Chrysler cars

SRT Viper

Here’s a tidbit of bad news for anyone looking to buy the new SRT Viper : The company has announced that only about 15-20% of all Chrysler Group dealerships will have the chance to actually sell the new Viper. In order to be able to sell the sports car, dealerships will have to train their staff, buy special tools, and improve their facilities.

"We’re going to open it up to any dealer who can put the money forward and the training, but it’s going to be pretty difficult to hit all of those things," Ralph Gilles, head of the high-performance SRT brand said during a broadcast interview with journalists in Detroit this month. "You’ve got to have the training, the facilities, and some history of selling Vipers and SRTs in general."

Gilles also announced that the company can’t "legally stop someone who’s sold a Viper in the past from selling it," but the company will try to make it a little difficult because they want their customers to enjoy the best experience possible from their dealer.

Prices for the new SRT Viper haven’t been announced just yet, but Gilles is very sure the new generation will bring lots of new customers.

Dodge Demon Roadster Concept

Chrysler kicked off its new sub-brand, SRT, with the unveiling of the new generation Viper and the cars will just keep coming from here on out. The sub-brand’s second model will be the new generation Barracuda that will join the line-up for the 2015 model year and, according to MotorTrend, SRT is already working on a third model for their line-up.

Details on the third model are a bit unclear at the moment, but it could be either a successor to the Dodge Ram SRT10 or a small, two-seat sports car. Obviously, our hopes lie in a new sports car. Chrysler has already teased us with a Dodge Demon Concept designed as a competitor for the Mazda MX-5 Miata , and now that Mazda and Fiat have teamed up to build a new RWD sports roadster, we are hoping that Chrysler will consider offering a production version of the Demon.

Any thoughts on what this new model could be? Hit us up in the comments section below!

Source: MotorTrend

Capitalizing on the hype being generated by The Dark Knight Rises, Chrysler has partnered with Warner Brothers on a new commercial that takes the reigns from the automaker’s highly-popular "Imported from Detroit" campaign with something a little more appropriate to the movie’s setting.

The ad takes us to what we can only assume is Bruce Wayne’s BatCave where a number of engineers are piecing together a concept version of the 300C that fits more into Batman’s wheelhouse. We don’t know a whole lot about the car, but the jet engine thrusters on the rear are as good an indication that this isn’t just another 300C sedan.

Towards the end of the ad, the tagline "Imported from Gotham City" is shown, taking the place of Chrysler’s "Imported from Detroit" tag. It remains to be seen if Batman’s 300C will make a cameo in the movie itself, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it actually did.

Imagine what kind of sales the 300C is going to get when folks realize that it’s got the Dark Knight’s stamp of approval. Could be quite an advertising coup for Chrysler again.

Source: Chrysler

Ahh, rumors in the automotive world spread just about as fast as the rumor that the captain of the football team was kissing the head of the girls’ chess team under the bleachers at the homecoming dance… And we love ‘em. The latest rumor is an interesting one that actually has a fair amount of validity.

Lancia is one of the many companies under the protective umbrella of Fiat Automobiles S.p.A. and it loves to borrow its models from Chrysler , add a few small touches, and call it their own. One of the latest models to make the Lancia conversion was the Chrysler 300 Chrysler 300 , which prances around Europe bearing the name “Lancia Thema” (image above). That’s not the rumor though, as we already know all about that.

The rumors being whispered are that Lancia really wants a full-size coupe for its European market and the only car available to possibly satisfy this itch is the Chrysler 300 . Ask any custom coach builder and he will tell you that turning a four-door body into a two-door car is not as tough as you may think, but going the other direction is nearly impossible.

So, if Lancia decides to hack up the B-pillar on the 300, shorten the opening a little and slap two fewer doors on the 300, would this model make it to the U.S.? The two-door full size car essentially died with the downsizing of vehicles in the late-1970s, but a small niche market may be in order.

This also spawns the possibility of Chrysler finally satisfying its nostalgia buffs by taking the two-door blueprints that Lancia would create and turn that into a two-door Charger . The pair of extra doors have always been a thorn in the side of Charger buffs, so Chrysler could breathe a little extra life into both models – not like the 300 needs more life, but extra sales can’t hurt – by offering two-door models of each.

