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    New York Auto Show: 2014 SRT Viper TA



    By William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    March 18, 2013

    If you ever wondered how SRT could make the Viper that much more extreme, well let me introduce the new 2014 SRT Viper TA that will make its public debut at the New York Auto Show next week.

    The TA is short for Time Attack and is built with purpose of destroying lap records on racetracks. The model starts with a basic Viper with its 8.4L V10 producing 640 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque and builds from there. There is a uniquely tuned track suspension with a two-mode Bilstein Damptronic system. SRT says the suspension offers firmer levels of damping than what is found in the Viper GTS. Other changes under the skin include a lighter carbon fiber X-brace and a beefier set of Brembo brakes.

    Outside, the Viper TA has a new carbon fiber aero package with front splitters, rear spoiler, and a rear applique. There is also a set of ultra-lightweight, multi-spoke Sidewinder II wheels and all of the badges have been replaced by decals.

    The Viper TA weighs around 3,348 pounds, which is six pounds lighter than the base Viper (3,354 lbs) and 26 pounds than the Viper GTS (3,374 lbs).

    Production of the Viper TA begins in the third quarter of this year and only 33 will be built.

    Source: Chrysler

    2014 SRT Viper TA 2
    Album: 2014 SRT Viper TA
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    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    Press Release is on Page 2


    2014 SRT Viper TA – Ready to Attack Any Road Course

    • Viper TA (Time Attack) spec-package designed for extreme performance in a special road course focused handling package
    • Only 33 units in special “Crusher Orange” exterior paint color will be available beginning third quarter 2013

    March 18, 2013 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Configured in-house by the Chrysler Group’s SRT (Street and Racing Technology) team in collaboration with professional road racers, the exclusive, street-legal and single-spec 2014 SRT Viper TA (Time Attack) package is specifically built for the performance enthusiast driver who likes to exercise their machines at the more than 150 road-race courses around North America.

    Less than one year since the long-awaited world debut of the new 2013 SRT Viper at the New York International Auto Show, the 2014 SRT Viper TA is set to make its public debut on March 27, 2013 on the same show floor at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.

    Based on the SRT Viper model – the lightest vehicle in the lineup, the 2014 SRT Viper TA package builds upon the legendary on-track capability of the American hand-built supercar using a majority of pre-developed components straight from the SRT stable, that are combined into a carefully balanced package that extract the most out of the Viper ultralow center of gravity, 50/50 weight distribution and largest contact patch in the production car world.

    “The new 2014 SRT Viper TA is being engineering for the dedicated track enthusiast, who still wants to drive to the track and take their hobby to the next level” said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO – SRT Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC. “We’re re-launching some of the fastest production-built cars that people can buy straight from the factory. Our engineers revised the suspension settings to refocus the Viper specifically for track duty, using a blend of components from the GTS and the SRT models, add in the extensively developed aero package and the new Time Attack package is born. We’re not only saluting the existing capabilities of our current models, we’re also targeting another niche in our customer base with a tremendously capable track machine.”

    The suspension on the 2014 SRT Viper TA is uniquely tuned and upgraded specifically for on-track usage and to maximize the performance of the Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires which are mounted on ultra-lightweight, multi-spoke Sidewinder II wheels. A two-mode Bilstein Damptronic suspension system features firmer levels of damping and a smaller spread between modes than what is found on the current Viper GTS models.

    Shock dampers, springs and road racing derived stabilizer bars have been retuned for optimal on-track performance. The standard aluminum structural X-brace is replaced with a lighter carbon fiber brace that effectively ties the four corners of the engine compartment together and contributes to the 50-percent increase in torsional rigidity and stiffness across the Viper lineup.

    Based on the outstanding performance of the world-class brake system on the 2013 SRT Viper, SRT engineers are working in parallel with Brembo on a system that increases thermal capacity and optimizes heat dissipation providing improved extreme use. The brake calipers on the 2014 SRT Viper TA feature a black anodized finish with the Viper logo shown in Crusher Orange.

    The unmistakable exterior of the SRT Viper TA features exclusive Crusher Orange paint with black 2D TA logos behind both front wheels, black Stryker logo on the front fascia and matte black, ultra-lightweight Sidewinder II wheels.

