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Click above for high-res gallery of Autoblog autocrossing

Yesterday at Chrysler's annual media gathering to show off new products at the its proving grounds in Chelsea, MI, the struggling automaker wanted to demonstrate the performance capabilities of its SRT branded vehicles. SRT staff set up an autocross course on the vehicle dynamics pad and brought out examples of every SRT vehicle from the Caliber SRT-4 to the mighty Dodge Viper ACR. Before we were allowed to hop in the cars, we had listen to a short briefing that described the course and some safety rules. And before being allowed to climb into the big snake, we had to complete at least a couple of laps in one of the five Challenger SRT-8s to get familiarized with the course. For a big 4,140-lb coupe, the Challenger proved surprisingly nimble. We learned that with the electronic stability control enabled, it's almost impossible to get the back end to swing wide. The stability control has two alternative modes. The first is engaged by a momentary stab of ESP button and allows some extra slip before intervening, while pressing and holding the ESP button for five seconds completely disables the stability and traction control leaving only the ABS. Read what happens (and watch the tire-burning videos) after the jump.
 
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