by Patrick Rall
When the Chrysler Group introduced the newly formed SRT brand, they became the first company to offer a cross-brand group focusing strictly on performance, but if some new rumors prove to be true – the Street and Racing Technology brand could become the most powerful brand in the American market.
These rumors suggest that SRT could introduce an upgrade package that
would use forced induction to boost the power of the current SRT lineup
from 470 to the range of 570 ponies – making them among the most
powerful cars on the market.
The 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8, Dodge Challenger SRT8, and Chrysler 300C
all use the new 6.4L Hemi V8 to produce 470 horsepower. This puts the
Charger and 300C in a class of their own with no real competition in the
American market and the only worldly competition on US soil comes from
the likes of AMG and the BMW M vehicles. However, with vehicles like
the Ford Shelby GT500 and the upcoming Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 – the Dodge
Challenger SRT8 finds itself short of power compared to the high end
rivals from across the Motor City. One quick fix would be for the folks
at SRT to introduce a package that would push their Hemi-powered
vehicles into the high 500hp range – similar to models like the BMW M5
and the aforementioned high-end Camaro and Mustang.
According to the Motor Authority, SRT is working on a package that would
utilize an Eaton twin screw supercharged to bump the power of the
Charger, Challenger and 300C SRT8 models from their standard 470hp into
the range of 540-570hp. It is unclear whether this supercharged SRT8
package would come directly from the factory or if it would be a dealer
installed kit, but the rumors suggest that these high end SRT models
could hit the streets in late 2012 as 2013 model year vehicles.
Unfortunately, the rumor also suggests that this package would only be
available for the Charger, Challenger and 300C SRT models – leaving the
Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 to solider on with the standard 465 horsepower
under the hood. But with no real competition in the world of ultra high
performance road-going SUVs…the Grand Cherokee SRT8 doesn’t need as much
help as the SRT cars.
As an interesting twice, the Motor Authority also states that these
supercharged 2013 SRT8 models could be equipped with Chrysler’s new
8-speed transmission. This part seems to be the least likely portion of
the rumor, especially if the supercharged SRT8 kit is a dealer
installed package. However, if SRT introduces a new trimline that comes
from the factory with a 570 horsepower, supercharged 6.4L Hemi, adding
the innovative new 8-speed automatic transmission could combine
aggressive gearing for improved acceleration with higher gears to help
fuel economy. The 6.4L Hemi already uses Chrysler’s fuel saver
technology which deactivates 4 cylinders when cruising on the highway, so
the addition of an 8-speed transmission would likely help the 2013 SRT
cars to offer gobs more horsepower without suffering in the fuel economy
area.What do you think? Would a supercharged upgrade package leave all the competition behind? Voice your opinion here!