by Patrick Rall
The Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 has carried the SRT name on its own while the company worked on the new SRT variants of the Charger, Chrysler 300 and Jeep Grand Cherokee. And after gallantly carrying such a load, Chrysler has announced some new additions for 2012 that will make a great muscle car even better.
The 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 changes begin with the adaptive
damping suspension (ADS) system. This high tech suspension setup made
its debut on the Dodge Charger SRT8 when it debuted at the Chicago Auto
Show. Not surprisingly, the dual mode will also find its way into the
2-door muscle car.
The adaptive damping suspension system features an
Auto and Sport mode, with the auto mode using a variety of inputs
including vehicle speed, steering angle, steering speed, brake torque,
throttle position and lateral/vertical accelerations to determine the
ideal suspension settings for that exact driving condition. Say that you
are cruising on the highway at 70mph – Auto mode will adjust the
suspension to provide the smoothest, most comfortable ride possible.
However, should you exit the highway and hit the twisties, the
active suspension system adjusts to improve the handling capabilities by
stiffening up the rebound and compression rates without the driver
having to do anything.
On the other hand, if you are driving
your 2012 Challenger SRT8 392 somewhere that ride quality is less of a
concern – such as a road course or drag strip – switching the active
damping suspension system over to the Sport mode instantly locks the
suspension into the optimal settings for high performance handling.
Dodge and SRT promise that with the addition of this dual mode
suspension system, the Challenger SRT8 392 is the best handling
Challenger to date.
The other major addition for the 2012 Dodge
Challenger SRT8 392 pertains only to those models equipped with the
5-speed manual transmission. When the new Dodge Charger SRT8 debuted at
the Chicago Auto Show earlier this year, it was equipped with a sexy
set of steering wheel paddle shifters and those shift paddles have found
their way into the 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 as well. These
paddles have become a popular feature on higher end sports cars.
Having had a chance to drive a few vehicles with the new paddle shifter
system, I can attest that this is one of the best paddle systems I have
used – much better than the system used by General Motors in the
Camaro. These paddles are mated to the same 5-speed automatic
transmission as the 2011 Challenger SRT models, and like the current
models on dealership lots, the 2012 Challengers can also be shifted
using the console mounted lever. The driver can select either Normal or
Sport shifting modes, with the transmission providing more positive
shifts in Sport mode and the Normal mode offering shifts that are smoother
and less performance oriented. These harder shifts are applied whether
the automatic transmission is in normal Drive, where the car will shift
on its own, or Manual, where the driver controls the shifts with the
console lever or the steering wheel mounted paddle shifters.
are no other major changes for the 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 but
with 470 horsepower, 470lb-ft of torque and an awesome, retro exterior
the Challenger keeps on getting better.Check it out in action in the video below!What do you think? Is the 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 the best of the SRTs? Voice your opinion here!