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Article can be found at: Chrysler 300C SRT-8 Forums

More Hemi for not many more pennies. Via: caranddriver.com
BY AARON ROBINSON
PHOTOGRAPHY BY BILL DELANEY
February 2005

If your mind grinds gears like ours, you've been counting the minutes since the Chrysler 300C Hemi went on sale last spring, wondering what the hot-rod SRT-8 version would be like when it finally went on sale. How much horsepower would it have? What (gulp!) would it cost?

Brace for a trio of startling numbers: 6.1, 425, and $39,995.

That, in order, is the liter displacement of the SRT-8's enlarged Hemi V-8, the horsepower it cranks at 6200 rpm, and the base price (without the as-yet-undetermined gas-guzzler tax). Nice numbers, don't you think? That last one will undercut the 400-hp Cadillac CTS-V by $8000 or $9000, depending on the slurp tax.

Brace for one potentially bad figure: 10,000. That's the number of SRT-8s Chrysler plans to build per year. So expect long lines.

Recent history shows that when Chrysler's Street and Racing Technology group rises to speak, it's worth paying attention. Detroit's foremost speed SWAT team coalesced in 2002 from a group of handpicked motorheads to develop SRT derivatives of new Chrysler and Dodge models. The Neon-based 230-hp SRT-4, the 500-hp Ram SRT-10, and the 330-hp Crossfire SRT-6 joined the catalog in quick succession. Later this year Jeep will get an SRT Grand Cherokee with the bigger Hemi. Except for AMG in Germany, no other factory high-performance group is serving up more muscle or as broad a lineup of vehicles.

The confidence and esprit de corps of the SRT engineers are palpable. Current director Dan Knott maintains regular radio contact with Chrysler CEO and president Dieter Zetsche, who has DaimlerChrysler chairman Jürgen Schrempp on his speed dial. The decisions happen fast so SRT can have its performance derivatives on the street within 18 months of the base-model launch. When it was the 300's turn, these people made some laudable decisions.



As with a teenager's rat rod, most of the SRT-8's money is in the motor. It's a new version of the Hemi V-8, punched out to 6.1 liters from 5.7 and nostalgically sprayed Hemi orange. There's more to this engine than just another 3.5 millimeters of bore. The iron block is a unique casting with revised water jackets and better breathing between the cylinder bays to cut pumping losses. The 5.7's cast crank becomes forged in the 6.1 for more strength. Lighter pistons and reinforced rods add high-rpm durability. A continuous spritz from a bank of oil jets keeps the pistons cooler (synthetic oil only, thank you). Machining of the bores at DaimlerChrysler's plant in Saltillo, Mexico, is done slowly, NASCAR-style, with bolt-on head plates that sharpen the final tolerances.

Up top sit two new cast-aluminum heads. The intake valves grow by two millimeters and get hollow stems to cut mass and thus reduce inertia closer to the 6400-rpm spark cutoff. Sodium fills the oversize exhaust valves to dispel heat. Cylinder deactivation, standard on the 5.7, was left off the 6.1 because it didn't work with the lumpy cam profiles. Hence, the impending gas-guzzler tax.



Slim budgets didn't allow tooling up a new composite dual-stage intake manifold that would have fattened the low- and midrange torque, so engineers went for a max-horsepower setup. A tubular aluminum intake, cast with fine-grain sand to give an almost polished interior surface without an actual polish, sends air plunging down pole-straight rams at the intake valves. Tubular headers sheathed in a stamped-steel heat barrier flow the gas out.

The SRT-8 feels and sounds like a four-door Corvette as it lays rubber through reinforced driveshafts. Peak torque happens at 4800 rpm, so the engine definitely needs to be spun for the full slingshot effect. The Mercedes-designed five-speed automatic, the only transmission offered, stayed mostly in third charging up the hills north of Los Angeles. Knott says the 0-to-60 task should happen in the low fives. Very low, we think.



Glinting from within the 9.0-by-20-inch forged aluminum wheels are four-piston Brembo calipers clamping 14.2-inch front and 13.8-inch rear discs riding on special forged knuckles. Bilstein shocks go in front, Sachs Nivomat shocks in back. Firmer springs and anti-roll bars fill out the handling package but, thankfully, don't chatter teeth on the highway. Tire choices are two: Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar summer or all-season Goodyear Eagle RS-As.

Rolling on summer rubber, the SRT-8 drifted with surprising nimbleness from corner to kink to straightaway at the Mojave's Willow Springs International Raceway. The stability-control thresholds have been nicely elevated, the computer programmed to spend more time turned off. Roll is tightly restrained. Understeer? Only if you fear the gas pedal.

Exterior tinsel was kept to a minimum. Besides the wheels, the chin receives an air splitter and the tail a small spoiler. Inside: Ritzy chrome bezels accent the doors and leather-wrapped steering wheel, and the gauges get an SRT script as do the embroidered front seats.

