Surely “the muscle car” is facing a bleak future? With Aussie made examples rapidly facing extinction, the days of plonking a fat V8 into a family sedan are sadly drawing to a close. So other than exotic overpriced Europeans, where into the future can diehards find horsepower Nirvana? In this review EFTM looks at “the other” option, the Chrysler SRT8 Core.
The 10 Minute Test Drive.
Having spent time in a Chrysler 300c Luxury, I was instantly familiar with the cushy lounge chair on wheels feel. A full sized, well appointed, impressively built and dam sexy sedan.
But forget about all that, it’s boring. Let’s focus on the 6.4-litre elephant sitting up front.
Pure joy seeps from every pore whenever a firm right foot is applied; it’s basically motoring porn. Despite tough noise regulations, the accompanying sound track really hits the spot. You’ll soon relish the opportunity to find a tunnel. A brief spurt will send an explosive roar reverberating around like it’s an echo chamber. A slightly immature act but so very, very impressive.
And the bark certainly matches the bite. As confirmed via the dazzling display of SRT telemetry, 4.9 seconds is all it takes to launch near two tonne of suspicious looking car to freeway speeds.
Sitting lower and more taut than a stock 300c, it has the added ability to corner confidently. Pretty handy trait that.
The Core model sacrifices some luxury hardware, the savings hopefully help convince your better half that it all makes sense.
Ins and outs.
The 6.4-litre Hemi V8 puts out an incredible 347kW/631Nm. But it’s not all giddy excitement here. Unfortunately a seemingly now redundant 5-speed automatic is bolted on. While no problem in a straight line, getting a roll along via a meandering country road really sees you wanting for a 6th or even 7th cog. Under pressure the old school box is overwhelmed by the task. So much so it actually feels it may crack under pressure.
That aside, what about the Core’s equipment list omissions. Saving $10,000 over the hero STR8 luxury model excludes fancy Nappa leather seats, blind-spot monitoring, heated and cooled cup holders, adaptive cruise control, adaptive suspension dampening and annoyingly a reversing camera.
But goodies are still aplenty with highlights including, heated / self-dimming side mirrors, auto bi-Xenon lights, dual zone climate control and power adjusted power front seats. You can see the full list of features in our Chrysler SRT8 Core In The Garage spotlight.
The SRT telemetry showcased via a very large 8.4 inch screen is excellent. Near Nissan GT-R levels of information is displayed. Including G-forces, engine stats and stopwatch timers. A launch control feature is activated via two clicks of the ESC button. Although excellent times still occur even when it’s off. The system is completely different from the foot on the brake / foot to the floor GT-R system. It simply requires you to floor it without first building revs. Interestingly it won’t work on even the slightest incline.
The Core stops very well thanks to Brembo callipers up front and slotted discs in the rear. The extra bite behind the pedal is noticeable after jumping out of a stock standard 300c.
There’s also 20 inch alloy rims, plus the SRT aero body kit.
As you can see Chrysler has managed to maintain many of, dare I say, Core values from
the flagship SRT8. $56,000 places it competitively alongside HSV and FPV’s.
Don’t expect anything but an above average fuel bill. However it could be worse, with cylinder deactivation technology it’s possible to fall below the official claimed economy figure. On one mostly freeway journey I managed 11.9l / 100km.
The black example we had genuinely attracted more rubber-neckers than motoring’s holy grail, the Nissan GT-R. It’s universally received by most as something pretty special, red Hemi 6.4-litre decals further hammer home the point.
This is almost a weekend car. Perfect for highway cruising, and self-adulation laps around known hot spots. I’d imagine most buyers would be middle aged men who had reached a crisis point. Harley or a muscle car?
It’s a pride and joy car, probably tended to with more turtle wax and chrome polish products than required.
A simply brutish car, very pleasing to drive and built to a standard that will surprise. The Chrysler SRT8 receives EFTM’s Credit Rubber stamp of approval.