When Dodge unveiled the redesigned 2011 Dodge Charger last fall, it was almost a foregone conclusion that an SRT8 high-performance version would be on the way.
Dodge made good on that assumption at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show, where the 2011 Dodge Charger SRT8 made its debut. (As did a reborn Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, Chevy’s fastest pony car ever. Click Here for more.)
Sporting an estimated 465-horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque from a 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 that mates to a 5-speed automatic transmission, the SRT8 Charger is set to launch later this year.
Observant readers will notice that the Charger SRT8 makes five less horsepower than the Challenger SRT8 392, but that’s no reason to be dissapointed. Dodge says that the difference was necessary to achieve optimal low-end torque.
Those who like to shift for themselves will be happy to note that the Charger SRT8 offers steering wheel-mounted shift paddles, while those who want high performance without sacrificing those miles per gallon will like the cylinder-deactivation system that shuts down four of the cylinders during light cruising.
Speaking of cruising, Dodge promises better ride and handling characteristics, thanks to a standard adaptive suspension that features two modes—Auto and Sport—and 20-inch wheels that can be shod with either three-season or all-season rubber. The electronically-controlled suspension automatically adjusts, based on vehicle speed, steering-wheel angle, throttle position, and other factors.
Brembo brakes (14.2 inches in the front and 13.8 in the rear) provide the stopping power needed to rein in the big Hemi.
The SRT8 will stand out in a crowd of Chargers, thanks to distinct front and rear fascias and a new rear spoiler. In case those pieces of flair don’t tip observers off, there will also be SRT8 badging, unique body-color side sills, a sculpted hood, and dual-exhaust tips. One other performance touch: The underbelly body pan has integrated brake-cooling ducts.
Interior upgrades include the aforementioned paddle shifters, an SRT8-exclusive leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated and cooled front seats, suede inserts for said seats, aluminum trim for the instrument panel and shifter bezel, more-aggressive seat bolstering, and heated rear seats, among others.
Available features include a navigation system and blind-spot alert, while the hoons among us will enjoy the “Performance Pages” part of the 8.4-inch touch screen, which can show a serious performance fan just about any sort of information they might desire regarding acceleration and handling.
Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but something in the high thirties to low forties seems about right.
Seems like a fair price for a fast sedan to us.