This is certainly an interesting rumor to ponder and we are more likely to see pigs fly before we see a two-door 300 and Charger, but we’re telling you there’s a chance.

Alfa Romeo Spider

Last week, we reported that Fiat was open to allowing Mazda to use U.S.-based Chrysler factories to manufacture U.S.-bound Mazda models. Before that, Fiat and Mazda officially announced a partnership in building the MX5 Miata and Alfa Romeo Spider . These two announcements brought about a lot of speculation of Fiat taking the same approach that Ford did, by buying into the struggling, but slowly recovering, Mazda.

After hearing plenty of these rumors, Fiat Chairman, John Elkann, had enough and announced at a shareholder meeting that Fiat is not interested in acquiring any percentage of Mazda Mazda in the future. Fiat does plan on adding a Japanese partner in the future to help expand its global reach, but there is no mention of what companies Fiat is considering.

We would not be surprised to find out that this is simply a rouge to not tip its hand too early. It only makes sense for the two to partner up in a larger sense, as Mazda needs some help getting over the recovery hump and Fiat needs a Japanese partner. It would be a win-win situation, so we’ll see if Fiat’s tune changes after testing out Mazda’s abilities with the Mazda Miata-Alfa Romeo Spider production deal.

Fiat is planning a little bit of expansion soon though. In July 2012, Fiat is planning to expand its ownership in Chrysler by an additional 3 percent, bringing its total ownership to over 60 percent. Over the course of time, Fiat plans to jump its overall Chrysler ownership to 100 percent, giving it complete control over the recovering automaker’s operations and profit.

It definitely looks like Fiat is on the right track here so far. We will keep you updated as its expansion continues.

Mazda MX-5

Just a few days ago, we reported that Mazda and Fiat have joined forces to jointly produce a new sports car based on the upcoming redesigned MX-5 Miata . Fiat would use this opportunity to revive the once popular Alfa Romeo Spider, the car whose shoes the MX-5 filled back in 1990. This could not only revive the Spider overseas, but it could also bring Alfa Romeo back into the U.S. market at a reasonable price.

Recently, at a Chrysler event, a reporter from Reuters learned that this relationship may go even further than simply jointly manufacturing a sports car. The report states that Fiat Fiat is also open to allowing Mazda to use Chrysler plants to manufacture their North America-bound cars. This would obviously help Mazda Mazda a great deal, as importing cars from Japan to North American countries is extremely expensive and drives up the cars’ MSRPs, which in turn drives customers out of dealerships.

There is nothing official, but we could see something like the Ford-Mazda partnership that started in 1979 and effectively ended in 2010. This would result in various joint-ventures between Fiat , Chrysler , Alfa Romeo , and Mazda , making the group one that rivals Volkswagen Auto Group, though a tad less luxurious and expensive. The advancements across the board, however, would be similar.

After some tough times, Mazda finally saw some gains in 2011, as its market share increased 9 percent that year, but it needs more to remain afloat. Mazda should see some additional increases over the next few year regardless, as the RX-8 , which was down 33 percent in 2011, is being discontinued and the Miata, which was down 11 percent, is being significantly redesigned. A little added boost from a production-cost sharing venture with Fiat and Chrysler could do nothing but help all three rebounding brands and reinvent Alfa Romeo in the U.S.

Source: Reuters

The 1967 model year was the debut year for the Plymouth Belvedere GTX, which most enthusiasts simply know as the Plymouth GTX. The GTX was always one of the top performers in the 1960s, but was also a refined muscle car, receiving the nickname “The Gentleman’s Muscle Car” in its early years. Unfortunately, the GTX was a late arrival to the muscle car area and only lasted five model years.

In its debut year, there were 12,115 models built, which makes it a rather rare car in itself. Options were not scarce for the 1967 GTX, as it had two engines available, a 425-horsepower, 426 cubic-inch V-8 Hemi or a 375-horsepower, 440 cubic-inch V-8. It also had two transmission options, a three-speed automatic and a four-speed manual.

