Auburn Hills, Mich. - At Chrysler Group, the SRT (Street and Racing Technology) brand team maintains its successful formula to design, engineer and build benchmark American high-performance vehicles.
The all-new SRT Viper made its long-anticipated return to the high performance sports car market in 2013. The fifth generation of the iconic two-seat, American-built supercar has been deliberately evolved to incorporate superior craftsmanship; a host of new, performance original technologies and ergonomic improvements while respecting its visceral legacy of outright performance.
The SRT Viper is joined in the 2014 SRT vehicle lineup by the Chrysler 300 SRT, Dodge Challenger SRT, Dodge Charger SRT and Jeep® Grand Cherokee SRT.
“The SRT brand customer is a passionate, performance-enthusiast and we are committed to providing them with track-proven vehicles that offer a unique blend of value, technology, power and character. Each of our vehicles are designed and engineered by enthusiast for enthusiasts,” said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO, SRT Brand and Motorsports — Chrysler Group LLC. “Our product lineup shines with five outstanding vehicles that include the latest in technologies, an intriguing array of colors and unique content that stands out from the competition while never losing focus of the SRT brand hallmarks.”
Every SRT vehicle is developed using five specific performance hallmarks, including:
High horsepower and torque ratings are a prerequisite in the high-performance automotive world. SRT engineers work to extract maximum power and fuel efficiency from each engine regardless of displacement, to meet the demands of today’s performance customer. Proven transmissions reliably put the power to the pavement, while at the same time incorporate the latest fuel-saving technologies.
Outstanding ride, handling and capability
Every SRT vehicle is built to excel on both road courses and road trips as a result of countless miles of real-world testing to ensure masterful handling on complex circuits and city streets alike. Each tire and wheel package is carefully selected to guarantee any SRT vehicle can hold its own on and off the racetrack.
SRT vehicles are well known for their world-class braking. SRT uses some of the best performing components so drivers never have to worry about having safe and consistent stopping power quickly at hand.
Aggressive and functional exteriors
Auto enthusiasts can spot an SRT vehicle from far away. So designers and engineers work together, whether in the studio or the wind tunnel, to ensure each performance target objective is met, while maintaining specific brand styling cues and character lines. All the design elements on the exterior are functional. Since SRT vehicles are drag limited, they are designed to be stable at very high speeds with a goal to achieve the least amount of lift as possible, while also being efficient at touring speeds.
Race-inspired and high-performance interiors
The interiors of SRT vehicles are specifically designed with only high-quality materials, leather and fabrics while promoting passenger comfort with an aggressive feel. Confidence-inspiring steering wheels, stylish ambient lighting along with the latest in intelligent performance hardware and sound systems transform the interior of all SRT vehicles into an upscale space at any speed.
Formed in 2002 as one of the industry's leading in-house automotive performance groups, SRT’s original premise, which is still followed today, was to create the Chrysler Group's boldest, most distinctive vehicles that delivered benchmark performance.
Original team members were recruited from the established Dodge Viper development team that had already been building the ultimate American supercar for more than 10 years, along with Dodge motorsports and the Mopar engineering teams.
The man at the helm when SRT started in 2002, Dan Knott, credits its early success directly to this “team of die-hard performance enthusiasts leading the engineering efforts.”
The 2003 Dodge Viper SRT10 was a natural fit to carry the flag as the first official SRT vehicle with its all-new, 500 horsepower 8.3-liter V-10 engine.
The next vehicle to wear the SRT treatment was the Dodge Neon and its transformation into the SRT4 was groundbreaking. It instantly became the quickest car under $20,000 and made the import tuning crowd take serious notice.
In total, there have been 10 Chrysler Group nameplates designed and engineered specifically to wear the SRT badge, including:
- Chrysler 300 and 300C SRT
- Chrysler Crossfire SRT6
- Dodge SRT4
- Dodge Ram SRT10
- Dodge Viper SRT10, Viper SRT10 ACR and Viper SRT10 ACR-X
- Dodge Magnum SRT8
- Dodge Charger SRT
- Dodge Caliber SRT4
- Dodge Challenger SRT8 and Challenger SRT 392
- Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT
The roots leading up to SRT being established in 2002 can be traced back to the 1989 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, where Dodge amazed crowds with the sleek Viper concept car. The vehicle’s simplistic yet muscular shape paired with an extreme performance 8.0-liter V-10 engine instantly thrust the Viper into the spotlight. The public raved and the Viper was quickly approved for production.
With the dawn of the V-10 powered supercar emerged a group of devoted engineers. Team Viper worked to hone the supercar for the street and racing, which would lead to endurance race victories in the late 1990s.
Meanwhile, a separate, dedicated team completed work on the 1993 Plymouth Prowler concept car. When the first Prowler rolled off the assembly line four years later, Chrysler integrated the two specialty groups into a single entity: Special Vehicle Engineering. At last, Chrysler’s elite teams worked together under a single roof to create eye-catching niche vehicles.
In 2002, Chrysler announced the creation of the Performance Vehicle Operations (PVO) group. The newly formed group leveraged existing resources to improve Chrysler’s high-performance vehicle focus.
All PVO creations began to wear the SRT badge with the unveiling of the Viper V-10-powered Dodge Ram SRT-10 concept, flanked on the floor at the 2002 North American International Auto Show in Detroit by the Dodge SRT-4 concept and Viper SRT-10.
In 2004, Chrysler renamed the PVO development team SRT.
In June 2011, SRT became a separate brand within Chrysler Group LLC and Ralph Gilles was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer – SRT Brand and Motorsports.