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Discussion Starter #221
Next Dodge Challenger, Charger

Next Dodge Challenger, Charger Will “Use Electrification”

21 Jan 2019


The LX vehicle architecture that underpins the 300, Charger, and Challenger? It’s a 15-year-old design, stemming from an era when Chrysler was joined at the hip with Daimler. Following the Fiat takeover, the LX soldiered on, and it’s showing its age in every imaginable aspect.

Care to guess how much the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye weighs? How about the Charger SRT Hellcat? Make that 4,451 pounds and 4,334 pounds, respectively. A lot by modern standards, and this weight doesn’t bode well with fuel economy or handling either.

With the 840-horsepower Challenger SRT Demon, you could say that Fiat Chrysler squeezed everything the LX has to offer. Given the age of the Charger and Challenger, what’s there to expect from the next generations of the full-size sedan and muscle car?


Mike Manley, who replaces Sergio Marchionne as chief executive officer of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, made it clear “those platforms and that technology we used does need to move on. They can’t exist as you get into the middle-2020s.” Speaking to The Detroit News, the head honcho assured that “new technology is going to drive a load of weight out, so we can think of the powertrains in a different way.”

As expected, FCA plans to “use electrification to really supplement those vehicles." It is widely expected the Pentastar will go twin-turbo while other people suggest that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is working on an inline-six engine (codenamed Tornado). But for Manley, “electrification will certainly be part of the formula that says what is American muscle in the future. What it isn’t going to be is a V8, supercharged, 700-horsepower engine."

Given these circumstances, the days of the Hellcat V8 are numbered because of tightening emissions regulations and the switch to a different platform. Manley didn’t go into specifics, but don’t forget Ford plans to hybridize the Mustang.

Chevrolet also ran a survey in regard to the hybridization of the Camaro, which could introduce not one, but two hybrid options in the nearest of futures. Turning our attention back to the Challenger, analysts speculate that the entry-level powertrain option could use “a version of the company’s 2.0-liter turbo-four with 48-volt eTorque mild-hybrid assist.”

In the case of the Jeep Wrangler, the Hurricane engine comes standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission and 270 horsepower. Torque is rated at 295 pound-feet (400 Nm), making the Hurricane torquier than the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6.

On that note, how do you imagine the pony and muscle car scene in five to ten years from now on?

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Discussion Starter #222
Will FCA keep or kill Chrysler and Dodge?

Will FCA keep or kill Chrysler and Dodge?


26 February 2019

Thanks to Ram and Jeep, FCA has strong cashflow and is making a lot of money in the USA. Big profits can quickly vanish though when there are so many brands needing fresh models. Which is why some see Chrysler and Dodge being phased out in the 2020s. But will these historic names really disappear?

Talk of eliminating brands may seem alarmist. However FCA US is accelerating hard down a potentially dangerous road. Two of the Detroit Three went bankrupt in Great Recession and the one which didn't held a fire sale of assets so as to survive. All had the vast benefit of US governmental aid via vehicle sales incentives programmes (i.e. 'cash for clunkers') to stay in business, whether they took or didn't take direct cash injections from US and Canadian taxpayers. Could it happen again? Of course it could. Gasoline prices could spike and banks could dramatically rein in lending to the public and companies alike.

The big question is whether a new generation of Americans has a strong connection to FCA US and therefore a sense of loyalty in hard times? Can the company really sell itself as the underdog, the comeback kid, if it gets into deep trouble again?

What we once knew as Chrysler is thriving. Its main market though, is at the top of the economic cycle and when compared to GM, Toyota, Ford, Honda and HMG, FCA US has small cash reserves. Ram and Jeep are shining examples of American capitalism but we mustn't forget what happened to brands with vehicle line-ups heavily weighted in favour of large and fuel-inefficient SUVs. Tata Motors was able to buy Land Rover at what ended up being seen as a bargain price. Yet at the time, there was no bidding war for the 4x4 specialist and TML took a mighty gamble, which paid off.

FCA is out of debt, and even though its cash pile, while rising, isn't huge, the company isn't nearly as exposed as General Motors and Volkswagen AG are to three big risks. Namely China, electrified vehicles and autonomous drive (AD). Neither FCA US nor FCA Italy has had the money or the inclination to spend big on electric vehicles, the Auburn Hills-based half of the firm has kept its involvement in robo-vehicles to a low level US-based partnership with Waymo and while Fiat was a major disappointment in China, things look promising for Jeep.

There is virtually no involvement from Dodge in EVs, or AD and the brand has zero presence in the PRC. Chrysler, by contrast, is part of the autonomous experiment with Google's parent, there is one PHEV vehicle in its small line-up and the brand has been pulled from multiple countries. All being well, there is probably no reason why both Chrysler and Dodge cannot thrive in a future where they remain largely restricted to North America.

