User Tag List

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-02-2009, 04:05 PM   #1
Mook's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Elgin
Posts: 160,994
 
Mook's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Elgin
Posts: 160,994
Casino cash: $204722000
36.00 per day
Default R&T Comparo - HEMI Dodge Charger SRT8 vs LS3 Pontiac G8 GXP

Ready to Rumble: A bare-knuckled brawl between Motown's 400-plus-bhp V-8muscle sedans.



By John Lamm • Photos by Guy Spangenberg
March 2009

Point either the Dodge Charger SRT8 or Pontiac G8 GXP down the road. With a light touch on the brakes, run the revs up a bit. Slip off the brake and bury the throttle. There's a light chirp as tires scratch for bite. Then comes a sub-5.0-second sled ride to 60 mph. A tick over 13.0 sec. and you're through the quarter-mile. It's a rush, of course, but not overly dramatic. Try the same thing with this pair's predecessors of 1970 or so and you'll find yourself in a bit of a wrestling match. Ain't progress wonderful? Maybe yes, and maybe sometimes it's fun to wrestle.

Just saying "Charger" and "Hemi" will get you a free six-pack in some neighborhoods. And well it should, whether from a young driver loving his new Hemi or his old man (heck, maybe his old man's old man) getting nostalgic about the original Hemis. It has been 58 years since the first hemispherical-combustion-chamber Chrysler V-8.

Today's Hemi isn't as hemispherical as its ancestors and we miss those broad cylinder heads and their rocker covers. Still, the new Hemi is a powerful-looking piece, plastic panels with "HEMI 6.1L" hiding heads that sport ugly coil-on-plug electronics. Look beneath the cast-aluminum intake manifold and you'll see the classic orange paint on the engine block.

The Charger's aluminum fuel-injected V-8 puts out 425 bhp at 6200 rpm and 420 lb.-ft. of torque at 4800 rpm. That horsepower number matches the advertised output of the carbureted cast-iron 7.0-liter Hemi of the early 1970s. The modern Hemi, however, meets emissions and mileage standards thought impossible 35 years ago. Incidentally, Dodge does not use fuel-saving cylinder deactivation for the SRT8's 6.1-liter V-8.

Just saying "small-block" brings to mind a fabled engine line, one that has produced over 90 million V-8s since 1955. It's said there are only two constants in the universe, the speed of light and the bore centers of a small-block Chevy. The GXP's LS3 V-8 is true to that tradition.

Displacing 6.2 liters in the GXP, the all-aluminum V-8 is rated at 415 for both horsepower (at 5900 rpm) and lb.-ft. torque (at 4600 rpm). Like the Hemi, the GXP LS3 doesn't use cylinder deactivation.

While those GXP power numbers are impressive, you wouldn't necessarily guess it when you lift the hood to face a plastic panel that hides the engine. This camouflage is pretty enough, but we miss seeing the actual hardware.

While Dodge's SRT8 example of the modern All-American muscle car is built in Canada, Pontiac's G8 GXP is sourced from Australia via GM's Holden division. Any American motorhead could easily talk with an Aussie counterpart right down to the specifics of eking more power from small-block Ford and GM V-8s. We talk in horsepower and pounds-feet, they prefer kilowatts and Newton-meters and drive on the wrong side of the road, but otherwise the language, the basic equipment and the passion are the same. Just don't slip, let the accent confuse you and ask them if they're from England. Or New Zealand. They hate that.

Thankfully, down in Oz they never liked front-wheel drive for their powerful vehicles and never tried such odd combos as the Pontiac Grand Prix GXP with its 5.3-liter V-8/front-drive powertrain. Reminds one of the time Bill Veeck pinch hit a 3-ft. 7-in. midget to draw a walk against the Tigers. The ploy had its intended effect, but isn't remembered as great baseball.

Holden's adherence to rear drive is why the company got the Zeta platform program, which evolved into the General's "Global RWD Architecture." Prospects for this program are hazy these days, but the Zeta is the basis for the Pontiac G8 and Chevrolet's new Camaro.

