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Dodge Neon SRT-4

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Comments

  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    "LSD might be nice but you can have lots of fun without it..."

    Considering the popularity of sideshows, I should think a LSD would detract from the overall fun for some...;-)
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    I have read many stories in magazines regarding long term tests of the WRX and they have all mentioned interior parts that were loose or failed.
  • ndahi12ndahi12 Posts: 235
    >>LSD might be nice but you can have lots of fun without it.<<

    What kind of fun is it when you launch and spin your tires while the car does not move. The SRT-4 has massive torque at very low rpm, it NEEDS a mechanical LSD. I drove a Spec V and that thing has a lot of torque and even with the HLSD launching it is a handful.

    I drove the Spec V on a road course and I can tell you that the car claws its way out of corners thanks in part to the HLSD. The SRT-4 will spin its inside wheel almost everytime the trubo kicks in.

    I have driven my 98 SE-R race car with a viscous lsd, with an open diff, and with a Quaife mechanical lsd and I can tell you there is a difference.

    A car with the power and torque of the SRT-4 must have an LSD to be fun.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    "The SRT-4 will spin its inside wheel almost everytime the trubo kicks in."

    That turbo is already in full breath at 3200 rpms. I don't see anybody getting unexpected boost in the middle of a corner unless they get a leg cramp or something...;-)

    I'd love to hear more about your experiences driving the SRT-4. Is the rear wing really that invasive on rearward visibility, as C&D says?

    LSD? Better, perhaps, a two-speed automatic and a torque converter, a la the Chaparral? :)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    "What kind of fun is it when you launch and spin your tires while the car does not move"

    That's not "driving", that's being a stoplight jockey. Anybody can do that. Just buy some slicks, problem solved.

    Most people don't need an LSD to have barrels of fun. Race cars are something different to be sure.

    Fun isn't about "results", it's about...well....fun.

    MODERATOR

  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    Ok. A SRT without a LSD is fun. Given.

    However, a SRT with a LSD is MORE fun. And it's not just about fun... it's about... well... MORE FUN.
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    I think the HP comparison to the high rpms v-techs is not right. Just from the drag racing results and the wheel dynos that have been performed show that no way the the SRT-4 only making 215 hp. The PT turbo may be, on a hot day with a heat soaked inter cooler, but the SRT-4 has many upgrades added buy the Viper guys that would make it impossible for both the SRT-4 and PT turbo to still be making the same HP. I bet the SRT-4 is making at least 265 hp. based on the 228 wheel dyno, and the 103 mph 1/4 mile times it has produced. Then there is the whole advantage of making lots more torque for a broad rpms range. Torque is the only thing that actually accelerates a car. 200 ft-lbs of torque accelerates a car equally at 2000 rpms as it does at 4000 rpms but the 4000 rpms torque equates to twice the HP it does at 2000 rpms. Same acceleration but 1/2 the HP! The key is to make torque a long time, over a wide rpms range to take advantage of gearing, yes it's good that the Honda's make lots of high rpms HP so they can maintain the gearing advantage for a long time w/o shifting, but even if the SRT-4 has to shift 3000 rpms sooner, it still is falling back into it's peak torque for another good 3000 rpm pull. The Honda only gets the long RPM pull in first gear, then it's just falling back into the same 3000 rpm pulls between gears, just from 5000 to 8000 rpms instead of 2500-5500 rpm. The real evidence of this comes in the 2 sec slower 1/4 mile times a RSA runs. HP may sell cars, but torque is what accelerates them.

    The LSD is looking like it will be available as a dealer add on by the time the SRT-4 even hits the streets and it may even be under $1000. Consider also the easy turbo upgrades available direct from the factory, something not available for the already tweaked v-tech. I guess you can always add a turbo to the v-tech if you want to make good power but your talking very big bucks then.

    The SRT-4 has a 70,000 mile warranty, so if you don't "melt" something in the first 70,000 miles then there is no particular reason why something is going to suddenly "melt" from 70-100,000 miles.

    From reports of people who actually did drive the SRT-4 on a road course, not a Nissan extrapolated into what a SRT-4 would be like, the lack of LSD is not as apparent as they originally thought. It does seem they dialed in a bunch of understeer from the factory to try and keep the unwary safe. Nothing that wouldn't be cured from the factory parts store, they already have a bigger rear bar and drop kit with higher spring rates planned that dials out all the understeer.

    By the time you add up all these great upgrades you still are just reaching what a RSA costs. Price gouging will surely happen but Dodge is really trying to get the authorized SRT stores to keep the price under $20,000 as advertised, lots of people will pay under $20,000 who take the time to find a fair dealer.
  • ndahi12ndahi12 Posts: 235
    >>That's not "driving", that's being a stoplight jockey. Anybody can do that. Just buy some slicks, problem solved.<<

    I was talking about launching the car at the drag strip. I do not condone any form of street racing, not do I participate in it.

    If you darg race you need an LSD to help put the power down. The Integra Type-R, probably the best FWD car, has one and it only has 130 lb-ft of torque. The SRT-4 has 245 lb-ft of troque and is FWD. This is a bad reciepe for massive wheel spin.

    I do not know how laggy the turbo is in the SRT-4, but I would tell you that most of the race instructors that I have talked to hate FWD turbo cars. The boost is not linear and when it comes on in a corner the front wheels lose traction and you get understeer. Couple that with the tendency of street cars to be designed to understeer and you have a problem on your hands.

    All this could be cured with suspension tuning and an LSD, but then the cost goes up above the 20K bench mark.

