Many feared that the Chrysler brand was about to be axed by Stellantis. That didn’t happen, and as it turns out we were all looking at the wrong brand to fall.
The muscle-minded Street and Racing Technology skunkworks — responsible for such cars as the Hellcat family at Dodge — is no more, at least as a standalone group. It’s kind of shocking, given that SRT has been responsible for some of Dodge’s and Ram’s greatest cars. Why would Stellantis mess with that?
Thankfully, it’s not all grim news.
Stellpower reached out to Stellantis and got some clarification:
Stellantis Statement in Regard to SRT
In February 2021, all of the core elements of the SRT performance engineering team were integrated into Stellantis’ global engineering organization.
This action will have the two-way benefit of ensuring that our brands’ SRT and performance-focused product offerings continue to meet the highest quality standards and expectations, while delivering key learnings from motorsports and other high-performance-technology applications across a wider mix of our company’s product lines.
These products have delighted enthusiasts for nearly two decades, and Stellantis will continue to sell and develop the next generation of Dodge//SRT-branded vehicles, as well as Jeep and Ram vehicles that utilize high-performance SRT technology.
In short, SRT is no longer its own entity. Instead, its team is dispersed within the rest of Stellantis. The vehicles that wore SRT badges in the past will continue to do so in the future. It looks as if the Hellcats and similarly hopped- up Dodges, Jeeps and Rams will roar on, at least for now.
Mopar Insiders reports that SRT traces its roots back to the Team Viper development squad that engineered the original Dodge Viper in 1989. It went through a number of name changes before it became SRT.
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Team Viper merged with Team Prowler to become Specialty Vehicle Engineering. DaimlerChrysler renamed the team as Performance Vehicle Operations in 2002 before finally landing on Street and Racing Technology in 2004. In 2012, FCA made SRT its own performance brand, with Ralph Gilles at the helm.
This news comes only days after Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis sounded the death knell for the V8, so it does sound a bit concerning. You have to hope this move preserves some of SRT’s history, and that we’ll see even more vehicles get outrageous performance boosts.
H/T – Opposite-Lock!