While Dodge’s main message at the Chicago show was a complete overhaul of its R/T models, it’s clear the SRT range is what Ralph Gilles, president and CEO of Dodge, is truly excited about. The 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 takes the looks and performance of the regular Dodge Charger and turns them up to a proverbial 11.
The big news for 2012 is an upgrade to the 6.4-liter Hemi, which produces 465 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. Sadly, that power is still sent to the rear wheels through an old five-speed automatic transmission, though Dodge now offers paddle shifters. SRT’s preliminary testing indicates a 0-60 sprint in less than five seconds and a quarter mile time of just less than 13 seconds. We’re looking forward to having a chance to verify those claims later this year.
We particularly enjoy the Charger SRT8’s aggressive looks and the relative lack of bling. Gilles recognizes that not every customer wants tons of chrome on the exterior of a vehicle, so the SRT8 Charger has a bold, black grille that looks more menacing than blinding. Even the forged aluminum 20-inch wheels have black accents and no trace of chrome. This is a design trend we can get behind.
Perhaps the most interesting feature of the SRT8 is a data logging screen on the infotainment system that takes all the vehicle performance information the car typically gathers and displays it to the driver and passengers. These “Performance Pages” are a great way to display 0-60 times, quarter mile passes, or the g forces that the car saw during your last run up a canyon road.