Specifically, that means MacPherson strut front and 4-link independent rear suspension with stability control, designs tweaked at the Nürburgring, a first for a Pontiac. Brembo supplies the front brakes, with ventilated rotors on duty inside alloy wheels shod with P245/40R-19 tires.

Pontiac was able to cherry-pick from the Holden Commodore line to create the GXP. There's a lot from which to choose, including wild versions done by Holden's Special Vehicles group. But Pontiac passed on tall tail wings and large fender vents. Staying conservative, it based the GXP on the Commodore Calais V-Series, onto which was grafted a nicely done Pontiac twin-snout nose and a unique air-scoop hood.

One look is all it takes to identify the Charger as a Dodge. That gunsight grille is as recognizable as Jay Leno's chin and looks as though it might take a bite out of you. Work your way rearward to the broad shoulders over the rear wheels and the shape stays powerful, like muscled arms from a sleeveless sweatshirt. An aggressive front spoiler, hood scoop, rear wing and 5-spoke alloy wheels add to the image. There is a version with Super Bee striping, but we'd opt for the standard SRT8's stealthiness.

Like the GXP, the Charger has foreign roots, the chassis an E-class hand-me-down from Daimler and one of the best aspects of the SRT8. That would be Merc's upper and lower A-arm front suspension, the 5-link independent rear design and the Electronic Stability Program. The red Brembo calipers on all four vented discs are quite visible through the wheels fitted with 245-width front and 255-width rear tires.

That chunkier shape of the Charger makes it look larger, and it is. Overall it's 4.0 in. longer and on a 120.0-in. wheelbase versus the Pontiac's 114.8. Although the Charger is 0.3 in. narrower, the two cars have identical heights and almost identical tracks. As befits its generally larger size, the Charger outweighs the GXP by 185 lb.

Still, by EPA measurements the interior volume of the GXP is greater than the Charger's. And that's felt in the rear seat area, where Pontiac comes out ahead. Ditto with luggage space.



Layouts of the dashboards of the two cars are similar, from readable four-dial instrument panels to the placement of navigation/audio/climate-control panels to rotary headlight switches to their steering wheel switchgear. Both are good-looking displays, but the Dodge's is a bit less fussy than the Pontiac's.

You can tell the GXP's design is not GM-Detroit. When would they use roller knobs for seatback angle and spec a Blaupunkt radio? These differences add to the Pontiac's imported aura...a hint of BMW or Audi?

We think the dashboard of the Dodge has a more solid look. The Pontiac's display requires more pieces, being built as left- or right-hand drive — hence the center console-mounted window switches — and doesn't have that carved-from-one-piece look.

And we love the Charger's in-dash test computer that will read out 0–60 and quarter-mile acceleration, lateral and longitudinal g's and braking distances. Thankfully, it has a memory or you might find yourself sliding off into the bushes while being charmed by the dial.

Managing Editor Andy Bornhop and I were split on the seats — he liked the manner in which the big side bolsters of the Charger's seats hold you in place, while I preferred the slimmer style of the GXP's buckets. To each his own, both seats being comfortable for the several days we were in the cars. There's no denying the rear seat of the Pontiac is more spacious than that of the Dodge.

GXPs can be ordered with a Tremec 6-speed manual transmission and SRT8s can't. Both our test cars, however, had automatics, five speeds in the Dodge, six for the Pontiac. Each has manual-select gates and we still prefer the Dodge's left-right gear selector over the Pontiac's fore-aft system. Then again, the Pontiac's automatic is more in tune with the driver, matching revs on downshifts.

Running through those gears, the G8 just barely beat the Charger, the score in seconds to 60 mph being Pontiac 4.7, Dodge 4.9. The margin slimmed to 0.1 sec. though the quarter-mile, the Pontiac running 13.1 sec. at 109.4 mph, the Dodge 13.2 at 108.8. While the LS3 does its work with a strong, healthy exhaust sound, the rumble of the Hemi is enough to make any V-8 lover weak in the knees.

Top speed of the Charger is claimed at 165 mph, while the GXP's is electronically set to 155 mph, thanks to its tires.

Braking distances were also remarkably similar, within a few feet of each other from both 60 and 80 mph. And with Brembos on duty in each car, there was no question of stability or fade problems.


This is getting too even-steven. Heck, both cars even have MSRPs hovering near $40,000. So perhaps you're expecting a difference around the skidpad and through the slalom, right? Sorry, no luck. Both cars generated 0.88g, while the difference in slalom speeds of 65.0 mph for the GXP and 65.8 for the Charger is not that significant.


Then again, how the pair went through the slalom underlined a major difference between these rivals.

Rush the Charger through the cones and you'll find it corners flat and planted, with little body roll and moderate understeer. Do the same with the Pontiac and it's a different story, leaning at each gate with the back end wanting to work its way out.

Hustle the Charger down two-lane canyon highways and you'll be aware of its wide footprint and just-heavy-enough steering. There's light understeer, but it increases driver confidence, especially as you pick your way along unfamiliar roads.

With the GXP, body roll is more abundant, and the steering feels almost too light — with limits less certain. Nevertheless, the Pontiac is great fun on the road, more alive and willing than the Dodge.

In short, the Dodge gives you a greater feeling of security on a hard drive, but you can go faster in the more agile Pontiac.

As you might expect, neither car has a boulevard ride — Bornhop calls it "the firm side of acceptable" — but given their performance potential they are quite livable for long hauls on all but the roughest surfaces.


As a senior member of the R&T staff, one who had the pleasure of road-testing the original muscle cars in their day, I love the Charger-G8 duo for a pair of reasons.

First, quality. Simply, the G8 and Charger are very well built and the originals weren't. Today's duo has the sort of build quality even many luxury cars lacked in the muscle-car era. Slim, even body gaps, smooth paint, good materials, reliable parts and pieces, and not a squeak to be heard.

Second, that sense of quality also comes across in the driving. Whether you prefer the more Euro style of the GXP's handling, as I did, or take Bornhop's side with the more American approach of the SRT8, both are fun. Or, once you've parked the cars for the night, you can think of the GXP as a fine Australian Shiraz, the SRT8 a quality American beer.


Should you get too ambitious on the road in either car, stability control is ready to save your bacon, backed up by airbags and other safety systems. The V-8s are not just powerful and clean, but also darn reliable. Ditto with the transmissions.

The pair's predecessors were a hoot in a straight line. But once the road began to shuffle left or right, they were not. These are. But one note of caution: If the Charger SRT8 or G8 GXP tempts you, keep in mind they may not be around two years from now.

There are new Chrysler 300s and Dodge Chargers planned for 2011, but the automaker's very existence is in jeopardy. Even in a best-case scenario, stricter CAFE demands will put the squeeze on the Hemi.

GM's plans already limit G8 sales in the U.S., and with rumors swirling of a major switch back to front-wheel drive for many GM 4-doors, a future rear-drive muscle sedan seems a bad bet. We can only hope the public will realize just how good these current cars are.



__________________
- TCG Owner & Operator -
Mook is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2009, 04:10 PM   #2
blakbearddelite's Avatar
I'm not one of your 'shit-hole' buddies!
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: South Elgin, IL
Posts: 24,654
I'm not one of your 'shit-hole' buddies!
 
blakbearddelite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: South Elgin, IL
Posts: 24,654
Casino cash: $14451504
5.56 per day
Default

I had no idea they ran that low in the 13's. I figured them for mid-13's, whoa! On the street I might find myself losing to one if my tires can't hook up.
__________________
2015 Mustang GT - KB2.8 and other goodies
2015 Infiniti Q50
blakbearddelite is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2009, 04:10 PM   #3
ilikemtb999's Avatar
I eat dirt
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 68,750
I eat dirt
 
ilikemtb999's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 68,750
Casino cash: $300000
15.92 per day
Default

