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New Dodge Challenger SRT8 Core, Chrysler 300C SRT8 Core cuts price not performance

Today’s start of the 2013 Chicago Auto Show introduced the world to the new SRT Core packages for the Dodge Challenger SRT8 and the Chrysler 300C SRT8 – a somewhat stripped out package to answer the pleas of prospective SRT buyers who want the go fast goodies but not all of the luxury that comes with all of the SRT models.


The Dodge Challenger SRT8 and Chrysler 300C SRT8 join the Dodge Charger SRT8 to create one of the most powerful brand lineups available in the United States but for many people, the high price of these high performance vehicles are too much to stomach – which is where the new SRT Core package comes into play. These three SRT8 models are all intended for high performance driving but they are also all fitted up with features that are more commonly found on luxury models. Features like plush leather seats, HID headlights and fog lights add to the wow factor of these muscular Mopars but while adding cost – they don’t add any performance. To answer the calls of those who want a Dodge Challenger sRT8 or a Chrysler 300C SRT8 that focuses more on all-out performance, the SRT brand has added the Core package for the 2013 SRT8 Challenger and 300C. These join the Charger SRT8 Super Bee which follows the same ideas of removing non-essential items to lower the cost and the weight of these high performance Mopars.

"The SRT brand continues to offer our customers unique and exclusive content for their performance needs and personalities," said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO, SRT Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC. "We’ve expanded our Core SRT model strategy to include special models of 300 SRT and Challenger SRT. Owners can now purchase a true SRT model that lends itself to customization and personalization."

The intention of the SRT brand in designing the 2013 Dodge Challenger SRT8 Core and the Chrysler 300C SRT8 Core was to remove some features of the models already available at dealerships that do not take away from the performance capabilities. While leather seats, fog lights and HID headlights add a touch of style and luxury; these features do nothing but add weight and cost to the vehicle. The Challenger and 300C Core models do away with the leather seats, instead featuring the same SRT race inspired seats wrapped in the same ballistic cloth that is found in the non-GTS 2013 SRT Viper.

Next, the Challenger and 300C SRT Core models come equipped with a unique split spoke 20 inch rim design that is also used on the Charger Super Bee and unlike other SRT models – you won’t find any stripes on cars equipped with the Core package. However, those Challenger SRT8 Core buyers will get to pick from two additional exterior colors – Hemi Orange and Plum Crazy (which I love) – along with the standard Challenger paint options that include Billet Silver Metallic Clear Coat, Bright White Clear Coat, Granite Crystal Metallic Pearl Coat, Jazz Blue Pearl Coat, Pitch Black and TorRed Clear Coat. The 2013 Chrysler 300C SRT8 Core is available in eight colors - Billet Silver Metallic Clear Coat, Bright White Clear Coat, Deep Cherry Red Pearl Coat, Gloss Black Clear Coat, Granite Crystal Pearl Coat, Ivory Pearl Tri-coat, Jazz Blue Pearl Coat and Phantom Black Tri-coat Pearl.

The most significant area where the 2013 Dodge Challenger SRT8 and Chrysler 300C SRT8 Core models differ from the current, loaded-up SRT vehicle is the suspension system. The Core package excludes the dual mode active suspension system; instead opting for a traditional sport tuned suspension system featuring Bilstein components. The Core suspension system will afford the SRT variants of the Challenger and the 300C similar handling capabilities as those with the dual mode system, combining handling and comfort while the dual mode system offers one more for handling and one more for comfort. Having spent plenty of time in all of the current SRT vehicles with the dual mode system, I spent the majority of my drive time in sport mode anyway so losing the more comfortable suspension mode wouldn’t matter to me and I’d bet that it won’t matter to those who buy new SRT8 models with the Core package.

Best of all, the Core package for the Challenger SRT8 and 300C SRT8 knocks a considerable amount of money off of the MSRP. The 2013 Challenger SRT8 Core starts at just $38,995 - $5,780 less than the MSRP of the fully loaded Challenger SRT8. The 2013 Chrysler 300C SRT8 Core carries a base price of $43,995 - $5,000 less than the current 300C SRT8.

In short, if you want to go fast in the Dodge Challenger SRT8 or the Chrysler 300C SRT8 and you don’t care about an adjustable suspension system, leather seats or high tech headlights – the Core package will likely be your best bet. These packages offer similar performance to the other SRT8 models with a price that is significantly less than those models currently on showroom floors around the country. Especially with the Challenger SRT8 Core, this package should be a huge hit with those who want to compete with the likes of the Ford Mustang and the Chevrolet Camaro as knocking off a bit of weight and almost $6,000 off of the price tag puts the far more powerful Challenger SRT8 in the same pricing ballpark as the Mustang GT and the Camaro SS.