Dodge took the cover off the high-power version of their new Charger at the Chicago Auto Show, and while we liked the looks of the last model just fine, the new version makes us want to hop a plane to the Windy City right now.
The changes aren’t just restricted to the new, more ill exterior, though. Under the hood lies Chrysler’s new 6.4 liter Hemi, crankin’ out 465 horses and 465 lb-ft here (and as tests of the new Challenger equipped with the same engine show, that’s being conservative). A five-speed automatic’s the only way the factory’ll let you send that power to the ground, but at least it now comes with paddle shifters. Burnout city, here we come! [Shout-out to Dodge!]
2012 Dodge Charger SRT8® Delivers Intelligent Performance And Power
* Set to launch this calendar year, Dodge gives peek at its newest product from the Street and Racing Technology (SRT) team at the Chicago Auto Show
* 6.4-liter HEMI® V-8 engine offers an estimated 465 horsepower and 465 lb.-ft. of torque for power across a significantly wider rpm range
* All-new adaptive valve exhaust system improves fuel efficiency
* All-new paddle-shift technology allows spirited shifting on road and at the race track
* Two-mode adaptive damping suspension allows for selectable suspension tuning and also automatically adapts to road and driver inputs for proper vehicle control
The new product onslaught continues for the Dodge brand with the announcement today at the Chicago Auto Show that the Dodge Charger SRT8 will return for the 2012 model year.
“We’re continuing the fast-paced rebuilding of Dodge as our performance brand, and the expansion of our SRT product lineup in 2012 is an important part of our rejuvenation,” said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO, Dodge Brand – Chrysler Group LLCs. “The new 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 builds on the iconic four-door fastback coupe design of the all-new Charger and adds a much larger power band across the rpm range, along with intelligent performance attributes and safety and creature comforts for customers who are passionate about performance driving.”
The 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 will be built at the Brampton Assembly plant in Brampton, Ontario, Canada and will be in dealer showrooms later this year.
Under the hood, the new 6.4-liter HEMI® V-8 delivers more horsepower and torque than the 6.1-liter HEMI V-8 it replaces. It also will offer improved fuel economy.
Estimated power ratings for the 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 are 465 horsepower and 465 lb.-ft. of torque, including an estimated additional 80 lb.-ft. of torque at 2,900 rpm. Specific horsepower, torque and fuel economy numbers will be announced closer to the vehicle introduction.
Building upon the standard Fuel Saver technology (four-cylinder mode) found in the new 6.4 HEMI V-8, a new for 2012 adaptive valve exhaust system allows the technology to engage over a wider rpm range, which delivers improved fuel efficiency or the use of all eight cylinders when the power is needed.
An active intake manifold and high-lift camshaft with cam phasing provides maximum low-end torque for impressive standing starts while optimizing high-end power.
For the first time in any Chrysler Group LLC SRT product, standard paddle-shift technology joins the standard AutoStick on the floor shifter. Both are mated to the proven W5A580 five-speed automatic transmission, allowing a choice of spirited shifting on the road and the racetrack.
Both shifting methods give the driver the ability to shift while the transmission controller calibration prevents situations that might over rev the engine. Fully adaptive electronic control of all shifting makes the powertrain more responsive while minimizing harshness.
OUTSTANDING RIDE AND HANDLING
New for 2012, the Dodge Charger SRT8 features an adaptive damping suspension that uses a wide range of on-road and driver inputs, such as vehicle speed, steering angle, steering speed, brake torque, throttle position and lateral acceleration, to automatically tune the suspension for specific conditions. Drivers also can manually choose between “Auto” and “Sport” settings that quickly change the shock damping and harshness characteristics from the ease of everyday commuting to harsher, more challenging driving situations.
The performance SRT-tuned, fully hydraulic steering system also is improved with a new, heavy-duty pump and revised gearing to give drivers more direct feel and on-center response.
New, split five-spoke, 20-inch lightweight forged and polished aluminum wheels with black painted pockets provide great looks, and the available three- or four-season tires make the 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 easy to handle and fun to drive.
