(MENAFN- Jordan Times)
Introduced in 2015 as part of a revised Dodge Challenger coupe line-up, the SRT 392 is an evolution of the model line's previous high performance variant.
Positioned above the 5.7-litre Challenger R/T, the SRT 392 may have been more powerful than its predecessor, but was eclipsed by the even more brutal supercharged Challenger Hellcat, introduced in the same year.
If the Hellcat stole the SRT 392's thunder, the latter, however, proved to be the more focused, agile, accessible, affordable and ultimately more rewarding driver's car.
With yet more powerful supercharged Challenger variants like the now retired Demon and the current Hellcat Redeye introduced under the SRT performance badge, the SRT 392 nameplate rebranded and demoted to non-SRT status as the Challenger R/T Scat Pack, with its naturally-aspirated 6.4-litre V8 beast living on for now. As the long-serving Challenger nears the end of the road and possible replacement by a less soulful electrified successor, the big and brawny SRT 392 and its re-named successor could well be a last hurrah for Dodge's authentic muscle car tradition.
As dramatic and charismatic as when the low, long and wide reborn, retro-infused Challenger first appeared in 2008 with its Mercedes-Benz derived architecture, recessed quad headlamps and low roofline, the SRT 392 is among the most aggressively styled versions with its jutting lower lip and protruding bonnet scoop. With 2023 set to be the last year of Challenger production, updated and re-named 392 variants are now offered in optional widebody style, and are all the better for the extended wheel-arches and more sinister demeanour they lend.
Punchy and progressive
Dodge's most powerful non-supercharged V8 engine, the SRT 392's 6.4-litre V8 is enormous in displacement, but compact in size, with its 16-valve OHV design. The naturally-aspirated SRT 392's output might pale next to supercharged 6.2-litre 717BHP Hellcat and 797BHP Hellcat Redeye Challengers, but is anything but modest with its massive, brutal and bass-laden output. A welcome slice of traditional charm next to modern forced induction high output engines, the SRT 392's giant naturally-aspirated V8 is progressively eager and responsive to throttle input and lift-off.
Brutal yet linear in delivery, the SRT 392 draws on a vast rumbling torque reservoir, which is incrementally unleashed, and underwrites power accumulation with effortlessly muscular flexibility. Developing a punchy 485BHP as it reaches its 6,000rpm crescendo, the SRT 392 meanwhile produces 475lb/ft torque at 4,200rpm, and is capable of 0-100km/h in around 4.5-seconds. The SRT 392's progressive delivery and accurate throttle response meanwhile allows one to feed the driven rear wheels with more confidence and precision when powering out of corners.
Quick and controlled
The SRT 392's progressive naturally-aspirated engine allows it to more easily put power down than more powerful Hellcat sister models, and without the sudden break of rear traction, and electronic stability control overrides when re-applying power out of corners. Meanwhile, its' slick 8-speed automatic gearbox features a wide and close range of ratios, for quick acceleration, mid-range versatility and cruising refinement and efficiency. That said, the 6-speed manual gearbox version of the SRT 392 promises a more engaging and rewarding driver experience.
More connected and composed – with tidier reflexes – than the 5.7-litre Challenger R/T, the SRT 392's crisp responses and progressive delivery meanwhile makes it easier to control and more accessible and engaging than the mighty Hellcat. With quick, precise and meaty 2.56-turn lock-to-lock electric-assisted steering and well-balanced 55:45 front-to-rear weighting, the SRT 392 turns in eagerly and feels more alert and agile than its substantial heft and size would suggest. Meanwhile, an electronic limited-slip rear differential allocates power where needed for additional stability and agility.
Riding on double wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension with adaptive dampers, the viscerally charged SRT 392 delivers firm and committed body control through corners, but is smooth and forgiving in a straight line. Reassuringly stable and refined at high speed, the SRT 392 was meanwhile settled and composed in its vertical movement. Its wide 275/40ZR20 tyres provide plenty of grip, while huge ventilated, perforated brake discs with 6-piston front and 4-piston rear callipers reassuringly bring its hulking 1,945kg mass to halt.
Well-insulated inside, the SRT 392 features supportive seats and a well-adjustable driving position. With sporty style, decent materials and driver-oriented console, the Challenger has a distinctly hunkered down ambiance. Front visibility is fine, even over its long bonnet, but limited rear and over-shoulder visibility is well compensated by cameras and other assistance features. Front space is good and rear is better than most coupes, but not exactly spacious. Boot space is meanwhile generous at 459-litres, as is the SRT 392's infotainment, convenience, assistance, safety and tech equipment.
Engine: 6.4-litre, cast iron block/aluminium head, in-line V8-cylinders Bore x Stroke: 103.9 x 94.5mm Compression ratio: 10.9:1 Valve-train: 16-valve, OHV, variable valve timing Gearbox: 8-speed automatic, rear-wheel-drive, electronic limited-slip differential Gear ratios: 1st 4.7 2nd 3.13 3rd 2.10 4th 1.67 5th 1.28 6th 1.0 7th 0.84 8th 0.67 Reverse/final drive ratios: 3.53/3.09 Power, BHP (PS) [kW]: 485 (492)  @6,000rpm Specific power: 75.8BHP/litre Power-to-weight: 249.3BHP/tonne Torque lb/ft (Nm): 475 (644) @4,200rpm Specific torque: 100.35Nm/litre Torque-to-weight: 331Nm/tonne Rev limit: 6,400rpm 0-100km/h: approximately 4.5-seconds (estimate) Fuel consumption, city/highway/combined: 15.7-/9.4-/13-litres/100km* Track, F/R: 1,611/1,620mm Weight distribution, F/R: 55 per cent/45 per cent Aerodynamic drag co-efficiency: 0.356 Luggage volume: 459-litres Steering: Electric-assisted rack & pinion Turning circle: 11.43-metres Suspension F/R: Unequal double wishbones/multi-link, adaptive dampers Brakes, F/R: Ventilated perforated discs 390 x 34mm/350 x 28mm Brake calipers, F/R: 6-/4-pistons Tyres: 275/40ZR20 *Est. US EPA