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.
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, 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.
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 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.
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 is also open to allowing Mazda to use Chrysler plants to manufacture their North America-bound cars. This would obviously help 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Charity auctions are always a great way to find special cars to buy, while also getting a chance to donate to a worthy cause. On Tuesday, March 20, 2012, the John Varvatos 9th Annual Stuart House Benefit will be host to an auction with a one-off, special edition Chrysler 300S designed by John Varvatos and inspired by his collections. All of the proceeds of the auction will benefit The Rape Foundation in support of Stuart House. Currently, the bid is at $48,546.
This special edition Chrysler 300S will be distinguished by a special set of custom 20" wheels in a satin carbon finish and a very cool black paint for the interior. The interior also get seats and door panels decorated with black woven leather details and flat woven Heather fabric which brings an elegant Menswear appeal to the vehicle. The instrument panel, console lid, and door armrest are wrapped in black leather, while the steering wheel features a black two-tone color combo with an accent 360 ring. All of these elements are combined with satin chrome finishes.
Under the hood, the engine remains unchanged: the 3.6-liter Pentastar engine delivers a total of 292 HP and is mated to an all-new segment-exclusive ZF eight-speed automatic transmission.
The multi-awarded actor and director was the star of Chrysler’s new Super Bowl commercial, "Halftime in America".
Just like last year, the focus of the ad is centered on the Motor City and how it has, time and again, risen from the despair and is in the process of writing its own comeback story.
Nothing evokes more emotion than inspiration and this is what Chrysler is looking for with the new ad. It may not carry the same raw emotion as that of Eminem’s ad from last year, but as sequels go, it’s hard not to be stirred by Eastwood’s raspy monologue, the visual images of Detroit’s resurgence, and the overall inspiring work of this ad.
For the second year in a row, Chrysler has done a masterful job with their Super Bowl commercial.