Is Chrysler’s SRT performance division planning a second all-new car? Brand CEO Ralph Gilles won’t say, but fans are asking for a compact performance car he reveals.
Currently the only true SRT vehicle is the new Viper, with the remaining SRT badged cars all being high-performance versions of existing Chrysler family models, ranging from the Charger to the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
In a sit-down interview with Gilles he revealed that the feedback the company has received from its fans, in particular through social media, hasn’t gone unnoticed. “When are you going to have your own BRZ,” he says, paraphrasing the comments he hears from SRT owners. “I’m happy to see that a lot of our fans want that,” he says. “They ask us about that a lot.”
A CEO and a car designer, Gilles is a true enthusiast at heart and known for taking his own Viper to the racetrack. “It’s exciting to think that way,” he says, revealing his true feelings about the concept of an affordable SRT performance car.
While the SRT brand today is known only for its V8-powered monsters, not that long ago things were different. “We’ve had two generations of SRT4s,” Gilles reminisces. “We’ve had Crossfires, we’ve had pickup trucks.”
“The community goes deep,” he says, mentioning in particular those owners of SRT4 models (both Caliber and Neon), who are the ones asking for a new compact performance car from the SRT brand. Chrysler might not have sold an SRT-badged compact since the suped-up Caliber was cancelled in 2009, but fans of the old SRT4s, “still care about what we’re up to,” Gilles says.
Not long before the Caliber SRT4 was discontinued, Chrysler revealed the Demon concept (above). A front-engine rear-drive roadster it was designed to bookend the Dodge performance lineup, with the Viper sitting at the opposite end of the spectrum. Revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in 2007 it was powered by a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder making around 170 hp. No official word was ever given on the car’s fate.
Sine the debut of the new Dart, rumors have swirled that an SRT4 model was in the works, sporting as much as 300 hp. A production version, however, has yet to materialize.
GALLERY: Dodge Demon Concept
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