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Watch 1,414-hp worth of Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat do stereo burnouts

07/09/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Coupes, Sports/GTs, Videos, Dodge, SRT

2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat stereo burnout

When Dodge announced that the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat would produce 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque from its supercharged 6.2-liter V8, automotive enthusiasts were shocked. The company had promised us that it would be powerful, but no one expected for the muscle car to post even larger numbers than the range-topping Viper.

Car and Driver recently got ahold of two new SRTs and decided that the only proper way to show them off was by lighting up the rears in stereo. With a combined 1,414 horsepower, the pair of them make burnouts from the Hellcat V8 look as easy as breathing. The tires start spinning at the slightest provocation and just don't stop. If you buy one of these, it looks like you and the employees at the local tire store are going to be on a first name basis.

Scroll down to watch these two Hellcats to lay down enough smoke to alert the local hook and ladder trucks.

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Dodge idles Viper production again at Conner Avenue

07/07/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Coupes, Sports/GTs, Plants/Manufacturing, Dodge, SRT

Viper assembly line at Conner Avenue

You've got to hand it to Dodge for having the gumption to put the original Viper into production in the first place. It was, after all, much more of an emotional decision than a practical one, and a move which saw the first production V10 engine placed in a road car - long before the advent of the Lamborghini Gallardo, Audi R8, Porsche Carrera GT or Lexus LFA, not to mention the other Ford, BMW and Volkswagen Group models that used such engines.

It's now been 22 years since the first Viper entered production and the Viper still rolls on several generations later, but we're sad to say that courageous decision has not always been met with overwhelming sales success. In fact parent Chrysler was forced to idle the Conner Avenue plant where the Viper is made back in April due to slow sales. And while production resumed again as planned on June 23, it apparently didn't do the trick.

As a result, Chrysler corporate communications chief Shawn Morgan revealed to Autoblog that the assembly line has been shut down again for another two weeks. The line was up and running for nearly two full work weeks from June 23 until the holiday weekend that started on Thursday, July 3. But instead of coming back online today as planned, it's been idled again for the weeks of July 7 and 14. That means it will be July 21, at the earliest, before the serpentine supercars start slithering down the assembly line at Conner Avenue again. Once it does, however, production is set to resume at the same pace it was before the shutdown.

The hiatus was originally undertaken to help Chrysler sell off its stockpiled inventory of unsold Vipers it had amassed as production outpaced sales. Reports pegged that number at 756 units, but Chrysler tells us that it does not disclose supply of individual models - only "on a company wide basis," according to Morgan. She did confirm to Autoblog, however, that despite the 91 workers who were originally projected to be laid off from the Conner Avenue plant, the final number of UAW-represented workers to be laid off has been reduced to 82. An unspecified number of hourly workers will also receive certain unemployment benefits as well.

Once production of the Viper - which will return as a Dodge product as the SRT brand is brought back into the fold - will resume, we hope it will be here to stay, and that the remaining workers will be able to get back to work with no further interruptions.

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Fewest vehicles ever found eligible for Most American survey

07/01/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Plants/Manufacturing, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, GM, Honda, Toyota, SRT

2014 Ford F-150 Tremor

Once again, the most American car on the market is from an American brand. The Ford F-150 retained its number one spot in Cars.com's annual survey of the most American vehicles, trumping the Toyota Camry, which remains at number two.

Ford taking the top spot is small consolation, though, as the Detroit Three aren't too well represented here. General Motors scored a win at number seven, with the Chevrolet Corvette, while Chrysler squeaked in at number ten, with the Dodge Viper. Outside of those three vehicles, Toyota and Honda dominate the top ten.

What's most remarkable, though, is that there were so few cars available for this year's list.

"Only ten cars were eligible for the American-Made Index this year. That's the fewest in the study's nine-year history. In 2013, 14 cars met the threshold, 20 in 2012 and 30 cars the year before that," said Patrick Olsen, Editor-In-Chief of Cars.com. "This consistent decline points to global nature of cars these days. Production in the US is up, but parts are coming from all over the world, making the notion of classifying cars as 'American' more difficult than ever."

In addition to the smaller batch of cars, the bottom four (Corvette, Honda Ridgeline, Honda Crosstour and Viper) are all first timers for the Most American study.

