If you’ve read news stories recently about the “imminent demise” of SRT, just know these are solely for clicks. In that same breath, if you’ve read them, the clickbait worked, but none of it is true.
Although news of SRT engineers not sitting in the same office together has filled headlines, it’s not because Stellantis is getting rid of SRT. On the contrary, SRT is doing better than ever, and Autoweek reached out to the Dodge Boss Tim Kuniskis, to squash the rumors floating around the web.
Kuniskis is on the record telling Autoweek, “it’s like watching the news, and depending on what channel you put on, you get a different story. It’s kind of the same with SRT. There’s a lot of rumors, then it quiets down, then they start to come back. One of the earliest comments from journalists is that they don’t hear a lot from SRT. Frankly, you should never hear anything from SRT. SRT is a very important core engineering group within our company, but it’s not a communications channel.”
Although the news has floated about engineers no longer working in the same office together, it’s not the story that journalists have twisted it to be. In fact, SRT sent engineers that were working on the TRX in one area, and the Rubicon 392 in another, and sent the engineers to work with other departments.
To us, all that sounds like is an effort to generate fresh ideas. When you put Wrangler engineers in a room with Charger and Challenger engineers, you might get a lifted Charger or a slammed Wrangler. Ok, that might never happen, but the point is, they’re trying something different. With success, unfortunately, comes negative dialogue. However, all that means is you’re doing something right.
People looked at the changes and felt SRT was being disbanded, but Kuniskis feels it’s the right thing to do for performance because SRT today is a sub-brand within Dodge. The highest model trims go to SRT, which is comparable to the Mercedes-Benz AMG or BMW M.
Kuniskis also notes that none of the high-performance model cars can exist without the base car team since you don’t have the economies of scale of the base car. Without the V6-powered Charger and Challenger, there would be no Hellcat – it’s impossible because of the costs associated with developing the platform or the engineering.
If you believe any of the rumors, we’re here to tell you now that, moving forward, SRT will become an even more essential piece of the brand. The SRT team has not been made smaller, and they’ll play a vital role in the brand’s future.
Kuniskis had one more message for those who feel that it won’t work because the SRT team lost its independence and won’t do crazy things anymore. “Without the interconnection to the base car teams of what will unquestionably be the future of performance, there would be no SRT. We looked at the future of performance and said, we need to get ahead of it.”