspension system.

The Challenger SRT was developed to rival the Chevrolet Camaro Z28, and despite the rumored $80,000 price tag, the Challenger SRT Hellcat was available for only $59,995 making it the best value for the money.

Optional features like the power sunroof and Uconnect infotainment system also provided more creature comfort.

A launch control system helps to master the 0-60mph run, but you can do the quarter mile in old fashioned tire burning way as well.

With each and every Challenger SRT Hellcat, an additional red key was provided. The black key only allowed 500 horsepower, and the red key unlocked the entire 700 horsepower.

Just like the 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 and 2014, 2015 Chevrolet Z28 cars, the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat was a complete high-performance machine with unique features to set it apart from the other Challengers.

The front fascia came down lower over the headlights and grille, and a new splitter was included to add downforce. The fog lamps were relocated down low, and the air inlet port rams air directly into the engine air box through the driver-side parking lamp.

2015 Dodge Challenger SRT
2015 Dodge Challenger SRT

A larger rear spoiler and side sill molding were also added to improve air drag. There were many aerodynamic tweaks to make it aerodynamically less resistant enough to achieve over 200mph top speed.

The aluminum hood features a cold air intake to cool the turbocharged engine. The hoof also included dual air extractors to remove heat and to cut air turbulence in the engine bay. 

According to Dodge’s official website, it could run the quarter mile in 11.2 seconds with a top speed of 125miles with stock Pirelli Zero tires. With Drag Radial tires, it could run the quarter mile in just 10.8 seconds with a top speed of 126mph.

It ran the Motown Mile in 56.37 seconds, the Hockenheim short in 1 minute and 14.6 seconds, and the Gingerman Raceway in 1 minute and 45.8 seconds.

2016 Challenger SRT Hellcat came with a limited edition variant with lowered suspension, 2.5 cm in the rear and 3cm in front, to improve air drag efficiency. This limited edition variant also came with an upgraded supercharger delivering between 745 to 750 horsepower. This variant also came with 305/35r20 rear tires. This special limited variant of the Hellcat was offered through dealers and came with a factory-backed warranty as well. Most of these limited edition cars came with a white paint job with carbon fiber black rally stripes, but few came with a red paint job featuring black carbon fiber racing stripes.

This car came with a sticker price of about $80,000, and Dodge eliminated this program in 2017.

A new GT variant was introduced for the 2017 model year Challenger with an all-wheel drive. This car was powered by a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine and came with 8-speed automatic transmission.

The new addition of T/A and T/A 392 models also happened in the same year. The T/A was powered with a 5.7 liter Hemi V8 engine and the T/A 392 was powered with a 6.4 liter Hemi V8 engine.

T/A models came with a black painted hood with center air intake, black decklid, and a black roof, unique graphics at side panels, a cold air induction system though front headlamps, Houndstooth cloth performance seats, and white faceted gauges. The T/A 392 additionally included a more powerful 6.4 liter-V8 Hemi engine and six-piston front Brembo brakes with two-piece 15.4 inch vented rotors and 4 piston rear Brembo brakes and 20×9.5 inch wheels.

The 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine-equipped models come with an electronically controlled low restriction active exhaust to provide a more aggressive exhaust note.

For the 2018 model year, the SXT and R/T variants were equipped with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engines and the 5.7 liter V8 Hemi engines with a new Performance Handling Group package. This package included 4 piston black Brembo brakes in the front along with Bilstein performance-tuned suspension. The 20×9 inch wheels with 245/45ZR20 performance tires, and improved steering.

2018 Dodge Challeneger SRT Demon

2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon
2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon

The Challenger SRT Demon was introduced during the New York Auto show as a limited production run car.

The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is a wide-body and extreme performance variant based on the already proven high-performance Challenger SRT Hellcat.  

The Challenger SRT Demon is powered with an all-new 6.2-liter Hemi V8 engine mated with a 2.7-liter supercharger, delivering a total of 808 horsepower with 91 octane gasoline and 840 horsepower with 100-octane or higher gasoline.