    An advanced exterior aerodynamics package includes carbon fiber front splitters and rear spoiler, while a carbon fiber rear applique accentuates the rear width proportions and adds another level of detail.

    Under the hood of the 2014 SRT Viper TA is the handcrafted, all-aluminum 8.4-liter, mid-front

    V-10 overhead-valve engine. Performance ratings are 640 horsepower and 600 lb.-ft. of torque – the most torque of any naturally aspirated sports-car engine in the world.

    Inside, the performance driver-oriented cabin of the 2014 SRT Viper TA uses the same standard premium ballistic fabric racing seats from Sabelt, featuring a lightweight fiberglass shell created by a state-of-the-art resin transfer molding technology for mass reduction and long-term durability. Both driver and passenger seats can also accommodate a 3- or 6-point harness for racing belts.

    The standard black interior combination includes unique Crusher Orange accent stitching on the cloth seats, instrument panel (through the cowl), center stack, console, pull brake, shifter boot, shifter head, steering wheel and upper doors.

    Curb weight is an estimated 3,348 pounds.

    Only 33 units of the 2014 SRT Viper TA in Crusher Orange will be built at the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit, beginning in third quarter 2013.

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    • By William Maley
      Dodge has gone mad in terms of power. Case in point is the 2018 Durango SRT that will be shown this week at the Chicago Auto show. 
      Under a new hood featuring a functional scoop is a 6.4L HEMI V8 producing 475 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. This is paired up with an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. 0-60 mph is said to take 4.4 seconds and the quarter-mile takes 12.9 seconds. If you're interested, the Durango SRT is rated to tow a max of 8,600 pounds.
      The suspension gets revised springs, a stiffer rear sway bar, and adjustable dampers. Larger Brembo brakes are hidden by a set of 20-inch wheels finished in black. There will be the choice of two Pirelli tire choices. 
      Outside, the Durango SRT looks the part with a new front fascia with a reshaped grille, additional air vents, and a revised rear fascia with dual exhausts that have been tuned to sound like the Charger 392. The interior comes with six-passenger arrangement with heavily bolstered bucket seats for the front and second row. Optional will be a hand-stitched leather dash and carbon fiber trim.
      The Durango SRT will arrive during the fourth quarter of the year.
      Source: Dodge
      Press Release is on Page 2


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      The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT will make its debut at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show on Feb. 9. Vehicles will start arriving in Dodge dealerships in the fourth quarter of 2017.
      The new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT is loaded with performance features designed to make it America’s fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV, including:
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      For the first time ever, SRT power is now available in the Dodge Durango. The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT is powered by the potent 392-cubic-inch HEMI V-8 engine with Fuel Saver Technology that delivers 475 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 470 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,300 rpm – providing America’s best horsepower and torque ratings and making the new Dodge Durango SRT the fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV.
      To keep the powertrain running cool and efficient in higher demand environments, a new cold-air duct provides cooler outside air into the engine. Testing has shown up to an 18-degree Fahrenheit improvement in intake air temperature, resulting in an engine that performs flawlessly on the street, racetrack or when towing a favorite trailer or toy. 
       
      Assuring maximum performance under extreme conditions, the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT has been validated through rigorous 24-hour track durability testing – a testing standard that every SRT vehicle adheres to.
       
      The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT provides enhanced shift quality and performance drivability, as well as optimized fuel economy through its TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. This proven transmission was specifically calibrated for the Dodge Durango SRT to optimize shift points and deliver maximum torque to all four wheels. For the ultimate driver-controlled experience, the transmission can be manually shifted using the performance-inspired steering wheel paddle controls on the exclusive SRT-lit flat-bottom steering wheel.
       
      The TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission takes into account variables, including engine torque gradients, kick-down events, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, grade changes, tire slip and downshift detection to determine the appropriate transmission shift map. The end result is a fully adaptable performance experience.
       
      Additional parameters integrated into the control strategy include vehicle speed control, electronic stability control interaction and temperature. The result is automatic shifting that is ideally attuned to the performance requirements of any performance-oriented driving demand.
       
      When the driver downshifts, the “rev match” function uses the engine controller to blip the throttle, which provides optimal transition between gears for improved performance and greater stability when downshifting at the traction limit.
       
      When placed in “Sport Mode,” the transmission reduces shift times by up to 50 percent versus Auto Mode and delivers 65 percent of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels.
       
