Chrysler Group's Street and Racing Technology division is expanding its lineup with the addition of two new and more affordable "Core" variants of existing models: the 2013 Chrysler 300 SRT8 and the 2013 Dodge Challenger SRT8. Introduced in Chicago along with a cosmetically revamped version of the 2013 Dodge Charger SRT8 Super Bee, both of these newcomers embody a more back-to-basics approach to performance driving aimed at buyers seeking a more cost-effective way to enjoy the fundamental SRT experience while saving thousands of dollars. 

Keys to creating the "Core" character of this latest pair of Hemi-powered haulers comes from a selective re-contenting process. Thankfully, that revamp does not involve making any changes to their 6.4-liter/470-horsepower engines that feature cylinder-deactivating Fuel Saver Technology and still allow both to streak from 0-60 in less than 5.0 seconds.

For starters, leather interior appointments are replaced with premium black "Ballistic" cloth seat inserts from the SRT Viper paired with "Axel" cloth bolsters - black in the 300 and dark-slate gray in the Challenger. The primo harman/kardon audio package also departs in favor of each vehicle's standard-issue sound system and unique carbon and/or piano black cabin trim accents are added. On a functional front, the adaptive damping suspension systems give way to conventional - albeit SRT sport-tuned - alternatives, and each vehicle gets a bespoke 20-inch alloy wheel with black pocket trim and features black Brembo brake calipers.

Additional cosmetic tweaks on the 2013 Chrysler 300 SRT8 Core model include new "6.4L" badges on the front fenders -- their first appearance on a 300 SRT8 model -- and the availability of red brake calipers. The 2013 SRT Dodge Challenger SRT8 Core edition features a black grille, black SRT rear spoiler and a unique black "392" decal on its front fenders. Where the 300 SRT8 Core is available in the same color palette as its standard SRT8 counterpart, Challenger SRT8 Core buyers can choose either any of the eight available baseline colors or opt for a pair of exclusive retro muscle hues: Hemi Orange Pearl Coat or Plum Crazy Pearl Coat.

          See all the new vehicles unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show

As for their more budget-friendly bottom lines, the 2013 SRT Chrysler 300 SRT8 Core model will open at $44,990 - a heady $5,000 under the existing 300 SRT8. The 2013 SRT Dodge Challenger SRT8 Core starts at $39,990, a figure that puts it $5,780 below a non-Core version.

Rounding out the SRT reveals in Chicago was the 2013 Dodge Charger SRT8 Super Bee. A mechanical carryover from 2012 that's also fitted with a 6.4-liter/470-horse Hemi engine, it gets a handful of cosmetic tweaks. Highlights here include a unique SRT badge with a 3D helmeted bee mascot on a new split-crosshair grille finished in Gloss Black, a revamped version of the classic round Super Bee rear-fender graphic that now proclaims "Powered by SRT," and the same "392 HEMI" badges first seen on the 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 on its front flanks. Like the new Challenger SRT8 Core model,  the SRT8 Super Bee can be had in new Hemi Orange Pearl Coat and Plum Crazy Pearl Coat as well as Bright White Clear Coat, Pitch Black Clear Coat and TorRed Clear Coat.

The 2013 Dodge Charger SRT8 Super Bee starts at $42,990, a modest $370 bump over the 2012 model. Like the 2013 SRT Chrysler 300 SRT8 and 2013 SRT8 Dodge Challenger "Core" models, the 2013 Charger SRT8 Super Bee is due to arrive in showrooms this summer.


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