Expect good things from Chrysler in 2012, beginning with the first appearance of the Fiat-sourced Dodge Caliber replacement at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. To be built on a stretched version of Fiat’s high-volume compact platform, the new Dodge Caliber (or whatever the replacement will be called) will likely be the first in a series of new compacts from Dodge, Chrysler, and Jeep. The Fiat platform is so versatile that it can be used for anything from compacts through mid-size vehicles, making it the ideal choice for a cost-conscious manufacturer like Chrysler.
Since Chrysler hasn’t focused on hybrids, electrics, or compact, fuel-saving engines to date, the automaker will have some catching up to do. Rumors say the new Chrysler compact cars will offer a range of normally-aspirated and turbocharged four-cylinder engines, mated to eight and nine speed automatic transmissions for impressive fuel economy numbers. There’s even word of a six-speed, dual-clutch transmission, which probably means that a replacement for the Dodge Caliber SRT4 is in the works.
We had a chance to speak with SRT head, Ralph Gilles, last spring, and he was tight-lipped about what may or may not be in the development pipeline. He was enthusiastic about their upcoming compacts, however, as well as the bound-for-the-U.S. Fiat 500 Abarth. There’s no denying that the SRT8 versions of the Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger, and Chrysler 300 are fun to drive, but it looks like small-car Mopar fans will have a very good year ahead of them.
When you buy a 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 or 2012 Dodge Charger SRT-8 you definitely will not be lacking power. These suburban bruisers are powered by massive 6.4 liter Hemi V8’s that pump out a spleen crushing 470 horsepower and 470 lbs/ft of torque. Now, what is an SRT-8 owner to do if he/she wants more power? The answer up to this point has been paying big bucks and taking it to a tuner, but now this will change.
Chrysler is reportedly considering adding a top end engine option for certain SRT models. According to MotorAuthority, this new engine will be based on the current one albeit with a Eaton supercharger that will push the horsepower to between 540-570 horsepower. With this power addition, these muscle cars will be put on the road with Ferrari 458-esque power. Where do we sign?! In addition, to control the extra ponies, this new engine will supposedly be mated to a new eight speed automatic gearbox. This new engine can be implemented on those SRT models which are based on the LX platform (Sorry, Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, no upgrade for you just yet). An exception may be the Dodge Challenger SRT-8 which is based on a tweaked LX platform.
This is an important step in the reemergence of the muscle car in the American market. This reemergence has ignited an automotive world war with Ford, Chevy, and Dodge, each trying to outdo themselves in terms of engineering and appeal. This new Detroit cold war has only one winner and that is the muscle car enthusiasts around the world.
If you’re a fan of screeching tires and white smoke, then this video is for you. If you are more of the data type then you’d be interested to know that Chrysler’s latest HEMI V8 can be mated to either a standard Tremec TR-6060 six-speed manual transmission or a dual-disc high performance clutch, depending on the model. The range of models also deliver a decent fuel economy, with our favorite - the Challenger SRT8 - providing up to 23 miles per gallon on the highway, as well as great performance. The muscle car can do the 0-60 mph sprint in the high 4-second range and the quarter-mile in the high 12s. Top speed has been increased to more than 180 mph with the manual transmission (173 mph in the automatic).
Chrysler is up and running with its last attempt to make their 300 even the teensiest bit successful on the market and just a few months after the 300 sedan hit the ground running at the Detroit Auto Show, the company has now brought the 300 SRT8 (Street and Racing Technology) - the most powerful version in the line-up - to the 2011 New York Auto Show.
The new 300 SRT8 comes with a distinct upgrade to the exterior, as well as the interior, and a bigger engine ready to spit out 40 HP and 45 lbs-ft more than the standard model. This new 6.4L engine will come equipped with a new active valve exhaust system and a five-speed automatic transmission with "Auto" and "Sport" modes.
"We’re bringing three new and distinct models to our 300 lineup in 2012 with the 300 SRT8, 300S Series, and 300C Executive Series, each designed with specific consumer lifestyles in mind," said Olivier Francois, President and CEO - Chrysler Brand and Lead Executive for Marketing, Chrysler Group LLC. "More than an icon of simple American motoring, the Chrysler 300 is an icon of attainable style and performance. For those customers who live for the sport of being first, the all-new Chrysler 300SRT8 is the no compromises king of the hill, featuring the ultimate combination of world-class luxury and performance in our most powerful, best-handling sedan ever."
UPDATE 07/15/2011: Chrysler has announced that the 2012 300 SRT8 will go on sale at a starting price of $47,995. The model will be built at the Brampton Assembly plant in Brampton, Ontario, Canada.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8.
We’ve been drowning in rumors about a Maserati SUV for a little while now - ever since the Maserati Kubang Concept came out in 2003 - so the thought of some semi-concrete evidence was rather inviting. A few months ago, the new Maserati SUV was finally confirmed by the brand, who set a launch for sometime in 2012. That confirmation was followed with rumors of a Ferrari-sourced engine, but as it turns out, Top Gear is hearing that Chrysler will actually be the ones powering the bulkier Maserati.
CEO of Chrysler Group and Fiat, Sergio Marchionne had said that the new SUV would carry a "rock and roll engine," possibly in both V8 and V12 variants. Current rumors suggest that the engine will actually be a Chrysler Hemi V8 with 465 HP and more torque than the original option. This engine will also fit better in the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee platform they have already confirmed for the Maserati model. Now, the future SUV will only be Italian on the badge, as the engine and chassis will be American made at Chrysler’s Jefferson North assembly plant. This should bode well for the SUV, since having a Ferrari engine would have undoubtedly hiked up the price.
Expect to see the official launch of the Maserati SUV at one of the major auto shows in 2012.
