SRT Dead: Is This the End of the Line For the Hellcat?

SRT, short for Street & Racing Technology, stopped working as a standalone brand in 2014, but it remained FCA's performance engineering outfit. The team, once led by Ralph Gilles, is responsible for numerous performance vehicles, including Hellcat versions of the Charger and Challenger, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, and the Ram 1500 TRX.
Dodge Challerger SRT Hellcat 1 photo
Photo: Dodge
Come 2021, and the SRT team has been disbanded by Stellantis, the new parent company of the FCA and PSA merger. Does this mean we will no longer see Hellcat-powered vehicles from FCA in North America? Well, there's good news and bad news.

The good news is that the SRT engineering team has been integrated into Stellantis' global organization. According to Mopar Insiders, quoting a company spokeswoman, this move will ensure that most brands under the big Stellantis umbrella will benefit from SRT's know-how in the performance department. So while SRT is no longer a division operated with a high degree of independence, its engineers are still working on performance vehicles for other brands.

There's some bad news, though. This could mean that the high-performance FCA models as we know them may no longer exist. Vehicles like the Dodge Charger Hellcat, Challenger Demon, Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, and Ram 1500 TRX will not make a comeback once the ongoing series goes out of production. And if they do return, they will probably ditch pure V8 power in favor of hybrid drivetrains.

But what about the technology transfer from SRT to other brands? Well, you shouldn't get your hopes up for insanely powerful cars from brands like Peugeot, Citroen, or Fiat. Word has it the SRT engineering team will mostly handle things like aerodynamics and cooling.

Chrysler's SRT division can be traced back to the late part of 1989 when some of the company's engineers began working on the first-generation Dodge Viper. Originally called Team Viper, it merged with Team Prowler to form the Specialty Vehicle Engineering group. Renamed Performance Vehicle Operations in 2002, it finally became SRT in 2004.

SRT handled all performance-tuned vehicles under the Mopar banner. On top of the extreme Hellcat, Trackhawk, TRX, and Demon models, SRT also prepared 392 variants of the Dodge Challenger and Charger, as well as the Dodge Durango and Jeep Wrangler. In the past, SRT developed beefed-up versions of the Dodge Neon and Caliber, Chrysler 300, and Chrysler Crossfire.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram Twitter
About the author: Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea profile photo

Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories