Refining and strengthening an already solid foundation was the plan for Dodge/SRT engineers when they developed the suspension of the 2015 Dodge Charger SRT® 392. Incorporating new technology to complement the handling characteristics, chassis balance and driving feel of the outgoing Charger was the objective.
The suspension development process also took into account the fact that the Charger SRT 392 is a four-door sedan, which categorically differentiates it from its Dodge Challenger SRT 392 counterpart.
“We wanted the Charger 392 to be a little more civilized and a refined than the Challenger 392, because the four doors make it a more utilitarian vehicle,” said Marty Jagoda, Manager, Vehicle Integration Responsible, Dodge Charger SRT/Chrysler 300 SRT. “When we tuning process began on the Charger 392, we started with the outgoing 2014 Charger SRT, and we were pretty darn happy with the suspension on that car.”
Bilstein® served as the supplier and worked hand-in-hand with Dodge/SRT® engineers on the suspension. The front and rear spring rates were unchanged, but the base valve on both the front and rear adaptive dampers was retuned to provide a ride that is “as smooth as you’ll find in the performance sedan segment.”
“The base valve change allowed us to maintain the Firm, Sport and Auto settings for the adaptive damping suspension,” explained Jagoda. “It did not disrupt the balance of the vehicle. We gave nothing away from a handling standpoint, gained about a full point of ride characteristic over the road and improved the ride quality and comfort over the road.”
One of the most significant hardware changes on the suspension of the Charger SRT 392 was the increased size of the front and rear sway bars. The new sway bars are hollow, compared with the outgoing car’s solid sway bars. In the front, 32-millimeter bars are used. At the rear are 19-mm bars. This essentially maintains the lateral stiffness in the vehicle but with a fairly substantial weight savings.
There’s a Mode for That
Drive modes for the 2015 Dodge Charger SRT® 392 include Street, Sport, Track and Custom. Street mode is equivalent to the previous car’s Auto mode — a full range of active damping is available in this mode. Sport mode has been updated so that rebound, which plants the tires back to the road, is calibrated to be firm. Track mode is set at full firm for both rebound and compression. This mode provides the maximum in handling and grip, both in a straight line and through corners. Custom mode allows the driver to program elements from each of the modes, with the vehicle saving the last configuration. A double press of the SRT button in the Center Stack will quickly enable the Custom mode at any time.
“With our drive modes, we have the flexibility to accommodate everyone’s driving preferences, from the smoothest roads to the most aggressive race tracks across the country,” noted Jagoda.
Steering feel is also incorporated into the driving modes. In street mode, the steering effort is low, both in parking lots and at speed. In sport mode, the steering effort is firmer, and Track mode is specifically set for the track, providing a maximum amount of feedback and firmness. Each mode is also calibrated with input gradient to provide excellent feel in all scenarios.
The electronic stability control (ESC) settings have been updated as well. ESC can be either on all the time (Full-on/Street), off all the time (full-off), or put into Sport or Track modes. In full-on, the ESC is always ready to assist and aid the driver. Sport mode will open up the stability limits a bit and also removes traction control for burnouts. When set to Track, ESC kicks on in small amounts to help drift the car around corners and minimize track times. Full-off is just how it sounds — the ESC can be fully disabled for track/spirited driving.
Brakes, tires and wheels
The all-new Brembo® ultra high performance brake package from the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat is also part of the Charger SRT® 392. In the front, the brakes feature 15.4-inch two-piece slotted and vented rotors and 6-piston mono-block aluminum calipers. The rears feature 13.8-inch rotors and 4-piston calipers.
Tire and wheel sizes have also been increased on the Charger SRT 392. Pirelli® 275/40 tires are the rubber of choice, with a couple of different options available. The Charger SRT 392 rolls on 20-by-9.5-inch Slingshot wheels in Hyper Black.
“The new wheel and tire package is the same weight as the outgoing package,” noted Jagoda. “We increased the section width of the tire by 30 millimeters and the wheel by half an inch, but it essentially weighs the same. We really made an effort to go to a lightweight wheel to accommodate that increased width.”
No ‘Bones’ About It
Packing 485 horsepower under the hood, the 2015 Dodge Charger SRT® 392 is more than capable of providing an enjoyable day of spirited driving at the track or just hauling the family around town. Either ensures a smooth ride, thanks to the track-tuned and perfected suspension on the Charger SRT 392.
“The Charger SRT 392 is a fantastic car,” said Jagoda. “We didn’t want to change a lot from a core/fundamental standpoint — the bones of the car, if you will. We had good bones to start and wanted to maintain those and add the technology. I think we nailed it.”
Explore the 2015 Dodge Charger SRT 392.