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Dodge Neon SRT-4



  • boomn29boomn29 Posts: 189
    I'm under 25 and own a 01 elica GTS (180 hp). With a clean record, I pay $1800 a year, which figures out to $150 a month.

    I'm wanting a new car next year, and am looking at the EVO and STi. Of course, I'll be 25 in a few months, so my insurance should nose dive...
  • jocko9jocko9 Posts: 65
    I wonder what the insurance would run on the SRT-4 for a 18-21 year old? I bet it would be pretty steap.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    It also depends on where you live. In many parts of Detroit, an 18 year old male's insurance on a used Ford Taurus is going to be $3000 a year. On a Neon SRT-4, it's going to be... ugly.
  • There probably are plenty of 18-21 year olds who live at home or have roommates and will have no trouble handling the insurance costs of an SRT-4.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,496
    Well, still, if he's paying $200/month insurance plus the loan on the car, gas, etc., even if he's living at home, that's not chump change for an18 year old (or his parents). He's ringing up $500 a month and he hasn't even eaten yet or bought a shirt.

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  • No, it's not chump change, but 18-year-olds who are already working (not in college) in some kind of trade should be able to come up with the dough and still get Mom and Dad to feed them...assuming they stay out of trouble. I think the SRT-4 appeals more to the blue collar tweaker market...the kind of person who's mechanically inclined, has some skills that are marketable Day 1 out of high school and will probably be a millionaire with 7 pick-ups with his company's name painted on them by the time he's 40. :O)
  • but a couple pages ago somebody made a comment about most of the old glh cars being in junkyards. Well I hate to tell you but there is a decent sized community for all those old turbo dodges including the glh. Those glh cars can still be found for under $1k if you get lucky or want one thats been driven into the ground but most go for a bit more than that. The 86 omni GLHS on the other hand is one of the numbered cars that Shelby built and those go for around $4k in decent shape and every now and again you will see a low mileage real clean one in the $10k range. The 87 charger GLHS cars go for a little more. I am a little biased since I own a hopped up 89 Dodge Caravan turbo that will take most imports aslong as its in a straight line :).

    Anyway I wouldn't buy an srt-4. Not that I think there is anything wrong with it, it's just not my style. I'd rather spend another $1k or 2 and get a Mustang GT and have a v8 and rwd. The srt just has a little to much of that punk street racer look for me and at 27 I just don't go for that crap. I am sure the 25 and under crowed they are shooting for will eat this thing up though. With all the young kids running around with massive amounts of money blown on their civics and crap I doubt there will be a problem finding people that can afford it and are interested in it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,496
    I think the comment about the GLH cars only meant to state a fairly well proven axiom in the car world---that the cheaper a car is, the more likely it won't survive over time. So any inexpensive hatchback is likely to disappear at a much faster rate than more expensive cars, regardless of make.

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  • I'm impressed with the performance advertised for the SRT-4. But why does it take 2.4 liters AND a turbocharger for Dodge to make the Neon produce 205 horsepower? The Japanese have three cars that make 100 horses or more per liter without turbocharging the engine: Acura RSX type S: 200HP/2.0 liters; Toyota Celica GTS: 180/1.8; Honda S2000: 240/2.0. What are the Japanese doing that the Americans haven't figured out? Are our engineers retarded or something? ;-) I'd love to buy an American SRT-4, but living in Arizona I don't trust turbos. The Supra Turbo I owned was always melting things, cracking the radiator, etc. . . too hot! Anyway, I wish American auto makers would crack the code of HP/engine displacement. I'll probably pony up the extra $2k for an RSX Type S and stick with one of Car and Driver's Ten Best, knowing that some punk kid in an SRT-4 will eventually have his way with me at a stoplight someday. But when I'm still carving corners at 100k, his burned out engine will be having its way melting everything in sight.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    Domestic automakers, and their engines, seem to be afraid of high redlines. As such, all of their normally aspirated engines are low on peak horsepower, and when the turbo is added the torque goes up way faster than the horsepower. The engine output certainly doesn't impress me versus what Subaru and Mitsubishi have been doing to blown four-cylinder engines for a decade. The story here is not the power but the price.
  • jocko9jocko9 Posts: 65
    I think you are exactly right. That type of pocket rocket for under $20K. That's the big story in the case of the SRT-4.
  • dsm6dsm6 Posts: 813
    Much more important, IMO, is the bottom line performance. Just look at that 0-60 and 1/4 mile et/top speed! That's out of the RSX-S, GTS-S league, and has a good shot at the considerably more expensive S2000.

    And with all that torque down low, its more accessible.

    But, IMO, where they really still fall behind is in quality, unless you want to throw hp/mpg into the hp/liter discussion for some odd reason.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    There are only two practical reasons for massaging a smaller displacement plant into high rpms and high hp: weight savings and fuel economy.

    To take an example mentioned above, the RSX-s has all the benefit of Honda's racing program, and makes 200 ponies with a scant two liters. The accomplishment cannot be denied, but any advantages offered can certainly be debated.

    Power: the S delivers 200hp and 142lb/ft. It offers up its peak hp at 7400 rpms and its best torque at 6000. It's got to be fully wound and stay fully wound to deliver its goods. There aren't a lot of people who know how to work a plant like this, and far fewer who will feel comfotable doing it. Quite a few may burn a clutch trying to learn. The 4 pumps 215hp and 245lb/ft with peak hp coming at 5400 rpms, which is certainly not at the bottom of its spin, but forks over 100% of the torque from 3200. I really don't think it's going to get winded in any run with an S.

