Car Review: If
you noticed a line of teenage boys in front of my house last month,
hereís why. The Dodge Charger SRT8 with its mighty 6.1-liter,
425-horsepower HEMI V8 was parked in my driveway for a week.
They can look all they
want, but itís really not for them. At $35,000 and up, itís aimed at
folks (70 percent male) who either had muscle cars before family
obligations eliminated them or always wanted one but never got the
The Charger is based on
Chryslerís very successful 300C, which introduced the companyís
hunkered-down look a few years ago. The 300C features slits for windows,
chunky proportions, and a classic chrome egg crate grille that would
look appropriate in 1956. The Charger differentiates itself with
traditional Dodge styling cues, including a stern face and kicked up
Some fuss was generated
when the new Charger arrived for 2006 with four doors. You see, the
classic Chargers were big 2-door fastback coupes, and purists werenít
sure they would cotton to this new fangled style of hot rod. Well, how
about low 5-second zero to sixty times? And a quarter mile in 14
seconds? The controversy appears to have eased.
You donít need to buy
the SRT8 model to enjoy a Charger. The tamest version comes with a
fuel-sipping 190-horsepower 2.7-liter V6. If that seems a bit anemic,
try the 3.5-liter 250-horsepower V6. Or step up to the 5.7-liter HEMI
model with ďonlyĒ 340 horsepower. All engines run through four- or
five-speed automatic transmissions, depending on the model.
Despite its mighty
power trains, the Charger is much much better to drive than the old
muscle cars of the 1960s and 70s. This one is battened down with
gas-charged dampers and tuned anti-sway bars for level, smooth
performance. Chrysler has installed Brembo brakes for maximum stopping
power. In regular traffic youíll feel a sense of unused potential as the
HEMI rumbles under its scooped hood. So find your self an empty, long
freeway onramp and have some fun!
The biggest Charger
claims fuel economy numbers of 14 City and 20 Highway. I averaged 15.2
mpg. Plus thereís a $2,100 Gas Guzzler Tax on the window sticker. Nobody
said reliving your adolescence came cheap!
The EPAís Green Vehicle
numbers show a slightly better than average score of 6 on the Air
Pollution scale but a dismal 2 on the Greenhouse Gas score. Remember,
thereís a lot of CO2 coming out of a six-liter V8 engine, no matter how
you slice it.
The Chargerís interior
has the same tasteful, tailored look of the Chrysler 300. Most of the
effort in distinguishing the Charger is in or under the sheet metal.
However, a deeply bolstered set of leather sport seats with grippy suede
inserts goes a long way toward holding you in place during, um,
The black interior
plastic with silvery and chrome accents feels well crafted. The Charger
is rated a ďLargeĒ car by the EPA, other than a touch of claustrophobia
from the chopped window greenhouse, you can really stretch out in the
car. I felt a little guilty driving it to work all by myself when I
could have brought my entire department with me.
The Charger comes with
a long list of standard safety features, including antilock brakes,
traction control, an electronic stability program, brake assist, and an
advanced multistage airbag system. Of course, sheer mass will protect
The SRT8 model comes
with loads of good stuff standard. My Brilliant Black Crystal Pearl Coat
(really) test car had 20-inch SRT design alloy wheels, and all the usual
and desirable power assists and features you could want. I did notice
that the otherwise worthy SIRIUS Satellite Radio had minimal information
available on-screen. This seems to be a Chrysler corporate decision, as
Iíve seen this lack of data in other Chrysler models too.
My car also came with
the SRT Option Group 1, which delivers air filtration, automatic
headlamps, dual-zone controls for the A/C, heated front seats, and the
addition of automatic up for the power windows. With a power sunroof,
the SRT8 topped out at a $40,320. Yep, A $40 grand hot rod!
My week-long test
showed me that the Charger is easy to live with and very pleasant to
drive, despite its macho appearance. The extra power tended to make me
fearless in lane changing and passing, and healthy in my respect for any
officers of the law. The thing looks fast even when itís floating along
in the traffic flow.
Assembled over the US
border in Canada, the Charger SRT8 boasts a Mexican engine and a German
transmission. So international.
If you can swing the
payments and the frequent refilling of the Chargerís 19-gallon tank, go
for it. If anything, itís a chance to relive the sixties and seventies
in a very comfortable, 21st century way. Thereís even a jack for your
iPod. By Steve Schaefer © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
Dodge Home Page
Byline: Car Review
provided by Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
Column Name: This Charger looks fast even standing still
Topic: The 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8
Word Count: 888
Photo Caption: The 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8
Photo Credits: Dodge Charger SRT8 Internet Media
Series #: 2007 - 68
the Microsoft Word version here:
2007 Dodge Charger SRT8
Download the Original Image File here:
2007 Dodge Charger SRT8