Dodge

Dodge cars

To help continue theFourth of July celebrations here at TopSpeed, I have decided to take at look at how the American car has impacted the world. Europe is typically quoted with having the best cars, but here are some American machines that have stepped up and shown the world that we know what we are doing.

We may not have created the car, but we are responsible for the way they drive, the way they are made and we even made some major contributions to the world of performance and horsepower. Put down that hot dog for a few seconds and take a quick look back through history at America’s greatest contributions to the world of internal combustion. That cooler full of cold beverages and that box of explosives will both still be there when you get done.

Continue reading to find out America’s greatest contributions to the world of the automobile.

The Dodge Viper debuted in 1991 and arrived in showrooms for the 1992 model year. It was Chrysler ’s first venture into the semi-supercar world and it featured an 8.0-liter, V-10 powerplant developed with input from Lamborghini and based on Dodge’s V-10 truck engine. The first-generation model was sold through 1995 and was only offered as a roadster. It wasn’t until 1996 when Dodge created the coupe body, known as the GTS. This second-gen Viper also saw a power increase from 400 horsepower to 450 ponies. The Viper was completely redesigned for 2003. The convertible was joined by a coupe model four years later and output reached into 500-horsepower territory for the first time. Engine displacement was also increased to 8.3 liters. Dodge discontinued the sports car for the 2007 model year, but it brought it back a year later. The fourth-generation Viper only lasted until 2010, and it took Chrysler another two years to introduce a fifth-gen version .

Unlike previous models, the new Viper debuted as a coupe only and had its V-10 engine rebuilt into a 8.4-liter. The current output resides at 640 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque, making it the most powerful production Chrysler.

Throughout its short-lived career, the Dodge Viper was also a successful race car , winning numerous events and series championships. To honor its racing heritage, Street and Racing Technology (SRT) launched a brand new iteration of the GTS-R race car for the 2014 IMSA Tudor United SportsCar Championship.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R.

I’m not expecting anyone to agree with me, but I think the all-new Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is way cooler than the 2015 Ford Mustang . Sure, the Challenger ’s design is awfully dated when compared to the Mustang, and that platform was introduced eons ago, but I don’t care. All I care about is that huge, nasty HEMI V-8 and the supercharger sitting atop it. And between you and me, Ford somehow managed to dilute the Mustang with the new design.

Anyway, there’s more to the Challenger SRT Hellcat than that 600-plus-horsepower mill. It has a cool name, roars like all hell breaks loose with ease and sports a cool amount of exclusive features. What’s more, it can be had in Dodge ’s brand-new high-impact colors, including the awesome B5 Blue and Sublime Green. All of a sudden it feels like 1971 again. And by the way, did you see the massive integral charge coolers Dodge is dropping in the Hellcat’s engine bay?

If the aforementioned facts, our in-depth review , and the batch of videos released by the automaker aren’t compelling enough for you, then you must have a look at this new Hellcat footage we just stumbled upon. There’s nothing official about it, just a Sublime Green-painted example exiting a driveway. And grunt, a lot of grunt, a pair of rear tires leaving marks on the asphalt, and further proof there’s no actual replacement for displacement!

If you’ve been a fan of the Grand Theft Auto video game franchise, you might recognize this sports car . Why yes, it’s the Bravado Banshee, the getaway car that made its debut in the opening moments of Grand Theft Auto III. The Banshee was always treated simply as a video game car that ultimately became one of the mainstays of GTA.

All that’s about to change now that a real world version of the Banshee has been built, thanks to Rockstar Games’ collaboration with West Coast Customs. It’s only a one-off machine, yet it makes good use of state-of-the-art fabrication technologies to turn it into a true sports car befitting its stature as a bad-ass in the GTA franchise.

One look at the Banshee and you can surmise that it was based on a past version of the Dodge Viper — a 2006 model, to be precise. WCC used molds for the exterior, and cut and machined piece-by-piece to recreate the high-performance look of the video game sports car . And as an added treat, the Banshee’s iconic metallic-blue exterior complete with ice white racing stripe, ensuring that the sports car’s video game looks translated perfectly into the real-world car.

Additionally, the interior is also a sight to behold with the seats upholstered and embroidered with the "Banshee" name and insignia. Likewise, carbon inlays were used on the dashboard, door panels and center console while a multi-speaker premium sound system was installed.

But the best part about this Banshee isn’t so much it’s appeal; it’s the fact that GameStop raffled it off as part of its Epic Rewards Giveaway back in 2013.

