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First Drive: 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

Trading the trails for the track.

by on Aug.08, 2011

Jeep trades the trail rating for a serious performance machine with the 2012 Grand Cherokee SRT8.

Jeeps have always traded on their rugged capability. But for once the brand guys at Chrysler have decided to forego tradition and build a Jeep for speed.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee becomes the fourth new 2012 offering from Chrysler to wear the SRT badge, along with the likes of the new Dodge Charger and Challenger models, as well as the 300C SRT8, but while Jeep’s entry into the muscle car segment  is clearly designed with an emphasis on performance it does not abandon entirely its off-road capabilities.


You’ll notice something different the moment you spot the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8.  To start with, ground clearance has been reduced, which must pass for something like heresy in Jeep’s engineering shop, and the skid plate was removed.  Instead of that traditional off-road cue you’ll quickly spot a functional rear spoiler added to improve aerodynamics on a vehicle that normally boasts the dimensions of a brick.


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 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.


Chrysler Revives SRT Performance Brand with Three New Models Coming

Gilles named new SRT chief in management shake-up.

by on Jun.08, 2011

The new Dodge Charger SRT8 will be part of a revived, standalone performance brand.

Who says performance cars are dead in an era of $4 gas? Not Chrysler, it seems.  The maker is bringing back the SRT brand and plans to start expanding its line-up later this year.

Ralph Gilles, who had been serving as CEO of the Dodge division, will now serve as brand boss for SRT – which is short for Street and Racing Technology.  Gilles will continue in his dual role as Chrysler’s design director.

The move is just one in a series of senior executive management changes.

The SRT brand originally appeared in 2002, when the Detroit maker announced it would “create a line of industry-leading performance vehicles and parts.”  It was a time when performance products were making a comeback, and Chrysler began putting out SRT versions of a wide range of products.  But, in recent years, as fuel prices began to soar and the market shifted from muscle to mileage.


At the moment, there is only one SRT model in the entire Chrysler line-up, the 2011 Dodge Challenger.  But for 2012, the company will add three more: a Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, a Dodge Charger SRT8 and a Chrysler 300 SRT8.


Dodge Brings Back 392 Hemi in Challenger SRT8

New engine adds 65 horsepower, 90 ft.-lb. of torque

by on Nov.04, 2010

For 2011, the Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 features a bigger, more power engine, revised interior and exterior styling and an upgraded suspension.

The news coming out of Chrysler HQ in Auburn Hills is almost relentless these days. There are new engines, completely new SUVs and crossovers and revamped sedans.

Add to the mix a new Dodge Challenger SRT8 with a huge power infusion.

While Dodge has already announced that the base 250-horsepower V-6 will be replaced by a 305-horsepower version of the new Pentastar V-6, it hadn’t said anything about the Challenger’s other engines. Dodge still hasn’t announced numbers for the R/T, but it is expected to maintain its 5.7-liter Hemi, but it will likely make slightly more power.

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Fast news!

Just as Ford has done by bringing back the hallowed 5.0, the Challenger is bringing back a reverred name of its own. The new SRT8 now adds the numbers 392 to its name, as in 392 cubic inches.

Now 6.4 liters, the top dog in the Challenger lineup is rated at 470 horsepower, 65 more than before. Torque rises to 470 as well, 90 more than before, compared to the old 6.1-liter Hemi.