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Discussion Starter · #281 ·
Dodge Avenger Returning As Electric Muscle Car?

Stranger things have happened.

The Dodge Avenger departed from this world following the 2014 model year. It was, at best, a decent rental car. No one was sad to see it go. Its Dodge Dart successor didn't fare much better despite noble efforts by the then newly-formed FCA. America's taste was already turning sour for sedans by this point, though the redesigned second-generation Chrysler 200 second generation, which shared the Dart's Fiat-supplied platform, scored mostly decent reviews.

As for the Avenger, which initially debuted in 1995 as a coupe (the Stratus was the sedan version), Dodge would probably prefer for it to remain in the past. Or does it? CarBuzz has uncovered a pair of trademark applications for the "Avenger" name in Serbia and Iceland. When new models are planned, automakers quickly begin securing the naming rights in multiple countries.
2011-2014 Dodge Avenger Front View Driving

2011-2014 Dodge Avenger Rear View Driving

It could only be a matter of time until Stellantis, the product of the FCA and PSA Groupe merger last year, secures the Avenger name for the US. Whether it plans to revive the nameplate for a future model or simply safeguard it remains to be seen.

What we can confirm is that Stellantis is moving fast towards launching fully electric vehicles, including for the Dodge brand. Come 2024, an all-electric muscle car is due to arrive though. Calling it Avenger might seem odd given its previous application, but most buyers won't associate the name with anything other than with Marvel, and that could give it a unique advantage in the market. Here's another possibility: Dodge cannot rely solely on EV muscle cars to make a profit. It'll require more affordable, mainstream BEVs. A reborn Avenger could be one of them.


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Discussion Starter · #282 ·
Ram 1200: what the new “anti Hilux” medium pick-up will be like


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Preparations for the development of the RAM 1200a new medium pick up which will compete against the Toyota Hilux, the Volkswagen Amarok, the Ford Ranger, the Chevrolet S10, the Nissan Frontier, the Renault Alaskan, the Peugeot Landtrek and the Mitsubishi L200

The 1200 will be positioned one step below the 1500, Ram’s bestial pickup. It will be manufactured at the plant in Pernambuco, Brazil, according to what the Autos Segredos portal reports. The first works are already being carried out there to start manufacturing it from next year and export it from there to the entire region, including Argentina.

Known internally as Project 291this new flat could have a 2.0-liter turbo gasoline engine with more than 200 horsepower or a 2.2-liter turbodiesel with 203 donkeys. In both cases, the transmission would be a nine-speed automatic and the 4×4 integral traction.

While waiting for the first information and official photos, projections continue to appear on the web that anticipate what its final design could be like. One of the last was that of the designer KDesign, who showed the possible features of the pick up in the front and side sectors.

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Ram’s new midsize pickup. Projection: KDesign.
Judging by this sketch, it will have sharp Led headlights and a grille similar to the Ram 1500 Rebel, an extreme looking version of the full-size. From the same it could also take the later format.

The 1200 will sit on the Small Wide 4×4 platform. It is the same one used by the Fiat Toro, a compact flat, and Jeep models such as the Renegade, the Compass and the Commander, an SUV with three rows of seats and space for seven passengers that has just been put up for sale in Argentina.

It will not only share architecture with these four models: it will also be manufactured in the same plant. That will allow it to reach the Argentine market without an additional tax burden (it would be exempt from the 35 percent extrazone), like most of its rivals.

ram is part of Stellantis, the new company that was born as a result of the merger between the Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and Peugeot-Citroën (PSA) groups. Thus, it now shares a consortium with Jeep, Chrysler, Fiat, Abarth, Maserati, Peugeot, Opel, Citroën and DS, among other brands.

At the same time, the development of a fully electric Ram that will reach the international market in 2024. It will be a 1500 BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) that will compete mainly against models from Ford, Tesla and Chevrolet.


