• Feb 2nd 2007 at 10:06AM
  • 31
The Dodge Neon SRT-4 is the embodiment of domestic compact performance. Take a 2.4-liter inline-four, boost the Hell out of it, send all the power to the front wheels and watch the BFG G-Force KDWs disappear into a smoky cloud of torque steering bliss. It's a hootin', hollerin' good time and it doesn't really come into its own until you take it to the track.

That was the idea when Dodge decided to offer up 1,100 ACR edition SRT-4s into the public's hands back in 2005, and Pearson Hurst was one of the lucky recipients.

Read the rest and see a couple more pics after the jump.

Follow the jump for a few more pics, the car's mod list, and instructions on how to submit your own vehicle to become our Reader Ride of the Day. And next week, our themed RR of the Day will be back and we're looking for beaters. If you've got a decrepit ride that still manages to get your from point A to point B, we want to see it. Rusted, busted or smoking, submit it by following the directions after the jump.

The ACR package was essentially designed to meet the rigors of track days and cone-lined parking lots by providing enthusiasts a few more trick components, including BBS RX wheels, 5-way adjustable Tokico shocks, a thicker rear sway bar and ACR-emblazoned seats, with pass-through slots that would allow the use of four- or five-point harnesses.

Since the SRT-4 is so receptive to modifications, Mr. Hurst has already upgraded the ECU with a Mopar Stage 1 reflash, Stage 2 injectors and wastegate actuator, along with a manual boost controller, an NGK wideband gauge, a K&N filter and solid motor mount inserts. As for the future: it's all about the Stage 2 kit, complete with Mopar's Turbo Toys, that should be good for between 265-280 HP and close to 300 lb.-ft. of torque.

We likey Mr. Hurst, now get that damn thing to a track ASAP!

How to submit to RR of the Day:
Create a
Flickr account if you don't already have one. Search for and join the group called 'Autoblog RR of the Day'. Upload up to three photos of your ride to your own account at a size no larger than 450 pixels wide if possible and include as much information about it and yourself as possible. Even if your ride is sweet, it will not be chosen if there's not a lot of info accompanying it. Click on each photo and just above the picture it will say "Send to group". Click that and select the Autoblog group. You're done, that's it!

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Its still a Neon....
      • 8 Years Ago
      Car and Driver, April 2004:
      "The '03 car ran to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds and cleared the quarter in 14.1 seconds at 102 mph. The '04 model nipped 0.3 second off the 60-mph sprint (5.3 seconds) and ran the quarter in 13.9 at 103 mph. Braking from 70 mph (169 feet), roadholding (0.86 g), and top speed (153 mph) were all about the same for both models.

      The biggest difference is how the new car behaves in everyday driving. Now, the SRT-4 doesn't uselessly spin the inside front tire when exiting a turn. It simply hooks up and scoots. It is also proof that high horsepower, front-wheel drive, and a limited-slip diff don't have to be a recipe for arm-tugging torque steer.

      There is a light pull at the wheel when you floor it in first or second, but compared with the Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V and Acura TL Type-S (both cars have that high-powered front-drive, limited-slip recipe), the SRT-4 is a revelation. We also appreciated the neutral and crisp handling that is accompanied by a firm but not harsh ride."

      September 2005:
      "The Dodge SRT4 ACR — we were asked not to use the Neon designator here, lest readers conjure a wimpy, dental hygienist's car — represents a kind of descent into acronymic nirvana. SRT stands for Socially Regressive Thinking [It stands for Street and Racing Technology — Ed.], and ACR stands for Alabama Canine Registry [It stands for American Club Racing — Ed.]. The $1195 ACR package includes an even firmer suspension — yeah, that's what it needs — as well as 225/45-16 BFG g-Force T/As instead of the standard 205/50R-17s.

      Thus equipped, this smiley-faced Dodge is not so much a bull in a china shop as a tyrannosaur in a maternity ward. Not only does its turbo 2.4-liter four produce 230 horses, but it also churns out 107 more pound-feet of torque than the Acura. No surprise, then, that it bagged the quickest 0-to-60 time (5.6 seconds), the quickest and fastest quarter-mile blast (14.3 seconds at 99 mph), the greatest top speed (150), and the most enviable autocross time. The Dodge was the only car in our quintet to score a perfect 20 points in our coveted powertrain performance ranking.

      What's more, the SRT4 offers intergalactically powerful brakes, shedding 70 mph of velocity in 161 feet — supercar territory. If you're beginning to think of the SRT4 as more race car than street car, we wouldn't talk you out of it.

      Race cars make a lot of noise. The SRT4 was far and away the noisiest car in this group — at idle, at wide-open throttle, and at a 70-mph cruise. Racing engines don't have to be smooth. The SRT4's produces a riot of vibration and is so lumpy at idle that our testers couldn't write clearly in the logbook.

