Edmunds Follow-Up Test: 2006 Dodge Charger SRT-8

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Sep 30, 2005.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,711
    Likes Received:
    1,551
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    Fully Charged

    [​IMG]
    That revised front fascia on the SRT-8 does more than look good. It increases downforce at high speeds while directing cool air to the front brakes.

    By Karl Brauer
    Date posted: 09-26-2005

    Driving the new 2006 Dodge Charger SRT-8 you find yourself thinking, "Sure it's fast, remarkably nimble and capable of stopping from 60 mph in 120 feet, but the average wife will never go for it. She'll only harp about the harsh ride and cringe as the exhaust system makes its Hemi-powered belch every time the tach swings past 4,000 rpm."

    Most automotive enthusiasts would like to see this new Charger earn the sort of widespread appeal that the 1968-1969 models did. Those cars were good enough for Frank Bullitt, Dirty Mary and Crazy Larry, plus a couple of good ol' boys from Hazzard County sporting a rebel flag and the words "General Lee" painted on the roof. But what sort of self-respecting better half is going to sign off on this 425-horsepower beast?

    Today's Muscle Car

    [​IMG]
    A 180-mph speedometer, heavily bolstered front seats with suede inserts, and contrasting red stitching are some of the more obvious upgrades to the SRT-8's interior.

    That's an important question, because the new Dodge Charger now sports four doors, a roomy backseat and a large trunk (16.2 cubic feet), so it's obviously meant to appeal to more than just the testosterone-charged youth Dodge was targeting back in the late 1960s. Those guys are all grown up now, and many of them have to answer to that aforementioned wife. To our eyes, injecting this vehicle with a louder, more powerful 6.1-liter Hemi V8, not to mention a stiffer suspension, aggressively bolstered front seats and large "SRT" emblems on the grille, trunk lid and head restraints seems a bit contradictory.

    But after spending a week with the Charger SRT-8 we can assure you it has mastered the art of the 21st-century muscle car. It's got a fully independent four-wheel suspension, and Chrysler's Street and Racing Technology (SRT) team has upgraded items like the front and rear sway bars, as well as the bushings and the spring rates, to better deliver on the car's promise of high-performance handling.

    Dodge claims to have tweaked the settings of the Electronic Stability Program (ESP) as well, but we found it to be overly intrusive in "on" mode, and still bothersome in "off" mode. This was particularly annoying because the big car often wanted to go faster around corners than the system would let it, but it didn't stop us from ripping through the slalom at 64.5 mph (faster than the new Mazda MX-5 Miata and Pontiac Solstice).

    Parts That Equal a Whole Shot

    [​IMG]
    Those chrome 3.5-inch exhaust tips produce quite a howl when the tachometer swings past 4,000 rpm.

    SRT also added a variety of exterior upgrades that, according to the group's director, Dan Knott, "…don't just look great, they're also functional." The most obvious exterior changes are a set of five-spoke, 20-inch aluminum wheels wearing Goodyear Supercar F1 tires (245/45s in front, 255/45s in back).

    Peer through those five spokes and you can't miss the massive 14.1-inch front rotors (13.7 inches in back) grabbed by red four-piston Brembo calipers. These hauled the 4,200-pound Charger SRT-8 down from 60 mph in a confident 120 feet while displaying no fade after three repeated panic stops. With a front fascia directing air to those brakes it would appear Mr. Knott's "functional" comment rings true. There's also a functional hood scoop that brings cold air into the engine compartment — plus it looks cool.

    But the most important upgrade remains the Hemi engine under that scoop. Bumping the standard Hemi V8's horsepower from 340 to 425 meant bumping displacement from 5.7 to 6.1 liters through a bore increase of 3.5 millimeters. The SRT boys also upped the compression ratio from 9.6-to-1 to 10.3-to-1 while adding high-flow cylinder heads and a more aggressive camshaft. Exhaust pipe diameter also increased from 2.5 inches to 2.8 inches.

    The 425-hp V8 hooks to a five-speed automatic transmission with a manual-shift mode. It also uses a sturdier prop shaft, beefier rear differential and stronger axles, making it identical to the drivetrain used in the Chrysler 300C SRT-8 we tested last year. That car pulled a 5.7-second 0-to-60 time and ran through the quarter-mile in 14.1 seconds at 105 mph. Putting the Charger through similar testing netted a 5.4 0-to-60 time while taking 13.5 seconds to clear the quarter-mile at 105 mph. With curb weight, tire size and gearing the same in both models we can only conclude that the Charger's cold-air induction is really working. Well, that and the usual variances between test vehicles and testing conditions.

    Not Just for Boys

    [​IMG]
    Classic Hemi engine trademarks, including the black valve covers and orange block, pay homage to perhaps to the most successful race engine in Chrysler's history.

    What hasn't wavered is our enthusiasm for SRT products that live up to the division's goal of being top-performance offerings in their segment. With a mid-5-second 0-to-60 time, not to mention braking and handling characteristics that would embarrass many European performance sedans that cost thousands more, the 2006 Dodge Charger SRT-8 is a modern muscle car marvel.

