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http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drives/Followup/articleId=107369

Fully Charged

By Karl Brauer
Date posted: 09-26-2005

Driving the new 2006 Dodge Charger SRT-8 you find yourself thinking, "Sure it's fast, remarkably nimble and capable of stopping from 60 mph in 120 feet, but the average wife will never go for it. She'll only harp about the harsh ride and cringe as the exhaust system makes its Hemi-powered belch every time the tach swings past 4,000 rpm."

Most automotive enthusiasts would like to see this new Charger earn the sort of widespread appeal that the 1968-1969 models did. Those cars were good enough for Frank Bullitt, Dirty Mary and Crazy Larry, plus a couple of good ol' boys from Hazzard County sporting a rebel flag and the words "General Lee" painted on the roof. But what sort of self-respecting better half is going to sign off on this 425-horsepower beast?

Today's Muscle Car
That's an important question, because the new Dodge Charger now sports four doors, a roomy backseat and a large trunk (16.2 cubic feet), so it's obviously meant to appeal to more than just the testosterone-charged youth Dodge was targeting back in the late 1960s. Those guys are all grown up now, and many of them have to answer to that aforementioned wife. To our eyes, injecting this vehicle with a louder, more powerful 6.1-liter Hemi V8, not to mention a stiffer suspension, aggressively bolstered front seats and large "SRT" emblems on the grille, trunk lid and head restraints seems a bit contradictory.

But after spending a week with the Charger SRT-8 we can assure you it has mastered the art of the 21st-century muscle car. It's got a fully independent four-wheel suspension, and Chrysler's Street and Racing Technology (SRT) team has upgraded items like the front and rear sway bars, as well as the bushings and the spring rates, to better deliver on the car's promise of high-performance handling.

Dodge claims to have tweaked the settings of the Electronic Stability Program (ESP) as well, but we found it to be overly intrusive in "on" mode, and still bothersome in "off" mode. This was particularly annoying because the big car often wanted to go faster around corners than the system would let it, but it didn't stop us from ripping through the slalom at 64.5 mph (faster than the new Mazda MX-5 Miata and Pontiac Solstice).

Parts That Equal a Whole Shot
SRT also added a variety of exterior upgrades that, according to the group's director, Dan Knott, "…don't just look great, they're also functional." The most obvious exterior changes are a set of five-spoke, 20-inch aluminum wheels wearing Goodyear Supercar F1 tires (245/45s in front, 255/45s in back).

Peer through those five spokes and you can't miss the massive 14.1-inch front rotors (13.7 inches in back) grabbed by red four-piston Brembo calipers. These hauled the 4,200-pound Charger SRT-8 down from 60 mph in a confident 120 feet while displaying no fade after three repeated panic stops. With a front fascia directing air to those brakes it would appear Mr. Knott's "functional" comment rings true. There's also a functional hood scoop that brings cold air into the engine compartment — plus it looks cool.

But the most important upgrade remains the Hemi engine under that scoop. Bumping the standard Hemi V8's horsepower from 340 to 425 meant bumping displacement from 5.7 to 6.1 liters through a bore increase of 3.5 millimeters. The SRT boys also upped the compression ratio from 9.6-to-1 to 10.3-to-1 while adding high-flow cylinder heads and a more aggressive camshaft. Exhaust pipe diameter also increased from 2.5 inches to 2.8 inches.

The 425-hp V8 hooks to a five-speed automatic transmission with a manual-shift mode. It also uses a sturdier prop shaft, beefier rear differential and stronger axles, making it identical to the drivetrain used in the Chrysler 300C SRT-8 we tested last year. That car pulled a 5.7-second 0-to-60 time and ran through the quarter-mile in 14.1 seconds at 105 mph. Putting the Charger through similar testing netted a 5.4 0-to-60 time while taking 13.5 seconds to clear the quarter-mile at 105 mph. With curb weight, tire size and gearing the same in both models we can only conclude that the Charger's cold-air induction is really working. Well, that and the usual variances between test vehicles and testing conditions.

Not Just for Boys
What hasn't wavered is our enthusiasm for SRT products that live up to the division's goal of being top-performance offerings in their segment. With a mid-5-second 0-to-60 time, not to mention braking and handling characteristics that would embarrass many European performance sedans that cost thousands more, the 2006 Dodge Charger SRT-8 is a modern muscle car marvel.

And despite its somewhat choppy ride quality and baritone exhaust warble, it still passed the most important test: the wife liked it. Actually, she really liked it. "It's the first modern car to remind me of your 1970 Plymouth GTX," she beamed enthusiastically. "And while it's more refined than that car it still has plenty of attitude — and it's really fast. Can we get one?"

Looks like Dodge has figured out the secret formula.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Okay, my notes.