However, you have to use the red key fob to get these power outputs as the black key fob limits the power output to just 500 horsepower.

The torque is rated at 770 lb-ft of torque on 100 octane fuel.

Also, the Demon weighs 215 lbs lighter than the Hellcat, bringing the total weight under 1930kg. Therefore the power to weight ratio of the Challenger SRT Demon is 418 horsepower per ton on 91 octane fuel and 435 horsepower per ton on 100 octane fuel.

The Challenger SRT Demon also comes with Nitto NT05R tires, 315/40R18 variants at both ends. These tires are targeted for drag racing but have enough tread patterns to make them road-legal. This tire is built specifically to withstand the massive torque output of the Demon, making the Challenger SRT Demon the first production car to come with a set of drag radial tires.

2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon rear
2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon rear

It also uses a special system that is specifically used for drag racing called transbrake. The transbrake mechanism puts the transmission in the first gear and the reverse gear simultaneously, to hold the stationary. This transbrake system is used alongside the torque converter to build up enough hydraulic pressure before launch.

Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is capable of achieving 0-60mph in 2.3 seconds and 0-100mph in 5.1 seconds.

The factory limited 168mph top speed. However, by using the control module and high-speed tires from the “Demon Crate”, the Demon can achieve a top speed of over 200mph.

The “Demon Crate” is available as a value-added extra paid option. It costs only $1 and can be ordered when you place an order for the Demon.

It is capable of running the quarter-mile in 9.6 seconds with a top speed of 140.09 mph.

NHRA requires an NHRA certified roll cage installed if the quarter-mile time is less than 10 seconds. The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon doesn’t come with a roll cage as stock so it has been banned from NHRA competitions.

It is also capable of accelerating at 1.8g of force at launch, making it the hardest launching production car.

The boot pressure of a turbocharger can be increased up to 14.5 psi and redlines at 6500rpm.  

From the beginning of production in the summer of 2017 and the market introduction happened in the fall of 2017.

A total of 3300 cars were made, making the Challenger SRT Demon a rare modern muscle car. 

The interior of the Challenger SRT Demon is the same as the other Challenger trims, but there are several significant changes here and there.

The Demon only comes with the front driver’s seat as a standard with no other seats in the front or rear. However, for an additional $1, you can replace the passenger seat. For an additional $1 you can replace the rear bench seat as well.

Dodge has included rear roll bars and has a four-point harness installed on it for the driver seat.

The dashboard display and seats come with a Demon logo on them. The performance display is included on it as well as on the center console touch screen.

The Dodge SRT Demon got a curb weight of 1930 kg over the 2027kg of Challenger SRT Hellcat.

The 98 kg were reduced by removing the front passenger seat and seatbelt, removing the rear bench seat, seatbelts, restraints, and front and rear floor mats, removal of 16 Harmon Kardon audio speakers along with factory fitted subwoofer amplifier and electrical wiring, removal of rear trunk deck lid cover trim, trunk carpeting, and spare tire cover. Body deadeners, sound insulators and foam, and mastic were removed.

Smaller and hollower front and rear sway bars were used instead of the stock.

Lightweight aluminum front and rear alloy wheels and open-ended front and rear wheel lug nuts were installed.

Using lightweight all-aluminum four-piston front and rear brake calipers and rear two-piece brake rotors.

Replaced power tilting and telescoping steering column with manually tilting and telescoping steering column.

Front and rear ParkSense parking sensors and Parksense front and rear park sensor module was also removed. 

Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is the first street-legal production car to come with a Drag Mode suspension system, torque reserve on-demand system.

Demon also came with the largest hood scoop in any production car as well.

The Demon Crate

Dodge Challenger SRT Demon and Demon Crate
Dodge Challenger SRT Demon and Demon Crate

The Demon Crate was available for an extra $1 for everyone who purchased a Dodge Challenger SRT Demon.

The Demon Crate came with the following items.