World-class stopping power for the 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 comes through four-piston Brembo calipers and vented/slotted rotors measuring 14.2 inches up front and 13.8 inches in the rear.
The Charger SRT8’s Ready Alert Braking system anticipates situations when the driver may initiate an emergency brake stop and engages the electronic stability control pump to set brake pads against rotors in order to decrease the time required for full brake application.
AGGRESSIVE AND FUNCTIONAL EXTERIOR
Exclusive new front and rear fascias, along with a new rear spoiler, distinguish the 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 with a high performance look.
The front grille, grille surround and Dodge crosshair feature high-gloss black finishes and the SRT badge. A newly sculpted hood features a 6.4 L (liter) badge and black air exhauster for added engine cooling.
In the rear, the Charger’s new signature “racetrack” taillamp design with 164 illuminating LEDs receives new 4-inch round dual exhaust tips and an SRT8 decklid badge to boldly show the Street and Racing Technology DNA.
Unique side-sill cladding is painted to match the body color.
A newly designed underbody belly pan features integrated brake ducting to improve cooling and brake fade performance at all four corners.
RACE-INSPIRED AND FUNCTIONAL INTERIOR
Building upon the all-new design from 2011, the interior environment of the 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 combines more world-class accommodations with race-inspired technology and appointments.
An all-new, leather-wrapped, SRT-exclusive steering wheel features a unique rim section with a flattened bottom surface that showcases the SRT logo. The standard paddle shifters flank both sides of the new steering wheel behind the new contoured palm rests.
For the high-performance look, carbon-weave, fiber aluminum interior trim pieces are integrated into the new instrument panel and shifter bezel.
The front seats have unique, aggressive bolstering and perforated suede insert fabric to help “grip” the driver and passengers, keeping them in place during spirited driving. Heated and ventilated front seats are standard. Reactive headrests also are standard. The SRT logo is embroidered in the seat backs. Rear seats also are heated for passenger comfort.
Modified door trim panels feature unique bolster material and accent stitching on arm rests to match the seats.
New for 2012, the Dodge Charger SRT8 features a 900-watt, 19-speaker premium SRT performance audio surround-sound system from Harmon Kardon. The intuitive user interface for the system is controlled through the state-of-the-art Uconnect® Touch on the largest standard touchscreen display (8.4-inch) in the segment. Benchmarked against the best E-segment sedans from Europe, Asia and North America, the easy-to-use system also features Uconnect Voice to deliver world-class functionality to keep all passengers easily connected, comfortable and secure.
Exclusive Performance Pages are new for 2012 and included within the touchscreen display. The instrument panel display can be customized to view driver preferences and expanded to include instant feedback on steering input measurements, horsepower, torque, expanded engine information, along with 0-60 mph time, 60-0 braking, g-forces and one-eighth mile and quarter-mile times. The color graphic Electronic Vehicle Information Center also includes the Performance Pages timers and added engine information.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
For everyday commuting, the 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 incorporates features like Keyless Enter-N-Go, adaptive-cruise control with Forward Collision Warning and Blind-spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Path Detection, to keep drivers and passengers secure.
Standard front-row reactive head restraints, standard full-length side-curtain air bags, driver’s knee bag and standard front seat-mounted side-thorax air bags offer enhanced occupant protection to passengers in the event of a collision.
Standard three-mode electronic stability control with segment-exclusive Ready Alert Braking and Rain Brake Support safety features, offer improved overall vehicle handling and performance both on the road and the track.
2012 DODGE CHARGER SRT8
Introduction Date: Fall 2011 as 2012 model
Engine: 6.4-liter (392 cubic inch) HEMI V-8
Estimated Power: 465 bhp
Estimated Torque: 465 lb.-ft.
Estimated Handling: .88g on skidpad
Estimated Top Speed: 175 mph
Estimated 0-60 mph: High 4-second range
Estimated ¼ mile: High 12-second range