Chrysler’s Street and Racing Technology (SRT®) organization continues the SRT4® legacy with the introduction of the all-new 285-horsepower 2008 Dodge Caliber SRT4.
“The all-new 2008 Dodge Caliber SRT4 achieves the SRT mission of offering benchmark performance for the best price,” said Kipp Owen, Director – SRT Engineering, Chrysler. “With 285 horsepower under the hood, the Dodge Caliber SRT4 is a world-class entry in the sport-compact market.”
Every SRT vehicle showcases five key aspects: exterior styling that resonates with the brand image; race-inspired interiors; world-class ride and handling characteristics across a broad range; benchmark braking; and standout powertrain. The all-new 2008 Dodge Caliber SRT4 unquestionably delivers in all five areas.
Exterior styling includes an aggressive SRT stance, a front fascia with functional brake cooling ducts and a larger grille opening. The unique hood features a functional air scoop enhancing underhood cooling. A large integrated spoiler above the rear glass is tuned for smoother air flow and lift reduction.
Inside, the all-new Caliber SRT4 boasts sport seating with deep, performance bolsters, an SRT race-inspired instrument design, and an optional Reconfigurable Display (RCD), with exclusive “performance pages” that provide lateral and longitudinal G-force, 1/8-mile and 1/4-mile acceleration time and speed, 0-60 mph time and braking distance.
The Dodge Caliber SRT4’s suspension is lowered 28mm in the front and 22mm in the rear, contributing to the unique SRT performance ride and handling characteristics. Chassis highlights include unique performance tuning, 19-inch cast-aluminum wheels and Goodyear three- or four-season performance tires.
Benchmark braking is delivered via four-wheel disc brakes with 340 x 28mm vented front rotors and 302 x 10mm rear rotors, with twin-piston aluminum front calipers.
And finally, a whopping 285 horsepower and tire-smoking 265 lb.-ft. of torque is delivered courtesy of Chrysler’s 2.4-liter DOHC I-4 Turbo World Engine. An electronically tuned Brake Lock Differential and Getrag DMT-6 six-speed transmission help put the power to the ground.
Capable of a 0-60 mph time in the low 6-second range, the all-new 2008 Dodge Caliber SRT4 gets its motivation from Chrysler’s “World Engine” produced at the Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance (GEMA) facility in Dundee, Mich. The World Engine is a family of small fuel- and emissions-efficient aluminum four-cylinder gasoline engines co-developed by Chrysler, Hyundai Motor Company and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation.
“The all-new 2.4-liter turbocharged World Engine delivers a level of power you’d expect from a V-8,” said Pete Gladysz, Senior Manager – SRT Powertrain. “With the engine in the all-new 2008 Dodge Caliber SRT4, we were able to take advantage of tried-and-true performance improvements, such as increased cylinder-head flow and higher compression ratio, as well as newer technologies such as Variable Valve Timing (VVT).”
To achieve its high-performance Dodge Caliber SRT4 configuration, the aluminum 2.4-liter World Engine block is specially machined for increased water flow. Unique cast pistons travel within iron cylinder liners, and are cooled by oil squirters and affixed to forged connecting rods for high-revving reliability.
Tri-metal bearings are used for the connecting rods and crankshaft for high-performance durability. A unique oil pump/balance shaft module keeps the reciprocating assembly well-lubricated and running smoothly. An external cooler keeps oil temperatures within a safe range.
The aluminum cylinder head is equipped with high-temperature Inconel exhaust valves. Dual VVT uses computer mapping to open and close intake and exhaust valves at optimal points for efficient combustion and flow. The camshafts and micro-alloy forged steel crankshaft, shared with the non-turbocharged 2.4-liter World Engine, are fully capable of high-horsepower loads.
Free-flow induction begins with an all-new air cleaner assembly that draws cool air through an opening in the front upper crossmember. The air is then compressed in a TD04 turbocharger specially configured for the engine’s inlet and outlet packaging requirements, and sent through a large11-row intercooler to a 57mm throttle body.
Fuel is provided by a high-flow pump feeding injectors developed specifically for the 2008 Dodge Caliber SRT4. An all-new engine management system designed by Siemens — the Global Powertrain Engine Controller — keeps the powerplant running at maximum efficiency and power.
