Gang of four: Lotus Evora S meets Porsche Cayman R meets Ford Mustang Boss 302 meets Dodge Challenger SRT8 392

2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 Inaugural Edition

2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 Inaugural Edition

Yes, it’s got a Hemi, and the 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 is the biggest of this gang of four. It’s noticeably wider from behind the wheel and the engine has the deepest growl. It should. The “392” in its name refers to displacement and for those of you not up on your cubic inches, that’s 6.1 liters. It’s also the only pushrod engine in the gang of four, but it spins to a 6500 rpm redline making 470 horsepower and a broad spread of torque, maxing at 470 lb.-ft. That power and torque means the SRT8 392 sucks up straights like an oversized vacuum cleaner set on “overachieve”. SRT says 0-60 mph in the high 4-second range and the quarter mile in mid-12-second range with the automatic transmission, which with the standard paddle shifters was easy to use on the track.

However, although SRT claims a .90 g skidpad performance, the overall mass of the Challenger takes time to start rotating. Dodge’s performance folks should button down the suspension tighter too to eliminate the big engine’s ability to pitch the nose skyward on acceleration and to tame its gyrations, particularly compared to the gang members. The 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 is like a loaded .44 magnum. Watch where you point it and be careful when you pull the trigger.

Apples are apples and oranges oranges, but if we may abuse the fruit metaphor, we’d welcome any of these allegorical arboreal delights into our personal pies and marmalade. After all, they turned us to jelly.