2007 Dodge Caliber SRT4 Preview

DaimlerChrysler has announced a hot rod version of the upcoming 2007 Dodge Caliber. The Street and Racing Technology (SRT) group will extend the SRT4 reputation with the introduction of the 300-horsepower Caliber SRT4.

Since its inception in 2002, SRT has introduced 12 extreme-performance vehicles, including the Viper-powered Dodge Ram SRT10 regular cab and Quad Cab, Chrysler Crossfire SRT6 Coupe and Roadster, Chrysler 300C SRT8, Dodge Magnum SRT8, Dodge Charger SRT8, Dodge Viper SRT10 Convertible and Coupe and Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8.

The 2007 Dodge Caliber gets its motivation from an all-new “World Engine” produced at the Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance (GEMA) facility in Dundee, Michigan.  The World Engine is a family of small fuel- and emissions-efficient aluminum four-cylinder gasoline engines co-developed by DaimlerChrysler’s Chrysler Group, Hyundai Motor Company and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation.

With increased cylinder-head flow and higher compression ratio, as well as newer technologies such as Variable Valve Timing (VVT), the aluminum block 2.4 litre turbocharged and intercooled engine, produces the 300hp but also 260 lb-ft of torque. “The all-new 2.4-litre turbocharged World Engine delivers a level of power you’d expect from a V-8″, says Pete Gladysz, senior  powertrain manager on the SRT team.  According to Chrysler, these figures translate to 0-60mph in under 6 seconds.

Braking performance has also been upgraded. Front ventilated discs were sourced from the Chrysler 300, Dodge Magnum and Dodge Charger, then adapted for use in the SRT4. Similarly, the rear discs were taken from Chryslers larger than Caliber, mid-sized vehicles.

Exterior treatments are all part of the typical SRT performance additions. Front air ducts, hood mounted air induction and extractors, a large front air dam, bulging fender wheel arches and a rear wing integrated to the high roofline, are all part of the SRT4’s package which add an aggressive look to the crossover styled compact sedan. Unique19-inch cast aluminum wheels with 225/45R19 W-rated Goodyear tires are standard.

Buyers will have their choice of four exterior colours: Brilliant Black, Sunburst Orange, Bright Silver and Inferno Red.

When the SRT4 comes to showrooms, it will have logged the equivalent of almost 2 million miles in developmental testing both on the track and in real world driving conditions. The track testing is being done at Firebird Raceway in Phoenix; Texas Motorsports Ranch in Ft. Worth, Texas; and Nelson Ledges in Garrettsville, Ohio.

The Caliber SRT4 will be built at the Belvidere Assembly Plant, in Illinois, on the same assembly line with the Dodge Caliber SE, SXT and R/T models.

No pricing or delivery details for the SRT4 were provided.