The Dodge SRT-4 one of the fastest Dodges ever made. Even with that mind-blowing acceleration - seen in recent Dodge history only by the Viper, Spirit R/T Road and Track, and Daytona R/T - the Dodge Neon SRT-4 started in 2003 at under $20,000, making it cheaper than a base model Stratus (the 2004 and 2005 are under $21,000). While only 3,000 per year were originally projected for construction, production in 2004 reportedly reached 13,000 per year; exact figures were not released. Chrysler makes a profit on the SRT-4, despite the mind-blowing performance, presumably because it is so closely related to the Neon - itself a performance leader.
SRT-4 is based on the standard SRT name given, confusingly enough, to vehicles modified by the PVO Group - that's Performance Vehicle Operations. SRT originally stood for "Street and Racing Technology" but now stands for "Strip, Road, and Track" - similar to the old R/T designation which seems to have been abandoned. (There is a second SRT4, the Dodge Caliber SRT4, which produces 300 horsepower but is heavier; 0-60 on the Neon version is quicker but the quarter mile is slower.)
2004 models increased the power, added a limited slip rear differential option, and raised the price by just $500 - keeping the SRT-4 a bargain. 2005 models added a color and made other very minor changes.
Car and Driver: 0-60 in 5.6 seconds, top speed 153 mph
Sport Compact Car: 0-60 in 5.8 seconds, quarter mile 14.2 seconds.
The SRT-4 combines desirable Neon traits with desirable Spirit R/T traits, and in the process absolutely blows away most competitors, especially the Toyota Celica and Acura RSX. Acceleration is very strong but also very smooth, so that while it posts similar figures to the Spirit R/T, it does so without as much need for driver skill and cooperative roads. Acceleration is strong from any engine speed, with no need to be up in the high (4,000+) rpms before getting turbo boost and a kick in the pants. The interior is nicely done, with tasteful chrome accents and a visible if small boost/vacuum gauge. Construction seems tight and solid.
Handling is very good but ride is not compromised - again, a vast improvement over the Celica and RSX, not to mention the Camaro. As a modified Neon, the SRT-4 has a good-sized rear seat and trunk, too. The engine is fairly loud with a rumbling, Camaro-style sound that could easily be muted with a muffler if the owner desired a sleeper.
The seats are very supportive with clear sides which make it a little hard to get out, and may cause larger people some consternation, but help to keep people in the targeted size range very stable around turns. They can most likely be replaced with Neon seats quite easily.
The Neon SRT-4 has a Mitsubishi TD04 Turbocharger that boosts anywhere from 11 to 14 psi
The SRT-4 weighs a mere 2880 pounds, so its power to weight ratio is one reason for its speed we note that the base Neon is considerably lighter
The SRT-4 is faster to reach 60 mph and the 1/4 mile than many acclaimed sports cars that cost much more, including the Porsche Boxster S, Beetle Turbo S, Matrix MRS, and the new, hyped-up Nissan 350Z.
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 and Racing Technology (it used to be for Street/Racing/Track but apparently someone at DCX figured out that made no sense).
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Prices shown in USD.
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