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Part 1

"Sweet from the Street" becomes "Sweet on the Street " as the Chrysler Group Announces Production of the 2003 Dodge SRT-4

Los Angeles - - What was sweet from the street is now even sweeter on it, as the Chrysler Group announces today it will build a production version of its 2000 Neon SRT concept car.

Based on the concept vehicle first introduced two years ago at the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2003 Dodge SRT-4 combines performance with sweet features inspired by the street racing scene. The result is a vehicle that accelerates from 0-60 mph in 5.9-seconds straight out of the factory, making it the quickest car in the Dodge lineup, second only to the Dodge Viper SRT-10.

As the quickest production car available in the United States priced under $20,000, SRT-4 revolutionizes the compact car market filled with young speed racers looking to trick out their vehicles with performance and looks.

To be produced at the Belvidere (Ill.) Assembly Plant in the beginning of 2003, Dodge SRT-4 offers customizers an alternative to used vehicles. The 2003 SRT-4 gives enthusiasts a lower price point to start from than many competitors' cars, and its $19,995 sticker means that Dodge SRT-4 owners interested in personalizing their cars will have more cash left over for unique aftermarket enhancements.

But Dodge SRT-4 drivers won’t have to drop a dime if they don’t want to. Direct from the factory, this car offers a smart alternative for racing enthusiasts who want to distance themselves from other vehicles and roll up to the starting line with something fresh and unique. With its 2.4-liter, turbo-charged 205 horsepower engine, genuine Viper-style racing seats and performance gauges, Dodge SRT-4 comes packaged with many components already tuned and styled for performance. So, it's ready for sweet nights on the street right off the dealer lot.

The Dodge SRT-4 offers the most "as delivered" performance for the dollar of any other production sport compact car available in the United States, foreign or domestic. With more than 200 horses under the hood, it will be one of the most powerful four-cylinder cars on the market. To go with all that horsepower, SRT-4 also features an improved cooling system and high-flow fuel system. Like the Dodge Viper SRT-10, the number four in SRT-4 denotes the number of cylinders in the engine, while SRT is an acronym for Street/Road/Track.

"You have to give customers the chance to really go for the extreme," explained Larry Lyons, Vice President—Small Vehicle Product Team Engineering. "Dodge SRT-4 grants them that opportunity. It gives them the ability to earn respect and be accepted on the streets with a car that stands on its own merit."

Turbo boost makes it sweet off the line

The standard Dodge SRT-4 engine delivers the performance of aftermarket kits costing anywhere from $2,500 to $3,500, but as a production powerplant, it is covered by a full factory warranty. The SRT-4 features a 2.4-liter DOHC turbo-boosted 205 horsepower in-line four-cylinder engine that delivers 220 lb.-ft. of torque available from 2000 to 4800 rpm. And the added boost from the turbo is just the beginning.

"One of the great things about the SRT-4 turbo is that enthusiasts will be able to get extra power out of it later through packages available from our Mopar Performance Parts group,” said John Fernandez, Director—Performance Vehicle Operations. However, with performance estimates showing the vehicle is capable of 0-60 mph acceleration times of approximately 5.9 seconds, with a top speed of 148 mph, Dodge SRT-4 is fast just as it is.

"Dodge SRT-4's performance characteristics put it in a league with vehicles priced at more than $30,000," said Marques McCammon, Program Manager—SRT-4. "SRT-4 offers continuous torque peak from 2000 rpm to 4800 rpm."

Paired with SRT-4's turbo-charged powerplant is a high-performance transaxle that features a heavy duty, five-speed manual NVG T850 transaxle and a muffler-less, dual outlet exhaust system with wider, 2.5-inch polished stainless tips. Adding to the performance capability are a larger diameter throttle body and a high flow intake manifold. New equal-length halfshafts, high capacity clutch and drive plate assemblies and unique engine and transaxle mounts round out the Dodge SRT-4 transmission system.