How did these results develop, though? Well, in addition to their final assembly location, Cars.com takes into account parts content, eliminating cars with a parts distribution below 75 percent American. All cars must be built in the US, while discontinued models need to have a US-built successor heading to market.

Take a look below for the full press release and list of winners from Cars.com.

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Dodge Viper GTS-R goes back to old-school livery

06/20/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Coupes, Videos, Dodge, Racing, SRT

2014 Dodge Viper GTS-R

The Dodge Viper may have been around now for over 20 years, but as far as racing achievements go, 2000 was its finest season. That's when it won the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the GTS class trophy at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and its second consecutive title in the American Le Mans Series.

Since then, SRT Motorsports hasn't quite had the same success, withdrawing from Le Mans this year and shedding the Dodge name and its emblematic red and white livery for the SRT badge and a silver snakeskin theme. But now that the Viper is back under the Dodge banner, so too is the racing team returning to its classic livery.

Starting from the six-hour race at Watkins Glen next week, both the No. 91 and No. 93 Viper GTS-Rs will wear the red base color with twin white racing stripes that its more accomplished forebears wore on circuits around the world. And with it, maybe the Viper will return once again to the winner's circle at home and abroad.

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The List #0392: Go Drag Racing

05/30/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Motorsports, Sports/GTs, Videos, Dodge, The List, SRT

Jessi Combs drag racing

Hosts Jessi Combs and Patrick McIntyre head to Southern California's Irwindale Speedway to compete in a weekly "run what ya brung" NHRA Thursday Night Thunder event. With them they've brung brought some Mopar muscle: a Dodge Charger SRT and Dodge Challenger SRT8, both packing 470-horsepower 392 Hemi engines. But before our hosts can take to the strip, they first receive some tips and tricks from professional NHRA funny car driver Jack Beckman.

While many of our List items require a fair bit of time, planning and financial wherewithal, going drag racing is an experience you should be able to tackle yourself with minimal cost and effort.

Join us as Jessi and Patrick check drag racing off of their List.

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2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat gets brace of new videos

05/21/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Coupes, Sports/GTs, Videos, Dodge, SRT

Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

Yesterday's big announcement focusing on the new Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat had plenty of stuff going for it - information, pictures and the rabid enthusiasm that always accompanies such an eagerly anticipated reveal. What it was lacking, though, was a proliferation of videos of the new model.

Sure, yesterday's news came with one clip, but today, Dodge has come through with five videos. We've arranged them in what we think will be the most entertaining order, covering the powertrain, before moving on to exterior and interior design, then on to a full CGI dissection of the SRT Hellcat before capping things off with a piece on the non-supercharged Challenger SRT392.

Take a look below for all five videos, then head into Comments and let us know what you think.

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2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat with '600-plus horsepower' officially unveiled [w/video]

05/20/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Coupes, Sports/GTs, Dodge, SRT

Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Dodge has officially unveiled the most powerful vehicle to ever wear the Challenger name - the SRT Hellcat - complete with over 600 horsepower courtesy of a supercharged, 6.2-liter Hemi V8. It will be offered alongside the 485-hp Challenger SRT.

The new, force-induced V8 isn't just the most powerful ever fitted to the Challenger, it's the most powerful eight-cylinder Chrysler Group has ever built. Power figures aren't finalized, so expect to see "over 600 hp" bandied about quite a lot. That fury will be channeled through either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic. Yes, over 600 ponies through an eight-speed auto. So far, the only vehicle we know of that delivers more output through that many gears is the as-yet untested Chevrolet Corvette Z06. Sadly, we don't have performance metrics just yet, although if this thing can't crack four seconds to 60 miles per hour, we'll be pretty surprised.

As is the theme nowadays, the 2015 Challenger SRT features a number of driving modes, governing power output, shift speeds for the 8AT, steering effort, traction control settings and suspension settings. There are three pre-programmed options - Default, Sport and Track - and a Custom mode that allows drivers to mix and match to their heart's content.

Like the Ford Mustang Boss 302, the SRT Hellcat will arrive with two keys, one red and one black. The red key is the one we want, as it unlocks the car's full potential, while the black key is more or less a valet key, limiting output of that supercharged beast under the hood.