    Weight: S comes in at 2778, the 4 at 2939. Clearly, in terms of strict numbers, the nod has to go to the S. When you add in the fact that the 4 has two extra doors and a fully functional rear seat and a real trunk, the advantage is a little offset. After all, unless you're made of money (in which case why are looking at pocket rockets anyway) you still have to live with the thing day to day. What's important is that the 4 is a compact sedan with numbers you'd expect from a compact sedan, IMO, while the S is a sub-compact coupe with numbers you'd expect from a compact sedan. So there's a difference of 161 pounds to deal with. We have 15 horses and 103lb/ft with which overcome this obstacle. Hardly seems an issue.

    Efficiency: S = 24/31, 4 = 22/30. It could be personal, but is there enough of a difference to persuade one to live with 15 fewer ponies and 103 fewer lb/ft?

    Breathing: There are still Omnis, LeBarons, Lasers and their ilk out there, and they still work. They may be gawd-awful ugly, but they're still chuggin'. This is whole new generation, and it's highly doubtful that reliability is going to be this turbo's undoing.

    Twisties: No one who has seen a Neon at the track will suggest that this substantialy better sprung and footed entry won't stick like marine epoxy.

    The practical reasons for going with the smaller diplacement plant are blurry at best. The emotional ones will sway some people with ease. If you live for high redlines, and deeply admire the technical wizardry that delivers them, Honda makes you happy, and all others will seem unsophisticated facsimiles. For any Honda admirer, I can't see them ever accepting any Dodge, or even acknowledging one, and I understand why, even if I don't share their sentiments.

    For the rest of us, big fun at a bargain price is back; the reincarnation of the Roadrunner and the GLH is here. Spend three grand more if you want to, it's your money!
  • dsm6dsm6 Posts: 813
    I think we are in agreement with respect to performance of say, the RSX-S vs the SRT4.

    But once again, there's the question of quality - quality of materials, build, operation, etc. Is that worth three grand? Depends upon your tastes. To me, yes. I mean, I'm as much a car enthusiast as the next guy. Actually, if the next guy is your Average Joe, I'm much more so. But when it comes time to spend the money, I definitely take into consideration some aspects of the car that have nothing to do with bottom line performance. Quality is definitely one of them. I plan to drive my RSX-S until its dead, which I hope will be many many happy miles down the road. Not a WRX, and not an SRT4, though both offer better acceleration by a healthy amount.

    Your mileage may vary. Ain't nothing wrong with that.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    Thought we weren't supoosed to make coments about
    r*** but we have a member who has the term in his login name.

    245 lb ft of torque is a bunch. I imagine the neon will be much more fun around town than a Honda.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,496
    As I mentioned to the point of boring everybody (and I'm going to do it AGAIN), I loved the Neon when it first came out.

    AT LAST---I thought---an American car that was cheap AND fun to drive around a corner, both at the same time! The American Alfa Sprint (small, light fun coupe for not much money)

    And the Neon WAS that, even if it was a bit rough around the edges.

    But you know, the quality issue got out on the street and people started talking, and then doofus Chrysler decided to castrate the car for a while for some unknown reason, and the Neon stumbled in the gate.

    Now if they can get that great combination back again, cheap + fun, and if they can glue the thing together to last just past the warranty, and do all that for $3K less than an equivalent Honda, that's okay in my book. Then the Neon promise might be realized after all. I can take the $3K I saved on the Honda to patch up the Neon after it hits 60,000 miles.

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  • ndahi12ndahi12 Posts: 235
    being forgotten is that the SRT-4 will be produced in VERY limited numbers. That will result in gouging. Same thing happened to the S-2000. So the 19,900 price will end up about 3-4K more.

    That makes mass produced cars like the RSX-S and WRX much more appealing. Moreover, the WRX and the Type S are still built in Japan while the SRT-4 is either built in the US or Mexico.

    The Nissan SE-R Spec-V becomes the bargain of them all. You can get a Spec-V for 16,675 from That is more than 3K less than the SRT-4's MSRP. I really doubt that anyone will be able to get this car for less than MSRP.

    You do not even get a mechanical LSD with the SRT-4 like you do with the Spec V. With that massive torque, the car really needs an LSD to help in launching and cornering.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,496
    LSD might be nice but you can have lots of fun without it.

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  • It's a fair question: quality of Neon vs. WRX and RSX-S. When it comes to longevity without pieces of trim falling off or annoying mechanical problems, okay the WRX and RSX-S will win, but not by a landslide with Daimler-Chrysler's production tolerances on the SRT-4, which by the way has a structure that's almost vault-like for its class.

    I have previously posted a link to Road & Track, where they actually thought the SRT-4 was BETTER than the WRX in interior materials and the solid thunk of its doors. Versus the RSX, I can't say because I've never been in one, but I'll assume that it's an Acura and therefore has the better interior -- but of course lacks some of the Neon's storage, room, value and performance.

    Another aspect of quality that deserves mention is paint. The 2003 Neon has one of the most interesting choices of paints (not the SRT-4) on the road, of any car, in my opinion. Some of them are downright artistic. The quality of the paint and its application is also very high...better than cars that cost much more. I'm not sure why Chrysler has chosen to do such a good job with random details like paint (and brakes), but it has. Makes the car look pretty sharp, and for about 14 thousands bucks with discounts, too. Not bad at all.
  • 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 Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,496
    "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

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  • 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!
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