Updated 06/02/2014: If you want to drive the Bravado Banshee for real, you will be happy to know that one unit is currently on sale on eBay. The only problem is that it is listed at $170,000

Click past the jump to read more about the 2006 Banshee.

Source: eBay

We have some solid evidence that the Challenger ’s new Hellcat engine will be making a lot more power than people are giving it credit for. What we have here is an exclusive image of the prototype phase of the Hellcat’s intecoolers.

You may be yelling at your monitor right now that many supercharged engines don’t use intercoolers, and you are correct, sort of. When you compress air, it gets hotter. Superchargers traditionally don’t add much boost pressure, so the need for an intercooler is mitigated. The Challenger does have an intercooler system mounted in the front of the car, but the correct term for it in this case is "integral charge cooler."

An integral charge cooler has a very similar function to a normal intercooler, cooling air, but it is integrated into the supercharger system itself. It the last thing the forced air passes through before reaching the engine. This makes sure the air is as cool as possible before combustion to provide the greatest level of power and performance.

This unit here is a water-to-air style cooler, which looks to be larger than most units I have encountered. This suggests that Dodge is likely playing boost levels over the 11 pounds they are quoting, or perhaps an overboost function. As a bonus, even at lower boost levels the cooler air is much more dense, helping the engine to make more power.

Either way, it seems that Dodge still has a few tricks up its sleeve about what the Hellcat is really packing under its hood.

Suddenly Viper -beating horsepower doesn’t seem so unrealistic. Cue the maniacal laughter, folks.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and read more about this integral charge cooler.

We’re pretty much done with the Mustang ’s 50th Anniversary celebrations here in the U.S., but the iconic muscle car is about to get one more birthday party in Europe. The event will occur during the Silverstone Classic in late July, when more than 25 competition-prepped Mustangs take on the famed track in two different races .

To preview the event that we expect to become the world’s largest gathering of race-spec Mustangs on one grid, the folks over at Silverstone Classic have put together a video that pays tribute to the memorable car chase from the "Bullitt" film. Regarded as one of the most influential in movie history, the chase saw a 1968 Mustang driven by Steve McQueen gain on a 1968 Dodge Charger through the streets of Chicago.

Recreated right on the Silverstone track with vehicles that looked similar to those in the movie, the scene is a worthy replica of the "Bullitt" scene with all the drifting and the V-8 revving. It all comes to an abrupt halt near the end, when the Charger "blows up" in a poorly rendered crash. At least they didn’t wreck a perfectly restored classic.

If you’re planning on traveling to Britain for the Mustang races, this year’s Silverstone Classic is scheduled between July 25th through 27th.

Welcome to the most awesome automotive podcast extravaganza on the internet, the TopSpeed Podcast . We have audio, we have video (after the break), and we have lots of banter about cars!

In this Thursday’s episode we bring you talks of the Nissan 370Z Nismo , the (exciting) Challenger Hellcat and Mark’s NASCAR roadtrip . We even find time to cover the revival of the Nissan Pulsar name and the new/old Jaguar Lightweight E-Type .

We also take a minute to remember F1 legend Sir Jack Brabum .

Our weekly wheels include a discussion about the Acura MDX that Justin got to drive, and the IS 350 F Sport that Mark went to Charlotte in. I am left out of the party again, but I have a new toy to talk about next week.

We have a few questions from the audience including what would make the perfect enthusiast vacation, top tracks to listen to while driving, and we speculate on what old cars need a good dose of carbon in their diet.

As always, we finish things off with Own, Drive, Burn and a trio of McLaren supercars .

Hope you enjoy. As always, you can reach us on Twitter @TopSpeedPodcast, through email Podcast@TopSpeed.com and you can leave us a comment below.

Don’t forget that you can leave us a rating at iTunes.

See you next Thursday!

Hosts: Christian Moe, Justin Cupler, Mark McNabb
Weekly Wheels: Acura MDX, Lexus IS 350 F Sport

What comes after hump-day? The TopSpeed Podcast , of course!

Happy Thursday everybody, and welcome to EPISODE 010! of the TopSpeed Podcast. This week is special for a few reasons aside from our milestone number. Firstly, Justin is gone on vacation, so we brought in a special guest, Logan Utsman. Logan is an old friend and colleague of Mark and myself, and he is a proper hoon to boot. We hope you enjoy hearing him.

If you hated him, let us know that too. We will be sure to have him drawn and quartered for offending the masses.

Secondly we have a hybrid video podcast that has photos in it too. The first part is great news, the second part is less so. Thanks to some shaky internet, my recording PC dropped the video feed about halfway through. I filled the rest of the podcast with some photos from my personal portfolio to provide some visual entertainment. You can see the video after the break.