    Sport Compact Car reviewd the car and said that it needs an LSD. I say all FWD performance cars need an LSD
  • Does anyone know when the SRT-4 will be available to test drive... and when deliveries are expected? I have seen a SRT-4 TV ad within the last couple of weeks.
  • SPYDER98SPYDER98 Posts: 239
    245 ft-lbs of torque I think is already hampering the acceleration times of this car. Reports have been around 5.8 - 5.9 from what I've seen. Also the rubber in front is only 205mm wide. I believe with the hp to weight ratio, this car could be in the mid to low 5 second range. A tire and wheel upgrade of at least 225mm or more should however pretty much solve the traction problem. I had my spyder modified (rough estimates) upto around 250hp with 230ft-lbs torque and wheel spin was not an issue with 225mm tires. With 205's however, it was.

    And to the guy who thinks americans cant build decent hp to liter engines. The SRT is grossly underrated at 215 and is more around 260-265. Which would equal to about 110hp per liter. Which isn't too shabby by todays standards.

    This car will eat up any FWD sport coupe from japan (past and present). And it comes in under $20k, with a warranty!
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    Don't expect a test drive anytime soon. Unless you are looking at a dealer with a high markup. They may have cars sitting if they are trying to get $25,000 for one. Otherwise they cars will be presold before arriving for at least the first 6 months (at msrp or less). They actually should start showing up within the next two weeks as they have built over 100 of them by now and have just been putting them into a holding lot, it just depends on when they start shipping them. One rumor I have heard is that the warmer climates of California and Florida will get the first shipments, but a special PVO training course is required to sell and it may go more by what dealers meet the requirements first. Either way there are productions cars already built, tested, approved, and just sitting in a parking lot waiting shipping.
  • boomn29boomn29 Posts: 189
    I'm not the buy that put down American technology, but I have to say that the SRT-4 has a Mitsubishi Turbo on it....
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    Opting for LSD in a car like this would depend on whether it is load-sensing or speed sensing (non-Topsen) type. A speed-sensing type in this kind of road car wouldn't have a very long life I don't think. I wouldn't choose it if it were a speed-sensing diff.

    MODERATOR

  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    "I'm not the buy that put down American technology, but I have to say that the SRT-4 has a Mitsubishi Turbo on it..."

    Considering history, ownership stakes and partnership agreements, boomn, that pretty much IS American technology! :)
  • According to Kellys Blue Book on line, the SRT-4 is eligible for the $2,500 rebate. I would guess that is not true.

    Regarding demand, if it is as strong as everyone believes, I cannot imagine Dodge building as many as they can sell. The Neon is a poor seller, so they have a lot of excess production capacity, and it ain't exactly a collector's item anyways. I've seen the Subaru WRX advertised quite a bit below MSRP, so the SRT-4 will follow.

    BTY, I had an 87 Sundance Turbo - the engine was the best thing in the car. Let's just hope Chrysler has learned to build more durable shift linkages.
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    That $2500 rebate question is cropping up lots of places. The misunderstanding comes form Edmunds (and other) putting the SRT-4 as a trim level of the Neon. Dodge classifies the SRT-4 as an SRT-4, a completely different car. It is that way in the fliers, the websites, even the towing guide it is listed completely separate. All Neons do qualify for the $2500 rebate as well as other rebates like the Farm Bureau and college grad rebates, the SRT-4 (not technically a Neon according to Dodge) currently doesn't. On that note I hear some price quoting on-line services are putting the $2500 into their lowball quotes. Might be worth signing up for that price and then trying to hold them to it, but I'm sure there is some small print to let them weasel out of their mistake!
  • richt5richt5 Posts: 43
    I have contacted by internet DODGE dealers in my area for a quote on a SRT 4. After many notes, one dealer gave me phone numbers at dodge to call for information. This is what I was told: SRT 4'S will note be available till June of this year, orders will be taken sometime in march and the existing rebate on neons will not apply to the SRT 4.---- One dealer insists that the SRT is a 2004 model. So thats the scoop, dispite other things you read.
  • Finally, Dodge seems to be waking up. It should not offer rebates on the SRT-4. The car's demand will exceed supply through the first year of production at the very least, and rebates both lower the profits and cheapen the image of a car. Daimler-Chrysler deserves to make a good profit on this car...it's well-engineered and well-priced.
  • I owned a 1991 Dodge Spirit R/T. For those not in the know...this was a four-door sleeper. 2.2L 16V DOHC-224h.p. screamer. With very little modifications, it ran even with my 1993 Z-28 LT-1.The problem with the whole experience was very poor reliability! The aluminum head developed cracks easily, thus leaking coolant into plug valleys, the timing belt broke app. every 3000 miles. The car would run like s*** sometimes for no apparent reason, then run fine without any action taken to correct it. The point I'm making is that this car was a beast, but it was shoddily built and unreliable. This detracts from the fun factor...I've considered this SRT-4, but my better judgement will prevail and I will stick with my 2002 Mustang GT.
  • The plane old dodge sohc head didn't have those problems. There was a fix for the cracking problem where they replaced the steel, DUH, freeze plugs in the aluminum head with aluminum ones. I don't think any of the real fast, 12sec 1/4 or less, guys run the dohc head. I'd still like to have either a Spirit or Daytona R/T but I guess I can live with my turbo caravan. I also have an 89 5.0l mustang coupe and would keep a 02 GT over a SRT-4 but the SRT-4 is a pretty neat ride.
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