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Auto blogTue, 08 Jan 2013 16:01:00 EST
Dodge has just confirmed that it will be bringing its newest Dart variant, the Dart GT, to Detroit next week, but we're still in the dark about when we'll see a truly hotted-up SRT4 version. But now, by way of the rumormill anyway, we've got at least one proposed, potentially Dodge-based rendering to light our way.
Seen here is what would appear to be a design sketch of the SRT4 Dart. Obviously the image that has surfaced is of rather low-resolution, but there's at least some evidence to support that it may be legitimate. In the original picture, one can just make out the name Tim Doyle in the lower right corner. As it turns out, Tim Doyle's name is also watermarked on the final design image for the 2011 Dodge Durango Citadel Black & Tan, a model that was shown at SEMA in 2010.
Of course, even if this really is the work of Doyle, there's nothing to say that this image isn't one of a great many potential looks for the future SRT4. In fact, the departure of the cross-hair grille from the Dodge's nose seems like it could be a hard sell, though we do, naturally, dig the sleek hood scoop and the bulked up wheel/tire combination.
The Viper is used to being the most powerful car in the Dodge and SRT stables, but the arrival of the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat means that's no longer the case. The serpentine supercar is, however, reportedly getting a small boost in output for 2015, amounting to all of five horsepower.
The increase was uncovered by Road & Track courtesy of the SAE J1349 certification process to which Detroit's Big Three automakers submit themselves and which reports the Viper's output at 645 hp instead of the 640 it was rated at until now. There are a hundred factors that could have contributed to the relatively mild boost in output (best guess? nothing at all changed...), but we doubt anyone's going to complain about some extra horses under the hood.
The five-horsepower boost brings the Viper that much closer to the 650-hp Chevy Corvette Z06, not to mention the 707-hp Hellcat, but the Viper's impressive power-to-weight ratio ought to mean it'll have little problem keeping up in a straight line - which is just one of the reasons why Chrysler won't shoe-horn the Hellcat into the Viper: as R&T points out, the supercharged engine is too heavy and the blower makes it too tall to fit in the Viper's engine bay.
Early last month, we reported on Chrysler issuing a preemptive, proactive recall for about 25,000 units of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango. The issue revolved around a brake system that wasn't causing any actual problems, but delivered an unsatisfactory brake feel, so Auburn Hills called in a good 25,000 of SUVs around the world, including 18,700 in the United States.
Now Chrysler, having apparently determined that the brake problem on its sport utes is actually much bigger than it initially realized, has drastically broadened the scope of the recall. As a result, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued a recall for precisely 655,354 examples of the Grand Cherokee and Durango, covering the 2011 through 2014 model years. In addition, Chrysler is recalling 42,380 units in Canada, 21,376 in Mexico and 159,685 overseas.
The problem which Chrysler found revolves around the brake booster, whose center shell has been found to be subject to corrosion, allowing water to get into the brake system. That water in turn could freeze, preventing the brakes from working as well as expected.