2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 at 2011 Chicago Auto Show

  • Competes with: Your wife’s better judgment
  • Looks like: A Charger with a blacked-out center bumper
  • Drivetrain: 465-hp (estimated), 6.4-liter V-8 with a five-speed automatic transmission; rear-wheel drive 
  • Hits dealerships: 2011 

Dodge’s Street and Racing Technology group is alive and well, and products like the forthcoming Charger SRT8 should drive the point home. This is no Caliber knockoff — it’s a 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 with variable high-lift cams and an estimated 465 horsepower and 465 pounds-feet of torque. Oh, yeah, there’s a four-door sedan that comes with it.

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Like the Challenger SRT8, the Charger SRT8 gets Chrysler’s latest Hemi V-8, which propels the car to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds and completes the quarter-mile in the high 12-second range, Dodge says. The car’s five-speed automatic employs paddle shifters, a first for any SRT product.The performance sedan goes on sale sometime this year.

Based on the redesigned 2011 Charger, the SRT8 also boasts a performance-oriented adaptive suspension and conventional hydraulic steering rather than the Charger’s electro-hydraulic setup. Outside, the bumper has a black center finish, giving the grille and lower air inlet a one-piece appearance. The hood gets a functional opening to cool the engine bay, and a spoiler sits atop the trunk. Twenty-inch wheels house 14.2-inch front brake discs with four-piston Brembo calipers.

Inside, drivers get more aggressively bolstered sport seats, more aluminum trim and a Harmon Kardon stereo. The steering wheel bears an SRT logo and a flat-bottomed rim; beyond it, an information display between the gauges can show various performance metrics. Want to know how quick you just ran the quarter-mile? It will tell you. (So, likely, will the officer who pulls you over. Keep your racing to the track, gents.)

Dodge hasn’t announced pricing yet, but the SRT8 will probably run a bit more than the last Charger SRT8, which cost $38,970. That was in 2009, the last year Dodge made it. More photos below.

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