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The 2007-2009 Dodge Caliber SRT4

caliber srt-4

The production SRT-4 — (test drive)— had 285 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque, a massive increase over the original SRT-4, but straight-line performance was similar. The price was similar to the original SRT-4, at $22,995, but electronic stability control was included along with antilock brakes and brake lock differential, and a new performance metrics package was available (see our Dodge Caliber SRT4 review for details; also see our Dodge Caliber forum).

The 0-60 mph time was “in the low 6-second range,” similar to the Neon SRT4. The turbocharged World Engine put out 285 horsepower from 5,700 to 6,400 rpm; and a whopping 265 lb-ft of torque across a broad 2,000 - 5,600 rpm. 

In the 2003-2005 model years, more than 25,000 Dodge Neon SRT4s were sold – far more than the projected 7,500 per year. But the Caliber SRT4 was dropped at the end of the 2009 model year after low sales - fewer than 1,000 units sold in 2008 and 2009 combined.

How the Caliber SRT-4 is different from the stock Dodge Caliber

dodge caliber SRT4

Mike Valentine added: “Both SRT4s had unique struts and lower ride heights. The Caliber SRT4 uses different control arms, knuckles, and a revised lower crossmember along with the brake differential setup. The Neon SRT4 used different knuckles and a claimed revised cross member (some thought it was for clearance of the unique transmission but control arm angles could have been changed, I cannot confirm). I think the LCA was the same on the Neon.

The key for the 2004-05 SRT4 was the differential change. This was very important and helped enormously. ... If you completely disable the ESP on the Caliber SRT4, the the ESP and brake differential settings are no longer controlling the torque steer. The Caliber SRT4 becomes an animal to drive. Absolutely incredible and always on the edge.”

Erich Heuschele wrote in the Chrysler blog:

...we took a standard Caliber and dropped the front end 28-mm and the rear 22-mm. This made the halfshafts flatter to help torque steer. We actually have shorter dampers on the car so it has more jounce travel. We didn't just lower the car. We actually got back some of the jounce travel we lost.

It has 210-pound-per-inch springs in the front, 240 in the rear. That's pretty stiff. The Caliber and the Patriot, PM platform vehicles, like stiff springs. The base Caliber springs are more like 160 pounds per inch and the old SRT4 Neon was 175 in the front and 125 in the back. We've got 19 by 7 ½ inch cast wheels, 225/45-19 tires. The Goodyear Eagle RS-A is standard or the F1 is available. The RS-A is ... nearly as capable as the F1 tire. We did extensive tuning on those things. So you are not really giving up much performance with the four-season tire.

The brake system is using the 5.7L Dodge Charger police car front calipers. It is actually the export 300C 5.7L pads and the police car brake pads will go on. You can buy those from Mopar. Those are a little more track capable if your main focus with the car is at the track.

The rear brake is essentially a Sebring rear disc set up. We have pretty darn stiff calipers and I think a pretty good pedal feel. I think especially for a slider (floating calipers), this is the benchmark brake system for our segment.

Dodge SRT-4The SRT4 has a much bigger master cylinder to push the fluid volume because we've got twin pistons on the front brakes. We have a unique ABS tuning, unique ESP tuning for the vehicle, but sway-bar wise we maintain the Caliber R/T 24-mm. We bump the rear sway bar from a 15 to an 18 mm.

The SRT4 only has front-wheel drive versus the all-wheel drive that is available on the R/T because the all-wheel R/T system is really a reactive system. It isn't capable of putting anywhere near the torque that we would want to put to the back wheels of the SRT4. To make AWD feel like a performance system, more than 50 percent of the torque needs to go to the back, and it needs to happen before the front wheels start to slip ... if we had started from scratch with an all-wheel drive performance system, we couldn't offer the vehicle at the kind of price point that we wanted to offer.

Dodge Caliber SRT-4 overview

Exterior styling includes a front fascia with functional brake cooling ducts and a larger grille opening. The hood has a functional air scoop. A large integrated spoiler above the rear glass is tuned for smoother air flow and lift reduction. Paint could be black, sunburst orange, silver, and Inferno Red.