As for the show, our Weekly Wheels features a return of the Lexus ES 350 , a look at the Audi A3 TDI , and I discuss my time flogging some new Cooper Tires on a track with the Ford Mustang and BMW 3 Series .

News coverage includes a thorough look at Chrysler’s big five-year plan , what it means for SRT , Dodge and Ferrari , plus the return of the Grand Wagoneer and the official announcement of the Maserati Alfieri . The BMW i3 also makes an appearance in our news segment.

Our Q/A segment features more automotive destruction, a short look at the best lime-green hatchbacks you can buy, the oldest cars we have driven, and we speculate on dream drag races.

As always, we finish with Own, Drive, Burn. This week we have a trio of Ferrari models.

Please let us know if you have any comments, questions or concerns. You can reach us in the comments below, on Twitter @TopSpeedPodcast or by email: Podcast@TopSpeed.com

We are also on iTunes. If you wanted to subscribe, rate or leave us a review we would really appreciate it.

See you next week you crazy kids.

Weekly Wheels: Lexus ES 350, Audi A3 TDI, BMW 328i

Hosts: Christian Moe, Mark McNabb, Logan Utsman

Watch the video version after the break!

Rumors about an SRT -prepped Dodge Dart have been floating around ever since the compact sedan was unveiled at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show . But hopes of a successor for the Neon SRT-4 – phased out in 2005 – were somewhat crushed when SRT CEO Ralph Gilles said at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show that the brand has yet to find the right powertrain for the car.

Months have passed since we’ve heard anything about the Dart SRT, but it appears Dodge finally came to its senses and started working on a high performance compact. The good news came straight from the Fiat Chrysler alliance, who has just unveiled its massive five-year production plan.

With the SRT brand now back under Dodge , a host of new models will be built by 2018, with a high performance version of the Dart among them. Although the company has yet to confirm whether the compact will roll out with a SRT4 badge, it did say the vehicle will arrive in late 2016, right after the current-generation Dart gets its mid-cycle refresh.

The big news is that the brawny version of the sedan will be motivated by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, just like the Caliber SRT4 and the Neon SRT4, and sold with an all-wheel-drive configuration. Specific details aren’t available at the time of this writing, but expect for the Dart SRT to get a beefed-up 2.4-liter Tigershark engine tuned to deliver at least 260 horsepower.

Naturally, the sportier version of the Dart will also arrive with a host of visual upgrades (check out our rendering here ), including a pair aggressive bumpers, a larger apron intake, a rear diffuser, and probably a hood scoop. Under-the-skin improvements are likely to include a stiffer, performance-tuned suspension and additional driving modes.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Dodge Dart SRT.

There are chunks of big news coming from the Chrysler Group today, as the Detroit giants has outlined a five-year plan that includes major changes across all brands. However, the most important piece of information has SRT in the spotlight, with the performance marque scheduled to die as a standalone brand and become part of Dodge .

Naturally, the first question that surfaces is what will happen with the Viper . Well, Chrysler says we don’t need to worry about it, as its halo sports car will live on under Dodge, with a refresh planned for 2015. So basically the Viper is regaining the badge it was launched with back in 1992. A bit ironic, eh?

As far as the SRT-prepped Challenger muscle car and Charger muscle sedan are concerned, they will be reintegrated into the Dodge lineup as range-topping, performance iterations. And with the new product plan revealed, Dodge has finally confirmed that the two will be redesigned for the 2018 model year.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles also announced that former SRT CEO Ralph Gilles will continue to serve as Senior Vice President of Product Design and President and CEO of Motorsports within Dodge.

But that’s not all that’s bound to change at Auburn Hills. The Dart , for instance, will be revised in 2016, followed by the launch of the Dart SRT. Surprisingly enough, the latter will sport a turbocharged engine under the hood and all-wheel drive. The same year will also see the introduction of a brand-new Dodge Journey with a beefed-up SRT version to arrive the next year. What’s more, all-new B-segment sedan and hatchback models, of which we know nothing about, will be unveiled in 2018.

Lastly, Dodge is getting ready to unload two vehicles from its lineup. As expected, the Avenger will get the axed by the end of this year. However, we were surprised to find out that the company will stop producing the Grand Caravan as well. The vehicle that started the whole minivan craze 30 years ago will be phased out in 2016, when the next-generation Chrysler Town and Country rolls off the assembly line.

Click past the jump to read more about the SRT Viper.


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