At the end of our week with the 2010 Dodge Challenger SRT8, we had a short list of cabin-tech quibbles that could stand improvement (starting with putting a voice-control button on the steering wheel), but we didn't want to get greedy and ask for "more power." Fortunately, Dodge's engineers can think for themselves and will be unveiling a new, more powerful variant of the SRT8 at the 2010 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, the 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392.
The 392 designation at the end of the model name refers to the engine's displacement, its Hemi V-8 engine being bumped up to a historically significant 392 cubic inches (or 6.4 liters, for those of us accustomed to metric terms) from the standard 6.1-liter mill. The 0.3-liter boost in displacement, of course, comes with a boost in power. Now rated at 470 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque, the 392 sees a maximum increase of 45 ponies and 50 foot-pounds of twisting force over the SRT8 that passed through our garage, with power coming on much lower in the engine's RPM range.
We had much praise for the Challenger's very un-muscle-car-like handling, but of course the 392's builders couldn't leave that alone, either. The vehicle receives upgrades to its dampers, suspension geometry, and power-steering system for increased grip, road feel, and nimbleness. Dodge claims that in 392 trim, the SRT8 now pulls 0.93 lateral Gs on a skidpad, which all sounds quite impressive.
Cosmetically, the 392 will differentiate itself from lesser SRT8s with "392 Hemi" badges, quad exhaust tips, and a larger front splitter and integrated front fender spats that Dodge claims aid high-speed aerodynamics and balance. The 392 also gets a painted decklid spoiler--although the standard SRT8's simple, unpainted black plastic spoiler just seems a tad more manly to my eye.
The Challenger SRT8 392 should join the standard SRT8, R/T, and SE as the muscle car's fourth trim level once production ramps up in the fourth quarter 2010, but before that happens Dodge will produce a limited run of 1,492 "Inaugural Edition" models. These special editions will feature one of two paint and stripe schemes (deep-water blue with stone-white stripes or bright-white clear coat with viper-blue stripes), 20-inch SRT wheels with a custom finish, pearl-white leather-trimmed seats with dual blue stripes and stitching, and a serialized "Inaugural Edition 392 Hemi" dash plaque numbered between 1 and 1,492.
Look for more details about the Challenger SRT8 392 and other customized Dodge vehicles as part of our continuing coverage of the 2010 SEMA Show.