so you cant go wrong with either....i think i like the G8 better though but i do like the dodge interior.
__________________
85 blazer.........turbo, 1 ton axles, some stuff
70 Buick GS.......resurrection in progress
10 Tahoe SSV lowered Baja edition
14 Caprice PPV woop woop
ilikemtb999 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2009, 04:15 PM   #4
firemandan1700's Avatar
Bite my shiny metal ass
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: LaSalle County
Posts: 8,639
Bite my shiny metal ass
 
firemandan1700's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: LaSalle County
Posts: 8,639
Casino cash: $2141316
2.08 per day
Default

i will take one of each
__________________
2015 Ford F-150
2004 C5 Corvette
1966 Chevelle - Under Construction

firemandan1700 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2009, 04:20 PM   #5
Bru's Avatar
Bru Bru is offline
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 36,897
Bru
Super Moderator
 
Bru's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 36,897
Casino cash: $2147483647
8.25 per day
Default

Ah, this is the article that Roger linked me to.

They don't really come to a conclusion or claim one is better than the other.
__________________
Bru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2009, 04:21 PM   #6
Mook's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Elgin
Posts: 160,994
 
Mook's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Elgin
Posts: 160,994
Casino cash: $204722000
36.00 per day
Default

ive always been a closet srt8 fan. they look mean as hell in black
Mook is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2009, 04:21 PM   #7
ilikemtb999's Avatar
I eat dirt
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 68,750
I eat dirt
 
ilikemtb999's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 68,750
Casino cash: $300000
15.92 per day
Default

that blue is sweet too.
ilikemtb999 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2009, 04:22 PM   #8
Mook's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Elgin
Posts: 160,994
 
Mook's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Elgin
Posts: 160,994
Casino cash: $204722000
36.00 per day
Default

yea its not bad. i only ever see them in red or black
Mook is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2009, 04:24 PM   #9
ilikemtb999's Avatar
I eat dirt
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 68,750
I eat dirt
 
ilikemtb999's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 68,750
Casino cash: $300000
15.92 per day
Default

i dont think ive seen blue in person; only black and red like you say...

all the srt8 cars look mean as shit.
ilikemtb999 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2009, 04:26 PM   #10
PANDA's Avatar  
Join Date: May 2007
Location: FRG
Posts: 34,154
 
PANDA's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: FRG
Posts: 34,154
Casino cash: $60961500
7.64 per day
Default

big boats get down
__________________
PANDA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2009, 04:31 PM   #11
Bru's Avatar
Bru Bru is offline
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 36,897
Bru
Super Moderator
 
Bru's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 36,897
Casino cash: $2147483647
8.25 per day
Default

That's the new color for 2009: Deep Water Blue Clear Coat
Bru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2009, 04:35 PM   #12
Smokinhot's Avatar
3-man rules!!!!
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Lansing, IL
Posts: 13,596
3-man rules!!!!
 
Smokinhot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Lansing, IL
Posts: 13,596
Casino cash: $33195829
3.07 per day
Default

The SRT8 is a bad bitch. I ran one in the TA and it hung in there, but i still got it. I'd like to own either of them
__________________


'04 Chevy Silverado ECSB - stock go fast parts....

'12 Hyundai Accent SE - Daily Driver

79 Camaro - WORK IN PROGRESS.....

Smokinhot is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2009, 04:38 PM   #13
EmersonHart13's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 45,542
Senior Member
 
EmersonHart13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 45,542
Casino cash: $59867000
10.31 per day
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by blakbearddelite View Post
I had no idea they ran that low in the 13's. I figured them for mid-13's, whoa! On the street I might find myself losing to one if my tires can't hook up.
Really, there are guys that got GXPs uner 14 stock... With the extra grunt and RWD it doesn't surprise me they get to the low 13s...

