Chrysler launches revived SRT (Street and Racing Technology) brand

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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Chrysler Group LLC recently announced the revival of its Street and Racing Technology (SRT) brand of performance oriented vehicles, which was originally launched nearly ten years ago in 2002. The SRT brand is well known for infusing stock Chrysler vehicles with aggressive styling and lots of top-tier performance. In fact, the SRT brand is to Chrysler what the BMW M Division is to BMW or AMG is to Mercedes-Benz.

Chrysler's design director Ralph Gilles is now the President and CEO of the automaker's new separate SRT brand. Gilles will also oversee Chrysler's cross-brand performance operations and additionally the automaker's motorsports initiatives. Despite the new responsibilities, Gilles will carry on as the company's design director.

Even though the SRT brand was launched back in 2002, and through the years has included nameplates as lowly as the Neon- and Caliber-based SRT4 up to the much vaunted Viper and Ram SRT10 models, with the Crossfire SRT6 and numerous SRT8 models in between, only one SRT variant exists today; the Dodge Challenger SRT8. According to The Detroit Bureau, Chrysler will remedy this problem in 2012 with the introduction of three more SRT models including the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, the Dodge Charger SRT8, and the Chrysler 300 SRT8. All three vehicles have existed as SRT models in the recent past.

A number of years ago, an initiative like the SRT brand's revival would have bred greater performance-oriented competition amongst Chrysler's peers, which would have ultimately benefited performance car enthusiasts even more. Now, however, some automotive sector analysts consider Chrysler's renewed focus on the SRT brand poorly timed, being that the automotive industry is currently targeting smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles. Could money spent on such a performance-oriented line-up be reason for regret a few years from now?
No doubt Chrysler hopes its SRT brand creates a halo effect on the rest of the line-up, finding a small contingent of committed followers, thus paying for the program, while simultaneously drawing attention to more fuel-efficient, less expensive mainstream variants. To enthusiasts, a quality line-up of SRT performance vehicles will once again become a welcome alternative to the current competition, which is pretty sparse.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Sports Coupe, SUV, Sport Sedan, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, 2012, Charger SRT8, Grand Cherokee SRT8, Challenger SRT8, 300C SRT8, $40,000 - $49,999, $50,000 - $74,999, New Vehicle Preview News,

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