Stellantis Dismantles The SRT Engineering Team, But That Won’t Necessarily Mean Performance Is Dead: News

I'm trying to look at this as a "glass is half full" situation

Stellantis’ (formerly FCA) SRT-branded vehicles have been huge-hitting V8 monsters, but that picture will soon change. (Photos: Stellantis)

This news may hurt, if you’re an SRT enthusiast.

It took some time to process ourselves, but the news is in fact true: Stellantis is breaking up the Street Racing & Technology (or SRT for short) engineering team. The folks responsible for the fantastically ludicrous Hellcat models and Dodge and Jeep’s SRT variants are shifting into different positions.

Here’s their statement on the matter:

All of the core elements of the SRT performance engineering team have been integrated into our company’s global engineering organization.

This action will have the two-way benefit of ensuring that our brands’ SRT and performance-focused product offerings continue to meet the highest quality standards and expectations, while delivering key learnings from motorsports and other high-performance-technology applications across a wider mix of our company’s product lines.

These products have delighted enthusiasts for nearly two decades, and Stellantis will continue to sell and develop the next generation of Dodge//SRT-branded vehicles, as well as Jeep and Ram vehicles that utilize high-performance SRT technology.   

Good news or bad news?

There are two conclusions you can unpack depending on how you absorbed the first part of that statement. On one hand, SRT is dead and the performance lunacy we’ve come to expect has died with it. Or, if you believe the last part, this is Stellantis’ effort to infuse the brainpower within SRT across its entire lineup. To that end, we could see some crazy performance emerge from all of the company’s north American offerings.

The division first emerged thirty years ago, and set to work lionizing performance in everything from the legendary Dodge Viper to the not-so-legendary Neon. They even souped-up an ordinary Caliber, so that was a thing. Later FCA attempted to spin off the SRT brand in the early 2010s, most notably with the Viper, before axing it in 2014 and democratizing the name across Dodge and Jeep products. The point is the minds that gave us the great Hellcats and the Ram TRX won’t completely disappear, but we won’t see them as “SRT”.

Times are changing, though, and this move makes that (perhaps painfully) clear. Whether we’ll see big, supercharged V8s is still a question mark. It’s not likely, at least in my opinion, and the next performance models we’ll see will likely incorporate some form of electrification. At least, that’s the case if recent reports do hold up and emissions regulations finally kill off the premise of American V8 muscle moving forward.