What happens to the latter's muscle cars though, if there is a dramatic surge in the price of a barrel of oil though? And can the cost of engineering new vehicles for the Chrysler brand be justified at a time when the company needs to be looking hard at which technologies it places future bets on, and which it holds back from?

There is one other elephant in the room, namely multiple rounds of union contract negotiations for contracts which will applicable in the 2020s. These are coming into view and questions are already being asked: what is or isn't planned for not only US plants but also two in Canada which happen to make the majority of Chrysler and Dodge models? Both Windsor and Brampton - FCA's Ontario plants - are going to need new products which means major investments. Will that happen?

Chrysler

The 300 successor had been expected to use FCA's Giorgio rear- and all-wheel drive architecture. In May 2016, however, FCA's then CEO Sergio Marchionne stated that the replacement model might instead share the architecture of the Pacifica and be produced alongside the big minivan at Windsor in Ontario.

The company is still yet to state whether or not it will even replace the 300 and other LX platform vehicles. For a time this led to rumours that Brampton, the plant in Ontario where all of Chrysler and Dodge's big RWD/AWD sedans and coupes are manufactured, could be closed. Alternatively, it had been speculated that any successors might still be RWD/AWD but instead use the Giorgio platform and be built in Mexico at Toluca.

The October 2016 announcement of plans to give Brampton a new paint shop appears to have increased chances that the factory may also be used for the next generation model Dodges at least.

Later in October 2016, speaking to analysts on the topic of FCA's third quarter financials, Marchionne failed to mention the Chrysler 300 in the context of having a RWD/AWD successor: "The important thing for us was to preserve the uniqueness of the rear-wheel-drive offering that we have across four brands: Alfa, Maserati, Dodge and potentially Jeep. And that solution has been nailed down internally by focusing on the Giorgio architecture".

What Marchionne said is taken to mean that either the car would not be replaced or else it would shift to an FWD/AWD architecture. Now, it is seems as though FCA will introduce a new 300. It is not known though, which of two scenarios will play out.

Option one for the 300 is to based on an evolution of the existing model's platform and build it alongside the replacements for the Dodge Charger and Challenger at Brampton in Ontario. Option two is to switch this model to a front-wheel drive architecture and make it on the same line as the Pacifica, a large minivan. That would be at FCA Canada's other plant - Windsor - which is in the same province. However if Windsor gains the rumoured Chrysler Aspen, a front- and all-wheel drive crossover, then it likely wouldn't need a FWD/AWD 300 successor to remain viable.

Whatever happens, we are unlikely to see any 300 successor until the 2021 model year.

Some have claimed that FCA wants to give the Chrysler brand more crossovers and that the Pacifica will be the basis of a large, seven-seat model due in 2021 for the 2022 model year. The Aspen model name would supposedly be revived. It has also been claimed that this model might be closely based on the Jeep Grand Commander, a front- and all-wheel drive model which is built solely in China. If the second rumour becomes fact, then the Aspen would likely be manufactured in the USA.

While some wondered about the wisdom of staying in a shrinking segment, FCA has enjoyed strong sales of its now three-year old Pacifica. This 5.2m long minivan was first seen at the Detroit auto show in January 2016, with production commencing during the following month. It uses a bespoke platform and can be ordered in seven- or eight-seat formats. The sole engine is a 287hp version of FCA's Pentastar 3.6-litre V6, and the standard transmission is a nine-speed ZF automatic. The model name in China and certain other countries is or has been Grand Voyager.

The RU series Pacifica/Grand Voyager is due to be facelifted in CY2020 and then replaced for the 2024 model year.

Arguably one of the most interesting of any model made by Fiat Chrysler is the Pacifica Hybrid. In spite of its name, this is a PHEV, the electric range of which is around 30 miles maximum. Production commenced (slowly) in November 2016. However, due to an undisclosed reason, FCA did not release any cars to dealers until mid-April 2017.

One of the reasons why this vehicle is so interesting is that it has no direct rivals: neither Toyota nor Honda offers PHEV versions of their Sienna and Odyssey minivans respectively. The Chrysler's engine is a 248hp version of FCA US' 3.6-litre Pentastar V6, linked to a 16kWh lithium ion battery pack. The latter is located under the second row of seats and supplied by LG Chem. The Korean firm makes the packs at a factory in Michigan. The same plant produces battery packs for the Chevrolet Bolt.

Waymo, Alphabet's self driving cars division (formerly Google's autonomous experimental cars division), took delivery of 100 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrids in late 2016, each of which was fitted with AD technology and sent out for testing. In April 2017, FCA told the media that it would begin producing a further 500 vans for Waymo from May 2017. Then in January 2018, FCA said it had received an order for 'thousands' more of the vehicles.

The autonomous vehicles were produced at the Windsor plant in Ontario and then turned into driverless taxis by Chrysler technicians at a specialist operation in suburban Detroit before being deployed during 2018.

