During a conference room table in Chrysler Group LLC’s headquarters, Ralph Gilles talked about Dodge’s future. According to him, the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee is just the beginning. It will be followed by a slew of new or redesigned vehicles.
He said that the new Charger and a new crossover will arrive this fall while a new Durango will arrive this November, but most likely featuring a new name. A new Viper is also a possibility for 2012, so it seems the company has "a lot going on." For the new Charger the company is looking to get "a higher-power version of the Pentastar V-6 with unique power rating."
"The brand is becoming hipper already. And the brand is getting controversial, in a good way. We’re really starting to smell different, act different. We showed up a few weeks ago at the super bike event in Utah. We had a drift competition and hundreds, thousands of people were lining up for these thrill rides."
Part of the interview after the jump.
Q : When the new Charger arrives and it gets the Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6, will the engine top 300 horsepower?
A : I’m not saying. We will investigate that and we are looking at a higher-power version of (the Pentastar V-6). It will have a unique power rating, I will say that.
Q : When the new Durango replacement arrives in November, will it be called a Durango?
A : We’re actually debating the name as we speak.
Q :Will a new Dodge Viper appear in 2012 as a 2013 model?
We’re looking that right now. We’re talking to owners, and to people outside of the Viper circle. There’s no timeline, no rush. I want to bring it out and make sure it’s the right thing. The issue right now is the company is really focused on the year and the task at hand. We have a lot going on in ’12.