Profile: Who is SRT?

Profile: Who is SRT?

What is SRT - SRT Line-up

When you’re quite the car fanatic, it’s very excusable to get overly excited about a manufacturer’s performance arm, as you know that’s where things start to get particularly interesting…

Fortunately, there are plenty such outfits that bring an extra something to a manufacturer’s regular run of production models – although for how long this will last is certainly a question for another time.

Where American muscle is concerned, there are three letters in the automotive world that do an effective job of getting the heart to beat that much faster: SRT.

What does SRT stand for?

For anyone out there not accustomed to tuning houses in the US, SRT is the name behind some of the most ferocious models ever produced out of the States, with SRT standing for Street and Racing Technology, and most prominently works with Dodge vehicles.

How did SRT get started?

SRT’s beginnings were born out of the mind of Chrysler boss Bob Lutz in 1989, who felt the need for a new iconic sports car to enter the fray, much in the same light as the legendary Shelby Cobra.

What resulted from Mr Lutz’s desire was the monstrous Dodge Viper – developed with a whopping 8.0-liter V10 putting out 400hp, this new kid on the block kick-started what would become ‘Team Viper’.

Dodge Viper RT/10

Next, it was Chrysler’s turn for something special being added to its roster, although you could argue (quite easily) that the resulting car wasn’t quite as exciting as the Viper, but was certainly intriguing nonetheless.

‘Team Prowler’ created – you guessed it – the Chrysler Prowler, which was much more down to earth than the Dodge Viper, despite being influenced by the hot rods of old.

The later combination of Team Viper and Team Prowler created the Speciality Vehicle Engineering (SVE) group, which in turn became Performance Vehicle Operations in the early 2000s, before settling on SRT – or Street and Racing Technology – in 2004.

What is an SRT car?

If you come across a car with the SRT stamp, you can be sure that you’ve found a good reason to get excited.

An SRT car typically means that it will have plenty of muscle under the hood, and most likely some form of V8 powerhouse.

You’ll typically find the SRT badge stamped on the speediest of Challengers, Chargers, Vipers, as well as the odd Jeep.

What was SRT’s first car?

Despite having the likes of the Dodge Viper laying the land for SRT, the outfit’s first official car was a touch on the tame side – the Dodge Neon SRT-4.

Dodge Neon SRT-4 in blue

Featuring a very much tweaked 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, the Neon SRT-4 was a turbocharged demon on the road, offering 230hp and a 0-60mph time of 5.3s.

The SRT name gained an early welcome boost when, in 2006, Racedeck Racing further tuned the Neon SRT-4 and were able to see the car average 221mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, making it the world’s fastest production four-cylinder model.

Who does SRT make cars for?

Historically speaking, SRT has produced models for Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep, and largely continues to do so to this day.

SRT’s current line-up includes the several Dodge Challenger SRT models and cars such as the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT and Dodge Durango SRT.

Does SRT make the Hellcat models?

SRT is certainly the name behind the quite frankly terrifying Hellcat models.

You’ll see the Hellcat moniker on three SRT models – all belonging to Dodge: Challenger, Charger, and Durango.

Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody

The Challenger is probably the most iconic of the trio, and serves up a hefty 717hp from its 6.2-liter V8 – not only that, but comes with two separate keys; the first (a black key) limits the output to 500hp, while a red key will give a brave driver the Hellcat’s full capacity.

What is the fastest SRT model?

In terms of a 0-60mph sprint, the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 is the fastest of all SRT models, with a quite unbelievable time of just 1.66s.

The Challenger SRT Demon 170 is the last hurrah for the V8 muscle car from Dodge, and serves up an incredible 1,025hp from its 6.2-liter supercharged engine.

Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170

What does the future look like for SRT?

As we’ve just touched on, the V8 muscle car is entering its final days, with 2023 being the final model year for both the Challenger and Charger as we know them today.

Over the course of the year, there will be no fewer than seven special editions, all made under the ‘Last Call’ name, as Dodge and SRT see out the use of combustion engines in these two iconic names.

Dodge Charger Daytona SRT concept

The reception to this news hasn’t been the best, but as Dodge has started to unveil plans for the future of the SRT name in EV form, it’s obvious that the marque is attempting to at least imbue the electric versions of what comes next with that same SRT energy.

The Dodge Charger Daytona SRT has been put forward as a muscle car for the future, and certainly puts forward some figures that would make all the speed demons happy – although the sound of the awkwardly-named Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust remains a contentious topic.