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Predicting FCA's Plans For its Recent "Angel" Trademark

Predicting FCA’s Plans For its Recent "Angel" Trademark

We have ideas, some more serious than others

Proving yet again that the auto world can be a place rich in irony, Fiat Chrysler Automobile has filed a trademark for the name “Angel,” which the automaker plans to use on a “passenger vehicle” of some sort. Color me amused because, at the very least, FCA is turning its troll game up to a new level; the “Angel” name runs diametrically opposed to the identity of the automaker’s latest muscle car masterpiece, the Dodge Challenger Demon. So what gives here? What’s FCA up to exactly?

Unfortunately, your guess is as good as ours at this point because FCA didn’t exactly divulge details on what it has planned for the “Angel” name. All we know at this point, thanks to our friends over at Fiat Chrysler Authority, is that the name could be used on “trims and badges” of any future model. The fact that the trademark was only filed on July 17 means that this is a new deal for FCA. It’s got plans for the name at some point in the future. How it plans to use it, or if it does at all, is the question that all of us need some answers to sooner or later. You’ve got our attention, FCA. That much I’m sure of. Now, how about giving us some hints because, at this point, all we have are predictions on what you have planned for the “Angel” name.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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1962 Ghia L6.4

1962 Ghia L6.4

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.

Update 08-19-2016: This article has been updated with new images from RM Sotheby’s Auction at Monterey Car Week in 2016.

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

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Fiat Chrysler Trademarks "Barracuda"

Fiat Chrysler Trademarks "Barracuda"

The 1964-1974 Plymouth Barracuda has been out of production for more than 40 years now, but the name has been popping up in the rumor mill with great frequency over the last six years, and Fiat Chrysler only keeps fanning the flames. The latest Barracuda-related news comes from a trademark filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the name under “motor vehicles, namely, passenger automobiles, their structural parts, trim and badges.”

Chrysler enthusiast site Allpar spotted this trademark news, which was filed on June 23rd, but is quick to point out that it doesn’t necessarily mean that FCA has any plans to apply the name to a future vehicle. Trademarks are updated all the time, and the site even speculates that it could be just to maintain licensing.

As for the rumors of a next-gen Barracuda, they started popping up about the same time as the Challenger’s arrival, and most recently as an SRT-badged replacement for the Dodge Challenger. Of course, that never happened and most likely won’t, especially with the SRT brand being folded back into Dodge.

Either way, only time will tell, but with the strong streak that FCA has been on recently, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a Chrysler Barracuda sports car hit the road in the near future.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Fiat Chrysler Plans 20 New Models By 2016

Fiat Chrysler Plans 20 New Models By 2016

In a move that would see an expansion to challenge the likes of General Motors Co., Toyota Motor Corp., and Volkswagen AG, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is looking to invest $55.5 billion to expand the Alfa Romeo, Jeep, and Maserati lineups, with 20 new models hitting the road by 2016 to attract customers around the globe. The new models would include two new Alfa Romeos and the Maserati Alfieri.

According to a report from The Detroit News, CEO Sergio Marchionne hopes to boost sales by 60 percent to seven million cars in 2018, following a boost in sales to over five millions cars this year. The automaker expects increased demand in worldwide markets including Brazil, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and North America. 

The Detroit News also reports that FCA is adding over 1,000 new workers to the Italian plant building the Jeep Renegade in order to help meet demand. 

So far, the automaker hopes to cut debt by raising $5 billion with a separation of the Ferrari brand and the selling of a 10 percent stake in the unit on a stock market later next year. 

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles was created last year through the merger of Fiat S.p.A and Chrysler Group, and is represented by numerous brands, including Dodge, Lancia, Ram Trucks, Abarth, Mopar, and SRT.

Click past the jump to read more about Fiat Chrysler’s new 20 models.

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Fiat Wanted to Axe the Hellcat Engine

Fiat Wanted to Axe the Hellcat Engine

Imagine living in a world where the Chrysler’s Hellcat engine didn’t exist. Don’t visualize it too much because that alternate reality almost became the real world. Yep. One of the year’s best engines almost never happened. Automotive News is reporting that Fiat almost axed the Hellcat in early 2011 because it couldn’t decide where to spend depleted funds for product development.

Chris Cowland, Chrystler’s director of advanced and SRT powertrain, told Automotive News that the company decided to ice engine development of the Hellcat to focus on other projects. Still, SRT continued to lobby for the continued development of the engine and after four months on the shelves, Chrysler’s product development committee finally decided to bring the project back to life.