On the exhaust side, spent gas exits through a free-flow system that features two catalytic converters – one immediately downstream from the turbo, and another further along the 3-inch single-pipe exhaust system. Using two catalytic converters in this way provides significantly better “light-off” for decreased emissions. The exhaust is tuned for maximum performance while meeting federal noise regulations.
Power is transferred through a dual-mass flywheel to the GF six-speed manual transmission. The dual-mass flywheel consists of two flywheels sandwiching internal springs that are specially tuned to reduce noise and vibration. The GF DMT-6 six-speed transmission and an electronically tuned Brake Lock Differential deliver 265 lb.-ft. of torque to the ground.
World-class Ride and Handling
Another hallmark of SRT’s balanced performance approach is ride and handling characteristics that make a smooth transition from street to track.
The all-new 2008 Dodge Caliber SRT4’s front suspension is lowered 28mm, and features an independent MacPherson strut setup, with ZF Sachs twin-tube dampers tuned by SRT, and 210 lbs./inch springs.
Ride height is lowered 22mm in the rear. Rear suspension highlights include an independent multilink system with upper and lower lateral links, SRT-tuned ZF Sachs twin-tube coilover dampers and 240 lb./inch springs.
A unique rear 18mm sway bar reduces understeer and keeps body roll to a minimum during hard cornering.
The Electronic Stability Program (ESP) is uniquely calibrated for the 2008 Dodge Caliber SRT4 to provide excellent directional stability in all driving modes without being overly intrusive.
Rack-and-pinion power steering is tuned by SRT to produce easier low-speed maneuvering without compromising performance at speed. The overall steering ratio is 16.4:1.
The all-new 2008 Dodge Caliber SRT4 rides on SRT-unique 19-inch cast-aluminum wheels that don standard 225/45R19 W-rated Goodyear four-season tires. Optional offerings include 19-inch polished cast-aluminum wheels and 225/45R19 W-rated Goodyear F1 Supercar three-season tires.
Yet another ingredient in SRT’s performance recipe is benchmark braking – delivered in the all-new 2008 Caliber SRT 4 courtesy of 340 x 28mm vented front rotors with 57mm twin-piston aluminum front calipers and 302 x 10mm rear rotors with 35mm piston calipers. All calipers are painted in signature Dodge SRT red.
The Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) was uniquely calibrated for the all-new 2008 Dodge Caliber SRT4’s performance to minimize stopping distance and maintain directional stability without wheel lockup.
Bold Exterior Styling
Because there is only one chance to make a first impression, the all-new 2008 Dodge Caliber SRT4 makes the most of it with muscular exterior styling.
“From the very first sketches of the all-new 2008 Dodge Caliber SRT4, we wanted an aggressive, SRT-signature look,” said Trevor Creed, Senior Vice President – Design. “For example, because the intercooler is positioned so high behind the front grille, we moved the fascia slightly forward and extended the walls of the grille. The result is a much more aggressive look than the standard Dodge Caliber.”
An all-new front fascia below the signature Dodge crosshair grille incorporates functional performance features including ducts that direct air to cool the brakes and a wide center inlet that provides air flow to the radiator. Fog lamps are also set into the fascia, alongside brake ducts. The 2008 Dodge Caliber SRT 4’s hood incorporates a functional scoop that brings cooling air into the engine compartment and a pair of extractors that exhaust hot air.
“Exterior design that works as well as it looks is a requirement for all SRT vehicles,” said Creed. “The hood design includes the functionality of bringing cool air in and getting hot air out.”
The lowest portion of the 2008 Dodge Caliber SRT4’s fascia, which acts as an air dam to direct air around the front of the vehicle, wraps around to visually integrate with the radiused wheel wells and lower side-sill moldings.
The rear fascia continues the muscular, functional character of SRT vehicles, with lower vertical strakes that direct underbody air flow out the back of the vehicle, contributing to more stability at speed. A single, 4-inch exhaust tip exits from the right side of the fascia.