"We went for the James Bond approach to performance," said Knott. "You pull up next to somebody at the light, and you know you have the confidence to blow his doors off, even if he doesn't recognize you."

Need more bling? Talk to the aftermarket. At the SEMA show last November, there were at least 90 Chrysler 300s on display, a dog's breakfast of styling baubles.

Need more power? Perhaps you should see a therapist.
CHRYSLER 300C SRT-8
Vehicle type: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan
Estimated base price: $41,000
Engine type: pushrod 16-valve V-8, iron block and aluminum heads, port fuel injection
Displacement: 370 cu in, 6059cc
Power (SAE net): 425 bhp @ 6200 rpm
Torque (SAE net): 420 lb-ft @ 4800 rpm
Transmission: 5-speed automatic with manumatic shifting
Wheelbase: 120.0 in
Length/width/height: 196.8/74.1/57.9 in
Curb weight: 4200 lb
C/D-estimated performance:
Zero to 60 mph: 5.0 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 12.8 sec
Standing 1/4-mile: 13.4 sec @ 105 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 155 mph
Projected fuel economy (mfr's est):
EPA city driving: 14 mpg
EPA highway driving: 19 mpg

Discuss more at the Chrysler 300C Forums
 

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SlickerSRT said:
The only advantage the CTS-V has is a six speed.
It's a disadvantage in the 1/4 -- plus, the throw on the CTS-V is very long.. you cant shift that car fast, trust me :)
 

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ekool said:
It's a disadvantage in the 1/4 -- plus, the throw on the CTS-V is very long.. you cant shift that car fast, trust me :)
I have to disagree...if you know how to powershift and do it well the standard car will be quicker than the auto....plus, an auto trans eats more hp...the standard trans will make more power to the rear wheels...again, better for the 1/4 mile....the only disadvantage in the 1/4 mile the standard trans has is that people tend to be less consistant in shifting than the auto...and this is why you see people who "bracket race" running auto's..because it is easier to reproduce more consistant et's

As for long throws...it really depends on who is driving the car...there are just some guys who can hit a fast gear on anything :)
 

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Lethal,

I think Ekools referring to that specific gearbox, and I'm guessing that he means that it's not geared right for the 1/4.

Say that you redline 2nd, but there's not much strip left to get max power in 3rd.
The SRT-4 with Stage 2 or 3 almost seem this way, it seems like winding third out would be best, but since your not making power past 5300-5600, hangin to the 6500rpm revised redline is worthless. Better to shift to fourth, even if your only there for 1-2 seconds.

Maybe the CTS-V has the same issue, only worse?
 

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lethal429 said:
I have to disagree...if you know how to powershift and do it well the standard car will be quicker than the auto....plus, an auto trans eats more hp...the standard trans will make more power to the rear wheels...again, better for the 1/4 mile....the only disadvantage in the 1/4 mile the standard trans has is that people tend to be less consistant in shifting than the auto...and this is why you see people who "bracket race" running auto's..because it is easier to reproduce more consistant et's

As for long throws...it really depends on who is driving the car...there are just some guys who can hit a fast gear on anything :)
It doesn't matter how fast you powershift, a manual trans car will be without power for a split second when you disengage the clutch...an auto doesn't have this to worry about. The 05 GTO is faster with the auto than it is with the 6speed through the 1/4, this is according to GM test figures. The new autos have low friction internals, so they don't rob as much power as in times past....
 

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chargershed said:
It doesn't matter how fast you powershift, a manual trans car will be without power for a split second when you disengage the clutch...an auto doesn't have this to worry about. The 05 GTO is faster with the auto than it is with the 6speed through the 1/4, this is according to GM test figures. The new autos have low friction internals, so they don't rob as much power as in times past....
Hey thats cool...throw up the link...i'd like to read it...thanx :)

I know that GM High-Tech Performance tested a 2004 ZO6...the 6-speed ran 11.97 at 118.8mph and the auto ran 12.10 at 116mph...the mph shows that the 6-speed is putting more power to the ground...both times are close though :)
 

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ekool said:
It's a disadvantage in the 1/4 -- plus, the throw on the CTS-V is very long.. you cant shift that car fast, trust me :)
Being faster isn't the objective with the 6 speed for me. I just take a lot of pleasure shifting, and cars that don't have a manual transmission just aren't fun for me.
 

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SlickerSRT said:
Being faster isn't the objective with the 6 speed for me. I just take a lot of pleasure shifting, and cars that don't have a manual transmission just aren't fun for me.
I second that!!!
 

