New Dodge Charger revealed

Dodge is showed off two new Chargers at the NY Auto Show. The first to concern us is the all-new 2006 Dodge Charger SRT8, the second is Dodge's bid for the cop car market.

2006 Dodge Charger SRT8

2006 Dodge Charger SRT8
2006 Dodge Charger SRT8
Aimed at performance enthusiasts it features, said Chrysler, more power, world-class ride and handling, benchmark braking, functional and aggressive-looking exterior enhancements and a race-inspired interior. The company reckons the original Dodge Charger's performance was measured mainly in straight-line numbers.

“The SRT approach to performance is multi-dimensional,” said Chrysler's Dan Knott. “For example, the 2006 Dodge Charger SRT8 incorporates Brembo brakes to stop as well as it accelerates. Its handling is world-class across a dynamic range. Its interior is designed specifically for the performance driver. And its performance exterior characteristics don’t just look great, they’re also functional.”

The Charger SRT8 gets you from 0-60 mph in around five seconds, a quarter-mile time in the 13-second range and braking distance from 60-0 mph in approximately 110 feet. The Dodge Charger SRT8 is also capable of accomplishing SRT’s signature performance test of 0-100-0 mph in the mid 16-second range.

Engine and transmission

6.1-litre Hemi V8 engine
6.1-litre Hemi V8 engine
The SRT8 is Hemi-powered of course, producing 425bhp and 420 lb-ft of torque. Several features of the new 6.1-litre SRT Hemi recall the Hemi engines of previous decades, including the namesake hemispherical combustion chambers that provide power and efficiency, orange-painted cylinder block, black valve covers, and even the horsepower rating. With less displacement, Dodge reckons the 6.1-litre Hemi’s 69.8 horsepower-per-litre rating exceeds that of the Street Hemi of the 1960s and ‘70s.

To create the 6.1-litre version of the Chrysler Group’s Hemi, SRT power-train engineers unleashed 85 more horsepower by adding more cubic inches, increasing the compression ratio, redesigning the cylinder head, intake and exhaust systems for increased flow, and increasing engine speed.

Details include:

  • The cylinder bores increased by 3.5mm in order to increase total displacement to 6.1 litres from 5.7 litres.
  • Compression ratio was increased from 9.6:1 to 10.3:1, increasing engine efficiency and power.
  • Engine breathing was increased with new higher-flow cylinder heads, a specially designed intake manifold, and exhaust headers with individual tubes encased in a stainless steel shell.
  • Larger-diameter valves and reshaped ports in the heads boost air flow.
  • The intake manifold was designed with larger-diameter and shorter runners for higher-speed tuning.
  • Exhaust is routed through a large-diameter (2.75-inch vs. 2.5-inch) exhaust system -- with 3.5-inch chrome tips.
  • Performance-oriented camshaft profiles were developed to allow more air in and out of the cylinders, as well as manage a higher engine speed. SRT engineers increased peak power output engine speed nearly 20 per cent to 6,000 rpm.
  • Intake and exhaust valve stems are hollow, and exhaust valve stems are filled with sodium to help dissipate heat more efficiently.

To handle the extra power, the strengthened V8 features a reinforced engine block, forged steel crankshaft, high-strength powdered-metal connecting rods, floating-pin pistons (cooled by oil squirters), and an oil pan modified to manage oil return to the pan sump at high engine speeds.

Power is channelled through an A580 five-speed automatic transmission with specially calibrated driver-selectable AutoStick, which offers fully automatic or manual shifting selection. A heavy-duty four-flange prop shaft sends the torque from the transmission to an upgraded differential and axles.

Ride and handling

Chassis improvements include SRT-tuned dampers, specially tailored spring rates and suspension bushings, and large-diameter anti-roll bars. The car rides 13mm lower than the standard Dodge Charger. Handling is enhanced for performance with a specially tuned ESP.

The car gets five-spoke 20-inch forged aluminium wheels wrapped in Goodyear Supercar F1 three-season tyres with asymmetrical tread -- 245/45/20 in the front, and 255/45/20 in the rear -- with four-season tyres an option.