Almost unheard of in the compact car enthusiast arena, superior driveability from a production car is a Dodge Neon trademark that continues with SRT-4. Like autocross devotees, SRT-4 owners also will enjoy the car's agile handling capability made possible by 17-inch aluminum performance wheels, sticky 50 series tires, specially tuned strut and spring assemblies (front and rear), sway bars (front and rear), updated knuckles and a unique K-member.

"We wanted a car that had a nice, balanced feel through the corners without an overabundance of body roll," said Fernandez. "With SRT-4, we created a car with a high dose of power that is also highly controllable."

"We've gone a little firmer on the spring rates, especially in the rear, so that we can lessen the rear end dive," said McCammon. "That allows the car to remain level and even drop down a little in the front to get you off the line faster."

Blending power and control was made possible by the interaction between the Dodge SRT-4 development team and performance operation engineers who cut their teeth in Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) racing. Some of these weekend racers worked closely with the small vehicle team to make sure that their SCCA engineering experience found its way into Dodge SRT-4. "From the onset, employees from these two groups worked together to create a car that reflects our motorsports heritage, both from grassroots Neon ACR racing and the professional success of our Viper program," said Fernandez.

Dodge SRT-4 also features ABS and four-wheel disc brakes with larger diameter calipers and rotors, which lie ready and waiting to stop all the power under the hood. The vehicle's standard 11-inch disc brakes with upgraded pads assure that SRT-4 can drop from 60-0 mph in less than 120 feet. Other safety features of Dodge SRT-4 include standard driver and front passenger air bags, as well as optional side air bags.

Even the Dodge SRT-4's sound system was designed with vehicle performance in mind. A best-in-class AM/FM stereo CD with six speakers is standard equipment on the SRT-4.

"We considered including a sub-woofer and an amplified sound system, but that would have meant adding almost 30 pounds to the vehicle weight which, besides adding to the overall cost, would have slowed the car's performance," said McCammon

Many other popular convenience features also are standard including air conditioning, power locks and windows, remote keyless entry and a lighting group package.

Production plans:
Production of Dodge SRT-4 is scheduled to start in the spring of 2003 at the Belvidere (Ill.) Assembly Plant, with sales to begin shortly after. The facility, which began building Neon vehicles in January of 1994, is also the manufacturing site for the 2002 Dodge Neon models (Base, SE, ES, RT and ACR).




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ON THE INTERNET

Visit DaimlerChrysler's Media Services Web Site at http://www.media.daimlerchrysler.com for additional DaimlerChrysler news.
 

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Part 2

EMBARGOES:
Print: Stories may appear as early as 12:01 a.m. on Friday, January 4 in newspaper editions.
Wire Services: Stories may be placed on the wire as early as 3 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, January 3 for print clients only. Stories may appear in print as early as Friday, January 4.


Contact: Beth Ann Bayus, (248) 512-0350
Bryan Zvibleman, (248) 512-2686

2003 Dodge SRT-4 - - Sweet Design Makes for Eye Candy Backed by Performance

Los Angeles - - While all racing enthusiasts want their car to perform well, they also want it to look great, too, inside and out. Both the interior and exterior design of the new 2003 Dodge SRT-4 include cues that convey the customized look that enthusiasts strive for.

"Dodge SRT-4's design cues suggest more of a customized look right off the lot, but are not so overwhelming that they squelch the creativity of enthusiasts looking to personalize their car in the aftermarket," said Trevor Creed, Senior Vice President—Design. "There was a 'sweet spot' we wanted to hit by using a design theme that includes unique front and rear fascias, sill-mounted ground effects and a Mopar signature deck-mounted spoiler."

On the outside, performance cues start up front where a new front fascia and a unique steel hood with an integral air intake that perches, ready to cool the powerful 2.4-liter turbo engine lurking beneath. The Dodge crosshair grille design gives Dodge SRT-4 a bolder face. Just behind the lower grille sits a cast aluminum intercooler.

"We deliberated about whether or not to hide the intercooler with grille textures or even paint it black," said Lance Wagner, Director—Exterior/Interior Design. "But tuners like to show off the components they've added, so we left the intercooler in its raw state to give the front end a more authentic, straight-from-the-street feel."