      Acceleration and performance handling are enhanced by transfer case proportioning and dynamic controls for the AWD system when the vehicle is in Track Mode. When in Track Mode, maximum performance track driving is achieved with 160-millisecond shifts and up to 70 percent of the engine’s torque delivered to the rear wheels for the most pronounced rear-wheel-drive experience. Durango SRT drivers will also notice a vehicle that is more responsive from mid-corner to exit.
      The new driver-oriented electronic T-shifter provides the driver with intuitive gear selection and offers an Auto Stick selector gate for added control. Drive and Sport shifting can be selected with no effect on the chosen suspension, stability control and driveline torque split settings.
       
      The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT features launch control, which mimics a professional driver’s inputs to optimize performance by bringing engine, transmission, driveline, stability control and suspension together for an optimal launch and consistent straight-line acceleration.
       
      The new exhaust system has been tuned to offer an unmistakably deep, high-performance note that is distinctive to Dodge/SRT and provides a lasting impression. To achieve this iconic exhaust tone, engineers have replaced the rear mufflers with resonators to increase overall sound level and improve tone of the true performance 2.75-inch dual exhaust system.
      Ride and handling
      The Dodge Durango SRT rides on a short- and long-arm (SLA) independent front suspension with coil springs, specially tuned Bilstein adaptive damping suspension (ADS), upper- and lower-control arms (“A” arms) and a stabilizer bar. Additional changes include 3 percent stiffer front springs, 16 percent stiffer rear springs and an 18 percent stiffer rear sway bar to provide Durango SRT drivers with outstanding high-speed cornering capability.
       
      In the rear, a specially tuned multi-link suspension design has coil spring, Bilstein ADS, aluminum lower control arm, independent upper links (tension and camber), plus a separate toe link, and a stabilizer bar.
       
      The 120-inch wheelbase allows for outstanding stability and consistency in high-speed cornering, while a new performance-tuned AWD system helps the Durango SRT set the world-class performance marks. 
       
      The Durango SRT also features the SRT seven-mode drive system, which provides the driver the ability to precisely adjust drive settings to maximize performance or comfort. Suspension, torque distribution, shift points, stability control and engine mapping are all controlled through this system. In addition to these parameters, suspension feel is controlled by a sophisticated Active Damping System that opens and closes the suspension’s damper valves according to the chosen drive mode, providing the driver with options for any driving style.
       
      The seven SRT drive modes include:
      Auto: activates automatically when starting the vehicle. Sets the suspension and steering to comfort setting and longer shift times for longer, relaxed driving conditions  Sport:  delivers increased vehicle performance capability over Auto Mode. Tightens up suspension damping and increased steering gradient feel for improved cornering response. In addition, shift speed increases 23 percent in 1-4 gears and electronic stability control (ESC) allows more yaw for spirited driving Track: delivers maximum vehicle performance capability on smooth, dry surfaces. Tightens up to full hard suspension damping and steering gradient feel for maximum cornering response. In addition, shift speed increases 50 percent in 1-4 gears from Auto mode and ESC allows maximum yaw Snow: sets ideal configuration for driving in snow by setting transmission to use second gear (rather than first gear) during launches to minimize wheel slippage; stability control is set to Full-on and AWD is set to 50/50 distribution Tow: sets ideal configuration to tow a trailer by using full stability control; AWD is set to 50/50 distribution and trailer sway control is enabled in the ESC system. In addition, the Active Noise Cancelation system is automatically engaged to reduce engine noise from the high-load towing condition   Valet: engine is remapped to mimic the Dodge Charger V-6 engine’s torque and horsepower settings; transmission locks out access to first gear and upshifts earlier than normal; traction, steering and suspension are set to their Auto settings; steering wheel paddle shifters are disabled; ESC is enabled to Full-on and launch control is disabled ECO: maximizes fuel economy with a revised shift schedule, second-gear starts and extended range of the Fuel Saver Technology Standard five-spoke 20-inch “Goliath” wheels with a new “Black Noise” finish ride on Pirelli 295/45ZR20 Scorpion Verde all-season tires or available Pirelli P Zero three-season tires. Available, 20-inch forged aluminum wheels feature a new split five-spoke design also featuring the “Black Noise” finish.
      Benchmark braking
      The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT delivers excellent braking performance, requiring an estimated 115 feet to come to a full stop from 60 mph. Credit belongs to massive new Brembo high-performance six-piston (front) and four-piston (rear) calipers, and vented rotors at all four corners measuring 15 inches (front-slotted) and 13.8 inches (rear).
       
