At Chicago Auto Show, Chrysler unveils SRT8 models, seeks buzz

CHICAGO — Chrysler was hoping to create some performance buzz at the Chicago Auto Show today with updates of the Dodge Challenger SRT8, Chrysler 300 SRT8 and Dodge Charger SRT8 Super Bee.

The cars, under the automaker’s Street and Technology moniker, will go on sale this summer with a palette of new colors.

The SRT lineup also includes the new Viper.

The 2013 Challenger SRT8 is black and ominous. Under the hood is the 6.4-liter Hemi V8 pumping out 470 horsepower and equal amounts of torque.

“With exclusive content, including the standard premium ‘Ballistic’ cloth interior from the new SRT Viper, SRT-tuned sport suspensions and distinctive exterior accents, the new Challenger SRT8 and 300 SRT8 ‘Core’ models  are designed and built with the back-to-basics performance driving enthusiast in mind,” said Ralph Gilles, head of the SRT Brand and Motorsports for Chrysler.

The new Challenger SRT8 starts at $39,990 including destination charges.

Going from muscle to elegance, the new 2013 300 SRT8 also has the 6.4-liter Hemi V8 under the hood and starts at $44,990 with destination charges.

Back for a repeat performance is the 2013 Dodge Charger SRT8 Super Bee with unique badging and graphics. The starting price is $42,990 and buyers get a day of professional driving instruction at selected tracks.

All three large cars are built at Chrysler’s assembly plant in Brampton, Ont.

Also at the Chicago show is a glossy black 2013 Mopar Dodge Dart with blue stripes.

The limited-edition compact car is the fourth special-edition Mopar-badged vehicle created since the company partnered with Fiat SpA in 2009. The others are the Mopar 2010 Challenger, 2011 Charger and 2012 300.

Chrysler will make 500 limited-edition Mopar Darts this spring at the Belvidere, Ill., assembly plant.

The car has a lowered sport suspension and performance steering, brakes, exhaust and ground effects. There is a serialized badge on the dash wireless phone charging and a special steering wheel, shifter and floor mats.

“Our new Mopar ’13 Dart will turn heads and stand out from the crowd,” said Mopar chief Pietro Gorlier. “For this special, limited-edition vehicle, we specifically kept the driver in mind as we added select Mopar parts and accessories.”

The car has a 1.4-liter MultiAir turbocharged engine and manual transmission.

Pricing for the vehicle was not announced.

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