Production will kick off at Chrysler's Brampton, Ontario factory in the third quarter of 2014.

Both the SRT Hellcat and the lesser SRT model will ride on unique 20-inch alloys. An eight-spoke design, wrapped in either Goodyear Eagle RSA2 all-seasons or Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires, will be offered on the naturally aspirated model. The Hellcat and Track Pack-equipped SRT will get wider 20s and Y-plus-rated Pirelli PZero Nero tires. Corralling the SRT Hellcat's 600 ponies will be the task of a set of 15.4-inch, two-piece Brembo brakes with six-piston calipers.

Finally, the SRT Hellcat's extra oomph certainly demands some aesthetic tweaks. On the exterior, a Viper-like hood scoop dominates the head-on appearance of the 600-hp Challenger. That functional scoop is flanked by an equally functional set of air extractors, while the new vertical-split grille is a styling item borrowed from the 1971 Challenger. And in case all this visual aggression isn't enough, Dodge has added a very, very conspicuous "SUPERCHARGED" badge to the Challenger Hellcat's fenders.

Production of the most powerful Challenger will kick off during the third quarter of 2014 at Chrysler's Brampton, Ontario factory. Expect pricing information to be released closer to launch. Take a look below for a video and the full press release on both the Challenger SRT and SRT Hellcat, and then hop up top for a gallery of images of the new tire-shredder.

Continue reading 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat with '600-plus horsepower' officially unveiled [w/video]

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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles: The next five years

05/07/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Maserati, Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, FIAT, Ram, SRT

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles sign

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past 24 hours, you've no doubt read about all of the big future product news coming out of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles today. We had individual brand reports from Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Maserati and even Ferrari, but in the interest of simplifying and summarizing, we're going to list out the hard facts once more. Of course, with all of this still off in the future, there's still the possibility that a few changes will be made. But as of what we know right now, here's what's coming, and what's going away.

Chrysler

  • 2014: Refreshed 300/300C, debuting at Los Angeles Auto Show
  • 2016: 100 C-segment sedan launches; Town & Country minivan launches, complete with PHEV version
  • 2017: 200 sedan gets a mid-cycle refresh; all-new fullsize crossover launches, complete with PHEV version
  • 2018: all-new 300/300C launches; all-new midsize crossover launches
  • Unconfirmed: 300 SRT8 will die
Dodge/SRT
  • SRT brand will be folded back into Dodge, meaning the Viper once again wears the Dodge logo
  • 2014: refreshed Charger launches; refreshed Challenger and Challenger SRT launch; Avenger dies
  • 2015: refreshed Charger SRT launches; Viper refreshed
  • 2016: new Dart and Dart SRT arrive; new Journey arrives; Grand Caravan minivan dies with the arrival of new Chrysler Town & Country. Join our siblings at AOL Autos to reflect on the loss of the first mainstream minivan.
  • 2017: new Journey SRT arrives; Durango refreshed
  • 2018: new B-segment sedan and hatch arrive; new Challenger and Challenger SRT arrive; new Charger and Charger SRT arrive
Jeep
  • 2014: Renegade launches
  • 2015: Grand Cherokee refreshed
  • 2016: 75th anniversary of Jeep; Compass and Patriot die; all-new C-segment SUV launches; Cherokee refreshed
  • 2017: Renegade refreshed; all-new Wrangler launches; all-new Grand Cherokee launches
  • 2018: all-new Grand Wagoneer launches
Ram
  • 2014: ProMaster diesel launches; ProMaster City launches
  • 2015: Ram 1500 refreshed
  • 2016: Ram HD refreshed; Ram chassis cab refreshed
  • 2017: all-new Ram 1500 launches; Commercial light-duty truck refreshed
  • 2018: all-new Ram HD launches; all-new Commercial heavy-duty truck launches; Ram chassis cab major update launches
Fiat
  • 2015: 500X launches; new "specialty" car launches
Maserati
  • 2014: GranTurismo and GranCabrio die
  • 2015: Levante SUV launches
  • 2016: Alfieri Coupe launches
  • 2017: Alfieri Cabrio launches
  • 2018: GranTurismo launches
Alfa Romeo
  • 2014: 4C and 4C Spider launch
  • 2015: all-new midsize vehicle launches (not necessarily for US)
  • 2016-2018: two all-new compacts launch; one all-new midsize vehicle launches; one all-new fullsize vehicle launches; two all-new utility vehicles launch; one new "specialty" vehicle launches (note: not all are necessarily for US)
Ferrari
  • 2014-2018: one new vehicle launches each year
Indeed, there's a lot to talk about regarding the five-year plan for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Be sure to give us your two cents, in Comments.
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SRT back to Dodge, Dart SRT, new Challenger, Charger and Caravan's death outlined in 5-yr plan