  • Low restriction air filter.
  • High octane racing fuel switch bank.
  • Direct connection powertrain control module.
  • Lightweight hydraulic floor jack with demon logo.
  • Personalized and serialized carbon fiber instrument panel badge.
  • Torque wrench with associated sockets with demon logo.
  • Impact wrench, a cordless and rechargable one with a demon logo.
  • Fender cover with demon logo.
  • Tool bag with Demon logo.
  • Tire pressure gauge with demon logo.
  • Fender cover with Demon logo.
  • Demon track pack system.

The last Dodge Challenger SRT Demon rolled off the assembly line in Brampton, Ontario, Canada on May 31, 2018. It was sold at a Barrett Jackson auction in June 2018 alongside the final Dodge Viper.

For the 2019 model year, Dodge released a total of six performance variants of the Dodge Challenger. The SXT, GT, R/T, R/T Scat Pack, SRT Hellcat, SRT Hellcat Redeye.

The SXT and GT models were also available with either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The GT was only available in all-wheel drive previously.

The GT variant also got a new performance hood, front splitter, and aggressive looks.

R/T Scat Pack models came with a new power bulge aluminum hood as standard, which was originally present in SRT Hellcat. This hood features dual air extractors to cool the engine while reducing lift.

The 5.7-liter Hemi V8 and 6.4-liter Hemi V8 powered R/T and R/T Scat pack models came with an extra 1$ option to remove rear seats, saving 55lbs. 

A performance plus package is offered providing 20×9.5 inch low gloss black forged wheels with Pirelli P Zero summer tires and a limited-slip differential and all the upgrades present in the 2018 performance handling package.

For the 2019 model year, the Challenger SRT Hellcat received a power boost with horsepower rising to 717 and torque to 656 lb-ft of torque.

A new dual-snorkel hood was also introduced.

The transmission options were either a six-speed manual Tremec or a ZF 8 speed automatic.

2019 – Present Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye.

2019 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye hood
2019 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye hood

The SRT Hellcat Redeye was introduced to fill the void left with the discontinuation of the Challenger SRT Demon.

The Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye is equipped with a slightly less powerful (due to a smaller hood intake system)  Demon engine, a supercharged 6.2 liter Hemi V8 delivering 797 horsepower and 707 lb-ft of torque. A 90 horsepower and 11 lb-ft of torque increase over the standard Challenger SRT Hellcat.

The reinforced ZF 8 speed automatic transmission, track-tuned suspension, torque reserve, and 41 spline heavy-duty half shafts, SRT power chiller, and after-run chiller were included in the Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye package to improve performance.

2019 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye
2019 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye

A wide-body package was introduced for the 2019 model year Scat Pack, SRT Hellcat, SRT Hellcat Redeye variants. This wide-body package includes wide-body fenders, 3 mode Bilstein adaptive damping sports tuned suspension, 6 piston calipers with 15.4 inch vented and slotted rotors in the front (these were standard on Hellcat and Hellcat Red eye variants), stiffened anti-roll bars sized 34mm in front and 22mm in the rear (also standard in Hellcat and Hellcat Redeye), 20×11 inch Devils Rim forged aluminum wheels with Pirelli  Performance Zero Nero all-season tires.

For the 2020 model year, Dodge introduced an SRT Super Stock model to fill the performance gap in between the SRT Hellcat Redeye and the discontinued SRT Demon. 

The 2020 Challenger SRT Super Stock comes with the same engine as the Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye, but it is slightly more powerful due to a revision of powertrain calibration, which increases the rpm redline from 6300rpm to 6400rpm. The SRT Super Stock delivers 807 horsepower.

The Challenger SRT Super Stock also comes with lightweight 18-inch wheels with the Drag Radial tires, a shorter final drive ratio, and drag optimized suspension tuning for the Bilstein adaptive dampers in Track Mode. All these suspension modifications were present in the Demon as well.

The Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye is using six-piston Brembo and 15.4-inch rotors and the Challenger SRT Super Stock is using four-piston Brembo and 14.2-inch rotors.

