Chrysler's Street and Racing Technology (SRT) now stands alone as its own brand, and the division is hungry for new models to peddle. The first of those is the 2013 Viper, but our colleagues at Motor Trend report that SRT already is mulling adding two more models to the mix.
The two new vehicles will be SRT-specific models, just like the 2013 Viper. That means they have no non-performance counterparts, unlike the existing SRT versions of Chrysler vehicles (Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, Dodge Charger SRT8, Chrysler 300C SRT8, and Dodge Challenger 392 SRT8).
The first model that MT promises is a muscle car called the SRT Barracuda. Based on an interview with Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, we reported on the arrival of this car in the July 2012 issue of Automobile Magazine.The Barracuda name has plenty of history as a Plymouth muscle car, but Chrysler Group won't try to resurrect the erstwhile brand.
The Barracuda will debut in 2015, just as the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro are redesigned. The Dodge Challenger may live on until 2017, but the Barracuda is designed to replace the Challenger, and provide more competition to the popular Chevy and Ford pony cars. MT reports that the rear-drive Barracuda will be based on a new platform called LA, which is a smaller version of the chassis used for the current Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300. The Challenger, meanwhile, will most likely soldier on unchanged.
As for the third member of the SRT lineup, the possibilities are still open. The brand could consider a performance truck along the lines of the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor. In the past, Dodge built the Ram SRT10 truck with an 8.3-liter V-10 from the Dodge Viper, but that model was really only designed for fast on-road antics. A serious off-road truck would be based on the Ram 1500 platform, although it's apparently unlikely SRT would want to build a unique pickup for its brand.
The other, more likely possibility is that SRT will be a smaller, two-seat roadster. This idea has been bouncing around in Chrysler headquarters for years; back before the automaker went bankrupt, it was mulling a Mazda MX-5 Miata competitor called the Dodge Demon (pictured). If this is the direction chosen, MT posits that SRT might use the platform of the next MX-5. Alfa Romeo, which also is owned by Chrysler Group parent Fiat, will employ the MX-5 chassis for the basis of a new Spider roadster. That might leave the door open for SRT to build its own, gutsier version. At the same time, building three models off one roadster platform might be too much dilution. In that case, SRT could consider building its own two-place convertible.
Earlier this year, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne indicated to us in an interview that SRT would also build sporty versions of two other existing vehicles, the new Dart compact sedan (Dart SRT4) and the Journey crossover (Journey SRT6). SRT boss Ralph Gilles told us at the Detroit auto show in January that his division would build a high-performance version of almost any Chrysler Group vehicle -- except for minivans.
Source: Motor Trend