    And despite its somewhat choppy ride quality and baritone exhaust warble, it still passed the most important test: the wife liked it
    . Actually, she really liked it. "It's the first modern car to remind me of your 1970 Plymouth GTX," she beamed enthusiastically. "And while it's more refined than that car it still has plenty of attitude — and it's really fast. Can we get one?"

    Looks like Dodge has figured out the secret formula.

    [​IMG]

    What Works:
    Excellent steering and brakes, successfully captures the spirit of a classic American muscle car, the wife wants one.

    What Needs Work:
    Stability control intrudes even when it's "off," ride quality suffers as a result of suspension tuning, lower front fascia scrapes easily.

    Bottom Line:
    A muscle car you — and your family — can love.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,711
    Likes Received:
    1,551
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    Immensely cooler than the CTS-V.
     
  3. Platinum_Thunder

    Platinum_Thunder Reliability for life and liberty

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2001
    Messages:
    108,792
    Likes Received:
    193
  4. TigreTek

    TigreTek omega member OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2001
    Messages:
    26,927
    Likes Received:
    3
    the interior still feels a little "cheap" in person. (bear in mind that the only real frame of reference i have is our 545i. meh.) i'd still buy one if i was in the market for a larger sedan with balls.

    edit: i've not sat in the srt model, but an r/t. don't know if that makes a difference.
     
  5. Noah

    Noah The things we know best are the things we haven't OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2003
    Messages:
    23,730
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Earth
    What's that?
     
  6. TigreTek

    TigreTek omega member OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2001
    Messages:
    26,927
    Likes Received:
    3
    and for the record, i'll take one in black please.
     
  7. Nutro

    Nutro O|||||||O Austin Jeep Crew

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2001
    Messages:
    17,817
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    I get more ass than a toilet seat
    I want one of the bastards so bad
     
  8. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,711
    Likes Received:
    1,551
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    [​IMG]
     
  9. I wouldnt go that far but I do like the car. :o
     
  10. Meat Popsicle

    Meat Popsicle What's that smell? OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Messages:
    121,895
    Likes Received:
    175
    Location:
    The Middle
  11. Scream_Phoenix

    Scream_Phoenix Handsome Boy Model

    Joined:
    May 31, 2001
    Messages:
    45,109
    Likes Received:
    156
    Location:
    Capital City
    such an ugly car :)
     
  12. Girth

    Girth ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2002
    Messages:
    71,393
    Likes Received:
    103
    Location:
    Houston
    I like the 300C SRT-8... but I wouldn't pass up one of those either. :)
     
  13. grue

    grue New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2003
    Messages:
    100,030
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    In the dark.
    pity about the number of doors.
     
  14. Type2

    Type2 OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Messages:
    30,621
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    L.A
    which is why it's cool.. It has something that too many cars out of detroit lack these days.... Character.
     
  15. Scream_Phoenix

    Scream_Phoenix Handsome Boy Model

    Joined:
    May 31, 2001
    Messages:
    45,109
    Likes Received:
    156
    Location:
    Capital City
    just like the aztek :hsugh:



    ok not that bad but i really dont like the looks.
     
  16. grue

    grue New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2003
    Messages:
    100,030
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    In the dark.
    More than you ca-... oh fuck it :mamoru:
     
  17. StarBai

    StarBai Mahmoud Ahmadinejad can suck my left f'ing nut. OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2003
    Messages:
    13,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    hey i love the look and power of the car, just hate the company that created it.
     
  18. ppops

    ppops mark webber = teh future

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2004
    Messages:
    2,967
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
  19. kungfuwoo

    kungfuwoo New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2001
    Messages:
    61,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    IL
    I just am not into cars like I used to be.
     
  20. Jazz

    Jazz Powerhouse of the Scrum

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2000
    Messages:
    11,326
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    negative ghostrider

    There's still something about the charger that doesn't sit right with me. The 300 and the magnum are fine...but something about this design just doesn't work.

    Besides, I'd rather have the caddy over all of them anyways :o
     
  21. grue

    grue New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2003
    Messages:
    100,030
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    In the dark.

    Undoubtedly, but you knew SOMEBODY had to say it.
     
  22. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,711
    Likes Received:
    1,551
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    I'm absolutely serious when I say it's a better car than the CTS-V.

    It has a much nicer interior design and better materials with the same features, and the seats have better bolstering. It doesn't suffer from pronounced wheel-hop. It does not eat rear differentials. It's not cursed with the worst shifting manual transmission known to man. It performs about the same (if not better), and they didn't have to haul them all the way to Germany to figure out how to do that. It costs $10,000 less fully loaded than a fully loaded CTS-V does, and with that you get a free track day.

    All that and it costs substantially less than the CTS-V, and the base SRT-8 is about $2k more than a LS2 GTO. Once again my hats off to Chrysler and their phenomenal SRT tuning team. This car is an awesome beast.
     
  23. TQ

    TQ OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2002
    Messages:
    35,410
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    Hotness :cool:
     
  24. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,711
    Likes Received:
    1,551
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    I'm loving Inferno Red.
     
  25. Noah

    Noah The things we know best are the things we haven't OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2003
    Messages:
    23,730
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Earth
    Silver ;)
     

Share This Page