Look out! Here comes the 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 and it’s pissed-off


Ralph Gilles, the new head honcho for the SRT performance brand (think BMW’s M Series, Mercedes Benz’s AMG or Cadillac’s V) is not a subtle guy. SRT is street AND racing technology – they don’t promote street-racing – but I do. He lifted the overall image of Dodge to a serious contender and now he’s pushing all out performance with SRT.

You see, Ralph is a “dude.”

If you had to demonstrate a poster child for Ralph’s SRT brand, it would have to be the 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8. It’s a dude’s car. I refer to the type who gets a thrill out of irritation old folk with the snarl of a 470 horsepower, 6.4 liter HEMI V8. Mr. Dude will get pleasure out of smoky burnouts with 470 lbs-feet of torque abusing 20 inch wheels and tires.


It’s about bravado and extroverted driving.

Despite the larger, fiery HEMI – this new SRT8 Charger gets up to 25% better mpg.

The moment I sampled the Charger SRT8, I was blown away at how different this car is from its brother the 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 I recently reviewed HERE.

They share everything from the big HEMI, recalibrated 5-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, adaptive dampening system (ADS) that firms up the suspension for sport/track from the comfortable cruising setting and all of their dimensions are essentially the same. The thing is, in the Charger SRT8, things are sharper and louder than the Chrysler 300 SRT8.


It sounds amazing and makes old people give you the “stink-eye.”

One of the first things I wanted to do was to find an M5 or a Lexus ISF and see how this new Charger SRT8 does. I think it would give the best sports sedans a run for their money. The handling is much tighter and the undercarriage feels better connected to the road. I had good road feel through the revised steering system and this bruiser can stop 60 to 0 mph in an impressive 120 feet.

Hard cornering reveals a flat, planted frontend over the previous model’s tendency to dip and body motions are damn close to European levels of control.


Still, it’s a huge car. If you overcook it in a corner (like I did) it will over-steer with a hint of under-steer when you panic-brake (like I did). Still, with any driving talent, simply slam your foot on the accelerator and push the ass back out to salvage some driving dignity with a cool looking drift.


It makes you a cocky driver – in a good way.

The interior is excellent for dudes and blasphemous for hi-zoot luxury performance machines. There’s a red interior theme available that coats the door panels, seats and some trim in double stitched with red leather. It’s one of the best looking of the SRT bunch and will annoy any connoisseur of European luxury.

For the price of an entry level BMW 5 series, in the low to mid 40s, you can have this monster – and you know what? I think it’s a damn good deal – so does Ralph.

Nathan Automotive media, racing, vehicle evaluation, wrecking yards, and car sales are just a part of Nathan Adlen’s vehicular past. He writes out of high octane passion! To read more reviews by Nathan Adlen or just to enjoy more of excellent writing please visit him on at his examiner.com page HERE.

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