Dodge SRT-4 features special 17-inch aluminum wheels, which were shown on the original 2000 Neon SRT concept car. The expressive wheels were purposefully designed to look like aftermarket wheels, with tape-on weights and fuller width rim sections. The unique spoke pattern allows for better airflow to the brakes.

Viewed from the side, Dodge SRT-4's clean design mimics the sleek look popular on the street. A special side sill and door cladding give SRT-4 the low, stealthy appearance of a car made for racing.

"We're really pleased with the way the sills sit and the way the bigger tires fill the wheel well openings, both of which enhance Dodge SRT-4's lower stance," said Wagner.

A new rear fascia and deck spoiler continue the performance look of Dodge SRT-4. "The boldness of the spoiler adds to the outrageous quality of the vehicle. It's like the exclamation point on the whole theme of the car," said Wagner. The taller, basket-handle type spoiler also improves vehicle handling by generating downforce.

The rear fascia complements the side sill and enhances the appearance of the car. The fascia also accommodates new polished stainless dual exhaust tips.

Overall, the scale of the fascia and the spoiler adds to the rear stance, yet without bulk. Instead, the overall gesture is more muscular than massive, according to Wagner.

Minimal satin silver badging completes the exterior performance theme and maintains the uncluttered appearance preferred by many enthusiasts. Like the Dodge Viper SRT-10, the number four in SRT-4 denotes the number of cylinders in the engine.

The Dodge SRT-4 is available in four exterior colors, including Solar Yellow, Black, Flame Red and Bright Silver Metallic.

The first thing drivers will notice when they strap into the newest pocket rocket on the street are the special performance seats. Taking cues from the seats in Dodge Viper SRT-10, Dodge SRT-4 front seats have enhanced lumbar and lateral sections for better support during racing-type maneuvers. The new Agate-colored cloth on the body of the seats is textured for better grip through the corners. The side bolsters of the front seats are trimmed in vinyl and curve to stabilize occupants, further enhancing the performance racing feel of the vehicle. And passengers traveling in the back of SRT-4 aren't left out of the racing experience, since the car's rear seats also feature the textured fabric.

A new carbon-fiber-look leather wraps the top of the Dodge SRT-4 steering wheel for greater control. The wheel's unique three-spoke design also provides a better view of the instrument cluster gauges, an important feature for performance-minded drivers, especially SRT-4 owners who want to know when they’ve hit the “sweet six”- - accelerating from 0-60 mph in just 5.9 seconds.

Unique gauge designs in Dodge SRT-4 feature special silver faces with satin silver ring accents. Gauge pointer hubs also have a metal finish, giving them the feel of finely tuned precision instruments dedicated to performance. The same satin metal trim also is featured on the instrument panel center stack, around heater, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) knobs and on door handles.

"It's not just an eyewash of wannabe's," said John Ozark, Senior Product Designer—Dodge SRT-4 Program. "It's a car that wants to get up and go, and the precise interior design reflects the performance under the hood."

Along those lines, a special Dodge SRT-4 turbo boost/vacuum gauge finds a convenient spot underneath the brow just to the right of the instrument cluster. Unlike aftermarket gauges, the SRT-4 turbo gauge has been thoughtfully incorporated as a design element of the brow.

The performance-enhanced design continues down on the floor where a new satin silver cue ball shift knob tops a short-throw shifter that is surrounded by a boot made of the same textured carbon-fiber-look leather as the steering wheel.

As drivers turn the key and rev the engine, special Dodge SRT-4 pedals announce they're about to unleash a car meant for racing. The vehicle's unique cast aluminum accelerator, clutch and brake pedals feature a cast dimple surface texture to assure good traction when drivers put the pedal to the metal. Against the monochromatic Agate-colored fabric and side bolsters, the bright trim pieces create a complete performance and professional appearance.



- ### -
ON THE INTERNET

Visit DaimlerChrysler's Media Services Web Site at http://www.media.daimlerchrysler.com for additional DaimlerChrysler news.

