MPH Spins - 2006 Dodge Charger SRT-8

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Dodge's Charger SRT-8 Rocks

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    By Michael Austin
    November 2005

    The picture you're looking at is real— no photographic or physical tricks were used to turn the rear tires on the Dodge Charger SRT-8 into vapor so thick it looks like a pile of cotton candy. All you do is nudge the manumatic transmission into first (where it won't shift at redline), mash the brakes and gas at the same time, and then ease up on the brakes enough to trick the engine-management system into unleashing all 6400 revolutions per minute. Typically, when the car is stationary the engine computer limits the revs to prevent such hooliganism.

    There is one other key element—turn the stability and traction control all the way off. This is the special thing—okay, one of the special things—about the Charger SRT-8. The full-off option will soon be extended to the rest of the SRT-8 lineup, but for the time being the Charger is the only car in the entire DaimlerChrysler family that lets you peel out wherever, whenever. Dodge knows what the people want.

    So, Hoss, you've probably heard about the Charger's SRT-8 siblings, so you're already familiar with what is mechanically different from the Charger R/T. But for those who've ruined their short-term memories, we'll tell you again. Like the big Chrysler and Dodge SRTs, this Charger is powered by a 6.1-liter Hemi V-8, which puts out 425 horsepower and 420 poundfeet of torque. It's also got Goodyear Supercar F1 tires (245/45 front and 255/45 rear) sitting on 20-inch polished rims, a stiffened suspension with Bilstein dampers, and big brake discs clamped by four-piston calipers by Brembo.

    Not in recent memory has any company produced a more menacing looking car. Put it this way: If the Charger SRT-8 had knuckles, they'd be covered in scar tissue. It's definitely not pretty, but the sinister look seems to work—everybody stops to gawk at the Charger. Apparently a big brawny sedan that's utterly unapologetic about its excesses defies current convention.

    The Charger's remarkable performance also defies convention. Did we say remarkable? That doesn't really describe how fast the Charger accelerates. Furious would probably be a better adjective. The Charger's 0-60 time of 5.3 seconds beats about every compact sports car, luxury sports car, and even a few dedicated sports cars. And as for the ballsy engine sound, well, they don't get much better.

    The folks at SRT did a fine job of making the Charger SRT-8 into a real driver's car. It's not like a ballerina, not even the fat hippo ballerina from Fantasia, but the Charger's athleticism matches its straight-line performance. It's a gentle beast as well. The rear end can be coaxed to slide out, but everything happens in a progressive and orderly fashion.

    The ride is surprisingly compliant. It's much stiffer than the Charger R/T, but won't be breaking any eggs on a bumpy grocery run.The steering is appropriately weighted and works in such a slop-free and direct manner that the Charger's heft is disguised. We were hoping the brakes would be awesome, and they are, in both performance and feel. Which is nice, considering the temptation to blast up to 100 mph and back to legal speeds. That sort of behavior tends to wear down brakes in a hurry, and, being Brembos, they won't be cheap to replace.

    There's probably not much that will last long on the Charger SRT-8. Because of its size and power, the Charger devours fuel, tires, and brakes like a fat man eating baked scrod at an all-you-can-eat buffet. But if you're at all like us, you won't care about all that when the engine roars, the tires scream, and the scenery starts to blur. Besides, if you care about stuff like fuel economy, you might be a pussy, and the Charger SRT-8 is not a car for pussies.

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  2. RyeLou

    RyeLou OT Supporter

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    :rofl:
     
  3. 396Hawk

    396Hawk Active Member

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    245/45 front and 255/45 rear tires? WTF were they thinking when they decided to put tires that narrow on a car with that much HP and TQ?
     
  4. Bernout

    Bernout OT Supporter

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    Well the 20-inch tall wheels tend to slow things up a bit; however:

    The 400hp STS-V only weighs slightly less, runs with 235's and handles brilliantly. :dunno:

    The 400hp GTO, which weighs significantly less, with only 245's at the corners, handles the worst of the three. :hs:
     
  5. Fast GTO

    Fast GTO New Member

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    I'd like to know where you got this information....

    :greddy:
     
  6. 396Hawk

    396Hawk Active Member

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    Yeah, the 20" wheels really seem to slow things down in the burnout picture they showed.
     
  7. Bernout

    Bernout OT Supporter

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    Any one of the many reviews pitting the GTO against the SRT-8 and CTS-V? Actually, I should retract my statement. My statment should actually be: The GTO does not outhandle the SRT-8 and especially not the CTS-V.

    http://motortrend.com/roadtests/sedan/112_0502_trio/index7.html


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  8. 396Hawk

    396Hawk Active Member

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    I hope you don't believe everything you read in those car rags... :ugh:
     
  9. Bernout

    Bernout OT Supporter

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    Everything I've read indicates that the heavy 20" wheels are a blessing of sorts in the sense that the car is easier to launch and does not go into wild bouts of blatant wheelspin. A burnout can be easily induced, just as the article describes, by using the brake pedal simulataneously.
     
  10. Bernout

    Bernout OT Supporter

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    True, because everything I read on OT is so much more accurate and believeable. Anonymous opinions of strangers are a much better source than a national publication. :ugh2:
     
  11. 396Hawk

    396Hawk Active Member

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    Exactly... and that includes your opinion.

    Those magazines usually praise who gives them the most money and performance figures that magazines post are rarely match real-world numbers.
     
  12. 396Hawk

    396Hawk Active Member

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    I still say it needs fatter shoes. My Firehawk was only rated at 315hp and came with 274/45s all the way around.
     
  13. RyeLou

    RyeLou OT Supporter

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    You're missing the point. The Firehawk came with 17's, didn't it? Couldn't have been bigger than 18's but I don't think it was even that. The extra weight/rotational mass involved with a 20" wheel helps offset the power to the ground. Wanna have an SRT-8 that looks like a rediculous factory beast? Buy some lightweight 16's that fit (or whatever the smallest size that will fit over the caliper)
     
  14. 396Hawk

    396Hawk Active Member

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    I'm not missing the point. I understand what you are saying... the car would look a hell of a lot better and probably corner better with wider rubber. Even more so with wider rubber on the same 20" wheels.
     
  15. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    The SRT Charger is the same as the 300 except it has firmer springs and the stability/traction control can be defeated. Edmunds found the Charger equalled the new Miata in the slalom. Impressive.
     

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