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2010 Dodge Charger SRT8 Review & Test Drive

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The 2010 Dodge Charger SRT8 is the quintessential full-size family muscle car geared to active families who enjoy a day at the race track or any other fun family endeavor.  The Charger SRT8 has muscle car looks, muscle car power, and muscle car performance with a sporty, comfortable, high-tech and safe interior with seating for five persons.

Since its introduction in 2006 Dodge enthusiasts rumbled about the Charger SRT8 not being a two-door coupe, but Dodge wanted the whole family to comfortably enjoy the power and high performance capabilities of the car with four doors including several coupe styling cues.  If you really want a two-door coupe you can purchase the Dodge Challenger SRT8 and also have a ball.  I personally like the versatility of having four-doors for extra passengers and for carrying grocery bags or other large items.

The real highlights of the 2010 Dodge Charger SRT8 is its styling, power, performance and high-tech goodies inside.

The styling is pure muscle car with a custom monochromatic Torch Red clear coat paint scheme with black contrast moldings around the greenhouse.  The stance is wide and low with the front fascia highlighted with Dodge’s signature cross-haired grille and black mesh protection behind the bars.  Modern HID headlamps light up the road at night.  Below is a bold sculpted bumper and just below it is another air intake atop a splitter to firmly plant the front end at speed, and big, round foglamps at the ends plus working brake cooling ducts.  The lower air intake is also protected by black mesh.  The bulging custom hood features a working scoop that channels air into the engine bay to help keep the big Hemi V8 running cool.

The silhouette is sleek and low with a total height of only 57.7 inches.  The sharply raked ‘A’ pillar softly arcs up and reaches the rear then quickly dives down to the short trunk lid with a tall aero wing that enhances down force.  The flared front fenders lead to the windows that are pulled up and end with a kick up line that parallels the black molding leading to an arrow head at the end giving it a coupe-like look.  The aero-dynamic styled power-remote side mirrors keep outside wind noise to a minimum.  The flush pull-out door handles keep the sleek look.  Down below is a pull perimeter thin scalloped line finishing off with deep side extensions that give the silhouette a hunkered down look that lowers the center of gravity further enhancing its handling capabilities.  The rear features unique round lamp clusters, a bold rear bumper and a diffuser to help manage the airflow out the rear.  At each side are 3.5 inch chrome-tipped exhaust pipes.

Stuffing the wheel-wells are huge 20X9 inch Alcoa forged aluminum five-spoke wheels wrapped with Goodyear 255/45ZR20in. Supercar high-performance tires, the same found on the Chevy C6 Corvette.

Exterior badges includes SRT on the grille, a Dodge Ram medallion on the front of the hood, Hemi badges on the front fenders, and on the rear trunk lid is the Dodge and SRT8 badges.  Now that is what a full-size, four-door, modern American muscle car should look like!

Backing up the muscle car styling is an old school, big bore Hemi V8 engine, and the magic of Chrysler’s heralded ‘Street and Racing Technology’ (SRT) team of engineers perfectly putting it all together and making the Charger SRT8 the fastest and most capable of all big American family sedans.

The powerplant is a 6.1 liter 90-degree V-type liquid cooled V8 with pushrod-operated overhead valves, 16-valves, eight conventional hydraulic lifters all with roller followers. It is constructed with a deep-skirt cast-iron block with cross-bolted main bearing caps, aluminum alloy heads with hemispherical combustion chambers.  This old school Hemi V8 generates a whopping 425hp at 6,200rpm and 420lb.ft. of ground shaking torque at 4,800rpm.

It is mated to a five-speed, adaptive, electronically controlled, SRT performance-tuned AutoStick with electronically modulated torque converter clutch.  You can sit back and enjoy the quick responding automatic or use the AutoStick sequential manual control and really get the adrenaline flowing as you can rev it up to near redline in each gear.  Putting the power down on the pavement with the nine-inch wide Goodyear F1 Supercar tires is a standard limited-slip differential.  The Charger SRT8 rockets out to 60mph from a standstill in just 5.1sec., and covers the 1/4mi. in less than 14sec.

When you turn on the ignition you’ll hear a low hum but when you mash your foot down on the throttle the sound turns into a very loud rumble as you blast out to a top speed of 175mph.

Sharp and precise control of your direction is accomplished by the awesome SRT-tuned front and rear independent suspensions.  Up front is a SLA (short/long arm) setup with high upper ‘A’ arms, coil springs over gas-charged monotube Bilstein shock absorbers,

a thick stabilizer bar, plus lateral and diagonal lower links.  The rear features five-links with coil springs, link-type stabilizer bar, gas-charged monotube Bilstein shock absorbers and an isolated suspension cradle that stiffens the rear further and totally eliminates any noise, vibration or harshness.  The ride is a little stiff but never severe, and the Bilstein’s take out the shocks when traveling over poorly paved roads.

You pilot the Charger SRT8 using a SRT-tuned rack & pinion steering system with hydraulic power assist.  The rack & pinion system utilizes a performance gear for more precise response of your inputs behind the wheel.  You’ll also have a better feedback for the road with a great on-center feel.

Just like a racecar, when you turn the wheel just a bit, the car responds to your input immediately and precisely.  I was amazed at how well such a large sedan could handle, thanks to SRT-tuning.  On the skid pad Dodge claims it pulls 0.80g’s.

Helping to keep you on your chosen path are standard electronic stability control and all-speed traction control which can be shut down to let the rear slid out a bit, ease off the throttle and it gets back in line very quickly as you exit your turn at high speed.  With a front/rear weight distribution of 54/46, the Charger SRT8 felt neutral and well balanced, even nimble around sharp turns.  It is the best handling full-size sedan that I have tested in the 2010 model year.

