The 425-hp Dodge Charger SRT8 is a rockin' muscle car. It would be easy to dismiss it as yet another twin to the Chrysler 300C SRT8 and the Dodge Magnum SRT8, but the Charger establishes itself as the sportiest of its brethren with the firmest suspension calibration of the bunch and look-at-me spoilers and scoops.
Not only is the Charger SRT8 the athlete of the group, we expect it to be an amazing bargain at well under $40,000. To put that in perspective, the only Ford sedans that will run with this car are the Jaguar R-series models which start at $58,995 and the only GM offerings in the same league are the V-series Cadillacs which start at $51,485. The Japanese don't sell a sedan as powerful, and don't even ask what you'd have to pay for a German sedan that could keep up. With a 0-60 time of around five seconds flat, the Charger SRT8 will show its taillights to all eight of the $50k plus sport sedans in our May issue.
The pushrod Hemi V-8 found in all the SRT8 models makes 425 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque the old fashioned way: displacement--6.1 liters of it, to be exact. All that twist goes through a five-speed manu-matic transmission to an open rear differential and then on to Summer tires wrapping twenty-inch wheels. Keeping things in check are massive Brembo brakes and sport-tuned stability and traction control. With the ESP off (not really off, but as close as you'll get in a DaimlerChrysler product), the tail will hang out at angles that could put a grin on the face of even the most jaded automotive journalist.
Mopar enthusiasts will be able to spot the SRT8's unique front and rear spoilers, a functional hood scoop, massive twenty-inch forged five-spoke wheels, red-painted brake calipers, dual 3.5-inch exhausts, and, when they pop the hood, the retro black and orange paint on the engine. Red, silver, and black are the only initial color options.