FCA’s New "Reloaded by Creators" Service is Your Chance To Own a Classic Fiat or Alfa Romeo
Jaguar’s decision to complete the D-Type’s original production run isn’t the only significant thing to come out of the Retromobile show in Paris. Turns out, Fiat Chrysler Automobile also announced a similar initiative called “Reloaded by Creators.” The new sales service was created in part because FCA is now opening its books to sell a limited number of carefully selected classic cars, purchased by the service, and restored to their original condition. The proceeds generated by the sale of these classics will go to new “scouting activities” that will strengthen FCA’s own historic collection.
FCA Facing Big Fines Over Diesel Emissions Cheating
A new stage has been reached with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ legal troubles over alleged cheating diesels. The U.S. Department of Justice has offered to settle its lawsuit against the automaker if FCA recalls 104,000 Jeep and Ram vehicles equipped with the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 for a software upgrade and to pay a “very substantial” fine that, according to the DOJ, “adequately reflects the seriousness of the conduct that led to the violations.”
While the fine amount has not been disclosed, it will likely be far less than Volkswagen’s massive $30 billion fine over its emission test-dodging diesels fitted in 580,000 vehicles in the U.S. Globally, Volkswagen’s turbodiesel issue affected some 11 million vehicles. Estimates made last year by Barclays Plc, Mediobanca SpA and Evercore ISI say FCA could be liable for between $460 million and more than $1 billion.
Unlike Volkswagen, FCA has denied any wrongdoing or conscious effort to cheat on emissions testing with its EcoDiesel V-6. The EPA is also not requesting FCA conduct a buy-back of the vehicles. The diesels in question were sold in 2014 to 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokees and Ram 1500 pickups. The EPA denied FCA permission to sell 2017 model year vehicles with the EcoDiesel.
The EcoDiesel’s still has a future, though. FCA says its updated EcoDiesel will make more power and be available in future vehicles. The new engine is said to have increased horsepower from 240 to 260 and torque from 420 to 442 pound-feet. The engine will return to the Jeep Grand Cherokee, debut in the new Jeep Wrangler JL, and be available in the new 2019 Ram 1500.
FCA Has Filed a Patent for a Three-Screen Dashboard
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ interior designers are apparently obsessed with screens. A patent filing was just made public of an innovative dashboard design with three individual screens – one for the gauge cluster, the middle for the infotainment, and the right presumably for co-driving information. This comes after FCA’s recent debut of the 2019 Ram 1500 and its 12-inch, portrait-oriented infotainment screen in higher-end trims. Unfortunately, the three-screen filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had very little description or information about the dash or its intended use.
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FCA Almost Debt Free; Aims to Overtake Ford in Earnings!
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is having a record year. Lead by CEO Sergio Marchionne, the automaker is set to pay off all its debts and bank a projected $4.9 billion in cash by the end of 2018. The solid financial footing will put FCA in a stronger place to compete against General Motors and Ford, perhaps even surpassing them in earnings.
Marchionne told analysts in a recent earnings teleconference that, "There’s a very strong likelihood that we will outperform Ford in terms of operating earnings in 2018. That’s something that if I told any of us in the room here that would’ve been doable five years ago, nobody would have believed it."
FCA’s very positive standing is surprising considering Marchionne was practically begging General Motors for a merger, with CEO Mary Berra reportedly declining multiple offers. Now, Marchionne has completely dropped the idea, saying, "The necessity to find a partner, to try and guarantee our survival, going forward, is put to bed. I mean we’re done."
The automaker’s success is pinned on its truck and SUV sales lead by the Ram 1500, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Jeep Wrangler. Sales forecasts only show growth, too, thanks to an all-new Wrangler for 2018, an all-new Ram 1500 for 2019, a refreshed Jeep Cherokee for 2019, and the Jeep Grand Cherokee’s new halo model, the Hellcat-powered 2018 Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. Add to that Jeep’s upcoming Scrambler pickup, three-row Jeep Wagoneer, and the luxury-minded Grand Wagoneer.
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GAC Could Make its U.S. Launch Via FCA Dealerships
For those who were surprised to see GAC Motors at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, don’t be. The Chinese automaker has made plans to enter the U.S. market known. Now it looks like it may have found a door to enter, one that’s being opened by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. A report from The New York Times revealed that the automakers are in discussions on a partnership that will allow FCA dealerships to sell GAC models in the US as early as 2019.