Quickly and safely slowing the Charger SRT8 down from speed is a SRT-engineered, world-class braking system utilizing knockback mitigation software that tracks g-forces and primes the brakes for heavy use.  Up front are 14.2 inch vented and slotted discs clamped on by Brembo four-piston calipers fixed with aluminum housing, and 13.8 inch rear vented and slotted discs also clamped on by Brembo four-piston calipers fixed with aluminum housing.

Standard ABS and Brake Assist assure that you have full control when braking on slick pavement and gain the extra force when braking during severe conditions.  Dodge says that braking power is 60mph to 0mph in just 110ft. which is excellent for a 4,160lb. sedan.

Befitting a modern 2010 American muscle car with world-class power and performance is a roomy, comfortable, modern and safe interior for all passengers.  Open the full-width front doors and you’ll see power-adjustable/manual-adjustable lumbar, deeply sculpted and highly bolstered sport seats that are heated and feature an embroidered SRT logo on the seatback.  They are also fitted with performance suede inserts to hold you in place during spirited maneuvering.  The rear seats have matching performance suede inserts.  All of the leather features red contrast stitching for a sporty look.  The rear seating area also has a pull-down armrest with dual cupholders, grab handles with reading lamps, dual air-vents at the back of the center console and fold-down 60/40 seatbacks that further expand the giant trunk.  The manual tilt/telescoping steering wheel features carbon-fiber leather trim and satin silver spokes.  It feels great in your hands.

Besides the outside SRT8 badging on the front grille and rear trunk, there is a SRT8 badge below the passenger-side AC outlet duct.  The pedals are power adjustable and the easy-to-use center stack is finished in satin silver.  The center console and shift gate feature silver bezels and the chrome stick shift is topped with leather.  The climate control is a dual-zone with infrared sensors.  Full instrumentation includes a 180mph speedometer, an 8,000rpm tachometer with SRT logo, fuel gauge and voltmeter.  An LED display within the cluster is driver configurable for oil temperature, oil pressure, and tire-pressure readouts.  The exclusive Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) with Performance Pages is available with instant feedback on 0-60mph time, 60-0mph braking, G-forces in addition to ¼ and 1/8th mile times.  The interior also features power windows with front one-touch up/down express, Media Center 130 CD/MP3 radio, 6-Boston Acoustics speakers, steering wheel mounted audio controls, padded center console with two-tier storage and a 12-volt center console power outlet, intermittent wipers/washers, electronic cruise control, dual map lamps, storage slots in each door, chrome door handles, techno carbon fiber trim on each door pull, door trim and dashboard, power accessory delay, remote start, lighted dual cupholders up front,

self-dimming reaview mirror, power-remote/heated outside mirrors, temperature and compass readouts on the lower part of the speedometer, traveler/mini trip computer, remote start, keyless entry, Sentry key theft deterrent system, universal garage door opener, rear window defroster, speed sensitive power door locks, dual, lighted vanity mirrors, deep, lighted glove box, thick cut-pile carpeting and floor mats front and rear.

My test Charger SRT8 came with these options to make the ride even more enjoyable and exciting: Media Center 430 CD/DVD/HDD radio with 13-Kicker SRT speakers, 322-watt Kicker SRT amp, 200-watt Kicker SRT subwoofer located in the trunk, Kicker Mobile Surround Sound System, U-Connect phone with voice command, iPod control, GPS Navigation, and Goodyear F1 Supercar High Performance tires.

Keeping you and your passengers safe during the drive are five 3-points safety belts with front load limiters and pretensioners, advanced multi-stage front airbags, side-curtain airbags for the first and second rows, energy absorbing steering column, front/rear crush zones, steel beams in each door, and LATCH child seat anchors.

The 2010 Dodge Charger SRT8 packs all of the features and amenities expected of an excellent family sedan combined with benchmark performance delivered by Chrysler Street and Racing Technology vehicles.  The interior is quiet even when cruising at high speeds and you will notice the excellent build quality and attention to detail.

It is the best all-around high-performing full-size sedan from the Big Three American auto makers and at a very reasonable base price of just $38,180.00 and just $43,050.00 for the fully loaded model that I tested.



Price: Base SRT8 $38,180 As-Tested $43,050
Type: Large Sedan
Where Built: Canada
EPA Class: Large Cars


Length: 200.1 in.
Width: 74.5 in.
Height: 57.7 in.
Wheel Base: 120 in.
Ground Clearance: 5.1 in.
Curb Weight: 4160 lbs.
Gross Weight: 5300 lbs.

Front Head Room: 38.7 in.
Front Hip Room: 52.6 in.
Front Shoulder Room: 59.3 in.
Rear Head Room: 36.2 in.
Rear Shoulder Room: 57.6 in.
Rear Hip Room: 55.5 in.
Front Leg Room: 41.8 in.
Rear Leg Room: 40.2 in.
Luggage Capacity: 16.2 cu. ft.
Maximum Seating: 5

Performance Data

Engine Number of Cylinders: 8
Engine Size: 6.1 liters
Engine Type: V8
Horsepower: 425 hp
Max Horsepower: 6200 rpm
Torque: 420 ft-lbs.
Max Torque: 4800 rpm
Drive Type: RWD
Turning Circle: 38.9 ft.
0-60mph: 5.1 seconds

Fuel Data

Fuel Tank Capacity: 19 gal.
EPA Mileage Estimates: (City/Highway/Combined)
Automatic: 13 mpg / 19 mpg / 15 mpg
Range in Miles:
Automatic: 247 mi. / 361 mi. / 285 mi.


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