By Patrick Rall
We know that the SRT Brand has been discontinued by the Chrysler Group as a standalone brand of its own and the SRT Viper will return to being the Dodge Viper. This has led some to suggest that SRT was facing its demise, but with the incredible performance reputation of the Chrysler Street and Racing Technology name, we should expect that it will simply return to being a trimline like it was prior to becoming a brand of its own. SRT will continue to produce great high performance vehicles with a steadily growing list of uniquely powered Dodge vehicles including a refreshed Viper in 2015 as well as the continuation of the SRT jeep and maybe the Chrysler 300C in the near future.
The Future of Dodge SRT
With the demise of the SRT brand, the supercar that we currently know as the SRT Viper will become the Dodge Viper – likely with the SRT trimline at the end of the name. I expect that the current Viper coupe will be joined by a roadster within the next few years, presumably with the promised refresh for 2015.
The “new” Dodge Viper SRT will be joined by the Dodge Challenger SRT with its mighty Hellcat power and within the next year or so; I fully expect to see a Charger SRT Hellcat joining the Challenger and Viper in the 600 horsepower club. Right now, there has been no mention of a Hellcat Charger, but I would be blown away if Chrysler didn’t jump on the chance to offer the market’s most powerful sport sedan.
These familiar SRT models will be joined by two new and unique performance trimlines for the Dodge Dart and the Dodge Journey. The SRT Dart will pack a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and all wheel drive while I expect the SRT Journey to feature an all wheel drive system of its own, and a heavily built version of the current 3.6L Pentastar V6 – possibly something with forced induction as well. I have spoken with insiders who have seen the current Pentastar engine undergoing heavy lab testing with both turbocharged and supercharged applications, and both of those options would make for one nasty fast Journey. As for the SRT Dart, I expect this all wheel drive turbocharged compact sedan to raise the bar in the same fashion as the Dodge Neon SRT4 back in the day.
Non-Dodge SRT Models
Right now, the only non-Dodge and non-Viper SRT models are the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT and the Chrysler 300C SRT. The 300C SRT seems to be living on for the 2015 model year, but word on the street is that the SRT Chrysler will be killed off in the near future since it is really just a Charger SRT with different sheet metal.
On the other hand, I fully expect to see the Grand Cherokee SRT continue on, including getting a Hellcat Hemi option of its own so the SRT Jeep will be the most powerful SUV sold in America.
While some Chrysler fans are bummed at the rumors of the 300C SRT demise, the future of the SRT name seems to be very bright. Viper is making a fitting return home to the Dodge brand where it will join the Charger and Challenger in the SRT family – with the Jeep and 300C living on outside of the Dodge brand. The SRT Chrysler will fade away in the next year or so, while the high performance Jeep lives on with the Charger, Challenger, Viper and upcoming Dart and Journey.