CHICAGO -- The Chrysler brand has its 300, and now the Dodge brand gets a 300.
But in Dodge's case, the number refers to the horsepower of the 2007 Caliber SRT4, a high-performance variant of the Neon replacement introduced last month at the Detroit auto show.
Chrysler group engineers wring 300 hp from the Caliber SRT4's 2.4-liter engine with the aid of a turbocharger and an intercooler. The engine comes from the World Engine family, a joint effort among the Chrysler group, Hyundai Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp.
That engine is mated to a six-speed manual transaxle and cranks out 260 pounds-feet of torque. A limited-slip differential transfers that power equally to the front wheels.
Dodge says the powertrain will propel the Caliber SRT4 from 0 to 60 mph in less than 6 seconds.
Exterior changes include a more aggressive grille and redesigned front fascia. The fascia includes openings to direct air to help cool the front brakes. The hood has a functional air scoop.
On the inside, the Caliber SRT4 gets sport seats with thick side bolsters, aluminum pedals, a 200-mph speedometer and a turbocharger boost gauge.
Stability control and antilock brakes are standard.
You may e-mail Dale Jewett at [email protected]