Sunday, July 15, 2012

First Impression: Dodge Charger SRT-8

The original Dodge Charger was a two-door muscle car, first released in 1966. When Dodge was looking for a name for replacing the Intrepid as its full-size sedan, Dodge decided to bring back the Charger name. Production for the Charger started in 2005 and it is on its second generation, which went into production in 2010. Like many other car companies, Chysler has its own high performance group called Street and Racing Technology, or SRT. SRT got its hands on the second generation Charger and created the Dodge Charger SRT-8, a four-door muscle car. 

The Dodge Charger SRT-8 was on display at the 2012 Houston Auto Show and is a regular at Houston Cars and Coffee events. The Charger is one aggressive sedan. The front grill extends from the top of the hood to the bottom of the bumper. It has an agressive rear bumper and aggressive side profile lines. This sedan means business.

The Dodge Charger SRT-8 is powered by 6.4L HEMI V8, paired with a five-speed automatic transmission, that produces 470 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. It goes from 0 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds, covers a 1/4 mile in 12.8 seconds at 110 mph, and reaches a top speed of 175 mph. Prices for the Charger SRT-8 start at $46,795, which is very reasonable for a four-door muscle car.

The Dodge Charger SRT-8 has been featured in Street Kings, Stilleto, Supernatural, Fast Five, Castle, Dark Blue, JDM Mischief Vol. 2: Attack of the Killer Tuners, Auto Esporte, and the Car Show. The Charger SRT-8 is playable in Need for Speed: The Run, Asphalt 7: Heat, Forza Motorsport 4, Car Town, Driver: San Francisco, Need For Speed: Most Wanted, Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, Need For Speed: World, NItto 1320 Legends, SteetRally, Burnout Paradise, Midnight Club: Los Angeles, Race On, Fast Five the Movie, Midnight Club: L.A. Remix, Urban Crime, Charger Urban Racing, Need For Speed: Carbon, Grand Theft Auto IV, Forza Motorsport 2, Forza Motorsport 3, Test Drive Unlimited 2, Dodge Hemi Highway, Saints Row: The Third, Need For Speed: Undercover, and the Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. 

Final Thoughts: The Charger is an aggressive muscle car and a good performing four-door sedan. I think that the Dodge Charger SRT-8 should have an optional manual transmission. The original Chargers came with manual transmissions in addition to automatic transmissions. I love that this car is powered by a HEMI engine as Chrysler muscle cars used HEMI engines. The car has very good performance for under $50,000. SRT has created some incredible machines, including the Dodge Challeger SRT-8, Chrysler 300 SRT-8, and Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8, which all use the same 392 cubic inch HEMI V8. The Charger has the most aggressive styling out of all the SRT-8 vehicles. SRT is also responsible for the next generation Dodge Viper. SRT has done a great job in tuning Chrysler products, but SRT is not quite on the level as Mercedes-Benz AMG, BMW M Division, or Audi quatto. After seeing what SRT did with the Charger, I look forward to seeing more SRT tuned vehicles in the future. The Dodge Charger SRT-8 proves that even four-door full-size sedans can be muscle cars and that muscle cars should not be limited to just two doors. This is overall a good car.

Photo was taken by a digital camera.
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