Stellantis has killed off the Street & Racing Technology (SRT) engineering team that created over a dozen high-performance vehicles, including the Dodge Charger Hellcat.
PSA Group, a French multinational manufacturer, merged with Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) in January of this year, forming the new ‘Stellantis’ brand. The $4.22 Billion merger was agreed to in principle back in December 2019, and was made official on January 4, 2021 – effectively ended the long-storied American FCA brand.
Despite the end of SRT, the priority of performance isn’t necessarily going away. “All of the core elements of the SRT performance engineering team have been integrated into our company’s global engineering organization,” a spokeswoman told enthusiast website Mopar Insiders. She added that integrating SRT’s personnel into other brands in the Stellantis portfolio will ensure that the lessons learned from decades of peddling speed will permeate other products.
Regardless, SRT’s demise sadly marks the end of an era for Chrysler. The performance division traces its roots back 1989, when some of the company’s brightest minds were brought together to develop the first-generation Dodge Viper. It then merged with Team Prowler to form the Specialty Vehicle Engineering (SVE) group, which was later renamed Performance Vehicle Operations (PVO) in 2002 and finally dubbed SRT in 2004.
SRT has operated as the manufacturer’s in-house tuner ever since, its history included a diverse selection of cars ranging from the Neon SRT-4 to the Hellcat-powered Ram 1500 TRX, and it was promoted to a standalone brand led by designer Ralph Gilles in 2011.