What’s the big deal? SRT8 (Street and Racing Technology) means performance, and there’s no denying that the new 470-horsepower 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 engine making 470 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque is some serious performance. In fact, the 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 delivers 45 horsepower and 50 pound-feet of torque more than the 6.1-liter unit it replaces.
Too bad that Chrysler’s new ZF eight-speed transmission wasn’t ready in time to bolt into the 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8. That leaves room for improvement down the line. For now, buyers will have to make do with the five-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters and center console-mounted Auto Stick for "spirited shifting" on the road and the race track. Not that every Chrysler 300 SRT8 buyer is going to take the sedan through its paces at the track... but they could. Another owner's perk is a day of professional driving instruction from the Richard Petty Driving Experience.
For a full-size, five-passenger American sedan (even though it’s built in Brampton, Ontario, Canada), the 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 has more than enough to get the head of the family’s heart pumping. Zero to 60 mph acceleration is in the high four-second range, says Chrysler, while quarter-mile time is in the high 12-second range. Brembo-brake stopping power from 60-0 mph takes 120 feet.
While no fuel economy numbers are yet available, Chrysler expects highway fuel efficiency will improve by 25 percent thanks to standard Fuel-Saver Technology.
The Chrysler 300 SRT8 is more than just performance, though. With distinctive good looks, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, available dual-pane sunroof, state-of-the-art connectivity, infotainment and more than 70 safety and security features, a whole litany of SRT8 special touches including exclusive SRT8 steering wheel and SRT8 logos at appropriate places, it just might be the best family sedan -- for the right buyer.
As for the price, the 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 starts at $47,995.