2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: The Workaround
by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor on February 3, 2016
I think it was either Niebuhr or Schmidt who when asked what car they were taking that evening replied "the Charger-er-er-er-er." The vocal imitation of our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8's exhaust drone has become a bit of a pet nickname for the big V8 sedan, and I was thinking of it off and on after I decided to sign out the Charger for a couple of nights.
I was reconsidering my decision when Niebuhr came by and I mentioned to him my trepidation. The last time I drove the Charger, I swore it would be my last. The boomy exhaust hum was just too much for my commute. It made music almost unlistenable, and nearly silenced the voices in my head.
Kurt had been in the Charger recently (and dealt with its dead battery issue) and had a simple, terrific workaround.
"Just keep it in fourth."
It was a brilliant piece of advice. Of course I was skeptical. The Charger has tall gears, but fourth gear at around 75 mph for nearly 60 miles? He assured me that keeping it in fourth pushed engine speed just north of the drone zone's not-so-sweet-spot. And he was right.
Keep the Charger locked in fourth at highway-plus speeds and the tach floats around 2,750. It feels a little revvy at first, but after a few minutes it starts to sound and feel normal. The drone zone is in fifth at around 2,500. Any faster and you're pushing the limits of tolerant highway patrol officers. "Fourth and 27" sounds like the end of your football team's season, but it's right where this Charger belongs.
Unless we had a different exhaust. Or cared about fuel economy. Maybe I'll subject myself to the Charger for the duration of a full tank, avoiding fifth gear, and see just how thirsty it gets. For the time being, I can make peace with the car using the Niebuhr Workaround.
For the record, there are some concrete ideas circulating around the office about how to best suppress the drone. Look for other editors to update on those efforts.
Dan Frio, Automotive Editor @ 77,338 miles