There was further news from FCA in June 2018 when it announced that Waymo had ordered yet more Pacifica Hybrids to be used as robo-taxis. The number in question was stated as being "up to 62,000". FCA US and Waymo also announced that they would begin discussions about the use of Waymo self-driving technology, including potentially through licensing, in a FCA-manufactured vehicle available to retail customers.

The 2019 model year Pacifica Hybrid was announced in June 2018. There were no major changes. A facelift is expected for the 2020 model year and a replacement in CY2023.

The Portal, a concept vehicle based on the Pacifica, premiered at the CES in January 2017 and it was also shown at the following week's Detroit auto show. FCA's Sergio Marchionne stated at the latter event that a vehicle inspired by the Portal might make production but there were no other specifics.

Dodge

Speaking at the 2018 Detroit auto show, FCA's then CEO Sergio Marchionne said he believed that the Caravan needed an eventual replacement. This was a 180-degree pivot from the company's previous opinion on this issue.

It is assumed that the successor will be closely related to the Chrysler Pacifica and therefore manufactured in Ontario at the Windsor plant. The platform would be SUSW. There would likely be a plug-in hybrid variant too. There are conflicting reports about when such a vehicle would reach production. It could arrive as soon as for the 2020 model year.

What was at the time said to be the next generation of the Charger, a large sedan, was revealed in prototype form to dealers attending an FCA event in Las Vegas in August 2015. Its release was delayed. And delayed again. We are still waiting to hear when or even if FCA US will replace the LD series Charger, production of which commenced more than eight years ago. It is now expected for the 2021 model year, which means in about 18 months' time.

The company is also yet to state where it will build replacements for its LX platform vehicles. For a time, this led to rumours that it might close the Brampton plant in Ontario which builds all big Chrysler and Dodge RWD/AWD sedans and coupes.

The October 2016 announcement of plans to give Brampton a new paint shop appears to have increased chances that the factory which makes the existing car would be used for the next generation LF (model code) model.

FCA made its plans for this and other future models official at a presentation in June 2018, although past actions show that the company may veer from the direction it has publicly stated. Where once it had been assumed that Brampton or another plant - possibly Toluca in Mexico - would be retooled for Giorgio architecture vehicles, now it has been suggested that the cheaper option of revamping the LX platform is what FCA has decided to do. Many find themselves wondering how viable it is for the aged and low-tech architecture of the current Chrysler 300 plus two closely linked Dodge models to be future-proofed for the ever more stringent regulations coming in the 2020s.

Dodge's other RWD car is the Challenger. Much to the annoyance of General Motors and Ford, this old coupe, which isn't even available in convertible form, nonetheless outsells the far more modern Chevy Camaro and Ford Mustang. Much of that is due to the brilliance of a strategy which has seen ever more powerful variants rolled out. As none of these has been inexpensive, cars such as the pictured Redeye have done wonders not only for the image of Dodge but also for the division's profitability.

Even against the backdrop of the latest fight between the US federal government and California over a potential delay or cancellation of higher fleet average fuel economy regulations, FCA is unlikely to place all its bets on big capacity engines for the (still not confirmed) Charger and Challenger successors. Gasoline prices could spike too so a four-cylinder engine might be needed for these cars.

Any replacement for the Challenger probably won't appear until the 2021 model year. FCA may revive an historic nameplate either for the coupe or instead for a second body style: a prototype called Barracuda, a big RWD convertible, was shown to dealers at an event in Los Angeles back in August 2015.

There are multiple other Dodge models but some of these are restricted to the Mexican market and are rebadged versions of other brands' cars. See the link below to read about their details.

Reports for many other manufacturers' future models are grouped in the OEM product strategy summaries section of just-auto.com.

Future product program intelligence


More detail on past, current and forthcoming models can be found in PLDB, the future vehicles database which is part of QUBE. That includes various other Chrysler or Dodge models not mentioned above, including the Neon, Attitude, Vision, Durango and Journey.

Fiat was the first, then came Abarth, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Maserati, and this was the seventh feature in a series covering current and future passenger vehicles made by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. The two remaining reports will focus on Jeep and Ram.
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Discussion Starter #223
The Jeep® E-volution Showcased in Geneva


The Jeep® E-volution Showcased in Geneva


Preview of the new Jeep® Renegade and Jeep Compass with plug-in hybrid electric technology
New PHEV technology enhances the Jeep off-road performance taking advantage of the high torque control during take-off
The combined action of the two propulsion systems delivers up to 240 hp
Both Jeep SUVs feature batteries which can be recharged by the internal combustion engine or by the plug-in charging cable
The evolution of the Jeep brand in Europe continues and stays true to its core values of freedom, authenticity, adventure and passion


March 5, 2019 , Geneva -

The Jeep® brand continues to surprise audiences at this year’s Geneva International Motor Show.