For the 2021 model year, Dodge SRT added a wide-body option for the R/T Scat Pack Shaker and T/A 392 models, while 20-inch wheels and tires are now standard on the GT AWD model.

2015 – present Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody front
2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody front

Tim Kuniskis, president and CEO of the Dodge and SRT companies, unveiled the new 2015 model year Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat in August 2014.

 In 2015 FCA, Fiat Chrysler Automobile announced that they have temporarily restricted orders for Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat cars to validate the orders they received so far. The reason for this was the unprecedented demand for the 2015 Challenger SRT Hellcat cars and the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

The 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat was powered with a supercharged 6.2 liter Hemi V8 Hellcat engine. Hellcat is the most powerful V8 engine Chrsyler has ever produced by then. This is the same engine present in the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.

2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody rear
2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody rear

This engine delivers 707 horsepower and allows the full-size four-door sedan to run the quarter-mile in just 11 seconds on stock tires with a top speed of 204 mph.

The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat also features a unique redesigned front fascia with a larger lower grille.

The maximum speed of the 2015 Charger SRT Hellcat was measured at 204mph and is capable of hitting 217mph.

It takes only 3.5 seconds to reach 0-60mph and 7.2 seconds to achieve 0-100mph.  The 0-200mph can be achieved under 28 seconds.

Road and Track magazine tested six cars to do a 0-200mph comparison test back in 2016. According to the Charger SRT Hellcat is capable of hitting 0-60mph in 4.9 seconds, 0-100mph in 7.3 seconds, 0-150mph in 14.1 seconds, and 0-200mph in just 37 seconds. The quarter-mile run was measured at 12 seconds with a top speed of 137mph.

These test results proved that it was faster in 0-200mph battle by performing better than the Lamborghini Aventador SuperVeolce or the McLaren 675LT.

The reinforced ZF 8 speed automatic transmission, a track-tuned suspension, Torque reserve, 41 Spline heav- duty half shafts, SRT power chiller, and after run chiller.

2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody
2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody

Top range SRT model cars were however predominantly all-wheel drive.

The Dodge SRT Charger was powered with a 370 cubic inch Hemi V8 delivering 425 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque.

The suspension improvements including stiffer springs, large-diameter anti-sway bars, Bilstein shocks were included to improve handling.

The 20 inch forged aluminum wheels with Goodyear F1 Supercar all-season tires came as standard.

The interior received a faux carbon-fiber treatment on the steering wheel,  and new racing-oriented front seats, a unique tachometer, temperature gauges, and a speedometer with a limit of 180mph. The interior was done in Dark Slate Gray or Light Slate Gray.

New Charger achieved 0-60mph in 5 seconds and came to a full halt from 60mph in 128 feet thanks to the improved brakes.

It ran the quarter-mile in 13.4 seconds with a top speed of 104mph.

2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Daytona Anniversary edition
2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Daytona Anniversary edition

The all-new 2017 Dodge Charger Daytona and Daytona 392 was unveiled in August 2016 with either a 5.7-liter or a 6.4-liter V8. The Daytona and Daytona 392 trim also includes the upgrades and equipment from the Super Track Pack such as the sport suspension system, custom brake linings, and Goodyear Eagle F1 tires.

The 2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat Daytona is equipped with the 717-hp version of the standard Hellcat engine and is limited to 501 units.

2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition
2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition

For 2021 model year, A heavily upgraded version of the Hellcat was introduced as the Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye.

It also comes with a supercharged 6.2 liter Hemi V8 delivering 797 horsepower and 707 lb-ft of torque, 90 horsepower more, and 11 lb-ft of more torque than you get from the standard Hellcat motor.

It is also equipped with 20×11 inch massive rear wheels as standard to cope with extra torque. 

Dodge says it expects the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye to do a quarter-mile in 10.6 seconds at 129 miles per hour.

Chevrolet High Performance Vehicles