EMBARGOES:
Print: Stories may appear as early as 12:01 a.m. on Friday, January 4 in newspaper editions.
Wire Services: Stories may be placed on the wire as early as 3 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, January 3 for print clients only. Stories may appear in print as early as Friday, January 4.


Contact: Beth Ann Bayus, (248) 512-0350
Bryan Zvibleman, (248) 512-2686

The 5.9-second 2003 Dodge SRT-4 - - a Sweet Place to Start for Enthusiasts or Everyday Drivers

Los Angeles - - With the ability to accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 5.9 seconds, the 2003 Dodge SRT-4 will be the quickest car in the Dodge brand lineup except for the Dodge Viper, of course. It's a fact not lost on the "fast and furious" fans of the sport compact car scene.

Launching off the hot customization trend that began in Southern California in the mid-90s, Dodge SRT-4 will appeal to both weekend racers and weekday drivers looking for a sporty, affordable compact car with "pocket rocket " guts.

Dodge SRT-4 will have broad appeal in the sport compact car market, attracting the true racing enthusiasts in the segment, as well as everyday drivers who value performance. By offering a true contender to 18- to 25-year-old enthusiasts, Dodge is uniquely positioned as one of the few domestic brands with a vehicle specifically aimed at this growing market segment.

"We're excited about the brand's opportunity to reach an automotive performance enhancement market that's projected to reach more than $25 billion in the United States this year," said Jim Julow, Vice President—Dodge Division Global Brand Center.

It's a group that practically begged Dodge to produce this vehicle, Julow adds, citing notes left on the windshield of the Neon SRT concept car during auto shows and messages posted on enthusiast-dedicated Web sites. "It's a request we're happy to fulfill, especially when we can do it with such a terrific offering like the new SRT-4, which attracts young customers to our brand," said Julow. "And that will have a positive effect on our entire brand lineup, while positioning SRT-4 as a new, affordable Dodge icon."

Dodge SRT-4’s performance enhancements and “ready-to-race” design also are expected to appeal to everyday drivers as well.

"No other manufacturer really offers anything like this directly from the factory, under full warranty. This gives us a distinct advantage over the competition,” said Paul Wilbur, Director—Dodge Car/Minivan Global Marketing Strategy. “Dodge SRT-4 is so well equipped from the start that you don’t have to add a thing if you don’t want to.”

A competitive price positions the Dodge SRT-4 as the value leader in its segment. At just $19,995, the car will be the quickest production vehicle available in the United States under $20,000.

"Keeping Dodge SRT-4 at that price point was critical, since we wanted to make sure customers had some money left over to further customize their car if they wanted to,” said Wilbur.

Production of Dodge SRT-4 is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2003 at the Belvidere (Ill.) Assembly Plant, with sales to begin shortly after. The facility, which began building Neon vehicles in January of 1994, is also the manufacturing site for the 2002 Dodge Neon models (Base, SE, ES, RT and ACR).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thats' the one.....

.... I wonder if we put SS screens and side vents for the brakes on a Chevette if anyone would buy them?
 

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Re: Thats' the one.....

DJWorm said:
.... I wonder if we put SS screens and side vents for the brakes on a Chevette if anyone would buy them?
Why bash the concept Chrysler is aiming for here? Obviously, not many people who own a $50k Z06 are going to care much for a hopped up econo-ricer, but there's obviously a market for them. All we have to do is look around at all the "ricers" out there that can't run 0-60 in 8-9 seconds.

At least this one is a quick little car. 0-60 in 5.9 seconds is not horrible for what it is. 60-0 in less than 120' is well above average.

They have taken direct aim at the Ford SVT Focus...and I will guarantee that the SVT Focus will sell in a big way. I wouldn't buy one personally, but I'm not at that end of the performance scale at this time in life.

If Chevy would actually put a decent engine combo in the Cavalier I bet people would buy that...there's a lot of Cavaliers out there, no?

"Sporty" little cars that 95% of us don't care for, but if that's what we could afford I bet it would look awfully nice. :)

Peace,
 
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