After setting a new global sales record in 2018, the Jeep brand welcomes 2019 as the year of an evolution that remains true to those core values that have been at the heart of the brand for almost 80 years. The Jeep brand has always pioneered new segments and new technologies: its legend started in 1941 with the Willys-Overland, the first 4x4 vehicle, followed in 1946 by the Willys Wagon, which first introduced the concept of the Sport Utility Vehicle. Its legendary reputation for off-road capability has lasted ever since. Comfort, handling and connectivity have been increased over time, in parallel with the all-terrain performance of Jeep SUVs. Today, the Jeep brand is making another major evolutionary step toward respecting the environment and reducing the total cost of ownership by presenting its new plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) models. A no-compromise hybrid solution, which integrates the unmatched technical layout of each Jeep SUV, will power both the Jeep Renegade and Jeep Compass and will turn them into vehicles that provide absolute freedom while taking their capability to the next level through some of the most advanced eco-friendly technology.

New Renegade and Compass PHEV: Power and Range
In the spotlight at the Jeep stand in Geneva, these new plug-in hybrid models are equipped with batteries that are rechargeable from an external power outlet and, as a consequence, can store more electric energy. This choice allows for the use of more powerful electric motors, which translate into a pure electric range of approximately 50 kilometers and about 130 km/h full electric top speed for both Renegade and Compass.

The electric units work in synergy with the new 1.3-litre turbo petrol engine to increase efficiency and power overall. For the Renegade, the power sits in the 190 and 240 hp range resulting in outstanding on-road performance: 0-100 km/h is reached in approximately 7 seconds. The same figures – although still pending homologation – are achieved by the first plug-in hybrid Compass. Also, on the Compass, the simultaneous action of the internal combustion engine (ICE) and the electric motor delivers up to 240 hp of maximum power.

In addition, the new Jeep SUVs with plug-in hybrid technology are more fun to drive courtesy of improved acceleration and fast engine response. They are also extremely quiet and respectful of the environment with CO2 emissions lower than 50 g/km.

But above all, thanks to electrification, the Jeep range further improves its legendary off-road capability, courtesy of the greater torque offered by the electric motor and the ability to adjust it with extreme precision during take-off and while driving on the most challenging terrain, where a very low transmission ratio is needed.

Thanks to the new electric all-wheel-drive technology (eAWD), traction to the rear axle is not provided by a prop shaft but through a dedicated electric motor. This allows the two axles to be separated and to control the torque independently in a more effective way than a mechanical system.

Renegade and Compass PHEVs feature a dedicated instrument cluster and infotainment screen, updated in order to help the customer with information related to daily hybrid driving.

While being loyal to its mindset of overcoming any limit, the Jeep brand continues to evolve, to develop and to bring its SUVs to the next level in line with its core values of freedom, authenticity and passion. Today the brand is embracing a new challenge and setting new standards. Behind the wheel of Jeep Renegade and Jeep Compass featuring PHEV technology, driving fun becomes efficient and, for the first time, it will be possible to tackle the most extreme off-road trails not only in the utmost safety but also while listening to the sounds of nature.
 

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Discussion Starter #224
Chrysler Pacifica Rumored To Get All-Wheel Drive

Chrysler Pacifica Rumored To Get All-Wheel Drive

The only other 4x4 minivan in the U.S. is the Toyota Sienna.


March 7, 2019

The Chrysler Pacifica is one of the best, if not the best, minivans on sale in the United States today. We love it for many reasons and, after testing the Pacifica Hybrid, Motor1.com’s Editor in Chief, John Neff, even questioned the point of considering other models in the segment when shopping for a brand new people-mover. But is there something the automaker could do to make the model even more attractive? Yes, and it’s called all-wheel drive.

According to a new report from Automotive News, Chrysler is already working on an AWD version of the Pacifica. The information is not officially confirmed by the manufacturer but comes from the director of Unifor, the organization that represents about 6,000 hourly workers at the Pacifica plant in Windsor, Dino Chiodo. His words were also supported by “two sources who didn’t want to be named.”

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Will Ram Ever Bring Back a Midsize Truck? Maybe

Will Ram Ever Bring Back a Midsize Truck? Maybe

Mar 14, 2019



Automakers from GM and Toyota to Nissan, Honda, and Ford all sell midsize pickups in North America. Even FCA’s legendary Jeep brand now has an offering in this segment with the Wrangler-based Gladiator. But what about Ram?

“Yeah, my first truck was a (Dodge) Dakota back in the ‘80s so [it’s] certainly something that is near and dear to my heart,” said Jim Morrison, head of the Ram brand in North America. “We continue to work on that segment from a business-case perspective, but I don’t have anything to report for you.”

It’s a rare day when automotive executives comment on future product plans, so Morrison’s answer to the midsize-truck question is not unexpected, however, he did make an interesting comment about pricing.

“I can tell you one thing,” he said. “Our entry-level Classic models are doing very well with a lot of those customers that are saying, ‘OK, hey, do I want a midsize truck, or do I want a full-size truck?’”




