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Is this the SRT4? When is it coming?

by David Zatz on

The original Dodge SRT4 was a Neon with a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, the fastest car you could get for under $20,000. It fulfilled the promise of the Neon, as well as rumors of a forced-induction version that started circulating back in 1994.

Next came a Dodge Caliber SRT4, with a 285 horsepower turbo 2.4 — a completely different engine. Both SRT4s did 0-60 in a little over six seconds, which is no longer considered quite as fast as it was in their day — not with a base Charger V6 doing 0-60 in 6.6.

2017 Dart SRT4

Next is reportedly the Hurricane four-cylinder Dart SRT, which should, given the weight of the car and advances in technology, have a goal of at least 300 horsepower.  At that, managing the power will be an issue, though not as much as it must have been for the Caliber, which was not quite as much of a handler in base form as the sporty Neon.

The question is whether Chrysler can actually wring that much power out of the engine, even if they turn to their Ferrari brethren for help. A presentation by Fiat Chrysler powertrain chief Bob Lee indicated that there would be just two displacements for four cylinder engines, and all indications have been that the larger one is 2.0 liters.

While there are some challenges, it’s not impossible to achieve the desired output. Alfa Romeo announced a 1.8-liter, 300 horsepower, turbocharged four cylinder for the 4C back in 2011 and Alfa chief Harald Wester says there’s room to get more power out of the current 240-horsepower 4C mill.

If SRT can’t get the needed power from the 2.0 “Hurricane” engine, chances are the SRT4 will either be delayed from its late-2016 introduction while they pursue other means of gaining speed (weight reduction?), or it will end up as an unusually fast R/T.  Either option would likely delay the launch beyond current plans, and it may not even be badged as a 2017 model.

In either case, artist STL, long absent from Allpar, applied current Dodge styling trends to the Dart, which will undergo a facelift for 2016 (the 2017 model year). We’ve been promised other changes, as well, but what they are has been left up to our imagination.

Clarification: We have not had any information on delays from our sources. This article is based on speculation and public announcements.

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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