05/06/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Coupes, Sedans/Saloons, Sports/GTs, Crossovers/CUVs, Dodge, SRT

2015 Dodge Charger

2015 Dodge ChallengerThe onslaught of news from Fiat Chrysler's layout of five-year plans continued with Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis this morning, including the unexpected announcement that SRT was coming back into the fold.

After just a few years existing as an independent entity within the Fiat Chrysler universe, an unceremonious press release hit in conjunction with today's lineup of announcements, saying "the SRT family of vehicles will be consolidated under the Dodge brand." Group CEO Sergio Marchionne thanked SRT headman Ralph Gilles for his dedication to the high-performance wing, calling out is efforts in expanding the vehicle lineup and including more customized models. He did not reference disappointing SRT Viper sales today, but we sense there's a bit of subtext.

With the SRT reunion at Dodge, it's appropriate that some of the most exciting product announcements for the next five years have to do with upcoming performance products. First out of the gate will be a refresh for that flagging Viper in 2015, which comes as little surprise.

Dodge Dart will see a refresh in 2016, and will finally get the SRT treatment at the end of that year, as well. Details are still forthcoming, but we do know that the Dart SRT will have a turbocharged engine (shocking, we know) and that it will use an all-wheel-drive powertrain.

2016 will also see an all-new Dodge Journey, which is fairly expected. That Journey will be turned into something rip-roaring by SRT in 2017, which is something that we didn't see coming. 2017 is also the year that the Dodge Durango will get its mid-cycle refresh.

It's 2018 that is, by far, the biggest line item on the Dodge five-year plan, however. The brand will bring forth a B-segment sedan and hatchback that is yet unnanmed, while also debuting an all new Challenger and Charger, both in July. At the end of the year (December), Charger and Challenger will get SRT iterations. It's likely that both will get the supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V8, codenamed "Hellcat," at their hearts.

Wrapping up Dodge's big day, we're told that Avenger will be killed off this year, and, rather shockingly, that Grand Caravan, the original minivan, will follow it to the grave in 2016. With a target sales figure of 600k units for 2018 (roughly what the brand is doing now), we expect the minivan death is simply part of the larger plant to round out the performance cred of Dodge, overall.

Continue reading SRT back to Dodge, Dart SRT, new Challenger, Charger and Caravan's death outlined in 5-yr plan

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SRT Viper TA adds Anodized Carbon Special Edition

04/17/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: New York Auto Show, Coupes, Sports/GTs, SRT

2015 SRT Viper TA Anodized Carbon Special Edition

Rare is good. Rare cars are very good. Rare Vipers are extra good. So what happens when you add a special edition to an already rare SRT Viper Time Attack? You get the Anodized Carbon Special Edition Viper TA.

SRT was already planning to offer 50 copies of the Anodized Carbon Special Editions, based on the GTS model. While that's pretty rare, the announcement that the last ten AC Vipers will be sold with the Time Attack equipment group makes it one of the most unique Vipers in quite some time.

The new models will wear a special dash plaque, in addition to their very special paint job. Metallic Matte Black paint covers the body, while Satin Black Vapor can be found on the exhausts, fuel door, brake ducts and rear bumper.

While the exterior does away with the TA's trademark orange paint, the interior still sports a bit of the retina-searing color, thanks to the contrast stitching on the cabin's Alcantara trim.

Aside from these few aesthetic changes, this matte gray Viper is just as brutally quick as the TA we drove back in November. You can read all about that test here, or you could just scroll up and have a look at our live images of the Anodized Carbon Special Edition. SRT's press release and stock images are available below.

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