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2006 Dodge Charger SRT8 Road Test

2006 Dodge Charger SRT8 Road Test
Nov 8, 2006
2006 Dodge Charger SRT8 Road Test
by Kevin ''Crash'' Corrigan ,
Dodge appears to be aiming its Charger SRT8 squarely at the 40+ males, guys like me, who still like to believe that they have a little wild streak left
(Photo: Kevin Corrigan)
in them. After all, anyone younger would have to be truly into classic cars to recall the original as anything more than a cool looking Matchbox toy.

Then, of course, there are the insurance costs. Just mention the SRT logo and you can light up the eyes of the State Farm man as quickly as you can light up the tires on the vehicle.

Yes, the new Dodge Charger is predominately aimed at those who can still remember the original. Yet from a styling standpoint, both old and new share but a few similarities. There's the split rectangular grille, the long hood and the nicely curved roofline. Beyond that, the new vehicle appears little like the original version.

I think that Chrysler, rather than playing the retro-look card, have gone for what I might call "the muscle car feeling". Although this can be felt throughout the entire Charger range, nothing says "muscle car" like their SRT 8 version.

The vehicle might not be exactly a mirror image of the Charger of yesteryear, but it certainly catches the eye. It sits nice and squarely on the road, and from the front, its forward rake and the masculine looking grille make the SRT8 look quite intimidating, to say the least. No, it might
(Photo: Kevin Corrigan)
not be a perfect re-creation, but it definitely has all the looks of a thoroughbred muscle car.

The large 20 inch rims tend to dominate the side profile of the vehicle, the design of which allows an almost unobstructed view of the massive brake rotors and the bright red Brembo brake calipers. This immediately lets one know that this vehicle is "something a little out of the ordinary".

Stepping inside, I found the interior somewhat plain at first. That is until I remembered the muscle cars of the past, and recalled that they were also rather bland inside. When you think about it, the original muscle cars were designed to be more about "go than show" and were basically designed to be the affordable sports car of the ordinary man on the street.

Now just because the interior is a little on the plain side doesn't mean that it's lacking in features. My test vehicle was loaded with goodies such as a GPS navigation system, heated front seats and a power sunroof. Then, there's the stereo system, and what a system that is, an AM/FM Cass/CD 6-disc MP3 radio, with 11 high performance speakers, a 276 watt Kicker amplifier, and a 200 watt subwoofer.

The dashboard has been well designed, and the instrument binnacle follows along the vehicle's theme, as it has a certain classic look to it. I
(Photo: Kevin Corrigan)
did, however, find some of the interior plastics a little on the hard side, particularly the lower section of the door panels.

The seats are made of strong leather and have been designed to be quite practical, yet comfortable. The front seats have large side bolsters which hold you firmly in place at all times. There is, however, a slight downside to this as, although the leather is quite tough, it tends to wear on the outside edge. In fact, my tester only had a few thousand kilometers on the clock but was already starting to show signs of wear. The rear seats boast of comfort along with plenty of room. This is something which is not often found in vehicles offering this kind of performance.
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