By now, many Moparians have been hearing the rumors, and the plans, that Dodge has for the next five years, inclusive of 2014. While some of those plans might be exciting, others aren’t so thrilling – particularly to SRT fans. While SRT CEO and front man Ralph Gilles will still have a job after these changes take place, that position won’t be as the head of the SRT brand because, well, SRT will be folding back into Dodge, according their forecast.
Some sources feel that this five year plan is because the company is being run by Fiat, and that American musclecars are going to fade out. Even Gilles has said that the Hemi is on its last legs. But Fiat Chrysler Automobiles says that the brand is trying to compete with the likes of Toyota, Chevrolet and Ford, and Dodge will remain as the sporty, performance end of the spectrum that they want to target younger buyers with.
SRT, Street and Racing Technology, has been around for about a decade, and became its own brand in 2011, with Gilles at the helm. While SRT is being consolidated back to Dodge, Gilles will work as senior vice president of product design, and also as president and CEO of the Motorsports division. What does that mean for the Viper? It means the Viper will become a Dodge again. We’ve come full circle, but at least the front man of the performance division, Gilles, will still be the familiar face we get to see when we think performance.
But before you think that SRT is going to vanish altogether, take a closer look at the forecast: because a couple of new vehicles will join SRT in the coming years, namely, the Journey and the Dart. The chart gives us a glimpse of what’s to come, and we do see that in 2016 a refreshing is due, with SRT coming into the fold, but on another chart we get to see a little bit different of a picture with more details, that being an AWD turbocharged Dart for SRT.
There are a few turbos planned for sedan/hatchback, CUV (Crossover Utility Vehicle) and and the Dart, then the HO (High Output) turbo versions with AWD (All Wheel Drive) and of course the car we’ve all been waiting for: the Hellcat Hemi in the Challenger and Charger. The Journey SRT is slated for 2017.
With SRT folding into Dodge, what does that say for the Jeep and Chrysler SRT vehicles? The Chrysler 300 SRT will cease production, but the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT will continue. Things are shaking up, but at least it’s good to know that Mopar is still going to keep the performance alive with SRT – and brings us some exciting vehicles to look forward to. Missing from the press conference was any mention of RAM.