Even with more manageable exterior dimensions and enhanced fuel efficiency, midsize pickups aren’t necessarily a good value. For instance, a handful of popular options like four-wheel drive, a SuperCrew body and XLT trim is enough to push the Ford Ranger’s price well into F-150 territory. The story is much the same with other rivals like GMC’s Canyon and Sierra pickups.

Instead of jumping into the fray with a midsize model of its own, Ram has taken a slightly different approach. For the time being, they’ve kept their previous generation half-ton truck in production alongside the totally redesigned 2019 model. This allows them to offer buyers a well-equipped full-size pickup for roughly midsize money.

Morrison said the Ram 1500 Classic is selling very well and helping bring plenty of entry-level buyers to the brand. He noted it’s also a great fleet truck, being offered in affordable Tradesman and Express trims.

And once someone buys a Ram, there’s a good chance they’ll come back for another one. Morrison said, “we have the highest loyalty of any half-ton pickup.” Whether they start with a Classic or an abundantly optioned heavy-duty model “our full intention is to keep them as Ram customers for life.”



Beyond its strong value, the Ram 1500 Classic has one other advantage over the all-new Ram 1500: you can still get one with an oil-burning engine. FCA’s popular and efficient EcoDiesel V6 is on the powertrain menu, delivering 240 horses with 420 pound-feet of torque. According to an FCA spokesperson, it’s currently available in 2018 model-year Ram 1500 Classics and it’s coming to the 2019 model later this year.

If you want diesel power in the all-new Ram 1500 you’ve got to wait. FCA hasn’t revealed an exact on-sale date for this engine but Morrison expects it to launch at some point in 2019. “It’s a different engine, so, it’s going through some upgrades,” he said. “That’s typical to how we launched the diesel last time.” They pushed the gasoline engines out first and then in a later model year delivered the EcoDiesel. “So, we’re kind of tracking along that same timeline,” he added.


The folks at Ram are well aware of what’s going on in the midsize-pickup market. And at least for the time being it sounds like they don’t feel the need to offer such a truck, with he Ram 1500 Classic priced to attract buyers shopping this segment.

2019 Ram 1500 eTorque Review - First Drive

2019 Ram 1500 Review - First Drive
 

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Discussion Starter #226
Dodge Charger Widebody concept



03/26/2019

Dodge Charger Widebody concept
Spring Festival image

At the recent 2019 Spring Festival — a celebration of Dodge and Chrysler cars based on the LX platform and its subsequent updates, like the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Challenger and Charger — a "concept" Dodge Charger Widebody made an appearance. Featuring flared fenders, blacked-out wheels and much wider tires, the Charger Widebody concept looks just as mean as its Challenger sibling.

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Discussion Starter #227
ZF secures deal with Fiat Chrysler

ZF secures deal with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles



July 9, 2019

Series production will start in Germany in 2022 and eventually move to Gray Court facility

Less than 90 days after announcing the largest order in their company’s history in a deal with BMW worth billions, ZF has now confirmed their second largest order to build transmissions for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA).

ZF will deliver 8-speed-transmissions for rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive vehicles with front-longitudinal drive configuration for FCA. Although series production will kick-off at ZF’s plant in Saarbruecken, Germany in 2022, company spokesperson, Ashley Van Horn told the Upstate Business Journal the automotive supplier will eventually build the transmissions at their facility in Gray Court.


The FCA announcement is more good news for ZF and the Upstate, she said. This is a positive development for ZF and the community, and “we are thankful for the workforce and partnerships in the area that support us.”

To ensure customers achieve their CO2 reduction goals, ZF’s new 8-speed-tranmission will be optimized for electrification and feature a drive for hybrid variants.

FCA Spokesperson, Dale Jewett, said the new agreement will specifically focus on the next generation 8-speed for plug-in hybrid vehicles.

ZF, CEO, Wolf-Henning Scheider, said the manufacturer’s second major order this year confirms the auto-supplier’s strategy to focus on plug-in hybrids as an every-day solution.

The company also plans to start production of the technology at further locations including the U.S. and China, he said.

Currently, ZF Transmissions in Gray Court is the company’s only transmission facility in the U.S.

South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership CEO, Chuck Spangler, linked ZF’s recent announcements with BMW and FCA to the Palmetto State’s robust $27 billion automotive sector.

“This is proof the market is still growing in South Carolina,” he said. “We are number one in export sales of tires and completed passenger vehicles, and between 2011 and 2018 alone, $8.9 billion in capital investments were announced statewide.”

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2020 Wrangler

Jeep Has Some Cool Updates Coming For 2020 Wrangler


07/10/2019

And a price hike?


For the past several months, a sizable chunk of Jeep’s attention has been turned towards the all-new Gladiator. With the launch now behind it, a certain other signature Jeep will soon be back in the spotlight, the Wrangler. Although it was all-new for the 2018 model year, Jeep has reportedly decided it’s time for some updates including a new trim package and powertrain updates – and a price hike.

