Under the scooped and vented hood of the Dodge Caliber SRT -4 is a 2.4 liter turbocharged engine with enough oomph to make sure that you can feel the torque steer. The motor is rated at 285 HP and 265 lb-ft of torque with a 6300 RPM redline, about right for a stroked 4 cylinder. Good enough to send the Caliber down the 1320 in only 14.4 seconds at 103 MPH. While manufacturers have a tendency to fib about output, Dodge traditionally underrates their performance machines, so I was very impressed to find out that Edmunds brought a Caliber SRT-4 to a dyno in southern California where they recorded a 281 HP pull. That’s at the wheels. Go Dodge!
Continued after the jump.
The SRT-4 is powered by what Dodge is calling their World Engine. The power plant is actually a product of the Global Engine Manufacturing Association. Just like the old days of Diamond Star Motors when you could find a 4G63 under the hood of just about anything from Mitsubishi , Chrysler and the now defunct Eagle brand; the GEMA 4 cylinder architecture is being shared by Chrysler, Mitsubishi and the new kids on the block Hyundai .
Although the GEMA engines share the same block, everything else is customized to the manufacturer’s specifications. That is why the SRT-4 application comes with variable valve timing on the intake and exhaust side for increased performance and efficiency, and a Mitsubishi sourced TD04 turbocharger that makes around 13 psi of boost at wide open throttle.
Gears are shifted through a 6 speed Getrag manual transmission, no flappy paddles here; just a good old clutch pedal and shifter give the driver full control of up and downshifts. The German transmission manufacturers have been the choice for high-performance applications for years. Examples can be found in cars like the twin turbo Toyota Supra, R-34 Nissan Skyline GT-R , BMW’s M cars and the Porsche 911 Turbo . By choosing Getrag, Dodge has placed the Caliber SRT-4 in a class of well proven speed machines.
The Caliber rides on a Macpherson strut suspension up front and a multi-link setup in the rear. Brining the SRT-4 from 70-0 MPH in only 175 feet are a pair of hard working 13.4 inch brake rotors combined with a set of bright red two piston calipers sourced from the Charger Police Pack.