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SRT unveils new NASCAR Charger (updated)

by Bill Cawthon on

While the promised live video stream didn’t work out, Chrysler’s SRT Motorsports team unveiled the 2013 Dodge Charger Sprint Cup car on schedule this morning at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Ralph Gilles pointed out that it was the only rear-wheel-drive car in Sprint Cup competition that could be purchased (stock) with a V8 engine.

NASCAR relaxed the template rules for racing cars, allowing automakers to make the sheet metal and glass closer to the look of the production cars.

Responding to concerns about whether Dodge will still be racing next year, with Penske defecting to Ford, Ralph Gilles said they were looking at  range of options, from leaving NASCAR entirely to tripling their investment; he also said they were getting numerous inquiries from other teams.

Robbie Gordon Motorsports, a single-car team, is still racing with Dodge. Richard Petty Motorsports has expressed some interest in switching from Ford/Roush to Dodge; if RPM does move, they would “likely” make a decision within 90 days.

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, 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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