Chrysler SRT: Is the Performance Division Being Axed?

David S.
By David S. Wallens
Feb 4, 2021 | Dodge, SRT

Nothing official has been announced, but we have heard rumors that Chrysler’s SRT has been dissolved, with the central program no longer overseeing the brand’s performance vehicles. Call this a developing situation.

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Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
2/4/21 3:58 p.m.

I'd be sad if it were true, but how much longer could a brand like SRT survive? Sure, the company could have dabbled in hybrids and electrification, but I feel like that would have been a very un-SRT thing to do.

scs
scs New Reader
2/4/21 4:20 p.m.

I have an SRT Charger Hellcat Redeye Widebody in the driveway right now. It'd be a sin to lose that.

 

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
2/4/21 4:40 p.m.

Rumors are just that, especially these days...I wouldn't spend much time thinking about it until there's more substantial information available.

That said, I know a Chrysler engineer and I'll ask him what he's heard.

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa UltraDork
2/4/21 4:44 p.m.

Do they really need an entire division though?  Gotta be one of the easiest jobs out there.

"What are we going to do for the SRT version of this car?"

"Hellcat engine"

"How about that one?"

"Hellcat engine"

"What about that one over there?"

"Well, I was thinking we'd go back to the ACR Neon theme, make it light, handle well, delete a bunch of options to simplify and add lightness, and I'm joking we're going to throw a Hellcat engine in it."

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/4/21 5:02 p.m.

I spent the past weekend at the Bondurant driving school facility. Hellcats everywhere. And Demons. And some SUV thing with 392 badges on the fenders. It was like an SRT festival.

They gave a TV producer a Demon (or whatever it is that has a 1320 badge on the side and runs NT05Rs) to drive on the street for the weekend just to get around.

I talked to the manager. He says that rear tires last four days. Then I found this room. Hands up if you can smell this picture.

Peabody
Peabody UltimaDork
2/4/21 5:09 p.m.

spandak
spandak HalfDork
2/4/21 5:28 p.m.

This would kind of make sense. How much longer can a struggling brand get away with making dinosaur guzzling engines in a world where everyone else (seemingly) is going the other direction? 

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe PowerDork
2/4/21 5:36 p.m.
spandak said:

This would kind of make sense. How much longer can a struggling brand get away with making dinosaur guzzling engines in a world where everyone else (seemingly) is going the other direction? 

You mean take aging products and keep making them new for minimal investments and everybody loves them for it. I would say they have done really well. Let them stick around, they learned so much from stuff like this and everything that ame out of the conner plant was touched by these people at some level. 

Error404
Error404 Reader
2/4/21 6:29 p.m.
spandak said:

This would kind of make sense. How much longer can a struggling brand get away with making dinosaur guzzling engines in a world where everyone else (seemingly) is going the other direction? 

If they'd make something a little smaller and de-optioned, they'd have a good chance to talk me into ownership. Maybe a clean sheet Dart that isn't an econo car? Heck, when everybody is busy making bigger and bigger cars I think that Dodge could stand out by downsizing the car without making it an econobox "city" car. I'd look a lot harder at something like that than a new, lux bronco rehash.

DaewooOfDeath
DaewooOfDeath SuperDork
2/5/21 7:48 p.m.
spandak said:

This would kind of make sense. How much longer can a struggling brand get away with making dinosaur guzzling engines in a world where everyone else (seemingly) is going the other direction? 

Ferrari, BMW, Mercedes, Maserati and Lamboghini all butter their US bread with incredibly inefficient guzzlers. I've never understood why only US companies get called out on this. :/

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
2/5/21 8:06 p.m.
stuart in mn said:

Rumors are just that, especially these days...I wouldn't spend much time thinking about it until there's more substantial information available.

That said, I know a Chrysler engineer and I'll ask him what he's heard.

I talked to my source today - he said the Chrysler 300 SRT was killed in Australia, but that's all he's heard about.  Dodge SRT cars are still selling well, and in fact they just started production of the Hellcat Durango.

Teh E36 M3
Teh E36 M3 SuperDork
2/5/21 8:59 p.m.