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Gang,

Think back about 40 years to the Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth racing hey days. Their transmission of choice was the 3 speed Touqueflite automatic. Those cars were killers back then and tore the full size Chevys and Fords a new back side and they were using 4 speed manuals
 

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mspeasl said:
Gang,

Think back about 40 years to the Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth racing hey days. Their transmission of choice was the 3 speed Touqueflite automatic. Those cars were killers back then and tore the full size Chevys and Fords a new back side and they were using 4 speed manuals
The top 50 Fastest Musclecars tells a different story...the fastest cars #1 to #7 were all 4-speed cars...the 8th fastest car was a 1970 Hemi Road Runner with an auto and 4.10 gears...here is the link if you would like to check it out :)

50 Fastest Musclecars
 

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lethal429 said:
The top 50 Fastest Musclecars tells a different story...the fastest cars #1 to #7 were all 4-speed cars...the 8th fastest car was a 1970 Hemi Road Runner with an auto and 4.10 gears...here is the link if you would like to check it out :)

50 Fastest Musclecars
When you're talking about off-the-shelf cars you could walk into a showroom and actually buy, yes, the automatics were usually faster. Plus the clutch effort required behind a 400-500 lb/ft engine was astronomical.
 

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Well, for comparisons sake, do you think a stock auto (86 and up) V8 Mustang is as fast as an identicaly equipped 5-speed Mustang??...they aren't even close...the 5-speed is 5-7 tenths faster :) ....I own a number of big block cars, the majority with 4-speeds and I have never had a problem with the clutch effort, but I understand what you are saying. Compared to newer cars and the hydraulic units used, they are much smoother. I recently raced my buddy who has a 1970 LS6 454 Camaro Auto with 3.31 gears against my 1970 429 SCJ 4-speed Torino with 3.91 gears...he lost..and I honestly believe if his car was equipped with a 4-speed it would have been a better race...anyhow, it's just my opinion that standards are faster, of course if someone who doesn't really know how to drive them, the auto will be faster :)
 

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lethal429 said:
Well, for comparisons sake, do you think a stock auto (86 and up) V8 Mustang is as fast as an identicaly equipped 5-speed Mustang??...they aren't even close...the 5-speed is 5-7 tenths faster :) ....I own a number of big block cars, the majority with 4-speeds and I have never had a problem with the clutch effort, but I understand what you are saying. Compared to newer cars and the hydraulic units used, they are much smoother. I recently raced my buddy who has a 1970 LS6 454 Camaro Auto with 3.31 gears against my 1970 429 SCJ 4-speed Torino with 3.91 gears...he lost..and I honestly believe if his car was equipped with a 4-speed it would have been a better race...anyhow, it's just my opinion that standards are faster, of course if someone who doesn't really know how to drive them, the auto will be faster :)
I would say in most cases you would be right....but modern autos have 5 and 6 gears now...what will really be interesting is the 06 chevy corvette Z06 is supposed to have a 6-speed auto as an option...that would be comparing apples to apples I think... you have to remember a 5 speed manual in a 'stang would have a much shorter 1st gear than a 4-speed auto, right?
 

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lethal429 said:
The top 50 Fastest Musclecars tells a different story...the fastest cars #1 to #7 were all 4-speed cars...the 8th fastest car was a 1970 Hemi Road Runner with an auto and 4.10 gears...here is the link if you would like to check it out :)

50 Fastest Musclecars
the 300 srt-8 would tie for 7th fastest on that list with the 427 corvette of '69...it only has a 3.06 rear gear. AND 4 DOORS!!! AND AN AUTOMATIC...5-speed of course...
 

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chargershed said:
I would say in most cases you would be right....but modern autos have 5 and 6 gears now...what will really be interesting is the 06 chevy corvette Z06 is supposed to have a 6-speed auto as an option...that would be comparing apples to apples I think... you have to remember a 5 speed manual in a 'stang would have a much shorter 1st gear than a 4-speed auto, right?
Yah the autos have a 2.40 1st gear where the T-5 has a 3.35 1st gear, unless if it is a world class T-5 then it would have a 2.95 1st gear. BUT, the auto has the torque converter, which of course multiplies the torque...giving it mechanical advantage :)
 

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chargershed said:
the 300 srt-8 would tie for 7th fastest on that list with the 427 corvette of '69...it only has a 3.06 rear gear. AND 4 DOORS!!! AND AN AUTOMATIC...5-speed of course...
:) Don't get too excited by those numbers...Dave Dudek runs a 1970 Hemi 4-speed Challenger in the F.A.S.T. class on 7 inch wide bias ply tires and he runs well into the 11's at over 120mph...it's all in the engine/suspension/chassis tuning...there are a lot of 4-speed Musclecars running unbelievable times now...hell, even the auto's are fast :D
 

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lethal429 said:
:) Don't get too excited by those numbers...Dave Dudek runs a 1970 Hemi 4-speed Challenger in the F.A.S.T. class on 7 inch wide bias ply tires and he runs well into the 11's at over 120mph...it's all in the engine/suspension/chassis tuning...there are a lot of 4-speed Musclecars running unbelievable times now...hell, even the auto's are fast :D
yeah, I've seen a Stage 1 buick run low 12's in that class....phenomenal :)
 
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