Secret to Saving Chrysler Found
This morning, I discovered the secret to saving much-maligned automaker Chrysler. It’s very simple, and it’s staring the company right in the face. What is this magic bullet, you may ask?
Why, the six-speed manual transmission with a pistol-grip shifter that’s found in the 2009 Dodge Challenger SRT8, of course.
Where has the company been hiding this marvelous piece of technology? Why didn’t they introduce it in the SRT8 line years ago, when the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger SRTs rolled out? Fans were up in arms that they only came with automatics, and back then they didn’t even know what they were truly missing.
Of course, the transmission wouldn’t save Chrysler simply by sales of its SRTs; the company should sell it to GM and Ford to use in their muscle cars. This is a heckuva lot smoother than what’s in the most powerful Mustang (although I haven’t tested the 2010 yet, but I’m sticking with my theory) and the Chevy Corvette. Believe it or not they're all actually the same basic transmission, but Chrysler has figured out how to make it work the best.
And you have to give the company credit for going all out with the pistol-grip shifter; it feels great. Yes, it totally adds to the “you’ve got to be overcompensating for something” scent that already exudes from the Challenger, but who cares?
Even though Chrysler has many issues with its lineup, there are a few things I’ll truly miss if it goes away entirely. This car and its transmission are definitely among them.