      Aggressive, functional and luxurious inside and out 
      Along with its new ultimate performance capabilities, the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT provides the same combination of uncompromised utility, advanced technology and aggressive styling its well known for.
       
      Inside the refreshed cabin of the Durango SRT, new appointments include a hand-wrapped dashboard with live silver accent stitch, SRT flat-bottom performance steering wheel with standard paddle shift, heated and ventilated front and heated second-row captain’s chairs with embossed SRT logos. Nappa leather with suede inserts and silver-stitched SRT logos are standard. Demonic Red Laguna leather interior with embossed SRT logos is optional.
       
      Other luxurious touches brought to Durango for the first time in the SRT model include new Light Black Chrome center stack, HVAC, full console and door handle bezels along with two choices of decorative bezels. Standard finish is Matte Reverse Chain, and for the first time on Durango a true carbon-fiber instrument panel and door bezels will be offered (late availability). Premium velour bound floor mats with embroidered SRT logo are standard. Adding to the impact of the hand-wrapped instrument panel, the headliner and A pillars are available in Dynamica suede. 
       
      A newly designed 7-inch, thin-film transistor (TFT) customizable digital instrument gauge cluster with 180-mph speedometer allows drivers to select from a multitude of layouts and information. The class-exclusive Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen media center houses the new SRT Performance Pages along with navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, HD radio, downloadable apps and 5-year trial of SiriusXM Travel Link and Traffic. The standard BeatsAudio premium sound system features nine speakers, subwoofer and 506-watt amplifier.
       
      On the exterior, the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT carries a SRT hood with functional center air-inlet ducts flanked by heat extractors that help to keep the engine bay cool by removing hot air from the engine compartment. A new front fascia and lower valence house the new cold-air duct and LED fog lamps. This new unique look will also include the SRT-inspired grille mesh pattern finish.
       
      New integrated wheel flares and body-color side rocker panels help provide an aggressive stance. The “392” badges flanking each fender with Bright Chrome and Metallic Grey accents differentiate the ultimate performance Durango.
       
      At the rear, a new SRT rear body-color lower fascia with Gloss Black accent surrounds the 4-inch dual round exhaust tips finished in Nickel Chrome. 
       
      The Durango SRT is also distinguished by new badging on the rear liftgate that denotes the new performance AWD system. 
       
      The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT is available in 11 exterior colors, including Billet Clear Coat, Blu by Yu Pearl Coat, Bruiser Grey Clear Coat, Dark Black Clear Coat, Granite Clear Coat, Ocean Blue Pearl Coat, Octane Red Pearl Coat, Redline Pearl Coat, Sangria Metallica Clear Coat, White Knuckle Clear Coat and Vice White.  
      Safety and security
      The 2018 Dodge Durango offers consumers more than 60 available safety and security features, including standard all-speed traction control and ESC, which improve overall vehicle handling and performance both on- and off-road. Standard trailer-sway control enhances towing capabilities and keeps the vehicle and trailer aligned as the Durango travels down the road.
       
