Chrysler promises to rebuilt SRT performance brand

Because Chrysler has made such an improvement over the past couple of years after filing bankruptcy and being conjoined with European giant FIAT, reminiscing on the days of when Chrysler had probably made the worst automobiles in the world is like looking back in your old days when you relied on keg beer to get wasted. So let’s not talk about it.

Let’s talk about Chrysler’s in-house tuning firm, SRT. Because mother company was in such shackles, it was hard to imagine that the SRT tuning firm could come up with anything that could even compete with, well, anything. But they did. Do the Chrysler and Dodge SRT models come to mind? If you need some hints, the Chrysler 300 SRT8 and the Dodge Magnum SRT8 ring some bells. And while sure, they were far from beating any of the foreign offerings, most of the Chrysler/Dodge SRT models weren’t that terrible to drive. The fun didn’t necessarily come from precision but they all managed to offer a unique driving experience that seriously showed the badassery that this country is still capable of. For lack of better terms, pure American Muscle. Which in turn, showed the world that out of all woefulness the American brands used to produce, laid a struggling, yet beating pulse of a repressed heart. It could be said that they were at least doing something right. But then again, it could be said that since Kevin James is doing another movie, he must be doing something right.

Anyway, as Chrysler was restructured, the SRT brand is also set to be reworked as Ralph Gilles, former CEO of Dodge and new head of SRT, promised.

“We have the best chance we’ve ever had of conquesting some great customers here,” Gilles announced while saying that due to the fact that Chrysler’s and Dodge’s base lineup is now improved, this allows for the SRT brand to expand their reach.

Additionally, to keep the SRT brand unique, Gilles said that his plans to expand will be very tough and he’s going to be “extra selective” about which cars are capable of donning the SRT badge.

We know customers of the old SRTs were definitely the power seekers,” said Gilles at a conference on Chrysler’s test track in Chelsea, Michigan. “They were looking for the horsepower. But the new cars offer more. The 2012s all have active suspensions. They will probably have the best sound systems we’ve ever put in any car.”

And lastly, Gilles was fronted the question regarding SRT’s flagship, the Dodge Viper, Gilles said that they’re progressively working on a successor for sure.

Now, I know this post is longer than usual, but I’ve decided it was worth my time because well, Dodge and Chrysler certainly have come a long way and their latest efforts seem to be very worthy alternatives to the industry leader. And because SRT has been hard at work to bring us the new Chrysler 300 SRT8, Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 and several other models, things are certainly going to get more interesting. For once, I actually yearn for some American muscle.

– By: Chris Chin

Source: AutoWeek