In addition to the engine and transmission options, there was also coupe or convertible options available. One would assume that the convertible four-speed manual option with a Hemi would be a popular option combination, due to its raw power and ability to shift with the wind in you hair, but that’s not the case. Only seven of these convertible models with four-speeds and a Hemi engine rolled off of the assembly line in the 1967 model year.

That makes this one of the rarest vehicles on the planet, let alone one of the rarest muscle cars ever built. To boot, it is a natural rarity, as opposed to a planned one, like a special edition. It just so happened that dealers ordered so few of this option combination that the factory only produced a few.

If you want to own one of the most rare mass produced automobiles on the planet, now is your chance, as RK Motors Charlotte has just placed a convertible 1967 GTX with a Hemi and a four-speed up for auction on Ebay.

Now we know that it’s rare, but how has this vehicle held up over the course of the past 45 years?

Click past the jump to read our full review on this rare vehicle.

Source: eBay

The Ghia L6.4 was just about as exclusive as you could get in the 1960s, as it was designed and built only for actors and other high rollers in Hollywood. The final of the 26 Ghia L6.4s ever built was built for one of the largest stars of that era, Dean Martin. Martin was not the only Rat Pack member to own a L6.4, as Frank Sinatra also owned one, as did other Rat Pack members.

Recently, one of the 26 Ghia L6.4s built, the one owned by Dean Martin, was put up for auction on eBay as Hyman Ltd. got its hands on Martin’s old L6.4. For a car of its age, the modern features are plentiful, but it still wasn’t enough for Dean Martin, as he shipped the car off to George Barris, “Hollywood’s King of the Kustomizers,” to have even more customizations performed on this already rare vehicle. This customization turned Martin’s L6.4 into a one-of-a-kind vehicle.

Click past the jump to read the full review on this vehicle and see how it has held up throughout the years.

Source: eBay

The name Carroll Shelby may not be quite as familiar to new automotive enthusiasts as it is for older generations, but his creations are no stranger to anyone that follows and loves performance automobiles. Mr. Shelby was not only a genius when it came to building high-performance American muscle, but he was also an accomplished racecar driver.

Carroll managed to parlay his racing roots into a partnership with Ford that spanned over 50 years. However, that partnership almost never happened, as his first choice in partners was Chevrolet. Imagine that, a “Shelby Camaro ” or “Shelby Corvette,” it just doesn’t quite sound as good as "Shelby Mustang ,” does it?

Carroll Shelby lived a full life, as he graced this world with 89 years of his presence and nearly 60 of those years he was providing us gearheads with examples of his automotive skill, be it winning races or designing hot rods. Carroll Shelby will be missed dearly by everyone in the automotive world, but we are not here to mourn the passing of this legend. Nope, we feel that the right way to send off this legend is by celebrating his long and legendary life.

Click past the jump to read the complete life history of Mr. Carroll Shelby

Next to the Jeep Wrangler Year of the Dragon Concept , Chrysler has unveiled a 300C design concept at the Beijing International Automotive Exhibitio that was created specifically with Chinese elements in mind.

The new Chrysler 300 Ruyi Design Concept features a Maximum Steel exterior color combined with dark chrome on the door handles, grille surround, and lower grille tracer. Exterior touches continue with a polished ruyi-inspired signature grille with dark chrome throats, bluish steel-grey tinted glass, a ruyi Chinese character badge on the deck lid, and a ghosted speed stripe running along the side character lines. Then, of course, we shoudn’t forget about the unique 22" concept alloy wheels in a ten-spoke design.

The interior has received black chrome on the outer dash vents, navigation screen and center dash vent surrounds, gauge rings, steering wheel rim, and door handles. These black accents have been combined with a brush trim used for the center console, upper door panels, and flanking the dashboard. The seats are wrapped in a light-tone leather-wrapped seating surfaces with suede center inserts and side bolsters.

UPDATE 04/24/2012: This review has been updated with the official details and images for the Chrysler 300 Ruyi Design Concept.

UPDATE 05/02/12: Chrysler has released a two-minute, getting-to-know video about the 300 Ruyi Concept, a car that we saw last month at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show. If you don’t know a whole lot and you’re interested to know more, this video is a good place to get started. Check it out by clicking on the photo above.

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