The interior had sport seating with deep, performance bolsters, different instruments, and an optional Reconfigurable Display (RCD), with "performance pages" that provided lateral and longitudinal G-force, 1/8-mile and 1/4-mile acceleration time and speed, 0-60 mph time and braking distance.

SRT4 gauges

The Dodge Caliber SRT4's suspension was lowered 28mm in the front and 22mm in the rear, with unique tuning, 19-inch cast-aluminum wheels, and Goodyear three- or four-season performance tires. Four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes had 340 x 28mm vented front rotors and 302 x 10mm rear rotors, with twin-piston aluminum front calipers.

An electronically tuned Brake Lock Differential and Getrag DMT-6 six- speed transmission put the power to the ground; no automatic was available, and the car was front wheel drive only.

SRT4

Standard features included a turbo boost gauge; Electronic Stability Program; advanced multi-stage driver and front passenger air bags; supplemental side window curtain air bag; driver inflatable knee blocker; air conditioning with particulate and odor air filter and Chill Zone™; illuminated cup holders; 115-volt auxiliary power outlet; sliding armrest with cell phone holder; center-mounted tachometer; sport seating with aggressive bolstering and performance fabric inserts; and SRT-unique 19- inch cast aluminum painted wheels.

Options included the Kicker/SRT Livin' Loud audio system at $1,190; power-express open/close sun roof at $795; and 19 x 7.5-inch polished aluminum SRT wheels at $400.

Dodge Caliber SRT4 car engine and transmission

The Dodge Caliber SRT4 concept car is capable of a 0-60 mph time in less than six seconds.  “The 2.4-liter turbocharged World Engine delivers a level of power you’d expect from a V-8. With the engine in the 2007 Dodge Caliber SRT4, we were able to take advantage of tried-and-true performance improvements, such as increased cylinder-head flow and higher compression ratio, as well as newer technologies such as Variable Valve Timing (VVT),” said Pete Gladysz, Senior Manager – Powertrain, SRT. The 4.7 V8, even in High Output form, produced less power than this engine.

The aluminum 2.4-liter World Engine block was specially machined for increased water and oil flow.  Unique cast pistons travel within iron cylinder liners, and are cooled by oil squirters and affixed to forged connecting rods for high-revving reliability.

Tri-metal bearings are used for the connecting rods and crankshaft for high-performance durability.  A unique oil pump/balance shaft module keeps the reciprocating assembly well-lubricated and running smoothly.  An external cooler keeps oil temperatures within a safe range.

The aluminum cylinder head  is equipped with unique high-temperature exhaust valves. VVT uses computer mapping to open and close intake and exhaust valves at optimal points for efficient combustion and flow. The camshaft and micro-alloy steel crankshaft, shared with the non-turbocharged 2.4-liter World Engine, are fully capable of high-horsepower loads.

srt-4 engine

Free-flow induction begins with an air cleaner assembly that draws through an opening in a front crossmember for proximity to cool air. The air is then compressed in a TD04 turbocharger specially configured for the engine’s inlet and outlet packaging requirements, and sent through an intercooler to a 57mm throttle body. (To clarify, the hood scoop is there to cool the engine and turbocharger. The Subaru WRX has an interesting alternative with the hood scoop cooling the intercooler.)

Fuel is provided by a high-flow pump feeding injectors developed specifically for the SRT4. Spent gases exit through a free-flow system that features two catalytic converters – one immediately downstream from the turbo, and another further along the 3-inch single-pipe exhaust system, providing better “light-off” for decreased emissions.

Power is transferred through a dual-mass flywheel to the six-speed manual transmission.  The dual-mass flywheel consists of two flywheels sandwiching internal springs that are specially tuned to reduce noise and vibration. The GF DMT-6 six-speed transmission, equipped with a limited-slip differential for uniform side-to-side power transfer, is capable of handling up to 300 lb.-ft. of torque.

Torque is sent to the Dodge Caliber SRT4’s wheels through equal-length halfshafts sourced from Chrysler Group mid-size cars for their larger size and power-handling capability.

Dodge Caliber SRT-4 body and exterior

MusicGate “From the very first sketches of the 2007 Dodge Caliber SRT4, we wanted an aggressive, SRT-signature look,” said Trevor Creed, Senior Vice President – Design.  “For example, because the intercooler is positioned so high behind the front grille, we moved the fascia slightly forward and extended the walls of the grille.  The result is a much more aggressive look than the standard Dodge Caliber.”