Braking

All four wheels feature Brembo performance brake calipers, with the red finish characteristic of all Dodge SRT vehicles. Each four-piston caliper grips a vented disc: 360 x 32mm discs front, with 350 x 26mm rear.

Exterior

Dodge Charger SRT8 bonnet scoop
Dodge Charger SRT8 bonnet scoop
An all-new front fascia includes integrated ducts that help direct fresh air to cool the brakes. The front fascia also incorporates an air dam to reduce lift. The bonnet gets a scoop to funnel cool air into the engine compartment.

The rear fascia features integrated lower strakes to direct air flow and cut-outs to accommodate dual 3.5-inch exhaust tips. A boot-lid spoiler set on dual stanchions increases downforce for high-speed stability and traction.

The SRT badge is set into the blacked-out grill while body-coloured exterior mirrors fold inward for convenience. Three exterior colours are available: bright silver, brilliant black and inferno red crystal pearlcoat.

Interior

The car features power-adjustable, sculpted and bolstered sport seats in the front fitted with performance suede inserts for grip. Rear seats have matching performance suede inserts and all seats have contrasting red stitching. Other sporting touches include mock-carbon fibre trim on the steering wheel for better grip.

A 180-mph speedometer, tachometer and temperature gauge feature dark faces unique to the SRT8, with a driver-configurable LED within the gauge cluster for oil temperature, oil pressure and tyre pressure readouts.

Options include:

  • Power sunroof
  • Kicker audio system with six-disc CD changer
  • DVD-based navigation system with turn-by directions and voice prompts
  • Automatic temperature control
  • Heated front seats
  • Side air bags

Police car

Dodge Charger Police Vehicle
Dodge Charger Police Vehicle
While Ford's Crown Victoria has long been seen as the classic US cop car, Chrysler's Dodge division wants to muscle in with the brawny new Charger. Chrysler plans to get the Charger certified as a full pursuit car, followed by a marketing campaign to get it accepted by forces nation-wide. The company reckons that delivery dates for a police-spec car could be as early as autumn 2005.

The Dodge police car will be available with a 5.7-litre Hemi V8 engine with 340bhpat 5,000rpm and 390 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm.The dash from zero to 60 mph takes six seconds.As ever, the V8 also features a seamless switching between V8 mode and a fuel economy four-cylinder mode, which is said to boost economy by up to 20 per cent.

The Charger will be available with a 3.5-litre V6 engine with 250bhp and 250 lb-ft of torque. All cars get an auto box, and electronics including ABS, traction control, ESP and emergency brake assist.

Additional spec for the cops includes:

  • 100-amp battery power feed in the boot
  • 160-amp high-output alternator
  • 160-mph calibrated speedometer
  • 800CCA heavy-duty battery
  • Flashing head and tail-lights

Comments (26) Join the discussion on the forum

  • k2iss 30 Mar 2005

    I'd like soooo much to have the police version on UK roads.

  • FourWheelDrift 30 Mar 2005

    Ignoring what a Dodge Charger used to be, I do like the new one as a 4door saloon with attitude. In the same way I like the look of the Chrysler 300C.

    Neither look like another grey Eurobox or a Japanese Halfords experiment.

  • Rob_the_Sparky 30 Mar 2005

    Don't like its looks at all, far to high a waist line and no windows but the police version is much nicer, not sure why though as it can only be bull bars and paint different ont he outside.

    Rob

  • Witchfinder 30 Mar 2005

    I like it! It's an M5 rival which will hopefully go for M3 money. It'll be interesting to see if it ever makes it to Europe.

  • gbw911 30 Mar 2005

    I like it too. For the first time in my life there are a few US cars I could imagine fancy buying (new Corvette, Chrysler 300, this).

    Re the M5 for M3 money comment, I doubt whether it will be as much as $80k in the US but do agree it could well be £40k by the time you've imported one to Blighty.

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