FCA and Hyundai Probably Won’t Merge, but May Grow Closer Via a New Partnership
In a recent interview with Reuters, FCA Boss, Sergio Marchionne, said that FCA and Hyundai have been in talks over a new partnership, but a merger isn’t being considered at this time. At this time, there’s no word as to what FCA can offer Hyundai, but FCA is interested in the Korean automaker’s research in hydrogen fuel and transmission development. This is likely part of FCA’s plan to separate component brands like Magneti Marelli and Comau, though this hasn’t been confirmed and an official business plan isn’t expected until sometime in mid-2018 with this separation taking place by the end of 2018. If the plan does come to fruition and these companies are separated it could help push FCA back into the green for the first time, as a whole, in a long time. Want to know more? Keep reading…
The 6.2-Liter Hellcat V-8 Is Finally Available As A Crate Engine
Chrysler’s famed parts division, Mopar, is officially offering the mighty 6.2-liter Hellcat Hemi V-8 as a crate engine anyone can order. The package is called the “Hellcrate” and includes a brand-new engine with a three-year, unlimited mileage warranty. The optional Crate Hemi Engine Kit adds all the parts needed for a plug-and-play style engine swap into nearly any vehicle. The announcement comes as the 2017 SEMA Show kicks off in Las Vegas with thousands descending Sin City for all things in aftermarket automotive upgrades. This marks the first time the Hellcat V-8 has been available directly from Mopar. Before this, gearheads were left scouring junkyards for wrecked Hellcat Chargers and Challengers hoping to find a working engine.
“Never before has a supercharged, factory-direct 707-horsepower crate engine kit been offered, and we are proud to be the first to deliver a solution enthusiasts have demanded,” said Pietro Gorlier, Head of Mopar for FCA. “This ultimate powertrain option fits the needs of owners and fans who demand iconic performance.”
The Hellcrate, combined with the optional engine kit, includes the powertrain control module, power distribution center, wiring harnesses, accelerator pedal, fuel pump control module, and all the necessary sensors scattered between the air intake and exhaust manifolds. In other words, the package makes it relatively simple to install the 6.2-liter Hellcat V-8 into any project car, providing you know what you’re doing. Additionally, there is a front-end accessory drive kit that adds the alternator, power steering pump, pulleys, and belts.
Naturally, the Hellcrate isn’t cheap. Mopar charges $19,530 for the base Hellcrate package and $2,195 for the Crate Hemi Engine Kit. The Hellcat engine joins the 6.4-liter Hemi and 5.7-liter Hemi V-8s, which retail for $9,430 and $6,135, respectively.
So, what would your power with a Hellcat crate engine? Let us know in the comments below.
Apparently, Nobody Wants to Partner Up with or Buy FCA
Just a few days ago, it was reported Fiat Chrysler Automobiles had an offer on the table and could ultimately be sold to an unknown Chinese company. Since then, it has been said that Geely was out of the running, as was Dongfeng, and now you can add Guangzhou onto the list of companies that said “no thanks.” Word was that a well-known Chinese automaker had put up an offer, and after being reported to the masses via TV and Internet, FCA’s stock even climbed a bit. That being the case, it tells us that investors have more faith in Chinese automakers than FCA itself, but despite this, the most recent offer was rejected because it just wasn’t enough. Of course, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other companies that could bring some much-needed love to FCA, including brands like SAIC, Chery, and even BYD. But, rumor has it that the most recent offer was just over FCA’s market value, which is right around $20 billion. It almost sounds like Sergio Marchionne seems to think FCA is more valuable than it really is.
Let’s look at past events. An FCA purchase, or at the very least, a partnership, has been on the table for years. General Motors was a potential suitor, but that all fell apart, and Volkswagen ran away screaming. (No surprise there after the financial problems it ran into with the Dieselgate scandal.) And now, we’ve got three well-known Chinese manufacturers that would rather go it alone than obtain even a portion of FCA. That brings the total of companies to give FCA the middle finger up to five, including one American manufacturer and one German manufacturer. Of course, since the most recent deal was rejected, the potential buyer could come back with more money and see what old Sergio says, but at this point, I’m not sure. It just doesn’t look like anyone is dumb enough to buy into FCA. Yeah, that’s pretty harsh to say, but I have my own reasoning. Keep reading to find out more about it.
