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First Drive: 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8

Thunder and lightning -- with a dash of elegance.

by on Jul.21, 2011

Chrysler takes the new 300 sedan up a performance peg with the launch of the 2012 300 SRT8.

Over the last couple of years, Chrysler has defied conventional wisdom and seemingly informed opinion by reviving its product line despite scarce resources.

The re-launch of its SRT performance line, marked by the debut of four revamped muscle cars represents the next step in creating an air of excitement around the company’s product line. And our first experience with the Chrysler 300 SRT8 certainly leaves an excellent impression both curbside and out on the highway.   (Click Here for more on the SRT story.)

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For starters, Chrysler designers have tweaked the car’s exterior and the changes have enhanced what was already a strong and popular design. The 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 sits a half inch lower than non-SRT models – which only just went through their first complete redesign in seven years.  With such touches as new side sill cladding, the SRT8 edition gets a more aggressive and sporty appearance that’s accented by seven-spoke, 20-inch aluminum wheels.

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Is Chrysler’s SRT Brand Awesome or Anachronism?

TheDetroitBureau takes a closer look.

by on Jul.19, 2011

Is the Challeger SRT8 392, with its new 6.4-liter V8. awesome or just an anachronism?

Chrysler has brought performance back in a big way with its SRT brand, launching four new models—the 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392, the 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8, the 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8, and the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8—but can the company bank on it?

Is SRT awesome or just an anachronism?

As SRT brand CEO told TheDetroitBureau.com last week, the company believes that there’s a business case for large performance cars, and that these vehicles bring buyers into showrooms, and many of those buyers end up buying cars like the Dodge Avenger and Chrysler 200.

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In theory, halo cars have always drawn customers into showrooms and auto show displays, and car enthusiasts love them. But in order for halo cars to do more than just attract eyeballs, the rest of the lineup has to be great, as well.

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Chrysler Re-launching SRT Performance Brand

Redefining the muscle car for $4 gas.

by on Jul.15, 2011

Ralph Gilles with the Dodge Challenger SRT-8.

While fuel prices may be hovering near record levels, there’s plenty of demand for performance – or so Chrysler is betting as it readies the ambitious re-launch of its SRT brand.

The make is rolling out four new SRT models that have been equipped with a new 6.4-liter hemi-engine that delivers not only better performance but also markedly improved fuel economy compared to the old Chrysler 6.1-liter Hemi.

The engine in each of the cars has been equipped with cylinder de-activation technology that Chrysler claims can boost mileage by as much as 25%, while upgraded vehicle dynamics, performance-oriented brakes and race-inspired seats – as well as a new high-end sound system – should appeal to traditional muscle can fans.

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The 6.4-liter Hemi V8 produces 470 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque and can propel the SRT versions of the Dodge Challenger , Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 to top speeds of 175 mph. The SRT version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee with its 20-inch, highly stylized wheels – designed to show off the new Brembo brakes – tops out at “only” 165 miles per hour after the vehicle’s ground clearance was reduced by an inch to make the SRT SUV more aerodynamic.

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