      Race-car seats aren't designed to be comfy. The SRT4's hold your legs almost at belt level, as if you're in a Formula Ford, and the bolsters were apparently designed to clutch onto Steve Kinser. The struts and anti-roll bars groan and gronk. The throttle-return spring is so heavy it could close a screen door. The rear windows are operated via manual cranks. And the spare tire is directional, as if the Dodge guys assume it's the first thing buyers will discard on the garage floor.

      While autocrossing, the Dodge felt right at home but was also the easiest to overdrive, with boost manifesting as early as 2000 rpm. Curb your right-foot enthusiasm, or the SRT4 will smoke its front BFGs out of every corner, even in third gear, plowing wide of your intended line.

      This feisty little brute might have placed higher (an SRT4, in fact, won our May 2003 "Serial Thriller" comparo) were it not such a one-trick pony. The Dodge was a perfect marvel on our Ohio handling loop and a perfect nightmare on the drive down — hobbled by the omnipresent lawn-mower exhaust drone, the let's-get-it-on ride, the rock-hard brake pedal, the torque steer off the line, the dense steering at low speeds, and the onlookers who assume you're a sociopath looking for a school bus to ram.

      Pulse-pounding velocity is dandy, until you want to sip an espresso latte while commuting to work at 6:30 in the sleet. Then all the boy-racer stuff becomes cloying. Still, if there's pavement in front of your house that needs to be torn up, buy your SRT4 now. This mobile monster disappears in 2006."
      • 8 Years Ago
      Why is it staring at me like that? It's eyes follow me around the room! Make it stop! Dear god! Make it stop!
      • 8 Years Ago
      It's just a Neon... Of course it's a "Neon" because:
      a. Too fast
      b. Outruns you
      c. Has never driven or even rode in one
      d. All of the above

      Anybody can say crap on other cars but with the kind of performance you get with an SRT-4 is sure hell worth it. Reliability issues? I've seen 2nd gen Neons go past 150k miles without problems. As far as SRT-4 goes, it might be short-lived with a minority of asshats driving like, well, asshats.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ok, I'm late to the party here, but I have to say that I love how much controversy and emotion this car stirs, with haters and the drivers. It's obviously something special when it creates such an issue for so many people.

      Also, note that the only people ragging on it are people who have never owned or driven one. That says a lot, it's obviously jealously at a tuner car done RIGHT. It's a DRIVER'S car, not a comfy grocery getter, it's built to GO FAST, TURN FAST, BRAKE HARD, and that's about it.

      Deal with it! SRT-4 EVAH!!!
      • 8 Years Ago
      These come into their own on the track? The very first autocross I ever went to, I ran faster times than two stock SRT-4's with experienced drivers in my bone stock 99 Accord V6. Maybe a track with long straightaways. These cars might have good power, but they have crazy body roll from the factory and have one of the cheapest interiors ever. Crank rear windows? Classy. Not to mention the resale value is horrendous on these things since you'd have to be a fool to trust a highly boosted dodge neon to go more than 100k miles.

      I could buy a 10 year old Neon R/T for $2000 and make it go even faster and handle way better than a new SRT-4 for a few thousand bucks. I've never seen the point of this car, not to mention that most (not all) owners of it are complete douche bags and in denial that they own a Neon.
      • 8 Years Ago
      yes.. its a neon people, get over it, it doesnt hurt our feelings, we know its a neon. A fast one :)
      • 8 Years Ago
      I hate almost all high horsepower front wheel drive cars, with a few exceptions and this one of them. I have no fondness in my heart for Dodge, or Neons, or the street racers that drive these for that matter. However, I have driven this (non ACR version) car, and for the money, it's fantastic.

      • 8 Years Ago
      The "its still a neon" attitude is so stupid.

      Don't get me wrong, a regular neon sure wouldn't be my pick for transportation but the SRT-4 is different. It's a great turbo engine in a dirt cheap wrapper that is hugely tunable and abuse-able.

      I'm sure not everybody who owns a SRT-4 necessarily likes neon's but they all enjoy true bang for the buck performance.

      When it comes to racing the only thing the matters is the clock, and nobody says to the MANY SRT-4 Auto-x, One Lap of America, Rally, Drag and Road Race winners "It's still a neon"
      • 8 Years Ago
      "No matter what you do to it, it's still just a Neon."


      Kinda like how strip poker is "just a card game?"
      • 8 Years Ago
      Some people are complete and total idiots. This car has to be THE BEST bang for the buck vehicle of the last decade. The ACR absolutely humbles the WRX around a track.

      Just a Neon? http://www.allpar.com/neon/neon-srt-4.html
      Try a litte research instead of making yourself look like asshats.

      Dave T.... They could just as easily ripped a CamCord in half, or any vehicle for that matter. Kids are Kids are Kids. It it not the machine, it is the driver, just the same as it takes someone pulling the trigger to fire a gun.
      • 8 Years Ago
      no matter what you do, its a neon.
      no matter how fast, its still a neon... I'd rather have a pinto.
      thank god they are dead, wont be long until all the 19 yr olds crash them and they are gone for good.
      worst RR of the day hands down.

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