FCA Could Be Bought by a Chinese Automaker
Formed in 2014, the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) alliance has been doing very good these past three years, which is why Sergio Marchionne is on the lookout to either sell the company or make another merger with a big brand. FCA was refused by General Motors back in 2015 and Marchionne’s attempts to find a new collaboration have been unsuccessful so far. However, it seems that FCA is actually on the brink of finding a new owner. According to new reports, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has received at least one offer in August from a "well-known Chinese automaker."
That’s the word from Automotive News, which claims that the over was slightly higher than FCA’s current market value, but the Italian-American alliance rejected it for not being enough. There’s no detailed information as to what Chinese automaker made the offer, but speculation has it that FCA is negotiating with more than one company. Also, a source close to FCA said that company executives have traveled to China to meet with Great Wall Motor Co., while different sources claim talks with Dongfeng Motor Corp., Zhejiang Geely, and Guangzhou Automobile Group.
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Predicting FCA’s Plans For its Recent "Angel" Trademark
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.
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More Rumors On FCA’s Straight-Six; This Time It’s Diesel!
Rumors are circulating that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is investigating the use of inline six-cylinder engines for future use. The FCA-dedicated yet independent new site Allpar reported earlier this week FCA is working on a gasoline-powered I-6. Now Allpar is reporting its sources within FCA a turbodiesel version is also under consideration.
Unlike the gasoline I-6 that’s said to be based on FCA’s Global Medium Engine family, the six-cylinder diesel is a member of the FPT, or Fiat Powertrain Technologies line of four-cylinder diesels. These FPT engines are already widely used, even in the U.S., within vehicles like the Ram ProMaster.
The current FPT engine displaces 3.0 liters and generates 174 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Adding two cylinders to block would push displacement to 4.0 liters while increasing power. The engine could potentially generate 261 horsepower and an impressive 442 pound-feet of torque – that is, if the power increases at the same percentage as the cylinder count.
But what would FCA power with this engine? There are several possibilities.
For one, the Ram 1500 could see its 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 turbodiesel get swapped for this. The ProMaster van might use the 4.0-liter I-6 as its range-topping engine, barring any issues with its transverse packaging. Even Jeep could use the turbodiesel, both in the Wrangler and other vehicles like the Grand Cherokee and upcoming Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer.
Even more interesting, Allpar speculates the engine, (perhaps called the 4.0-liter EcoDiesel I-6) might be used as an entry-level turbodiesel in the Ram Heavy Duty trucks. The smaller EcoDiesel would surely undercut the cost of the 6.7-liter Cummins inline-six turbodiesel. Then again, Ram isn’t likely to jeopardize its relationship with the famed diesel engine manufacturer.
These rumors could shed light on a new era in FCA engine building and America’s true adoption of turbodiesel engines as a viable power source. On the flip side, these rumors could prove to be complete off base. FCA could even scrap the inline-six idea altogether if the market changes. Only time will tell, but the possibilities seem open.
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Is FCA Bringing Back the Straight-Six?
News out of Auburn Hills regarding powertrain changes is becoming regular these days. First is was a rumor suggesting the venerable and widely used 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 will soon end production. Now sources are telling Allpar that FCA is toying with the idea of inline six-cylinder engines.
Chrysler has a long history of using inline six-cylinder engines. Major players include the AMC straight-six found in everything from sedans and budget muscle cars to Jeeps and pickups between 1964 and 2006. The iconic 4.0-liter I-6 found in Jeep products is perhaps the pentacle of Chrysler I-6 design and one of the most legendary Chrysler engines of all time. Sadly that engine met its demise with the introduction of the Jeep Wrangler JK in 2007.
Allpar speculates the new inline six-cylinder would be based on FCA’s current Global Medium Engine four-cylinder. Currently displacing 2.0 liters and found in the Alfa Romeo Giulia, the turbo-four makes 280 horsepower and 306 pound-feet of torque thanks to an intercooler, 16 valves operated by dual overhead cams, and direct fuel injection. Adding two extra cylinder to the GME could result in horsepower levels over 400 and torque levels beyond 450 pound-feet. That is, if power levels grow at the same percentage as the cylinder count.
So, could a 3.0-liter inline-six be on the horizon for FCA vehicles, including Ram, Dodge, and Jeep? Only time will tell, but the path to that end seems oddly clear. Consider the resurgence of rear-wheel drive vehicles, like the Alfa Romeo Giulia, along with new versions of current rear-wheel drive models like the Jeep Wrangler, Ram 1500, and even Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger.
