480 Horsepower and 8-Speed Auto in 2011 Challenger SRT8?

Staff - CAP staff
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Once Chrysler-group's 6.1-litre Hemi V8 seemed all-powerful, but since the Challenger SRT8 had to go up against Ford's 500-plus horsepower Shelby Mustang GT500, the 425-hp muscle car seems a bit on the conservative side.

While it might now sport quite as much power as the top-tier Mustang, the new Challenger SRT8's mill will be enhanced with 0.3 litres of extra oomph that is reported to add 55 horsepower to the mix for 480, while torque is expected to reach 460 lb-ft. This would all be good news if it weren't for the 2011 model's transmissions, but rather the news is great being that Dodge is expected to add three more gears to the current five-speed unit, for a nice even eight forward speeds! More gears equal improved fuel economy as well as better performance.

The new transmission, co-developed by Chrysler and ZF, will be used by other Challenger models, although the R/T's output levels will remain identical for 2011. The base SE will get a big boost in power as its V6 will now sport 40 additional horsepower and 20 lb-ft greater torque for 290 and 270 respectively, not quite measuring up to its Chevy and Ford rivals but impressive nonetheless.
Additional improvements are less noticeable yet just as important. Chrysler revised the floor pan so that it integrates into Charger/300 production more effectively, while an electric power steering pump will reduce engine lag and therefore improve fuel economy. A reworked interior is expected too, as are a set of door handles pulled from the Charger; the trunk's new hatch release button comes via the Magnum. Lastly, the new model's lower front grille will get spun upside down.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Sports Coupe, Dodge, 2011, Challenger, Challenger SRT8, $40,000 - $49,999,

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