2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 Delivers


 The world's automakers are busy developing technologies to make cars more fuel efficient, realizing that there are limits to earth's resources and that pollution can cause problems harmful to man, earth and beast. At the same time that car manufactures are supporting vehicle electrification and the development of bio-fuels, few seem intent on turning away from delivering cars high on performance even if that power comes at the expense of fuel efficiency.

 Raw Power

Detroit's three automakers are pursuing fuel efficiency in a major way. General Motors has its electrified Chevrolet Volt, the Ford Motor Company offers its electric Transit Connect and will soon have a battery electric Focus and Chrysler is pursuing a new form of hybridization in cooperation with the Environmental Protection Agency.

 Yet, all three automakers also sell cars big on performance and small on fuel efficiency. Namely, highly potent versions of three coupes: the stylish Chevrolet Camaro, the iconic Ford Mustang and the retro Dodge Challenger. All three "pony cars" or sport coupes offer fuel efficient base V-6 models. They also now come with supercharged V-8 engines, offering all the raw power enthusiasts want.

 Dodge HEMI

The latest news in road hotness is all about the Dodge Charger SRT8. That model will get a power boost for 2012, as a 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 promises to provide 465 horsepower and 465 foot-pounds of torque. This scream machine will most likely drive the car from zero to 60 mph in about 5 seconds, a rip-roaring "hold onto the handle" burst of speed. Quarter-mile numbers are impressive too, estimated to be about 12 seconds. And, with a top speed of 175 mph, you'll be able to outrun everyone, including the blue light special in your rear view mirror. On second thought, don't.

 Lest you think that this top of the line Dodge Charger will melt polar ice caps and drown polar bears who want to eat you for dinner, relax. Yes, the Charger will gobble up gas, but it is also equipped with "fuel saver technology," designed to shut down four cylinders when not needed. Cruise down the interstate at a steady clip and your hot rod will be running on just four cylinders, giving the other four a rest. Fuel economy numbers haven't been calculated yet, but imagine getting at least 25 mpg perhaps approaching 30 mpg with this beast.
Charger Amenities

Other significant attributes of this hot ride include paddle-shift technology for ease of shifting on road and on track; a two-mode adaptive damping suspension for suspension tuning and road adaptation to enhance vehicle control. Security and safety amenities include adaptive cruise control with forward collision warning and blind spot monitoring with rear cross path detection.

Inside, the Charger's front seats gain improved bolstering and perforated suede insert fabric for better rear end grip; heated and ventilated front seats are standard and reactive headrests also are included. Seatbacks feature embroidered SRT logos; rear seats are heated.

Pricing hasn't been set yet for the newest iteration of the Charger SRT8, but $43,000 is the price of the 2011 model with the 2012 top of the range Charger expected to be similarly priced.

Matthew C. Keegan is a freelance writer who resides in North Carolina. Matt is a contributing writer for Andy's Auto Sport an aftermarket supplier of quality parts including vertical doors and Ford parts.