      Available safety and security features include forward collision warning with crash mitigation, adaptive cruise control with stop, Uconnect Access with 9-1-1 call and roadside assistance. Blind-spot Monitoring (BSM) and Rear Cross Path (RCP) detection, which aid drivers when changing lanes or in parking lot situations. In addition, standard front-row active head restraints, standard full-length three-row side-curtain air bags and standard front-seat-mounted side thorax air bags offer enhanced occupant protection to passengers in the event of a collision. In total, Durango offers seven standard airbags.
    • By William Maley
      Last fall, I had the chance to drive a Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack for a week and fell in love. It was basically an SRT Charger, minus a few items for just under $40,000. This fall, another high-performance Charger came in a week’s stay and it was packing more heat. 707 horsepower to be exact. Yes, I finally got my hands on a Hellcat. What was it like? It was fast, but you want more information than that.
      That 707 horsepower figure comes courtesy from a 6.2L supercharged HEMI V8. Torque is rated at 650 pound-feet.This is backed up by an eight-speed automatic only. If you want a manual, then you’ll need to get the Challenger Hellcat. Trying to explain just how fast the Charger Hellcat is difficult. This is a car that you need to drive or sit in to experience the ferocity of the V8 engine. The best way I can use to describe the Hellcat’s power delivery is engaging warp drive. Step on the accelerator and the supercharger whirrs into life and the V8 produces a roar very few vehicles can dream. Blink and you’ll be at an illegal speed before you know it. Taking turns in the Hellcat is somewhat difficult because of the accelerator. You need to roll on it if you want to do it smoothly. If you step on the accelerator pedal like you would on a standard vehicle, the back will become very loose and the stability control will kick on to get the vehicle straightened out. This is especially important due to the tires fitted to Hellcat, a set of Pirelli P-Zeros. These tires need to be warmed up before they begin to bite the road. The Hellcat will be a regular at the fuel pump with fuel economy figures of 13 City/22 Highway/16 Combined. I got about 14.3 mpg during my week in mostly city driving. Handling? That’s the surprising part as the Charger Hellcat doesn’t embarrass itself. Fitted with an adaptive suspension system, the Charger Hellcat shows little body roll when put into Sport and provides a smooth ride when in comfort. The steering system provides the right amount of feel and heft you want in a performance vehicle.  Bringing a 707 horsepower vehicle to a stop is no easy task, but a set of massive Brembo brakes is up to the task. It brings the Charger Hellcat to a quick halt. The Charger Hellcat looks like your standard SRT Charger with a new front clip and lowered stance. There are some slight differences such as a new hood, 20-inch wheels finished in a dark bronze color, and the requisite Hellcat emblems on the front fenders. Inside, the Hellcat isn’t that much different from the standard Charger aside from the speedometer going 200 mph. It would have been nice if Dodge could have done some sprucing of the interior to not make it feel so dank and dark. A little bit more color on the dash would not be a bad thing. The front seats have extra bolstering to hold you in when you decide to let loose all 707 horsepower or take a turn a bit too fast. As I mentioned in my Ram 1500 Quick Drive last week, the Charger’s UConnect system is beginning to show its age. The interface is still easy to use but is beginning to show signs of aging. Performance isn’t as snappy either as in previous FCA models. Hopefully, the 2017 model is able to get the updated UConnect system that debuted in the Pacifica. The UConnect system in the Charger Hellcat does come with SRT Pages. This allows you to record 0-60, quarter-mile, and reaction times. It also allows you to change various performance settings such as gear changes, suspension, and whether you want the full 707 horsepower or 500. The last one pertains if you happen to have the red key. In terms of pricing, the Charger Hellcat kicks off at $65,495. With options and a $1,700 gas guzzler tax, our tester came to $72,820. Compared to other high-performance sedans, the Hellcat is quite the steal. If it was my money on the line, I would go for the Charger R/T Scat Pack. I get most of the enjoyment of the Hellcat, minus the supercharger whine. But I would have a fair chunk of change that I could spend on hopping it up. But I understand why someone would go for the Charger Hellcat. It is a four-door sedan that provides explosive acceleration and engine note that no other vehicle can dare match. There’s something magical about stepping on the accelerator, being flung back into the seat due to power on tap, and then laughing like a four-year old after what happened. Disclaimer: Dodge Provided the Charger Hellcat, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      (Author’s Note: That’s a wrap for the 2016 review season. We’ll be back with the first batch of 2017 model year vehicles after New Years. But I will be picking my favorite vehicles I drove this year. Expect to see that before the year comes to a close.)
      Year: 2016
      Make: Dodge
      Model: Charger
      Trim: SRT Hellcat
      Engine: Supercharged 6.2L HEMI V8
      Driveline: Eight-speed automatic, Rear-wheel drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 707 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 650 @ 4,800
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 13/22/16
      Curb Weight: 4,570 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Brampton, Ontario
      Base Price: $65,945
      As Tested Price: $72,820 (Includes $995 Destination Charge and $1,700 Gas Guzzler Tax)
      Options:
      Customer Preferred Package 23T - $1,995.00
      20-inch x 9.5-inch Brass Monkey SRT Forged Wheels - $995.00
      275/40ZR20 P Zero Summer Tires - $595.00
      Redline Red Tri-coat Pearl Exterior Paint - $595.00

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