According to Moparinsiders.com, which received its information from Jeep dealerships, the 2020 Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Limited are set to receive a number of new options, many of which will benefit lower trim models. For starters, the optional LED exterior lighting package will be available for the Sport S trim while automatic high-beam headlight control has been added to the Advanced Safety Group, though only when equipped with the 84-inch Uconnect touchscreen with Navigation.



There’s also going to be an all-new model, the Wrangler Black & Tan Edition package. Based on the Sport S, this new offering adds items like a tan premium Sunrider soft top with an optional dual top, 17-inch Machined Granite Crystal Wheels wearing all-terrain rubber, black Jeep fender badges, side steps, Heritage tan cloth seats, a 7-inch Uconnect touchscreen, dual-zone climate control, and Sirius XM Satellite Radio. The Black & Tan Edition can be had in both two-door and four-door configurations and will cost an extra $1,695 over the Sport S.

A total of 12 exterior colors will be offered for 2020 as well, while Heritage Tan will replace Dark Saddle as an interior color.
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Discussion Starter #229

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Production of the Dodge Grand Caravan will end in May

Production of the Dodge Grand Caravan will end in May as Fiat Chrysler steers minivan buyers into its new, entry-level Chrysler Voyager, according to a forecasting company.

07/22/2019


AutoForecast Solutions LLC, in its weekly report, said Grand Caravan production at FCA’s Windsor, Ont., assembly plant is expected to end on May 22. Sam Fiorani, vice president of global vehicle forecasting at AutoForecast Solutions, said FCA moved up the end of production to May from December, as it aims to transition Caravan buyers over to the Voyager.

“For the 2020 model year, they’ll likely run to fleet and then get the consumers to buy the new Voyager,” Fiorani said.

FCA Canada spokeswomen LouAnn Gosselin did not immediately return a request for comment.

FCA is resurrecting the Voyager nameplate for the 2020 model year. Production of the Voyager is expected to begin in August in Windsor alongside the higher-end Pacifica minivan and the Grand Caravan. Fiat Chrysler said in June that the Voyager would be marketed toward budget-conscious families and fleet customers, much in the same way the Grand Caravan is.

Whether the automaker can capture Grand Caravan buyers with the Voyager will be a critical question for FCA Canada as it sticks with its two-minivan strategy amid declining minivan sales. The Grand Caravan, despite not having a major redesign since 2008, still accounts for a bulk of FCA Canada’s minivan sales. According to the Automotive News Data Center, FCA Canada sold 15,943 Grand Caravans in the first half of 2019, compared with just 2,216 Pacifica minivans.

It is not known when the Voyager will be available for purchase in Canada. Gosselin told Automotive News Canada in June that the minivan would “eventually be available” and that the Grand Caravan would remain available for purchase in 2020.

In the United States, the Voyager will be offered to consumers in two trim lines: L and LX. An LXi trim line will be offered to fleet customers.

The 2020 Chrysler Voyager has a starting U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $26,985, excluding $1,495 destination charge.

It will start arriving in U.S. dealerships this fall, according to FCA.
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Production of the Dodge Grand Caravan will end in May

Production of the Dodge Grand Caravan will end in May as Fiat Chrysler steers minivan buyers into its new, entry-level Chrysler Voyager, according to a forecasting company.

07/22/2019

AutoForecast Solutions LLC, in its weekly report, said Grand Caravan production at FCA’s Windsor, Ont., assembly plant is expected to end on May 22. Sam Fiorani, vice president of global vehicle forecasting at AutoForecast Solutions, said FCA moved up the end of production to May from December, as it aims to transition Caravan buyers over to the Voyager.



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Sep 30, 2019

In today's video we are talking about what the future generation might look like for the Dodge Charger and Challenger! There have been many comments made from FCA executives, and there is lots of speculations and rumors going around. Today we will look at everything we know, including FCA using an Alfa Romeo platform for the future and news about future electric and hybrid platforms.
 

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DODGE CHALLENGER ACR
10/15/2019


The folks at FCA may be seeking to turn the Dodge Challenger into some kind of big bodied bruiser on the road course. And no, we’re not talking about the Challenger Scat Pack, the Hellcat Widebody, or the dragstrip-oriented 1320 Edition. Because according to a big report for the folks at Mopar Insiders, there’s a Dodge Challenger ACR coming in time for the nameplate’s 50th anniversary. And, according to the report, it will be legally limited for track use only.



As originally teased from a SEMA concept from several years ago, a Dodge Challenger ACR could end up featuring plenty of kit from the Dodge Viper ACR parts bin, according to the report. So that means carbon fiber dive planes, a massive and adjustable rear wing, and a detachable front splitter, and several lightweighting enhancements, such as stripping down the interior. However, Mopar Insiders says that Dodge will put interior components back in – such as the passenger’s seat – for just $1. This hilarious option scheme was first shown with the Challenger SRT Demon and Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320.

