Dodge to absorb SRT and become Chrysler’s performance brand

2014 SRT Viper

Dodge’s prodigal son may soon return home.

As part of a new five-year plan, Fiat-Chrysler announced that it will integrate the Dodge and SRT brands, meaning the Viper – which has worn an SRT badge since its 2012 relaunch – could become a Dodge again.

As part of Chrysler’s post-financial crisis restructuring Dodge was shorn of its profitable Ram trucks, while the scope of SRT was greatly expanded.

The SRT brand, short for Street and Racing Technology started out as an in-house tuner inspired by BMW M and Mercedes-Benz AMG, has been in charge of all Chrysler performance cars for the past two years.

Under the new scheme, though, Dodge will become Chrysler’s performance brand, while Chrysler itself takes over as the company’s mainstream Ford-Chevrolet-Toyota fighter.

The move should make Dodge relevant again.

In recent years, the 100-year-old brand has leaned heavily on the sporty Charger and Challenger while its more mainstream models have been left to wither.

While it did replace the Caliber with the vastly-improved Dart, the only thing the rest of the lineup seems to be good for is threatening the sales of similar Chrysler-badged models.

That means the Dodge Avenger and Grand Caravan will likely be killed off, although Motor Authority reports that the Dart and Journey will stick around, and even get performance versions with turbocharged engines and all-wheel drive.

The fates of the non-Dodge SRT models – the Chrysler 300 SRT and Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT – are unknown, though.

Chrysler and Jeep may lose a couple of hot rods, but Dodge dealers will gain a lot in return. The Viper’s switch to SRT always seemed a bit forced, and lessened the “halo effect” that was one of the most valuable aspects of the car for its maker.

Now, just as Chevrolet dealers can bask in Corvette buzz, Dodge stores will again benefit from some residual sports-car excitement.


Muscle cars, trucks, and EVs roared into the subdued 2019 Detroit Auto Show

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now.

Sibling rivalry: 2019 BMW Z4 takes on the 2020 Toyota Supra

BMW and Toyota forged an unlikely partnership when they set out to build a sports car platform together. Here, we examine the similarities and differences between the 2019 Z4 and the 2020 Supra.

Cadillac is finally ready to take on Tesla with its own electric car

At the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, Cadillac announced plans for its first electric car. The unnamed model will be a crossover, based on a new platform to be shared with other General Motors brands.

Ford has a plan to future-proof the hot-selling F-150 pickup truck

Worried about the threat of rising gas prices, Ford will add the F-150 to its growing portfolio of electrified vehicles. It is currently developing a hybrid F-150, and it will release an electric version of the next-generation truck.

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.

Driving Daimler’s 40-ton eCascadia big rig isn’t just fun, it’s electrifying

Daimler Trucks brought its all-electric eCascadia semi-truck to the 2019 CES, and invited us to take the wheel. What does it feel like to drive one? Simply electrifying, of course.
Home Theater

Spotify adds simplified Car View mode for Android users

What was once just a test is now a reality: Spotify is rolling out a new, simplified in-car user interface for all Android users called Car View, which automatically engages when the app detects a car Bluetooth connection.

Boutique carmaker Karma Automotive, legendary design firm Pininfarina team up

Karma Automotive is partnering with legendary Italian design firm Pininfarina on future luxury cars. The first product of that partnership will appear later this year, Karma said, without offering other details.

Tesla cuts workforce by 7 percent, ends referral program to trim costs

Tesla has announced plans to trim its workforce by seven percent, and it will end the referral program that rewards customers who help it sell cars. These measures are ways to cut costs and boost profits.

Worried about commuting in winter weather? Nissan has the answer

The Nissan Altima midsize sedan is now available with all-wheel drive. To advertise that fact, Nissan's Canadian division slapped some tank-like tracks on an Altima to create a one-off show car.
Emerging Tech

Too buzzed to drive? Don’t worry — this autonomous car-bar will drive to you

It might just be the best or worst idea that we've ever heard: A self-driving robot bartender you can summon with an app, which promises to mix you the perfect drink wherever you happen to be.

Lyft and Aptiv’s self-driving car program has come a long way (but not far enough)

Many companies talk about self-driving cars, but Lyft and Aptiv are already using a fleet of them to transport paying customers in Las Vegas. Hop in for a close look at the tech of autonomous cars, and the challenges they face.

Michigan OKs digital license plates with Rplate’s connected car platform

The state of Michigan approved the use of digital license plates on motor vehicles registered in the state. Reviver Auto, the manufacturer of the Rplate connected car platform, worked with Michigan's Department of State to pass the bill.