Aerodynamic efficiency is also aided by an integrated spoiler above the rear glass, which incorporates the Center High-mounted Stop Light (CHMSL). This spoiler, which is nearly 60 percent larger than that on the standard Dodge Caliber, is tuned for smoother air flow and increased downforce while maximizing the rear view.
Four exterior colors will be available on the all-new 2008 Dodge Caliber SRT4: Brilliant Black, Sunburst Orange, Bright Silver and Inferno Red.
In the “business office” of the all-new 2008 Dodge Caliber SRT4, a new interpretation of traditional SRT themes is carried out.
“The Dodge Caliber interior is unique with sophisticated and contemporary appointments,” said Creed. “When we enhanced it with SRT cues, we followed design themes that had been successful with the previous Dodge SRT4 , including the graphic design of the instruments, separate boost gauge, and silver finish on the center stack and interior trim.
“Overall, our strategy was to infuse the interior with performance-oriented enhancements to complement the Dodge Caliber SRT4’s aggressive exterior,” Creed added.
Unique SRT touches include sport seating with aggressive bolstering and performance fabric inserts to hold occupants during spirited driving, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with a “carbon fiber” pattern on the upper portion. The seats, steering wheel and leather shift boot feature contrasting stitching. Also unique to the 2008 Dodge Caliber SRT4 is an “alloy silver” finish on the instrument panel and shift bezel, and bright aluminum pedal pads that feature rubber studs for enhanced grip.
The center-stack-mounted short-throw shifter includes a lift ring to engage reverse — unique to the Dodge Caliber SRT4 — as well as a leather boot with a carbon-fiber pattern, a leather-finished shifter knob and cap with a bright chrome finish.
The instrument panel features three gauge “tunnels” outfitted with performance-oriented instrumentation, including a center-mounted tachometer, 180-mph speedometer, and coolant temperature and fuel gauges. Available “performance pages” in the Reconfigurable Display (RCD) can display 0-60 mph acceleration time, 1/8-mile and ¼-mile acceleration time and speed, braking distance, and G-forces. An electronic boost gauge is located on the left side of the instrument panel.
For the enjoyment of audiophiles, the 2008 Dodge Caliber SRT4 is equipped with a standard AM-FM radio with a multi-disc CD changer control. Also available is an SRT-engineered Kicker high-performance audio system that includes 13 speakers in seven locations, and is powered by a 322-watt amplifier and 200-watt subwoofer.
The interior of the all-new 2008 Dodge Caliber SRT4 is offered in Dark Slate Gray.
2008 Dodge Caliber SRT4 Safety and Security
The following safety and security technologies are available on the 2008 Dodge Caliber SRT4:
- Advanced Multi-stage Air Bags: Inflate with a force appropriate to the severity of the impact. Meet advanced air bag requirements for smaller and out-of-position occupants
- All-speed Traction Control: Senses drive-wheel slip and applies individual brakes to slipping wheel(s), and can reduce excess engine power until traction is regained
- Anti-lock Brake System (ABS): Equipped with electronic sensors that help prevent wheel lockup, the ABS system offers improved steering control under extreme braking and/or slippery conditions
- Auto-reverse Sun Roof: An advanced sensing system that automatically engages and reverses the sun roof (to the open position)
- BeltAlert: This feature sounds a periodic chime to alert the driver and all occupants to fasten their seat belts
- Brake Assist: The vehicle senses a panic brake condition and applies maximum braking power, providing the shortest possible stopping distance
- Constant Force Retractors (CFR): A mechanical device in each front seat belt is designed to mitigate the force of a seat belt according to the load or force exerted on it. CFRs are engineered to force-limit the belt system and gradually release seat-belt webbing in a controlled manner during a severe impact
- Crumple Zones: An area of the vehicle that is designed to compress during an accident in order to absorb energy from an impact, preventing transfer of that energy to occupants
- Electronic Stability Program (ESP): Aids the driver in maintaining vehicle directional stability, providing oversteer and understeer control to maintain vehicle behavior
- Energy-absorbing Steering Column: Steering column contains two hydroformed coaxial tubes that move relative to each other, which allows the column to move forward and provide more energy absorption during an impact
