2012-Challenger-SRT.jpgby 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
    . 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.

    2012-challenger-srt-side.jpgOn 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.

    2012-challenger-srt-rear.jpgHaving 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!