Chicago 2011: 2012 Dodge Charger Says 'Get Out of My Way'

Colum Wood
by Colum Wood

Making damn-near everything on the road look as cute as a Smart car by comparison Dodge has just unveiled the new 2012 Charger SRT8 at the Chicago Auto Show. Revealed by Dodge brand CEO Ralph Gilles, he described the new front-end treatment as having the sort of look that, “will make those people who hog the left hand lane get out of the way.”

The rest of the body has been redesigned as well with a big rear diffuser, rear spoiler and functional hood scoop that actually helps reduce lift on the front of the car and increase the top speed to 175-mph. The changes aren’t limited to bolt-ons either with new styling for the doors that runs along the side of the car. Plus, there are new 20-inch brushed aluminum wheels.

Based on the newly redesigned Charger, the SRT8 model gets a new 6.4-liter V8 that creates 465-hp, with a big bump in torque to 465 lb-ft. That added torque is also available much sooner (always a plus in a big sedan), with as much as 80 lb-ft more on tap at just 2900 rpm. No official 0-60 mph times are available yet but Gilles remarked that it will be “well under” the 5.0 second mark.

Fuel economy is also much-improved with the big V8 now able to run on 4-cylinders under certain conditions, resulting in a 15 percent improvement in city mileage and a 25 percent improvement on the highway.

New for 2012 is an adaptive suspension that constantly monitors the road and driver inputs and changes the shocks accordingly. Drivers can also choose between an Auto and Sport setting. Also assisting in delivering a more enthusiastic ride is an improved steering system, 20-inch wheels and paddle-shifters. And to slow this big sedan down are four-piston Brembo calipers.

Inside there’s an optional red interior (awesome!) plus upgraded trim materials. The standard 8.4-inch touch screen even has some fun displays to go with the on-board telemetry that lets you track your own 0-60 and quarter-mile times as well as G-forces. Sounds dangerously tempting!

GALLERY: 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8

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  • Jojojo Jojojo on Feb 19, 2011

    lol...Chrysler is one of the American company that didn't learn the lesson to give the market what it want. Look at this crap! The body is copied from a combination of Japanese cars, the engine is still a crappy one(from 1970's)...I'll be it will have some engine issue 10,000km down the road, talk abt reliability. This company is a joke! The only product I give credit for this company is the Caravan.

  • NotChuck NotChuck on Apr 27, 2011

    That is FUGLY!! I'm glad I got a 2010 model because it looks like they are trying to cut back on its appeal.