I will miss it. I don't think I've ever been into the stuff they do from a fundamental level- I like small, quick cars- but damn the want has been so strong for a manual Challenger Hellcat. I feel like it is a dying thing, and it knows it, but it's going down burning motherberkeleyin' rubber. 

Flynlow (FS)
Flynlow (FS) HalfDork
2/5/21 10:02 p.m.

AaronT
AaronT Reader
2/5/21 10:23 p.m.
DaewooOfDeath said:
spandak said:

This would kind of make sense. How much longer can a struggling brand get away with making dinosaur guzzling engines in a world where everyone else (seemingly) is going the other direction? 

Ferrari, BMW, Mercedes, Maserati and Lamboghini all butter their US bread with incredibly inefficient guzzlers. I've never understood why only US companies get called out on this. :/

Perhaps my understanding of the phrase "called out" differs from yours. I know it as an insult or challenge. I don't see how stating that FCA is struggling is calling them out for SRT. On top of that, there is a fundamental difference between the business model of FCA and Ferrari/Maserati/Lambo. Ferrari sells 8-9000 units/year. FCA sells 4 million. Hell, in 2019 Dodge sold 19,000 Chargers with the 392 or Hellcat.

spandak
spandak HalfDork
2/5/21 10:59 p.m.

Yea Hellcats =/= Italian exotics. Totally different buyers and world. Pedigree and all that. I didn't come up with this I'm just saying that's how it is. 
They've done hilariously awesome things in the last few years. I'm a fan and would do bad things for a TRX. That's perhaps an exception but let's acknowledge that the bread and butter of the brand is a 40 year old Mercedes platform that they just keep shoving more power into. Awesome? Yes. But that kind of awesome has a time limit and when that runs out and we move on to 1000HP electric cars they will be left with nothing. They're business model (from an external perspective) is short sighted. 

Of course they will always have fans. But that's the minority. Like it or not, tesla is the way of the future and that is a totally different direction. If Chrysler (or whoever owns them now, my gosh) can pivot they could do great things. But if not....? Tick tock. 

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
2/6/21 7:36 a.m.

FCA had an opportunity about 6 years ago to develop a low cost rwd economy car that would've been available as either a hatch or sedan and had the fiat 1.4t and pentastar as available powerplants and opted not to. 

They were dead once that decision was made. 

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
2/6/21 8:46 a.m.

This is why I hate rumors.  Someone says they heard something, with nothing to back it up, and in no time flat people are assuming it's a done deal.

Snrub
Snrub Dork
2/6/21 2:13 p.m.

Dodge was also suppose to be the the performance brand. Could/would they simply label everything a Chrysler going forward and call the hopped up version a Dodge?

350z247
350z247 New Reader
2/11/21 12:44 p.m.

While I love the idea of "Hellcat all the things", I wished they would make better use of all that power. The Demon is an incredible feat of OE engineering, but the RWD Hellcats really struggle to do much with their 707hp. I would have loved a Hellcat Chrylser 300 or the rumoured Cuda revival that would compete with the 370Z. A 3,200 pound Challanger with just the 3.6 V6 or a 5.7 Hemi would be great, but alas, their best model is the Jeep Trackhawk.

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe PowerDork
2/11/21 1:26 p.m.
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) said:

FCA had an opportunity about 6 years ago to develop a low cost rwd economy car that would've been available as either a hatch or sedan and had the fiat 1.4t and pentastar as available powerplants and opted not to. 

They were dead once that decision was made. 

They actually do learn. This was one of the Chrysler product which they then used to make the Prower which they then used to make better molds and casting on modern cars to keep the weight down. It just takes time for this stuff to get through the system and the market changes. If gas had stayed at 5-6$ a gallon trust me they would have made that car. 

 

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Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
2/11/21 1:48 p.m.

Man, what I wouldn't do to get ahold of an aluminum Neon. 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
2/11/21 2:59 p.m.

I'd love a widebody 392, but they are just so heavy and relatively small inside for how large they are outside.

They look amazing though.

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