- Newly formed SRT® brand sticks to successful vehicle development formula using five proven hallmarks, including awe-inspiring powertrains; outstanding ride, handling and capability; benchmark braking; aggressive and functional exteriors; and race-inspired and high-performance interiors to remain true to its performance roots
- Expansion of SRT vehicle lineup in 2012 includes four new vehicles that are world-class performance contenders and deliver latest in safety technologies and creature comforts
- Common 6.4-liter HEMI® V-8 powertrain has latest advance technologies for best-ever horsepower, torque and fuel efficiency ratings
The launch of SRT as the company’s performance brand comes as three additional vehicles are set to rejoin the 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8® in the expanding SRT lineup. Making their returns to the vehicle lineup are the 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8, 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 and 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8. Read more!
All four new SRT vehicles share a common powerplant – the new 6.4-liter (392 cubic-inch) HEMI® V-8 engine that features more horsepower and more torque than ever before across a significantly wider rpm range, while intake and exhaust technologies lead to improved fuel efficiency.
“SRT lives on as the in-house performance team of the Chrysler Group that adheres to our five existing performance hallmarks centered around building the best high-performance vehicles for the Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge brands,” said Ralph Gilles, the newly assigned President and CEO, SRT Brand and Motorsports. “Being a separate brand will allow our team to expand the dedicated engineering and marketing resources for specific performance vehicles. We will look to delight SRT customers and evolve our business model with the performance enthusiast in mind. The SRT vehicle lineup will continue to make the latest in contemporary luxury features available to our customers, while carefully integrating active and passive safety features. We strive to never lose focus on driver involvement and vehicle character while maintaining each of the vehicle brand’s key design differentiators.”
Every SRT vehicle is developed using five specific performance hallmarks, including:
High horsepower and torque ratings are a prerequisite in the high-performance automotive world. SRT engineers work to extract maximum power and fuel efficiency from each engine regardless of displacement, to meet the demands of today’s performance customer. Proven transmissions reliably put the power to the pavement, while at the same time incorporate the latest fuel-saving technology.
Outstanding ride, handling and capability
Every SRT vehicle is built to excel on both road courses and road trips as a result of countless miles of real-world testing to ensure masterful handling on complex circuits and city streets alike. Each tire and wheel package is carefully selected to guarantee any SRT vehicle can hold its own on and off the race track.
SRT vehicles are well known for their world-class braking. SRT uses some of the best performing components so drivers never have to worry about having safe and consistent stopping power quickly at hand.
Aggressive and functional exteriors
Auto enthusiasts can spot an SRT vehicle from far away. So designers and engineers work together, whether in the studio or the wind tunnel, to ensure each performance target objective is met, while maintaining specific brand styling cues and character lines. All the design elements on the exterior are functional. Since SRT vehicles are drag limited, they are designed to be stable at very high speeds with a goal to achieve the least amount of lift as possible, while being efficient at touring speeds.
Race-inspired and high-performance interiors
The interiors of SRT vehicles are specifically designed with only high-quality materials, leather and fabrics while promoting passenger comfort with an aggressive feel. Confidence-inspiring steering wheels, stylish ambient lighting along with the latest in intelligent performance hardware and sound systems transform the interior of all SRT vehicles into an upscale space at any speed.
“This is a momentous time in the history of SRT as we expand our vehicle lineup from one vehicle within one brand to four vehicles within three Chrysler Group brands,” Gilles added. “I honestly can’t wait for our performance customers to get behind the wheel of our new lineup of SRT vehicles – they’re going to be impressed.”
Formed in 2002 as one of the industry’s leading in-house automotive performance groups, SRT’s original premise, which is still followed today, was to create the Chrysler Group’s boldest, most distinctive vehicles that delivered benchmark performance.
Original team members were recruited from the established Dodge Viper development team that had already been building the ultimate American supercar for more than 10 years, along with Dodge motorsports and the Mopar® engineering teams.
The man at the helm when SRT started in 2002, Dan Knott, credits its early success directly to this “team of die-hard performance enthusiasts leading the engineering efforts.”
The 2003 Dodge Viper SRT10® was a natural fit to carry the flag as the first official SRT vehicle with its all-new, 500 horsepower 8.3-liter V-10 engine.
The next vehicle to wear the SRT treatment was the Dodge Neon and its transformation into the SRT4 was groundbreaking. It instantly became the quickest car under $20,000 and made the import tuning crowd take serious notice.
In total, there have been 10 Chrysler Group nameplates designed and engineered specifically to wear the SRT badge, including:
• Chrysler 300 and 300C SRT8
• Chrysler Crossfire SRT6®
• Dodge SRT4®
• Dodge Ram SRT10®
• Dodge Viper SRT10, Viper SRT10 ACR and Viper SRT10 ACR-X
• Dodge Magnum SRT8
• Dodge Charger SRT8
• Dodge Caliber SRT4
• Dodge Challenger SRT8 and Challenger SRT8 392
• Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8
The roots leading up to SRT being established in 2002 can be traced back to the 1989 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, where Dodge amazed crowds with the sleek Viper concept car. The vehicle’s simplistic yet muscular shape paired with an extreme performance 8.0-liter V-10 engine instantly thrust the Viper into the spotlight. The public raved and the Viper was quickly approved for production.
With the dawn of the V-10 powered supercar emerged a group of devoted engineers. Team Viper worked to hone the supercar for the street and racing, which would lead to endurance race victories in the late 1990s.
Meanwhile, a separate, dedicated team completed work on the 1993 Plymouth Prowler concept car. When the first Prowler rolled off the assembly line four years later, Chrysler integrated the two specialty groups into a single entity: Special Vehicle Engineering. At last, Chrysler’s elite teams worked together under a single roof to create eye-catching niche vehicles.
In 2002, Chrysler announced the creation of the Performance Vehicle Operations (PVO) group. The newly formed group leveraged existing resources to improve Chrysler’s high-performance vehicle focus.
All PVO creations began to wear the SRT badge with the unveiling of the Viper V-10-powered Dodge Ram SRT-10 concept, flanked on the floor at the 2002 North American International Auto Show in Detroit by the Dodge SRT-4 concept and Viper SRT-10.
In 2004, Chrysler renamed the PVO development team SRT.
About Chrysler Group LLC
Chrysler Group LLC, formed in 2009 from a global strategic alliance with Fiat S.p.A., produces Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Mopar, SRT and Fiat vehicles and products. With the resources, technology and worldwide distribution network required to compete on a global scale, the alliance builds on Chrysler Group’s culture of innovation, first established by Walter P. Chrysler in 1925, and Fiat’s complementary technology that dates back to its founding in 1899.
Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., Chrysler Group’s product lineup features some of the world’s most recognizable vehicles, including the Chrysler 300, Jeep Wrangler, Dodge Challenger and Ram 1500. Fiat contributes world-class technology, platforms and powertrains for small- and medium-size cars, allowing Chrysler Group to offer an expanded product line including environmentally friendly vehicles.