SRT Continues to Power Chrysler Group
- Coveted Street and Racing Technology (SRT) badge communicates benchmark performance at the lowest price.
What’s the recipe for creating the kind of vehicle that earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records?
According to Dan Knott, Director of Street and Racing Technology (SRT) at the Chrysler Group, it takes the right vision and the right structure, including a team of die-hard enthusiasts leading the engineering efforts.
The foundations of SRT have led Chrysler Group to build on the success of the original SRT vehicle - the Dodge Viper SRT10 - with standout vehicles that include:
- The Dodge SRT4, which debuted in 2003 as the quickest sub-$20,000 entry among the sport compact “tuner crowd", only to be “upgraded” for 2004 to 230 horsepower with the addition of a limited-slip differential as standard equipment;
- The 500-horsepower Dodge Ram SRT10 - the Viper of pickup trucks - developed with SRT engineering to be the toughest, boldest truck on the planet, resulting in a Guinness Book of World Records entry as "The World's Fastest Production Pickup Truck;"
- The 330-horsepower Chrysler Crossfire SRT6, unveiled as a new level of Crossfire with an infusion of race-inspired, street-legal American performance;
- And the 425-horsepower Chrysler 300C SRT8, which represents the next level in the evolution of the Chrysler brand, the SRT brand and the legendary HEMI®.
Officially announced at the 2002 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, SRT was created to leverage all of the performance resources within the Chrysler Group – motorsports engineering, the Viper development team and Mopar Performance Parts engineering – to create a line of industry-leading performance vehicles and parts. With this effort, the Chrysler Group became the first manufacturer to combine high-performance vehicles, performance parts and motorsports engineering under one roof.
In addition to boosting performance, SRT was created to boost the image of Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep® vehicles - and of Mopar parts and accessories. Each and every SRT initiative flows from a specific vision: benchmark performance at the lowest price, delivered with absolute integrity and credibility.
“SRT never compromises on four key aspects,” Knott said. “First, SRT delivers outrageous, head-turning vehicles to the enthusiast. Next, everything we design and develop is done to the highest standards of excellence. Third, each vehicle program contributes to the bottom line. And finally, SRT strives for continuous improvement throughout all our programs.”
Knott said the heart of SRT is its people.
“We’ve sprinkled our organization with enthusiasts and experts. They work hard, but they play hard, too. While we’re part of a worldwide corporation, we're not too buttoned-down. So, we let the team run, but with reasonable levels of discipline.”
"The SRT structure is also key to its success," Knott said.
“To be successful, a high-performance team must have a significant amount of autonomy - team members must be able to make their own decisions and be held accountable for the results. The team needs to avoid bureaucracy, and move at light speed. Another thing: consensus management doesn't work in creating high-performance products - leadership and character is what delivers successful products that perform at the limits.”
Knott added that every SRT vehicle will feature performance-oriented exterior characteristics that resonate with the brand image, a race-inspired interior with aggressive seating, performance handling across a dynamic range of driving conditions, world-class braking and benchmark-setting powertrain performance.
“At SRT, we will never, ever rest on our laurels," Knott said. "We will ‘walk the talk.’ And we will continue to raise the bar.”