Today, we mourn the passing of a fallen pint-sized performer. If reports from Inside Line's Straightline blog are accurate, it seems that the Dodge Caliber SRT4 will no longer be offered after the 2009 model year draws to a close, and that's something of a shame.
As we've already covered, the 2010 Caliber is blessed with a significantly improved interior that brings the car much closer to its intended competition, a development that could have put the SRT4 on a few more shopping lists. Plus, if the Caliber is going to be filling Dodge showrooms anyway, enthusiasts and brand loyalists would surely prefer the option of a performance model. Of course, we're not sure how good a business case the small-volume SRT4 ever made for itself, so perhaps it's been a money loser from the get-go and Dodge didn't want to risk investing in any further model-specific interior updates. We'll probably never know.
Unfortunately, this news means that the 285-horsepower turbocharged engine and six-speed manual transmission from the SRT4 will never be mated up with the interior the Pentastar should have put in the Caliber from the very beginning. Oh well, hot hatch fans still have a few good options to choose from here in the States, including the brand new 263-horsepower 2010 Mazdaspeed3 that we recently sampled for the first time. Rest in peace, SRT4.