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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Veterans2 – correct me if need be with the details.


Well, September of this year will see the end of the Dodge SRT4 as we currently know it. With DCX planning to match GM's employee pricing plans (announced in Canada today), and the last of the '05s and '05 1/2's getting ready to be built, there has never been a better time to buy an SRT4... or take a moment and think back on it's short, 3-year run.

It goes to sleep as the king of its roost; the Cobalt SS, Ion Redline, and the various import competition still haven't matched its brutal assault on the sport compact market as its nearest competitor has nearly a 30-horsepower disadvantage. It’s still the best bang for the buck, and it still starts around $20k (US).

Originally, the SRT4 was simply the Dodge SRT, and instead of being turbocharged, the first prototype was supercharged. And only 2.0 liters to boot. But it caught people’s attention, and the SRT team (then called PVO; Performance Vehicle Operations) kept the project evolving. Soon yellow and red prototypes were photographed here and there, minus the production model’s dual air intakes on either side of the front Dodge emblem, and wore PT GT 17” rims. But the key ingredients were there – turbocharged motor, dual-outlet muffler-less exhaust (which many magazines doubted would make it into production), boost gauge and Viper-inspired race seats.

Then came the announcement – the SRT-4 would be built in a limited production run for 2003. Online forums buzzed with anticipation, and enthusiasts began to line up. The prototype was shown to Sport Compact Car and Edmunds – who both gave it glowing reviews and couldn’t wait to drive it again. SCC awarded the SRT-4 it’s newly minted “Sport Compact of the Year” award for 2003.

For 2003, only the US got the car – and around 3500 examples were built. Color choices were silver, black, red and yellow. The dealer markups that usually surround limited edition models like the SRT-4 were present, but many buyers were simply too informed to get suckered into them. The 2003’s only fault, as cited by many online reviews and owners was its lack of a limited slip differential to translate all 215hp to the pavement.

PVO was listening.

For 2004, the SRT-4 got a power bump to 230hp and 250lb-ft (up 15 and 5, respectively), and a Quaife limited-slip differential as standard gear. The tires were changed from Michelin Pilot Sports to BFGoodrich KDWs, and little bits here and there were tweaked. Also, a sunroof was added as an option for 2004. About 15,000 SRT-4s were built for 2004, this time being available for sale in Mexico and Canada as well as the US. Canadians everywhere (including myself) rejoiced. Yellow paint was replaced with blue.

Mid-way through 2004, the Kicker Livin’ Loud audio option was made available as well, replacing the stock 6-speakers with Kicker speakers, and a powered 100-watt amplifier in the trunk.

Starting with the 2003s, owners wanted upgrade kits direct from Mopar, and the aftermarket soon swelled to meet demand. But owners wanted to be able to tweak out their SRT-4s with stuff designed by the guys who built the car.

Again, PVO was listening.

Stage kits were released, suspension bits made available, and a whole section of the Mopar Performance Parts Catalog is now devoted to the SRT-4. Aftermarket parts from turbo upgrades to vinyl are now abundant, and the enthusiasts couldn’t be happier. 400+hp SRT-4s terrorize modded V8s at the dragstrips, while stock production cars like the WRX, 350Z, S2000, and previous generation Mustang GTs now shirk to the shadows whenever a burbling SRT-4 pulls up beside them.

PVO was renamed SRT (Street and Racing Technology) in 2004, the 300C SRT8 rumors began to surface, and the SRT-10 Ram made it’s debut. An exciting time to be an enthusiast - a second golden age of horsepower was upon us. Unfortunately, no one from Honda or Toyota got the memo, as the SRT-4 continued to sit on the top. Oh for sure, the Evo8 and STi have more go fast for more cash... but they're at the $30k mark. A stock SRT-4 proved to be annoying to STi and Evo8 owners as they could just not get them out of their rearview mirrors.

For 2005 blue was replaced with orange, and then mid-year silver was replaced with white. With the 2005 ½ ACR, the SRT4 reaches a balance many have sought with aftermarket suspension packages – a balance of power, grip and handling. Where else can you find a production car with adjustable suspension, limited-slip differential, and 230hp on tap direct from the factory for under $25k US? That’s right kids – NO WHERE.