- Enhanced Accident Response System (EARS): In the event of an impact, this system makes it easier for emergency personnel to see and access occupants by automatically turning on interior lighting and unlocking doors after air bag deployment. The system also shuts off the flow of fuel to the engine
- Height-adjustable Seat-belts: Allows passengers to lift and lower the shoulder belt to a comfortable level. Encourages seat belt usage by offering a more comfortable fit
- HomeLink® Universal Home Security System Transceiver: HomeLink can store three separate radio-frequency codes to operate garage door openers, security gates, security lighting and other radio-controlled devices
- Inflatable Knee Blocker: The inflatable knee blocker is an air bag that deploys whenever the driver’s primary air bag deploys, helping position the driver relative to the primary air bag
- Knee Bolsters: The steering column, lower instrument panel and the glove-box door are reinforced to protect unbelted occupants during frontal impacts. They both restrain and position the occupant properly and enable air bags to work effectively
- Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH): This system helps ease the installation of compatible aftermarket child seats
- Remote Keyless Entry: The remote keyless entry locks and unlocks doors, and turns on interior lamps. If the vehicle is equipped with a vehicle-theft security alarm, the remote also arms and disarms that system
- Seat-belt Pretensioners: During a collision, impact sensors initiate front seat belt pretensioners to immediately remove slack from seat belts, which reduces the forward movement of an occupant’s head and torso
- Sentry Key® Engine Immobilizer: This utilizes an engine key that has an embedded transponder with a pre-programmed security key code. When the key is inserted into the ignition, the controller sends a random number to the transponder and the engine is allowed to start. If the correct key is not used, the engine will shut off after only a few seconds
- Supplemental Side-curtain Air Bags: Side-curtain air bags extend protection to front- and rear-seat outboard occupants. Each side air bag has its own impact sensor in order to autonomously trigger the air bag on the side where the side impact occurs. Optional seat-mounted air-bags are available.
- Tire Pressure Monitoring (TPM): This advanced system monitors tire pressure and alerts the driver to improper tire pressure conditions. Low pressure on any tire illuminates the amber warning indicator in the instrument cluster
Street- and Track-tested Quality
The all-new 2008 Dodge Caliber SRT4 was designed and engineered under the Chrysler Development System (CDS) — the comprehensive, coordinated and disciplined product-creation process that improves quality and speed-to-market while reducing costs and encouraging practical innovation in new vehicles.
CDS emphasizes systems engineering, design and up-front planning to avoid time-consuming and costly trial and error, or changes during the later phases of the product development cycle. With CDS, all product and process planning is completed and fully integrated before production tooling begins.
2008 Dodge Caliber SRT4 development also encompasses actual conditions, both on the street and on the race track.
To simulate real-world conditions, the 2008 Dodge Caliber SRT4 will have logged nearly 2 million customer-equivalent road miles by the time vehicles begin appearing in dealerships.
To ensure its track-ready character, extensive durability testing of the Dodge Caliber SRT4 has taken place at Firebird Raceway in Chandler, Ariz.; Texas Motorsports Ranch in Cresson, Texas; and Nelson Ledges in Garrettsville, Ohio.
Process, Productivity Key to Manufacturing Excellence
The all-new 2008 Dodge Caliber SRT4 is built at the Chrysler Belvidere (Ill.) Assembly Plant on the same assembly line with the Dodge Caliber SE, SXT and R/T models.
Previously the home of the Dodge Neon, the plant recently underwent a multimillion-dollar upgrade to prepare for Caliber production.
A new body shop and other upgrades are part of a total program investment of $419 million that was announced in January 2005. The robotic body shop can build the Dodge Caliber SRT4, Caliber and potentially three other vehicles with no negative impact on production. Robots can make necessary tool changes automatically within cycle time, in about 45 seconds.
Street and Racing Technology
SRT creates some of Chrysler’s boldest, most distinctive products by single-mindedly following its core vision: Deliver benchmark performance at the lowest price, and deliver it with absolute integrity and credibility.
Every SRT vehicle showcases five key aspects: Exterior styling that resonates with the brand image; race-inspired interiors; world-class ride and handling characteristics across a broad range; benchmark braking; and a standout powertrain.