It will be sad when/if cars like this disappear.
EmersonHart13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2009, 02:32 PM   #14
RICH17's Avatar
Dr. Pussy Slayer, MD
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: The 007
Posts: 25,530
Dr. Pussy Slayer, MD
 
RICH17's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: The 007
Posts: 25,530
Casino cash: $110413144
6.49 per day
Default

GXP>SRT8 because it can have a stick.
RICH17 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2009, 02:32 PM   #15
Mook's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Elgin
Posts: 160,994
 
Mook's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Elgin
Posts: 160,994
Casino cash: $204722000
36.00 per day
Default

but is a 6speed word the extra 8gs over a standad GT? for some its not
Mook is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2009, 02:39 PM   #16
RICH17's Avatar
Dr. Pussy Slayer, MD
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: The 007
Posts: 25,530
Dr. Pussy Slayer, MD
 
RICH17's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: The 007
Posts: 25,530
Casino cash: $110413144
6.49 per day
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mook View Post
but is a 6speed word the extra 8gs over a standad GT? for some its not
and the extra horsepower potential? and suspension? I cant afford any of them but I would make the extra effort for the GXP
RICH17 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2009, 02:44 PM   #17
Angus's Avatar  
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Bentonville, Arkansas
Posts: 11,603
 
Angus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Bentonville, Arkansas
Posts: 11,603
Casino cash: $18439814
2.68 per day
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RICH17 View Post
GXP>SRT8 because it can have a stick.
eh... sometimes i wish my car was an auto...
__________________
2006 Saab 9-3 2.0T
And a minivan....
Angus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2009, 02:47 PM   #18
Mook's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Elgin
Posts: 160,994
 
Mook's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Elgin
Posts: 160,994
Casino cash: $204722000
36.00 per day
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RICH17 View Post
and the extra horsepower potential? and suspension? I cant afford any of them but I would make the extra effort for the GXP
8k is a lot to some people
Mook is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2009, 02:56 PM   #19
CamaroSS's Avatar
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 19,893
Banned
 
CamaroSS's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 19,893
Casino cash: $4602103
4.45 per day
Default

ill take 1 gxp with manual please
CamaroSS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2009, 02:58 PM   #20
Bru's Avatar
Bru Bru is offline
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 36,897
Bru
Super Moderator
 
Bru's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 36,897
Casino cash: $2147483647
8.25 per day
Default

I'll wait until Pontiac goes belly up, then buy a G8 GXP Manual for $18k in 2010.
Bru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2009, 03:36 PM   #21
transmaxed's Avatar  
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Palatine
Posts: 1,066
 
transmaxed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Palatine
Posts: 1,066
Casino cash: $6099400
0.26 per day
Default

Meh... i'll give the GXP some extra points cause it comes in a manual... but still id rather take the SRT-8 without hesitation... i just am not a fan of the G8.
__________________
transmaxed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2009, 03:38 PM   #22
bluzohh6's Avatar
The system works
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Elgin, IL
Posts: 10,570
The system works
 
bluzohh6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Elgin, IL
Posts: 10,570
Casino cash: $11581500
2.38 per day
Default

I just bought this magazine today
__________________
I beat Grand Prixs

OH MY GOD its like two apricots! ! !
bluzohh6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2009, 04:25 PM   #23
Bru's Avatar
Bru Bru is offline
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 36,897
Bru
Super Moderator
 
Bru's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 36,897
Casino cash: $2147483647
8.25 per day
Default

Hey whaddaya know, the SRT8 and GXP also have $3,000 cash back. Nice.
Bru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2009, 06:11 PM   #24
Yaj Yak's Avatar
Harbor Master
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 88,977
Harbor Master
 
Yaj Yak's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 88,977
Casino cash: $155770000
19.90 per day
Default

id rock either. no doubt.

although i think i would rather have a 300c over a charger...
__________________
01 525i
01 turbo pricks
13 gas 3500hd cclb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Outlaw View Post
TCG: We pull vanity fair models in our F150’s because Tesla’s are unsafe.
Yaj Yak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2009, 07:26 PM   #25
UWISHU1's Avatar  
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Hanover Park
Posts: 5,103
 
UWISHU1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Hanover Park
Posts: 5,103
Casino cash: $9591800
0.94 per day
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by STKoRn97 View Post
ill take 1 gxp with manual please
+1
__________________
2015 A6 DIB 400A VMP Mustang GT
2000 Buick Regal GSE
UWISHU1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:57 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.0.6 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
no new posts