An front fascia below the signature Dodge crosshair grille incorporates functional performance features including ducts that direct air to cool the brakes and a wide center inlet that provides air flow to the radiator. Fog lamps are also set into the fascia, alongside brake ducts. The 2007 Dodge Caliber SRT4’s hood incorporates a functional scoop that brings cooling air into the engine compartment and a pair of extractors that exhaust hot air.

“Exterior design that works as well as it looks is a requirement for all SRT vehicles,” said Creed.  “The hood design includes the functionality of bringing cool air in and getting hot air out.”

The lowest portion of the 2007 Dodge Caliber SRT4’s fascia, which acts as an air dam to direct air around the front of the vehicle, wraps around to visually integrate with the radiused wheel wells and lower side-sill moldings.

The rear fascia continues the muscular, functional character of SRT vehicles, with lower vertical strakes that direct underbody air flow out the back of the vehicle, contributing to more stability at speed.  A single, 3.5-inch exhaust tip exits from the right side of the fascia.

Aerodynamic efficiency is also aided by an integrated spoiler above the rear glass, which incorporates the Center High-mounted Stop Light (CHMSL).  This spoiler, which is nearly 60 percent larger than that on the standard Dodge Caliber, is tuned for smoother air flow and downforce while maximizing the rear view.

SRT4 cars - interior

Trevor Creed said, “When we enhanced it with SRT cues, we followed design themes that had been successful with the previous Dodge SRT4, including the graphic design of the instruments, separate boost gauge, and silver finish on the center stack and interior trim. Overall, our strategy was to infuse the interior with performance-oriented enhancements to complement the Dodge Caliber SRT4’s aggressive exterior.”

Dodge Caliber SRT-4

Unique SRT touches include sport seating with aggressive bolstering and performance fabric inserts to hold occupants during spirited driving, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with a “carbon fiber” pattern on the upper portion.  The seats, steering wheel and leather shift boot feature contrasting stitching.  Also unique to the 2007 Dodge Caliber SRT4 is an “alloy silver” finish on the instrument panel and shift bezel, and bright aluminum pedal pads that feature rubber studs for enhanced grip.

The center-stack-mounted shifter includes a lift ring to engage reverse, unique to the Dodge Caliber SRT4, as well as a leather-finished shift knob.

The instrument panel features three gauge “tunnels” outfitted with performance-oriented instrumentation, including a tachometer, 200-mph speedometer and water temperature and fuel gauges.  A turbocharger boost gauge is located on the left side of the instrument panel.

Dodge Caliber SRT-4 ride and handling

boost gaugeThe 2007 Dodge Caliber SRT4 rides on SRT-unique 19-inch cast aluminum wheels with 225/45R19 W-rated Goodyear tires.  Wheel hubs andbearings on all four corners are adapted from Chrysler Group mid-size cars for strength. 

Upgrades to the standard 2007 Dodge Caliber’s MacPherson strut front suspension include new suspension knuckles and tuned dampers with revised spring rates. Unique front and rear sway bars keep body roll to a minimum during hard cornering.

The Electronic Stability Program (ESP) is uniquely calibrated for the 2007 Dodge Caliber SRT4 to provide excellent directional stability in all driving modes.  In addition, stability is enhanced with a ride height one-half inch lower than the standard 2007 Dodge Caliber.

Rack-and-pinion power steering is tuned to produce easier low-speed maneuvering, without compromising performance at speed.  The overall steering ratio is 18.0:1.

Selected Dodge Caliber SRT4 Safety and Security Features

  • Advanced Multi-stage Air Bags and Constant Force Retractors (to release seat-belt webbing in a controlled manner during a severe impact)
  • Auto-reverse Sun Roof:  automatically reverses the sun roof (to the open position) if it encounters an obstacle while closing
  • Brake Assist: senses a panic brake condition and applies maximum braking power
  • Electronic Stability Program (ESP) 
  • Enhanced Accident Response System (EARS):  shuts fuel flow and turns on interior lighting and unlocks doors after air bag deployment.
  • ParkSense Rear Back-up System
  • SmartBeam® Headlamps:  adjusts to ambient light and oncoming traffic
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring (TPM)

Belvidere plant:  production

The 2007 Dodge Caliber SRT4 was built at the Chrysler Group's Belvidere (Ill.) Assembly Plant on the same assembly line with the other Dodge Caliber cars, as well as Jeep Patriot and Jeep Compass. The robotic body shop could build the Dodge Caliber SRT4, Caliber and potentially three other vehicles with no negative impact on production. Robots made necessary tool changes automatically within cycle time, in about 45 seconds. The plant began production of the Plymouth Fury and Dodge Monaco in 1965.

