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Reports from SEMA

by David Zatz on

Ray Alexander reported from SEMA:

I spoke to Mark Trostle, chief SRT designer, and suggested that more of the special testing for SRTs needs to be leaked out.  He thought about it and agreed but said he was not the person to leak it.  I also spoke with Beth Parreta about NASCAR, and she said nothing was happening; it is too late to announce a team switch for next year, so 2014 will see no Dodges running NASCAR.

Early this morning I bumped into Eric Petersen, the tire guy from the Silver State Challenge, in the Mopar booth. (I encountered several people that raced Silver State).  Optima announced the winners of positions in the Optima Battery Ultimate Street Car Challenge, chosen from the SEMA show cars.  I am trying to get my Dodge in this event but, it is not going to happen this year.  My Dodge has safety equipment that limits it to 110 mph.  Maybe that is the easiest way to get in, take the Dodge and run it in Silver State again.

The Mopar CEO took the stage for the press conference and talked at length about how a buyer could personalize their purchase from the factory, thanks to new in-factory customization shops; buyers can even have some purchases appear right on the Monroney form, which means the Mopar options can be financed along with the car.  Chrysler now has as many wheel choices as all the wheel vendors at SEMA combined.  They have managed to omit some of the really ugly ones.

The CEO of Dodge addressed two important programs, the Scat Pack and the shaker hood.  The Scat Pack will offer three stages of build up.  Stage 1 (for Hemi cars) will be a CAI and exhaust options.  Some will have side outlet in front of the rear wheel.  Stage 2 will be a cam.  Stage 3 will be heads and exhaust headers.  All California-legal, I assume. Dart options mainly address cornering and brakes, though there is also a revised engine computer that requires premium gas.

After the program was over, I was talking to Alex, the driver of Shop Hemi, and someone started one of the Challengers.  We were both amazed at the sound; it had the Mopar remote-controlled side-exit exhaust dump, which lets drivers control when their cars “let loose.”

More to come…

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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