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Discussion Starter · #283 ·
Dodge Hornet supposedly snapped inside Alfa Romeo Tonale factory

Tue, February 22, 2022

It appears that someone in Stellantis' Pomigliano d’Arco Assembly Plant in Italy couldn't keep their cellphone to themselves. Video uploaded to the Alfa Romeo Club Italia Facebook page, then quickly removed, purports to show Dodge's brand-engineered version of the Alfa Romeo Tonale in the same factory where the Alfa will be built. The Dodge is expected to be called the Hornet, and there are a few differences between it and and Alfa Romeo, which is understandable. But if the screenshots on Twitter are accurate, then the Dodge looks a lot closer to the Alfa Romeo than perhaps anyone expected.

The front fascia and hood fall in line with Dodge's design language. The Alfa grille is replaced by a narrow, stepped upper grille, and the hood is one of the vented units similar to those available for Dodge's R/T performance trims. And as Mopar Insiders noticed, the silhouette of this car's front end matches a vehicle silhouette Dodge showed during Stellantis' 2021 EV Day.

Inside, the Italian brand's crest in the steering wheel center cap is replaced by Dodge's twin slashes, and the steering wheel has been stripped of the large, curved paddle shifters the Tonale showed on its debut. There's still a start/stop button on the steering wheel, but where the Tonale has a driving mode dial on its dash, this supposed Hornet has another start/stop button. Dodge's push-to-start buttons are usually on the instrument panel, so our guess is that the wheel is a holdover for testing. On the center tunnel, the parking alert buttons and Italian Tricolore flag on the Alfa Romeo are replaced by three different buttons.

We've known Dodge has two electrified vehicles on the way, and the Hornet name has been low-key buzzing for two years. Fiat Chrysler applied to trademark the name in the U.S. in March 2020; at the time, it was thought a vehicle with that name could replace the Journey. In 2021, a July rumor out of Italy was the first whisper of the Hornet name being attached to the Alfa Romeo Tonale. In August, when Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said Dodge would get a PHEV in 2024, watchers pegged that model as the Hornet.

That hybrid powertrain would show a year after the vehicle's launch, the Hornet anticipated as a 2023 model with the Tonale's turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. That engine could get the same 256 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque as the Tonale, or be boosted to satisfy Dodge's performance credentials. The Alfa Romeo Stelvio with the same engine makes 280 hp and 306 lb-ft.

The PHEV version could work the same 272-hp powertrain coming in the Tonale with eAWD and a 30-mile all-electric range.

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Discussion Starter · #284 ·
Chrysler Brand Has a Future, Will Be Revitalized with Several New Models

CEO Carlos Tavares confirmed that Stellantis plans to bring back the Chrysler brand from its current neglected state.

Mar 1, 2022

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  • Good news for Chrysler: Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares today said the brand will be "relaunched" with "gorgeous" new models.
  • Tavares was speaking at an event in Amsterdam on Tuesday morning.
  • He also said no additional Stellantis brands are coming to the U.S. market. On that list are Peugeot, Citroën, Opel, and other marques not currently sold here.
With just two models in its lineup, one of which is the ancient 300 sedan, the Chrysler brand has been teetering on the brink of extinction for some time. But no longer. At an event outside of Amsterdam today to discuss the future product strategy for the 14-brand Stellantis empire, CEO Carlos Tavares said that "Chrysler is one of the emotional pillars of the former FCA. It's important for us to give this brand a future and opportunity to rebound," and that "Chrysler will be relaunched." He added that the coming Chrysler models "look really gorgeous," which is something that CEOs always say about future products.

We expect one of the first new models to be an electric compact crossover called the Airflow (pictured above) that will compete with the Tesla Model Y, Ford Mustang Mach-E, and Volvo XC40 Recharge. While presenting the company's strategic plan, which Stellantis is calling Dare Forward 2030, Tavares added that the Chrysler brand would be fully electric by 2028, whereas the overall target in the U.S. across all of its brands is to get to 50 percent of total sales of passenger vehicles and light-duty trucks by 2030.

The plans for the other faltering U.S. brand, Fiat, which sells only the 500X crossover at the moment, don't sound as concrete. "We still have to think about how we make the Fiat brand rebound in the U.S.," Tavares said. "We have a couple of ideas, and we didn't yet make all of the decisions."

In speaking more broadly about the U.S. brand strategy, Tavares said, "We have the strategic vision to invest in all the American brands," but added that "I have no intention to bring more brands to the U.S. right now. I think we have enough."