2007 Dodge Caliber SRT4 Specifications

 All dimensions are in inches (millimeters) unless otherwise noted.

Dodge Caliber SRT-4 engine

Type and Description In-line four; intake manifold with electronically actuated Motion Control valves
Displacement 144 cu. in. (2360 cu. cm.)
Bore x Stroke 3.46  x 3.82 (88 x 97)
Valve System Chain-driven DOHC, 16 valves, electronically controlled dual variable valve timing, direct-acting shimless mechanical bucket tappets
Fuel Injection Sequential, multi-port, electronic, returnless
Construction High-pressure die cast aluminum block with dry iron liners, cast aluminum cylinder heads, cast aluminum ladder frame, forged steel crankshaft; dual counter-rotating balance shafts
Compression Ratio 8.6:1
Power (SAE net) 300 bhp (223 kW) @ 6000 rpm (125 bhp/liter)
Torque (SAE net) 260 lb.-ft. (352 N•m) @ 2000-6000 rpm
Max. Engine Speed 6500 rpm (electronically limited)
Fuel Requirement Unleaded premium, 93 octane (R+M)/2
Oil / Coolant Capacity 5.0 qt. (4.7L) SAE 0W/40 Mobil 1 Synthetic; 7.2 qt. (6.8 L) antifreeze
EPA MPG 22 city, 28 highway

TRANSAXLE: MANUAL, GETRAG DMT-6

Fully synchronized in all gears; cable operated four-plane shifter with reverse lockout ring.

1st 3.231
2nd 1.952
3rd 1.321
4th 0.971
5th 1.061
6th 0.886
Reverse 3.831
Final Drive Ratio  Gears 1-4: 4.063, gears 5,6: 2.955
Overall Top Gear 2.728

DIMENSIONS AND CAPACITIES

Electrical  700 CCA, maintenance-free battery, 140 amp alternator
Wheelbase  103.7 (2635)
Track, Front 59.8 (1520)
Track, Rear 59.8 (1520)
Overall Length  173.8 (4413.9)
Overall Width  68.8 (1747.2)
Overall Height  60.4 (1533.1)
Ground Clearance 7.0 (178)
Frontal Area, sq. ft. (sq. m) 24.5 (2.28)
Drag Coefficient 0.4 (quite high for 2006! The first Neon was .32 ... the Caliber is listed at 0.375).
Curb Weight, lb. (estimated)  3189 (1447 kg)
Weight Distribution, F/R 58/42
Tires and wheels Goodyear P255/45ZR19 on cast aluminum 19 x 7.5 wheels.

DODGE CALIBER SRT4 SUSPENSION, STEERING, AND BRAKES

Front Suspension Independent MacPherson strut, coil spring over gas-charged shock absorbers and stabilizer bar
Rear Suspension Multi-link-link independent with coil springs, link-type stabilizer bar, gas-charged shock absorbers
Steering Type Rack and pinion with hydraulic power assist
Overall Ratio 16.6:1
Turning Diameter 39.6 ft. (12 m)
Steering Turns 2.76
Brakes: Front 13.3 x 1.1 (340 x 28) vented disc with 2.2 (57) dual-piston floating caliper
Front Swept Area 223.52 sq. in. (1442.12 sq. cm)
Rear Size and Type 11.8 x 1.39 (302 x 10) solid disc with 1.4 (35) single-piston floating caliper
Rear Swept Area 138.64 sq. in. (894.6 sq. cm)
Power Assist Type 10 (254) single-diaphragm vacuum
Features Four wheel antilock; electronic stability program

See our Dodge Caliber SRT4 review for details; also see our Dodge Caliber forum

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