Based on on interview with SRT head Ralph Gilles in Ward’s Auto, the internet is abuzz with rumors of an SRT-tuned C-segment product. While such an animal may be in development, there’s no indication that it will be market ready any time soon. Gilles reflected on cars like the VW GTI, which represent entry-level performance at an affordable price. Of Dodge’s former Neon-based SRT4 turbo, Gilles said, “The Neon put the whole street tuning scene on its ear with the factory turbo. We have to figure out how to get an entry-level SRT product to capture the next generation.”
Wishing and launching are two separate things, and an SRT offering in the segment isn’t likely until well after the launch of the mass-market version. It’s no secret that Chrysler is working on a compact sedan based off of the same platform as the Alfa Romeo Giulieta, but the car won’t launch until sometime in 2012 at the earliest. That makes an SRT-tuned version unlikely before 2013, possibly as a 2014 model.
If Gilles recalls the SRT4 with fondness, he remembers the Caliber SRT with some disdain. “I would say the Caliber was not our best work,” Gilles was quoted as saying. “We have to make sure the foundation product is already the ultimate it can be before we touch it.”
Source: Wards Auto