1. These same guys got a 14.1 from the 300C SRT, so I'm not sweating the 13.5.

2. Looks as if they either did not know, or did not have one equipped with the full off mode for ESP. Since this change/feature hit the production line (and its actual parts, lots of them, not just programming) in early August, its possible some cars were made for the press fleet without it.

3. That 120ft stopping distance is truly world class. Matches the SLK55 AMG. The mighty CLS55 AMG only bests it by 4 feet.

4. Slaloms faster than the Solstice and the Miata? Damn!!!!!!!!
 

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Now that I have to wait even longer for my Charger (possibly mid to late next year) the SRT-8 is starting to look more appealing if I could only get the guys at the dealership not to break it off in my a$$ and charge tons of money for one over MSRP.

Later
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If they wont, you should have no problem findin one within say 300 miles. Drive a litte, save a lot. Heck, how far is Nebraska? Bill P would sell you one for sticker. Heck, who knows, by then maybe we can get them even below sticker, but that I would not count on:)
 

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GLHS837 said:
Okay, my notes.

1. These same guys got a 14.1 from the 300C SRT, so I'm not sweating the 13.5.

2. Looks as if they either did not know, or did not have one equipped with the full off mode for ESP. Since this change/feature hit the production line (and its actual parts, lots of them, not just programming) in early August, its possible some cars were made for the press fleet without it.

3. That 120ft stopping distance is truly world class. Matches the SLK55 AMG. The mighty CLS55 AMG only bests it by 4 feet.

4. Slaloms faster than the Solstice and the Miata? Damn!!!!!!!!
Truly impressive indeed

I can't wait until Car & Driver gets their hands on one so we can see some real test results as these guys are no dragsters.

It will be interesting to see if it is faster than the 300C SRT8

I sure hope so!
 

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Launching the Charger SRT-8 is extremely tricky. We got our best time by power braking the car to 1,500 rpm in automatic mode with the traction control turned off. Trying to launch without a power brake and/or in manual shift mode results in short shifts and more aggressive traction control (even though it's "off." The trans shifts at 6,000 rpm, and redline is set at 6,250. In manual mode, there is a delay in upshifts where the car actually hesitates between gears unless you intiate the shifts very early. We think its cool that the SRT-8 model allows you to control shifts and hold gears, but the ultra-intrusive ESP program is NOT so cool in a 425-horse performance car.
Come on GSM!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Since the car they tested most likely ddidnt have the latest version of ESP and torque management (see the "i own a magnum srt-8 thread for details), I would for sure not buy this until I had my car. Of course, I wouldnt anyway, but if I was thinking of it, I would hold off.
 

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GLHS837 said:
If they wont, you should have no problem findin one within say 300 miles. Drive a litte, save a lot. Heck, how far is Nebraska? Bill P would sell you one for sticker. Heck, who knows, by then maybe we can get them even below sticker, but that I would not count on:)
Yeah I have no doubt that if I did some shopping around mid to late next year I could get in on a 2007 SRT-8 for sticker if the local boys are interested in gouging me. The more I think about it the more I feel like I will not be happy until I have a fire breathing SRT-8 instead of an R/T w/ R/T Pkg. Originally I thought I would just be happy with modifying an R/T but I am thinking that in the long term I should just get the beast like I have wanted all along....now comes the long haul to save up for one.

Later
 

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SRT8Charger07 said:
now comes the long haul to save up for one
Or, as some have posted in other threads, use the R/T as a trade-in on the SRT-8. Hopefully they would give you a decent deal with the trade.

I admire your patience. No way I could wait another year for the SRT-8. Wife and family would leave me due to my obsession with the vehicle.
 

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Man,these guys at edmunds are smokin' somethin' with the 300c srt-8 in the quarter at 14.1 and at the same trap speed.Time to pull out the BS flag. First off there is not one member on the 300c srt-8 forum who has ever turn in 14.1.(sounds like the regular 300c except for maybe trap speed) Numbers have consistently been 13.3 down to 12.9 stock.Somebody is payin' someone off here!!Then the charger srt-8 they got at 13.5 with the same trap speed.The 2 cars are virtually identical and they have these extreme variences.This whole article seems BS and not true. Edmunds you blew it!!I'll wait to see a REAL honest testing thank you. :sick:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Johnny, relax. The numbers are what they are. There are many variables that can account for such variations. Ambient temp, traction, driver, who knows what else. I cant see calling the whole article BS based on two values. There are differences in the trans programming, and the suspension. Maybe theres a difference in the two kinds of gas used.

The 300C was tested in May, the Charger in Sept. Does CA do summer and winter blends of gas? Lots of places do.
 