But restarting it was just solving one part of the problem. Even though that hurdle was cleared, there was still that not so small matter of actually building the engine, which, according to Cowland, required a a ton of research, development, and the foresight to understand that simply dumping a supercharger between its cylinder heads won’t be enough. New parts had to be built to fit into the engine’s blueprint, and whatever parts and systems that were already in the engine had to be carefully optimized to ensure that they could handle the stress of 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque.

The development of the Hellcat HEMI quickly turned into a full-blown master’s education in faith, technical know-how, and perseverance. It required developing the block right down to the minutest of details.

According to Cowland, normal pistons, valves, and rods wouldn’t be able the handle the massive energy of the engine, so engineers had to find the strongest and lightest versions of these components and make sure they were stable enough to handle the demands of the engine. Engineers even used industrial diamonds on a steel washer to prevent the pulley from slipping on the crankshaft when the engine is subjected to hard acceleration.

If certain items or systems couldn’t be found, Chrysler had to invent them from scratch. The fact that the connecting rods required an electric water pump, piston-cooling jets, a variable oil pump, and bronze bushings speaks to the incredible amount of technical understanding needed just to get the Hellcat engine running up to its potential.

In the end, Chrysler’s engineers somehow pulled it off, creating the most powerful regular production engine fitted into an American muscle car.

And to think it almost never happened…

Click past the jump to read more about the Hellcat Hemi V-8 Engine.

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Chrysler Trademarks "Rebel" name

Chrysler Trademarks "Rebel" name

With news pouring in about Chrysler Group’s five-year production plan that includes new brand strategies, new launches and axing of long-standing models, the Detroit-based manufacturer has also filed to trademark the "Rebel" moniker

The patent filing, which has been submitted with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office nearly a month ago, according to Ignitionist, states that the trademark is to be used on "motor vehicles (...) and structural parts therefor," suggesting we might see anything from an automobile to an SUV wearing a "Rebel" badge in the near future.

There’s no info as to what sort of Rebel will hit the streets over the next few years, but that doesn’t mean we can’t speculate a bit.

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about this nameplate is the AMC Rebel, a midsize built by American Motors from 1967 through 1970. It’s true that Chrysler is somewhat entitled to use the name it purchased in 1987 along with the AMC brand, but that’s not likely to happen. With the Challenger and Charger filling in the muscle car and sedan spots, we see no reason for Chrysler to push the envelope in that direction.

On the other hand, the "Rebel" moniker may very well be used to name a replacement for the Dodge Avenger, a slightly smaller sedan that’s scheduled to go out of production by the end of 2014. However, with no actual details in sight aside from the fact that it could be underpinned by an Alfa Romeo rear-wheel drive platform, it might be years until we find out.

Lastly, there’s a chance the newly-filed "Rebel" name is set to be used to more utilitarian purposes, like christening an upcoming Jeep crossover or even a special edition pickup truck based on the Ram 1500. Of course, we could go as far as to dream about a Jeep-badged truck (remember the Gladiator?), but that’s far-fetched on too many levels.

Either way, we’ll be keeping a close eye on the matter and bring you an update as soon as more info surfaces. Meanwhile, don’t be shy about sharing your own opinion on the "Rebel" conundrum with us via the comments section.

Click past the jump to read more about the Rebel nameplate.

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2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 Pitch Black

2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 Pitch Black

For the record, this isn’t a special edition model, nor is it a new trim introduced by Chrysler.

This one-off 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392, called Pitch Black, is owned by Chrysler CEO, Sergio Marchionne. But he’s saying adios to it because the car is headed to the auction block at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Palm Beach, Florida this coming April.

So why is Marchionne selling this doozy of a one-off? Well, give credit to the man because proceeds from the auction will go directly to the United Way for Southeastern Michigan and the money will be used for education, income and basic needs of people in the Detroit area.

About the car itself, it gets its "Pitch Black" designation because of the color of the body. Adding to that are a slew of other design and aero components, including: a set of custom mixed “Dark Charcoal” racing stripes, lowered suspension that makes use of a Mopar adjustable coil-over kit, and a Mopar exhaust system. In addition, the muscle car also has smoked taillights and a set of factory forged 20-inch wheels with a matte-black finish.

Black leather seats embroidered with “SRT” and “392” logos adorn the interior of the one-off Challenger while a state-of-the-art SRT-exclusive Electronic Vehicle Information Center was also installed.

Finally, the Marchionne’s Challenger SRT8 392 comes with a 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 engine that produces a stout 470 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque, good enough to hit 60 mph in less than five seconds with a quarter-mile time of just a shade under 13 seconds.

