The name “SRT” stands for “Street & Racing Technology.” It’s applied to cars meant for the most enthusiastic enthusiasts—the die-hards, the car guys. Folks who get it. The same kind of people build them. The badge is applied only to cars performing to the standards of these few. > This brings us to the new Dodge Challenger, the first SRT product announced since the brand re-attached to Dodge as the top-of-the-line option.

Two high-performance versions are now available: the Dodge Challenger SRT 392 and Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. The Dodge Challenger SRT 392 is aimed at those who want to drive an exciting car every day and hit the track on the weekend. This machine is balanced: better handling, better brakes, sharper shifts, highly customizable driving behavior. The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat-that’s a different story. Furious power is the bottom line. It’s a top-speed screamer. Its targets: all-day track capability and 199 mph.

Both are based on the 2015 Challenger, of course, and they share that car’s significant upgrades. You couldn’t find much to dislike about the old Challengers, save for an interior growing a bit long in the tooth— and that’s where a lot of energy was spent. Throwback styling meets premium materials and craftsmanship, with a whopping dollop of technology upgrades. For the SRT engineers, the idea wasn’t simply modifying that platform but a fundamental rethink, a more holistic systems-level approach. Top to bottom, the cars’ technologies make them faster on the track and better on the street than their lesser starting point.



Have one of those lives with, well, responsibilities? Get the Dodge Challenger SRT. It takes the wildly popular Dodge

Challenger SRT 392 package, with its great strides in handling and performance, then makes it better. That’s essentially the new normal for the Dodge Challenger SRT: a well-rounded high-performance muscle car with every attribute to get the pulse racing but easy enough on the pocketbook for a daily driver. The same 6.4-liter V8 Hemi we all know and love is optimized and re-tuned, making 485 hp at 6,100 rpm and 475 lb-ft of torque at 4,200 rpm. The block’s coolant passages have been reworked to accommodate the massive cooling needed for the Hellcat—but more on that later.

The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT has the same six-speed manual Tremec TR-6060 with a ZF Sachs twin-disc clutch and nice, even spacing, starting at 2.9:1 and running through to 0:50:1 for top gear. The automatic is new, a ZF 8HP70

TorqueFlite eight-speed actually returning better combined fuel economy than the manual. Strange days we live in. It’s not about fuel economy, though. It’s about grunt, and this one goes from an insane 4.71:1 first gear through to an 0.67:1 overdrive—should make for impressive burnouts. On top of that, the ZF has a rev-matching technology, in addition to die-cast metal paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. The shifts’ behavior can be modified to suit preference.

The final piece of the driveline pie is the rear differential. It’s new, and it advertises output bias capability. It’s not torque-vectoring, per se, but the ability to tailor side-to-side output during on- and off-throttle driving situations. The objective is a smoother overall delivery, with less off-power wheelslip through corners. It also has built-in cooling fins, minimizing the opportunity for cooking diff fluid. Final drive ratio comes in at a respectable 3.09:1.

Suspension is familiar but improved. Front is short-long-arm with coil springs and a 32mm hollow stabilizer bar. Rear is five-link with a 19mm hollow stabilizer bar. Steering is electric rack-and-pinion with a 14.4:1 ratio delivering a 37.5-foot turning radius and 2.56 turns lock to lock. This is all drastically improved because the four Bilstein ADS dampers and steering effort can be tuned in drive mode (see sidebar) for street, sport and track. Braking is also updated to four-piston Brembos all around, 14.2-inch slotted-steel discs up front and 13.8-inch slotted-steel discs rear.