It's not likely the 2010 Dodge Challenger SRT8's 6.1-liter V8 strikes you as meek. However, in a move that surely rankled Dodge's marketing gang, the Camaro SS debuted with 426 horsepower to the SRT8's 425. That's too close to be a coincidence.
There's just one thing to do. See, there's an old adage among hotrodders, and that's: Adequate substitutes for swept internal capacity are curiously nonexistent.
No, that doesn't sound quite right. It's... There's no replacement for displacement.
Dodge is reintroducing the storied 392 V8 engine for the 2011 Challenger SRT8. That's 6.4-liters for you metric weenies -- 0.3-liter more than the outgoing SRT8 -- and it all adds up to one mean Mopar. We'll have a full test including video of the Challenger SRT8 soon but in the meantime, check out how the bored and stroked Hemi fares on the dyno after the jump.
Okay, the 392 is actually 0.8 cubic inches shy of 392 cubic inches, but such white lies aren't unheard of -- examples like the Ford 5.0 (a 4.9-liter); the AMG Mercedes-Benz 6.3 (6.2-liters) come to mind. Heck, even the "Hemi" label itself is bogus for the moden version as it has pentroof combustion chambers and not hemispherical ones.
That's all window dressing. What really matters is this: the 392 is rated by Dodge at 470 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque, and the 2011 model not only makes bigger numbers than the outgoing SRT8, they arrive sooner too. Peak torque arrives at 4200 rpm, some 600 rpm lower in rev range than the 2010 model, and peak power hits at 6000 rpm (the 6.1's peak power is at 6200 rpm).
On the Dynojet chassis dyno, we measured the 392's potency thusly:
Torque hits hard and early, with 365 lb-ft on tap at 2500 rpm, and rising to a peak of 443 lb-ft at 4400 rpm. From there it rolls off gradually until the 6200 rpm fuel cut. Peak power of 452 horsepower arrives at 6200 rpm, so it's safe to say that this bruiser is making at least what Dodge claims.
Whereas the 6.1-liter was relatively thin at lower revs, the 392 delivers big torque off idle, and brings a friendly torque curve with no flat spots or hiccups. On the dyno it was dead-repeatable, and the autobox's manual mode let me hold the gear of my choosing as far down in the rev range as I desired without deciding it was smarter than me and delivering a bunch of unwanted downshifts upon goosing it. Nice.
About the SRT8's cross-town rival, the Camaro. It happens that we dynoed our long-term 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS on this very dyno last year. Here's how the new Hemi compares:
That's pretty much an ass-kicking, particularly in the midrange where the 392 wallops the Camaro's LS3 V8 by some 100 lb-ft. The Chevy's ability to rev slightly higher isn't nearly enough to make up for the huge disparity in weapons-grade grunt. However, the SRT8 costs substantially more than the SS, and there's a supercharged Camaro Z28 on the horizon.
This brings to mind another old adage: Velocity is proportional to the weight of your man-purse; can you kick down a tenspot for beer and nachos? I'm pretty sure that's how it goes.