Chrysler Brand Has a Future, Will Be Revitalized with Several New Models

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Discussion Starter · #285 ·
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Chrysler Aims To Reinvent The Minivan For The Electric Era: CEO


To put it bluntly, Chrysler's current product lineup is old. That's not about to change anytime soon, but when the first electric vehicles arrive from the storied automaker it is clear they will lean into the automaker's strengths.

In an interview at the 2022 New York auto show Chrysler CEO Christine Feuell gave Green Car Reports some insights into what the electric era will look like for the automaker—including a minivan and crossover SUV.

Feuell was named CEO of the brand in fall 2021, and she already has a keen sense of what makes Chrysler work: the minivan.

Here comes the electric Chrysler minivan

Feuell knows Chrysler invented the segment and did not mince words when we asked whether a minivan has a place in the automaker's electric future: "Yeah."

The executive wouldn't talk about future product, but noted, "I think it's safe to say that we are looking to reinvent the minivan in our future lineup."

Chrysler's currently "rethinking what the minivan should be and needs to be in that (electric) timeframe," Feuell told GCR. The goal will be to a segment-buster, again, according to the executive. Stow 'N Go seating, or a new interpretation of it, certainly has a role in the electric future, she confirmed, but when pushed, the CEO would not give an inch on how exactly a Stow 'N Go setup would work on an electric skateboard chassis where the floor is essentially a battery pack.

Stow 'N Go seating is a flexible seating arrangement where the second-row folds into the floor into hidden containers. It gave the minivan new sales life well into the 2010s, as families found the packaging advantageous versus that of SUVs.

Feuell said the electric era will allow the minivan's use case itself to be rethought with ride-sharing in mind.

Beyond flexible seating and storage Feuell noted that minivans are a life-stage vehicle. While the category is dominated by families, not everyone's family looks the same or even have the same use case noting the term #Vanlife. Adventurous people using vans for family vacation, especially in the northern states, will still want all-wheel drive and that will need to remain.

Chrysler Airflow EV Concept
Chrysler Airflow EV Concept

Range is still a key factor for customers, Chrysler's research shows. "A 400-mile range seems to be the sweet spot for many customers who are trying to overcome the anxiety that they have about considering range," Feuell said, suggesting that Chrysler and its parent company Stellantis will take a partnership approach to charging infrastructure rather than building out its own network.

Chrysler's first electric vehicle will arrive in 2025. It will be the first of three EVs the automaker plans to launch before 2028. While Feuell was quick to note the Airflow is purely a concept and not a production-intent preview of an EV, she stated "we certainly intend to include a mid-size crossover among the new portfolio," while referring to the three BEVs set to arrive in a three-year span.

2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

The current lineup

Chrysler's current lineup consists of essentially two vehicles: the 300 sedan and Pacifica minivan. The former is ancient, with some underpinning bits dating back to the 2000s. It last received a refresh for 2015. The Pacifica, reintroduced as a minivan, arrived in 2017 and received a mild refresh for 2021.

Both of those models will continue to be tweaked as they will survive beyond 2025 to have some overlap as the EVs launch. Don't expect new or heavily refreshed versions to emerge, though the executive said investments will be made to continue improving the product in terms of design and technology.

Feuell would not comment further as to whether the plug-in hybrid Pacifica would be tweaked and upgraded to have more electric range as that would be discussing future product. But when asked if powertrain enhancements would be wrapped into these updates Feuell said, "it has to be."

An electric minivan and mid-size crossover SUV are seemingly in the works, but what about an electric sedan? "It's not off the table," Feuell said.


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Discussion Starter · #286 ·
Dodge Hornet confirmed by brand CEO, on its way as early as summer 2022

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The long-rumored Dodge Hornet is official.

Tim Kuniskis, the Dodge brand CEO, confirmed the news during an online meeting Tuesday with wrestler Bill Goldberg and Preston Patterson, the new Dodge brand ambassador who now carries the title "Chief Donut Maker."

As he navigated a reporter's question about Dodge's future electrification plans — the brand plans both plug-in hybrid and full electric vehicles — Kuniskis offered what he noted moments later would qualify as a scoop.