The only way you could give the PT Cruiser some street rep is to take out its four-cylinder mechanical guts and place something akin to a Dodge Viper’s powerhouse V10 in it, which, fortunately, is exactly what someone did to their beloved, little hatch. The result is a vehicle that epitomizes substance over style. On the outside, the first thing you’ll notice is the fact that this PT Cruiser was turned into a pick-up, which is weird enough on its own considering the retro hatch’s unmistakable profile. So without the rear doors and a hatch that has since been replaced with a pick-up bed, the PT Cruiser’s new profile lends itself a curious look.
That is until you pop open the hood.
Where a 2.4-liter four-cylinder, naturally aspirated engine that produces 150 horsepower and 165 lb-ft of torque once resided is now an old 8.0-liter V10 engine that produces 500 horsepower to go with the Viper’s six-speed transmission, rear suspension, and steering rack. The car is said to have been built some years back, but given it’s uniqueness and downright peculiarity – not to mention the insane power under its hood – it’s still something that will catch your attention.
Now is it enough to warrant a bid on eBay for more than the $13,100 price tag currently on display? We say absolutely only because something this weird with that much horsepower is bound to make anyone stand out in a crowd.
The Ram Long Hauler Concept Truck is a definite eye-catcher in every sense of the word, mostly because it seems to stretch longer than standard-sized pick-up trucks. Incredibly, all this is by design.
Chrysler’s Ram brand has officially unveiled their latest concept creation, a 24-foot long quad-cab pick-up truck that’s so big it can actually carry up to 170 gallons of fuel in one go while trucking non-stop at a distance of over 1,600 miles before it needs to be fed again.
The truck is based on the Class 5 Ram 5500 Chassis Cab, except that the whole thing has been extended to ridiculous lengths. Nothing about this pick-up truck screams ordinary. Even if it’s a concept, Chrysler is presenting it as an ideal ’work horse’ for people who might need to tow heavy trailers for long distances. Judging by the look of this mastadon of a pick-up truck, we already figured as much.
Check out more details of the Long Hauler Concept, together with exhibit dates, after the jump.
Chrysler is further expanding their 300 line-up with the addition of the new 300S models, offered in both V6 and V8 versions. The new models will arrive at Chrysler dealerships in the fall of 2011.
"No chrome . . . no wood . . . matte carbon fiber finishes . . . unique black or Radar Red leather . . . our biggest wheels, and world’s first integration of Beats by Dr. Dre audio technology – the best standard audio system period. This is the new Chrysler 300S and it has an attitude that comes through loud and clear," said Olivier Francois, President and CEO — Chrysler Brand and Lead Executive for Marketing, Chrysler Group LLC. "For the Chrysler brand, it’s not just about design, it’s about substance. And with the Chrysler team working with Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine for months, I know the new 300S with its mapped sound waves, designed algorithms and unique Beats Audio components are a direct result from our model collaboration – a partnership between an OEM and the music industry – that makes the 300S perform with the power to play music as the artist intended it to be heard."
Hit the jump to read more about the Chrysler 300S.
After focusing on the 300 in a series of variants, Chrysler has moved on to the 200 Convertible with the unveiling of the S version at the 2011 New York Auto Show. The 200 S Convertible features more luxury and sporty characteristics than the standard version with an improved exterior and interior look. It also gets a more powerful engine in the V6 variety to bump up the power from the standard model by 110 HP. The new 200 S Convertible will go on sale later this spring with prices starting from $32,490.
"The New York International Auto Show is the perfect place to debut the new 2011 Chrysler 200 S sedan and Chrysler 200 S convertible models," said Olivier Francois, President and CEO, Chrysler Brand – Chrysler Group LLC. "These vehicles are built with an unmistakable attitude and a signature style; and you could say the same of New York itself. The attitude may be ‘Imported from Detroit,’ but it’s definitely at home on Park Avenue."
Hit the jump to read more about the Chrysler 200 S Convertible.
Chrysler is on a mission to prove that their 300 is a car worth producing and apparently they think their path to success includes a series of different variants at the 2011 New York Auto Show. Next to the 300 SRT8, Chrysler has also brought the 300C Executive Series, a model designed to become the most luxurious Chrysler flagship sedan ever. The new edition will be offered with ultra-premium leather, world-class refinement and handling, and state-of-the-art safety and connectivity features. The new edition will go on sale in Fall 2011.
The Chrysler 300C Executive Series will be distinguished by a chromed fascia, mirror, and door handle accents with a unique platinum chrome finish. The platinum chrome finish extends to the grille surround and the platinum-chrome sculpted grille. The luxury continues for the interior as the 300C receives a plethora of leather adornments. There is a Mochachino or Black Poltrona Frau "Foligno" leather-wrapped instrument panel, cluster brow, center console side panels, and upper front- and rear-door panels, which is combined with premium Nappa leather on the door armrest, bolster, and center console armrest. The seats will be covered in a two-tone Mochachino or Black Nappa leather and will be combined with a Natural Pore Mocha or Pore Gray real wood trim finished in a low-gloss.
The luxurious add-ons continue with a long range of options including a Uconnect Touch 8.4N with Garmin navigation, a 160-mph LED-illuminated instrument cluster with driver-selectable color EVIC, and a HomeLink universal transceiver. The less exciting technological options include power-adjustable pedals with memory, a power backlight sunshade, power-folding chromed exterior mirrors with memory, and auto-dimming and auto-tilt in Reverse. Finishing the exterior of the 300C Executive Series are premium 18-ounce berber floor mats with nubuck trim, satin chrome lower door sills with the "Chrysler" logo, LED illuminated interior door handles, and front and rear map pockets.