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SRT brand leads with new Challenger SRT8

by Bill Cawthon on

Chrysler Group LLC’s newest brand, SRT (Street and Racing Technology), is showing off the 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8. The new coupe offers outstanding straight-line acceleration, world-class ride and handling, high-performance braking and technologies to deliver more driver excitement and control.

Powered by a 392-cubic inch (6.4-liter) HEMI with 470 horsepower (351 kW) and 470 (637 N•m) lb.-ft. of torque, the Challenger SRT8 goes from 0-60 in under five seconds, runs the quarter mile in mid-12-second range with the automatic transmission (high 12-second range with the manual); goes from 0-100-0 mph in the low 15s, reaches a top speed of 182 mph with the standard Tremec TR-6060 six-speed manual transmission (175 mph with the five-speed automatic) and stops from 60-0 mph in just 117 feet.

The adaptive damping suspension (ADS) system is new for 2012 and tuned specifically for the Dodge Challenger SRT8 392. The ADS system features the fastest turn-in and most nimble handling characteristics of any SRT product.

Sitting a half-inch lower than non-SRT models, the 2012 Challenger SRT8 392 can pull .90g on the skid pad.

Ralph Gilles, the newly assigned President and CEO, SRT Brand and Motorsports, said, “Being a separate brand will allow our team to expand the dedicated engineering and marketing resources for specific performance vehicles. … The SRT vehicle lineup will continue to make the latest in contemporary luxury features available to our customers, … We strive to never lose focus on driver involvement and vehicle character while maintaining each of the vehicle brand’s key design differentiators.”

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for just-auto.com, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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