 

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Discussion Starter #234

CONFIRMED!!! Dodge pushed PRODUCTION of CHARGER/CHALLENGER to 2022-23... I WILL BE UPGRADING NOW!!!

Oct 19, 2019
 

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Discussion Starter #235
Dodge Journey to get a performance-focused replacement in 2022?

11/25/2019


The Dodge Journey is neither fast nor agile, but it has proved a hard-to-hit target for everyone trying to figure out what the next generation will hold, including Fiat Chrysler. In 2014, the automaker's five-year plan for Dodge included an all-new Journey in 2016, and a hotted-up SRT version of the crossover come 2017. In 2016, "supplier sources" told Automotive News a new Journey on rear-drive Alfa Romeo's Giorgio platform would show for the 2019 model year, and production would be moved from Mexico to Italy, Those prognostications came to naught, the 11-year-old Journey riding on its Mitsubishi-based platform into 2020 with fewer options. Now Mopar Insiders says the next-gen Journey could come in 2022 as an early 2023 model, still on the Giorgio platform and given a performance-focused brief.


According to MI, the new Journey — and it's not clear if the name will be retained — comes in strict two-row, five-seater guise. It "will be around the size of the Stelvio," the Alfa Romeo coming in at 184.5 inches. Previous reports have said the Journey will be shorter than the current 192.4-inch model, but longer than the Stelvio. The Dodge Charger is said to donate major styling cues, and there will supposedly be a Scat Pack trim. Under the hood, the entry-level engine will be the same GME 2.0-liter four-cylinder in that makes 276 horsepower and 306 pound-feet of torque in the Stelvio. MI believes a Hemi V8 will make the options list, hence the Scat Pack. Previously, other outlets have figured a turbo V6 like that in the Alfa Quadrifoglio models will stand in as the upgrade, although the model is "being developed with V8s in mind." Any engine choice is expected to be paired with an eight-speed transmission. All of those options far outdo the 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 172 hp and 165 lb-ft, shifting through a four-speed automatic, which is the only powertrain possible for the 2020 Journey.


The platform switch and the change to rear-drive will greatly enhance on-road manners and performance, but MI believes an all-wheel-drive option should make the transition.
If Journey production moves to Italy from Mexico, Fiat Chrysler will open up capacity in North America for big-profit crossovers and trucks, and get more from its underutilized European operations. Rumor says the Journey would roll down the same lines as the Stelvio in the Cassino Assembly Plant; the crossover is still sold in Europe and other markets as the Fiat Freemont. The latest timeline puts the Dodge on arrival in 2022, perhaps as a 2023-model-year offering.

SOURCE
 

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Discussion Starter #236
UAW papers reveal release dates for new Dodge, Jeep and Ram models

12/06/2019



Documents published by the United Auto Workers union reveal key information about some of the products Dodge, Jeep and Ram will release during the early 2020s. All three brands will try to capitalize on the growing demand for trucks and SUVs in the United States.


The agreement between the UAW and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) outlines what the period between 2019 and 2023 will look like from an employee's vantage point. The $4.5 billion factory the automaker is building in Detroit will begin manufacturing a three-row Jeep model in 2020, and it will add the next-generation Grand Cherokee to its roster the following year, according to CarScoops. The new Grand Cherokee will also roll out of the Jefferson North facility that makes the current model scheduled to retire shortly before its successor arrives. The Dodge Durango will continue to be built there, and the UAW papers mention a mild-hybrid variant of the SUV due out before the end of 2020.


Two body-on-frame Jeep models tentatively scheduled to revive the heritage-laced Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer nameplates will break cover in 2021. They will be built alongside Ram pickups at the Warren Truck plant, and odds are the three models will share several components under the sheetmetal. Adding the two Jeep models is expected to create 1,400 jobs, FCA predicted.


Speaking of Ram, the high-performance TRX model (pictured) aimed at the Ford F-150 Raptor's jugular is penciled in for a 2020 launch. The concept that previewed the model made its debut in 2016, so it's reasonable to assume it will have changed considerably by the time it reaches showrooms. It will be based on the newest variant of the 1500, not on the last-generation model still sold as the Classic. What won't change is the supercharged, 6.2-liter Hellcat V8 between its fenders.


The plug-in hybrid Wrangler remains on track for a 2020 launch. The Cherokee will continue to come out of Belvedere Assembly in Illinois, but the UAW's documents mention "fresh models / features" off of its unibody platform. Whether that means new trim levels or additional body styles remains to be seen, but it sounds like something new and Cherokee-related is around the corner.
The ancient Dodge Journey shares at least one thing with the beater you drove in high school: a four-speed automatic transmission. The gearbox is finally on its way out, according to the UAW, and the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that powers the entry-level model isn't long for this world, either.
The UAW's documents focused on trucks and SUVs made in the United States, and they made no mention of the Challenger and the Charger that Dodge builds in Canada. An earlier report claims both models will be replaced in the early 2020s, and some speculate they'll ride on a modified version of the rear-wheel drive Giorgio platform found under Alfa Romeo's Stelvio and Giulia models. And, a separate rumor points to the firm replacing the Journey in 2022 with a model that puts far more focus on performance.
Time will tell whether these industry whisperings are accurate, but what's certain is that FCA's star brands will stay extremely busy during the early 2020s.