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JohnnyG said:
Man,these guys at edmunds are smokin' somethin' with the 300c srt-8 in the quarter at 14.1 and at the same trap speed.Time to pull out the BS flag. First off there is not one member on the 300c srt-8 forum who has ever turn in 14.1.(sounds like the regular 300c except for maybe trap speed) Numbers have consistently been 13.3 down to 12.9 stock.Somebody is payin' someone off here!!Then the charger srt-8 they got at 13.5 with the same trap speed.The 2 cars are virtually identical and they have these extreme variences.This whole article seems BS and not true. Edmunds you blew it!!I'll wait to see a REAL honest testing thank you. :sick:
I look at Edmunds for subjective results only. For objective testing, no one beats Car & Driver. Their procedure is outstanding.

They are the only ones to take the 300C SRT8 up to 173mph
 

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MCaesar said:
I look at Edmunds for subjective results only. For objective testing, no one beats Car & Driver. Their procedure is outstanding.

They are the only ones to take the 300C SRT8 up to 173mph
Yeah Car and Driver is a great mag, they lost my subscription when they gave an 05 Stang 25 "gotta have it" points in a comparo against the GTO. GTO lost by 1 point thanks to the made up catagory.

Also about Edmunds their review times are always terrible, they got an 05 STI to run a 14.1! I have friends who can top that time missing gears and bogging the launch.

The SRT-8 is gonna put up better #'s in the upcoming reviews, it should be a solid low 13-high 12 car.
 

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moparfan said:
Or, as some have posted in other threads, use the R/T as a trade-in on the SRT-8. Hopefully they would give you a decent deal with the trade.
Thought about that too but it just isn't in the cards for me to get anything at the moment. Unless I get some whiz bang 50K+ a year job soon I will not be ordering anything and at the moment there is no Charger in my immediate future or even the near future. If all else fails I am gonna have to work at Home Depot or something until I get a job in my chosen career of electronics and that just puts the Charger that much further out of my reach :( Just reading these boards is enough to just drive me up the wall but in that same respect it is the only thing keeping my hopes up....now if I could only win the instant win game for a Charger on unleashyourfreak.com I will be set.

moparfan said:
I admire your patience. No way I could wait another year for the SRT-8. Wife and family would leave me due to my obsession with the vehicle.
You have no idea how much patience it requires to wait that long.....wife is already wondering who I love more (Abby and Her vs. the Charger). My decisions are not set in stone as far as which car to get so I shall waffle around for a while until the day comes that I can order something. So I guess I am going to just have to jump off that bridge when I get to it........
 

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05GTO said:
Yeah Car and Driver is a great mag, they lost my subscription when they gave an 05 Stang 25 "gotta have it" points in a comparo against the GTO. GTO lost by 1 point thanks to the made up catagory.

Also about Edmunds their review times are always terrible, they got an 05 STI to run a 14.1! I have friends who can top that time missing gears and bogging the launch.

The SRT-8 is gonna put up better #'s in the upcoming reviews, it should be a solid low 13-high 12 car.
:dog: 'sniff' 'sniff' do i smeel a goat?!
 

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Come on it's not to bad, you can get an srt8 for 46 XXX (Canadian) tax inculded, if you just don't get any of that optional crap. Who needs a dvd player or nav system come on.
 

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Don't get a GTO owner started on the mustang's "gotta have it" factor. That's the most cokamamey (sp) thing ever contrived.
 

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05GTO said:
Yeah Car and Driver is a great mag, they lost my subscription when they gave an 05 Stang 25 "gotta have it" points in a comparo against the GTO. GTO lost by 1 point thanks to the made up catagory.

Also about Edmunds their review times are always terrible, they got an 05 STI to run a 14.1! I have friends who can top that time missing gears and bogging the launch.

The SRT-8 is gonna put up better #'s in the upcoming reviews, it should be a solid low 13-high 12 car.
Agreed

I don't like the outcome of most of their comparison tests because they always add in that BS factor so the car they want to win will win. But their testing is near flawless. In 94 they tested the Impala SS and ran a 15.0 with it. The current Maxima and Taurus SHO were running 15.1-15.3. Sure enough, when my car was stock I would beat those two in races by about 1 or 2 car lengths in the quarter. They were very precise.

Love the testing - don't always like the comparison tests outcomes.
 

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GLHS837 said:
Johnny, relax. The numbers are what they are. There are many variables that can account for such variations. Ambient temp, traction, driver, who knows what else. I cant see calling the whole article BS based on two values. There are differences in the trans programming, and the suspension. Maybe theres a difference in the two kinds of gas used.

The 300C was tested in May, the Charger in Sept. Does CA do summer and winter blends of gas? Lots of places do.
Please no excuses,they are way off, I own one for gosh sakes! Heck even the regular 300c and charger r/t can turn in 14.1. I'll take Car & Driver anyday!! Edmunds seems like a bunch of ol' farts anyways. Oh well,I know I won't be reading their reviews anymore,they're unrealistic. :rolleyes:
 

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MCaesar said:
I look at Edmunds for subjective results only. For objective testing, no one beats Car & Driver. Their procedure is outstanding.

They are the only ones to take the 300C SRT8 up to 173mph
I totally agree with your thinking!
 
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