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Video: Jay Leno reviews the 1963 Chrysler Turbine

Video: Jay Leno reviews the 1963 Chrysler Turbine

Old or new, Jay Leno has always reviewed some of the most amazing cars offered on the market, and the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage show is no exception. He may not have been reviewing a Ferrari or a Lamborghini supercar, this episode is about one of the most unique creations ever produced Stateside.

We are talking about the 1963 Chrysler Turbine, a model limited to only 55 units — 46 of which were destroyed after the project was decommissioned. The car was powered by a JP-4 jet fuel engine that delivered a total of 130 horsepower and was able to get the car to 60 mph in 12 seconds.

Apparently, this is the amazing car Jay Lenos has lusted after since he was 14 years old, so you can imagine that this episode is packed with all kinds of amazing footage: a book review, a road test, and Chrysler’s original promotional video.

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Video: SRT Family Ties

Video: SRT Family Ties

The newest member in the Chrysler family is SRT (Street and Racing Technology), which was unveiled at the same time as the new generation Viper that bnow bears its name. According to Chrysler, this new extension of their brand will be responsible for the development of the most powerful performance models available.

A lot goes behind setting up an arm such as SRT. Each department has a specific use in the grand scheme of the automotive world. Today, SRT has unveiled a video that explains the essence of this newly created brand and solidifies its purpose for the company: "The SRT family of five street and racing technology vehicles represents the pinnacle of Chrysler performance. Five different ways to get your revs up - all bred from the minds of those passionate about making cars better, faster and stronger."

SRT has already wowed us with their new generationViper, but we have to wonder what other scintillating models they have in store. The next piece of this SRT puzzle comes in the form of the Barracuda, but will it be able to stand up to its German competitors? Only time will tell, but they are sure off to a great start!

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Want an SRT Viper? Your dealer must prove itself worthy

Want an SRT Viper? Your dealer must prove itself worthy

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.

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Rumormill: Lancia May Turn the Chrysler 300 into a Two Door

Rumormill: Lancia May Turn the Chrysler 300 into a Two Door

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.

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Like! Chrysler's Facebook page reveals SRT Viper teaser

Like! Chrysler’s Facebook page reveals SRT Viper teaser

A few days ago, Chrysler created an official Facebook page for their upcoming SRT Viper and promised that if the page received 10,000 likes by February 1st, they would reveal a teaser image of the next Viper. As expected, the page had received 10,000 likes in just a few hours and now Chrysler has kept their promise. This first teaser image isn’t much, but at least it allows us an idea of how cool the new Viper will be.

As many already know, the future supercar will drop the "Dodge" name and will instead be simply called the SRT Viper. It has been rumored that the next generation Viper will keep its V10 engine, but unlike the previous generation, will use an 8.7 liter displacement instead. Output is believed to be in the 700 HP area.

The new SRT Viper will be making its world debut at the 2012 New York Auto Show in April. Stay tuned for more details!

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Dodge Viper ACR blasts Nurburging record with 7:12 lap time

Dodge Viper ACR blasts Nurburging record with 7:12 lap time

Put back the champagne in the freezer, Lexus; you’re just-set record lap time of 7:14 around the Nurburgring has been broken. How’s it feel to hold one of the auto world’s most famous titles for less than a month?

You can blame Chrysler’s SRT team for that because the latter went to the ’Ring with only one thing in mind: get under 7:14 in one lap. And just as records are always meant to be broken regardless of how fresh they are, Chrysler’s Dodge Viper ACR blasted around the Nurburgring in a blistering time of 7:12. The exact time has yet to be released - there are tenths of seconds in that equation - but make no mistake, it’s more than a second faster than the 7:14.6 time the Lexus LF-A Nurburgring Package achieved earlier this month.

We are sure there are people over at the Lexus camp that are clearly not happy with this latest development. But like we said, records are meant to be broken. The Dodge Viper ACR has raised the bar and dropped the gauntlet on everybody else. Now its up to one of the rest to answer back.

UPDATE 09/27/2011: Chrysler has finally brought out the official confirmation for the Nurburgring record set by the Viper ACR on Sept. 14, 2011. "We’re extremely proud to set the lap record for a second time at the famed Nürburgring Nordschleife," said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO – SRT Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC. "Our team returned to Germany knowing we’d left some time on the track when we set our first lap record, so this effort shows the incredible depth and capability the Viper ACR has by running a full 10 seconds faster than we did in 2008."

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SRT models in line to get new 540-570 HP supercharged engine

SRT models in line to get new 540-570 HP supercharged engine

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.

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