Ford has already proved that turbocharged engines with smaller displacements can generate quite the kick, while providing impressively reliability despite outrageous payload and towing demands. Should FCA follow in the EcoBoost’s footsteps, we could see an impressively powerful yet butter-smooth straight-six under the hood of the next generation of FCA vehicles.
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Is FCA Killing the 5.7-liter Hemi? Rumors Say Yes
Rumor has it Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is killing off the venerable and well-respected 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 sometime after the 2018 model year. The word comes from Allpar, a news source dedicated to Mopar and FCA news with close ties and inside sources inside the automaker. Allpar says several of its sources agree the 5.7-liter Hemi is slated to leave production next year.
As a reminder, the 5.7-liter Hemi is used in everything from the Dodge Challenger and Charger, and the Chrysler 300 to larger vehicles like the Ram 1500, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Dodge Durango. The engine relies on tried-and-true technology like a cam-in-block design with overhead valves with variable timing. It even has cylinder deactivation for fuel savings.
The rumor further details FCA’s ramp in Hemi production to create a stockpile before assembly is forever closed. But why would FCA discontinue one of its most popular and widely uses engines?
The first and most obvious answer would be the introduction of a new V-8. This new engine could have far more modern technology like dual overhead cams, forced induction, a variable pressure oil pump, direct fuel injection and a smaller displacement. FCA might even include its MultiAir valvetrain technology for more control of the intake valves.
Though a turbocharger and dual overhead cams would require more room under the hood, both would help improve efficiency while giving the engine more power. The current 5.7-liter is rated at 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque in the Ram 1500 pickup. Other Hemi-powered vehicles have tunes tailored to their needs.
Currently Ford holds top honors for technological wizardry with its second-generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6. It pumps out an impressive 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque thanks to a twin-turbocharger setup, yet still, achieves nearly 26 mpg on the highway. Ram would be smart to benchmark the EcoBoost.
The second theory, and one far less attractive to V-8 fans, would be the introduction of an EcoBoost-like turbocharged V-6. Ford has had major success with the EcoBoost and FCA might be following that lead. However, it’s hard to imagine FCA – a company devoted to displacement and horsepower – dumping the V-8 for something less iconic.
It’s worth noting the rumors also say the 6.4-liter and supercharged 6.2-liter Hellcat V-8 will continue production.
Either way, FCA should reveal its plans within the next year or so. The Ram pickups are scheduled for a full generational change for the 2019 model year, so it’s highly likely we’ll see any powertrain updates coordinate with a mid-2018 launch.
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FCA Design Boss Says Fiat Toro Not Coming to U.S.
The Fiat Toro, a mid-size lifestyle pickup sold in Latin America, looks like a promising competitor to the Honda Ridgeline. Only it isn’t coming to the U.S. That news comes directly from FCA’s design boss, Ralph Gilles, and his Twitter feed. Gilles tweeted Wednesday that FCA has no plans on selling the unibody pickup in the U.S.
Gilles’ tweet said, “I must clear something up from this morning #MAMA I meant I love the new 2017 #Fiat Toro sold in Latin America, no plans to sell it in the U.S.”
As he stated, the tweet was meant to clear the air after his speech at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show, which led many to believe the Fiat Toro would have a future in North America. “You’re going to be seeing more from fiat on the truck side, especially,” Gilles said at the auto show.
This is disappointing news for the mid-size truck segment. Currently the Honda Ridgeline is the only unibody offering. It competes with several body-on-frame trucks, including the ever-popular Toyota Tacoma. The Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon also make up a large portion of market share.
What’s more, the mid-size truck segment isn’t slowing down. Ford recently made headlines with confirmation of the mid-size Ranger pickup’s return for the 2019 model year, along with the Bronco SUV, which will share the Ranger’s underpinnings. Then, of course, Jeep is set to debut its new 2018 Wrangler and its pickup variant.
For whatever reason, FCA doesn’t seem inclined to enter the market. Perhaps FCA bean counters are worried the Fiat Toro would compete too closely against the Jeep Wrangler pickup. Perhaps FCA simply couldn’t meet demand with the U.S. joining the customer base.
Then again, Gilles could have spoken too early about FCA’s plans to debut the Toro for U.S. consumption, having then to cover his tracks with pacifying statements regarding FCA’s lack of plans for a U.S.-sold Toro.
Whatever the reason, it’s clear many are passionate about the Fiat Toro and its potential launch in American dealerships.
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