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Discussion Starter #237
Spy Footage: RAM Prototype/Mule Truck Testing at Silver Lake Sand Dunes
Jun 28, 2019
Around 10-12 FCA vehicles were at Silver Lake State Park's OHV Scramble area from 6/24-6/26. Most of the vehicles were black Ram trucks with crew cabs, fender extensions (think Bushwacker, not Raptor) and blacked-out Laramie badging. At least one of the Rams had serious supercharger whine which, of course, made me think "Hellcat engine" but I do not actually know what was under the hood. All the Ram trucks I saw had a half-rollcage in the back of the cab to protect the engineers/drivers. There was at least one black Gladiator which you can see in one of the clips. Also in attendance were about two JL Wranglers (red and blue), a Ford Raptor, presumably for competitor bench-marking and also with a half-cage. There were a few HD Rams and Power Wagons which you can see towards the end of the video. I am not in the automotive industry but I love cars and I find the testing and development of new vehicles fascinating.
 

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Discussion Starter #238
FCA’s New Global Product Development Organization Will Unleash Speed-to-Market and Technological Innovation
  • Establishes unified product development organization sustained by three strategic activities – core engineering competencies responsible for addressing key technology opportunities; transversal program management and execution; and support for program delivery and management of decoupled activities
  • Streamlined organization to enable optimal workload balancing
  • Better positions FCA to continue its rollout of electrified propulsion, connectivity and autonomous driving technologies
  • New working environment to benefit product quality while preserving brand identities and differentiation required to satisfy regional markets
  • Organization led by FCA Chief Technical Officer Harald Wester; structure to be fully operational in 2020


December 12, 2019 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - FCA is leveraging its technological, engineering and management talent by establishing a streamlined product development organization with central leadership and a global footprint.

The new organization will be led by FCA’s Chief Technical Officer Harald Wester.

“The industry has never experienced technological change at the pace we are now seeing,” says FCA Chief Executive Officer Mike Manley. “So, we’re unleashing the creative energy of our engineers and technical experts for the benefit of our customers and stakeholders worldwide.”

This organization structure will reduce complexity and improve delivery effectiveness. The resulting efficiency gains will generate quality improvements while reducing product development timelines – a critical capability in a market defined by accelerating technological transformation.

The new organization consolidates three core activities: engineering; program execution and management; and program support. Until now, product development had been served by multiple organizations that operated as regional sub-groups or stand-alone units.

“Our current structure has produced the most compelling and diverse product lineup in the industry, from Alfa Romeo to Ram and everything in between,” Wester says. “The level of consolidation and integration we are now implementing will further enrich our product offerings – in all markets. And the big winners will be our customers.”

Engineering activities will be supported by five new centers of technical competence:
  • Body, Chassis, Interior and Wiring Integration with the mission to develop the core vehicle component sets
  • Electrical/Electronics and Software, which will develop electronic architectures
  • Propulsion Systems, including electrified as well as conventional systems
  • Total Vehicle Integration
  • Advanced Technology and Pre-Development Programs
The new transversal program and execution management functions will matrix across all the engineering functions, businesses and brands. These will include a global Vehicle Programs team that will implement all-new product programs, as well as an Architecture and Vehicle Concepts unit focused on customer and performance targets, long-range architecture planning and developing new product proposals.

These changes afford greater product development agility at a time when FCA is positioning itself in hyper-competitive spheres, such as autonomous driving, connectivity and electrified propulsion.

The Company has already committed €9 billion toward a five-year plan to launch 30 new electrified nameplates worldwide. Among the first will be plug-in hybrid versions of the Jeep® Compass, Jeep Renegade and Jeep Wrangler SUVs and a pair of all-electric vehicles – a Fiat brand car and a commercial van from Fiat Professional.

Meanwhile, Maserati is racing toward an electrified future on the heels of a €1.6 billion investment that will accommodate the integration of hybrid and all-electric propulsion systems, and Level 3 autonomous driving technology – all infused with the brand’s distinctive sportiness.

The most significant change in today’s announcement is the integration of FCA’s powertrain and vehicle engineering organizations.

Previously, powertrain engineering was decoupled from the vehicle product development process. Now, it is embedded in a unified, global organization that promises improved cross-regional collaboration and more effective resource deployment. The new, flatter product development organization will also enable speed in decision making and best use of technical competencies around the globe.

“Our engineering resources will be concentrated and integrated, not diluted,” Wester adds.

The organization is expected to be fully operational next year.
 
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