As the SRT-4 Generation 1 comes to a close, I also find myself thinking back to when I first stumbled across SRTForums in 2003;

- anxious owners wondering what the hell “D1” status was
- members taking photos of SRT-4s being off-loaded at holding yards
- SOT and G/F thread #1
- the original war stories crew… before they were the war stories crew
- everyone getting excited at Mopar actually becoming “officially” involved with the forums… and the disappointment when they had to back out
- silverbullet’s horrible bad luck with his multiple accidents
- HybridKid, and the outpouring of support and shock
- myfaults’ and hemidakota’s battle for most posts
- ban stick day… I missed it… but man was it fun to read up on
- just before the first SRT-4s were shipped, the anxiety level on the forums was so thick… and us Canadians had to sit back and watch from the sidelines.

I got a lot of info and knowledge from these forums, and even today… after you wade through the BS of course… it’s still the #1 source for anything SRT related. Some of the seasoned veterans don’t post as much anymore, and the amount of crap is overwhelming at times. But search is still > newbies.

I have made many new friends and acquaintances because of the SRT-4; indeed one of my closest friends I first met because he was driving his new 2004 SRT-4.

So tip your glasses to the car that is not the fastest, not “the BesT3ST EVaR!!!”, but simply the best car I have ever, and will ever own. Thanks PVO.

Dodge SRT-4
2003-2005
Loved by those that knew them.
Hated by those who couldn’t catch up.
 

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:grimrippe :crying:


Quick...someone give me 100k so I can buy the rest of the colors that I don't have....
 

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Great write up, lets not forget Exhaust Depot's first system out for the SRT.....
 

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germany. and hey.. it's only a neon!
 

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I have heard that the whole neon line is going along with the srt4??? Anyone know anything about this? Oh, and btw, thanks man that was great, brought a tear like right there, almost came out...lol. Well I have owned one of each gen model neon since dodge started making them and I have my 05 srt4 on the way now. The first srt-4 I have owned :crying: Even my wife drives an sxt neon 2k4.

I can't wait... :eveilgrin :eveilgrin
 

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great write up.

wow- tips hat
 

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ya i smell sticky.

now....but i think we should all be able to put our S/N's at the bottom, like a sig or something. with a few select words of what we have to say about the SRT. possitve and negative (only if you own the SRT)...like 80 characters max.

kinda like a sign off or salute.
 

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Darnit... Why do I always have to "toot my own horn?" I remember that I had the first official video of an SRT-4 racing another car on the Internet. I raced against a yellow WRX from a highway roll as well as another friends 2nd gen turbo'ed Eclilpse (beating them both.) That video was released on a Friday and was being passed around on P2P sharing sites like "Kazaa" all weekend long! I even got a PM from a PVO engineer congratulating me on the wins.....

-Sam ;)
 

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Samel_Camel said:
Darnit... Why do I always have to "toot my own horn?" I remember that I had the first official video of an SRT-4 racing another car on the Internet. I raced against a yellow WRX from a highway roll as well as another friends 2nd gen turbo'ed Eclilpse (beating them both.) That video was released on a Friday and was being passed around on P2P sharing sites like "Kazaa" all weekend long! I even got a PM from a PVO engineer congratulating me on the wins.....

-Sam ;)
that was you!? :thumbsup:
 

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Good writeup.

I think we can all reflect on the entire Neon platform, since it's the PL and PL2K chassis that will be retired this year. Hats off to those in Belvidere, IL for putting as much blood, sweat and love into the platform. They did a tremendous job.

Dodge/Chrysler/Plymouth Neon
1994.5 to 2005 (Plymouth 2001)
 

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After this year it will make our cars even more rare.
Im very glad i bought this car and even if wrx sti's, evo's, and any other car might beat me, I am happy with my purchase.
 

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nice writeup......too bad the neon era is over. guess I'll have to buy used from now on :thumbsup:
 
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