"I think we’ve actually even said when we get back into the small compact space this summer when we launch the Hornet, we will have a PHEV or variant of that," said Kuniskis, referencing the abbreviation for plug-in hybrid.

The Hornet is expected to share an architecture with the Alfa Romeo Tonale compact SUV, which debuted in February and is planned for launch in the United States early next year. The Tonale, which is being built in Italy, will feature a plug-in hybrid version and feature a lower price tag than other Alfa Romeo models.

Dodge and Alfa Romeo are both part of Chrysler parent Stellantis, which also owns Jeep, Ram, Fiat, Maserati and several other brands, including Peugeot, sold elsewhere around the globe.

The specifics on the Hornet launch are muddied by the current supply chain crunch, Kuniskis said.

"This gray hair that I'm getting? It's not COVID, it's not lockdowns, it's supply chain," Kuniskis said. "Every single thing we’re doing is like in Jell-O right now because it’s so hard to plan anything."

Kuniskis connected the Hornet launch or debut with a couple of major Detroit-area events this year.

Right now we’re targeting August, probably around that Speed Week time," Kuniskis said. "You know, we do Roadkill Nights and we have Dream Cruise and (during) the in-between week, we try to put some stuff in there, we call it Speed Week. Hopefully ... it’ll be right about that time."

Dodge has partnered for years with MotorTrend on the Roadkill Nights drag racing event in Pontiac ahead of the Woodward Dream Cruise. Kuniskis said the plan is to hold Roadkill Nights as normal, but all of the necessary government and related approvals take time so it's still too early to definitively say it will happen.

As for the Hornet, it represents a legendary name in automotive history.

The Hornet dates to the Hudsons of the 1950s, and carried over to American Motors Corp. when Hudson and Nash merged. AMC used the name on a line of compact cars in the 1970s, and AMC was eventually acquired by Chrysler.

Fans of Pixar’s "Cars” franchise might recall the name associated with Doc Hudson, the Paul Newman-voiced mentor to the headstrong Lightning McQueen, voiced by Owen Wilson. Doc Hudson was animated, but he was based on a real car, the Hudson Hornet, which had an impressive racing streak in the 1950s.

The Hornet name was resurrected by FCA in 2006, when it unveiled a Dodge Hornet concept at the Geneva Auto Show. The company called the 170-horsepower subcompact hatchback concept "an ideal combination of American fun and European function."


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Discussion Starter · #287 ·
Chrysler will Make 3 EVs by 2028, One of Which will be a Minivan

Anthony Lemonde
April 28, 2022

Chrysler Portal Concept | Photo: Stellantis
Chrysler is working on an electric minivan that will be launched by 2028.
  • Chrysler wants to become fully electric by 2028
  • The automaker believes the minivan will be a key part of its plan
  • This minivan should have around 400 miles (643 kilometers) of range
Chrysler has already shown its first electric model, the Airflow, and it has now announced two more which will complete its lineup by 2028.

Out of these two, one will be a minivan, a vehicle type that is important for Chrysler since the automaker invented the segment with the first generation of the Dodge Caravan back in 1984.
Despite the popularity of the minivan being much lower than it was a few years ago, Chrysler is determined to continue offering one to customers in the electric era.

According to the brand’s CEO, the minivan will have to be rethought for the electric age in order to become a segment-buster, recreating the effect the first minivans had on the market.
One feature that will be kept in its current form however, is the Chrysler-exclusive Stow ‘N Go system that allows to store the second row of seats in bins placed under the floor in order to have access to a large loading area without having to remove heavy seats from the vehicle, as is the case with other minivans.

Again, according to the CEO, the ideal range for buyers looking at electric vehicles is 400 miles (643 kilometers), so this is the goal the company’s engineers will be working towards.
The presence of an electric minivan it its lineup will also allow Chrysler to look at autonomous vehicles and ride sharing services, an approach that is also explored by Volkswagen, which just introduced the ID.Buzz.

Until this model arrives, Chrysler will keep selling the 300 and the Pacifica until at least 2025, when they will be joined by the Airflow. Gasoline and electric models will then share the brand’s showroom for three more years, before the American brand becomes fully electric in 2028.

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