by Patrick Rall
While the walkthrough video above allows one to virtually visit the entire Chrysler display at the 2015 North American International Auto Show, we wanted to show off the vehicles that the company had to offer during media days in still pictures. Below you will find a shot of each of the cars, trucks, and SUVs on display from the Dodge and Ram Truck brands, as well as some other aspects of the display that apply to these two brands.
With the introduction of the new 2015 Ram Rebel, Ram was the star of the show from Chrysler, and while there were only a handful of vehicles on display during media days, they had a big impact on the show. The Rebel kept essentially the same shape as other Rams, but used a unique front fascia and grille, tailgate with “RAM” stamped in large letters, a higher lift, a different paint scheme,and powder-coated flat-black bumpers.
The tailgate may remind some of Ford’s new trucks, but those who have been around longer may recall when all American pickups, including Dodge, had their names stamped in huge letters on the tailgates.
For commercial buyers, the company showed off its Ram ProMaster City, which is available as either a passenger or cargo van, and the much-acclaimed Ram 1500 diesel.
Those who don’t need a pickup but just like Ram itself, or who have a pickup and want to show it off, can choose from a fairly large selection of Ram accessories.
The Dodge display was much larger than that of Ram, though Ram easily, easily outsells Dodge. While there were no big debuts, the long list of high performance Mopar performance cars (topped by a pair of 707 horsepower supercharged Hemi-powered cars) drew a big crowd during the media days. (Is the first line below “they may be gone,” or “they may be cone”?)
The virtual drive of the Dodge Charger Scat Pack was one of the coolest attractions in Detroit’s Cobo Hall. The company has a new Charger Scat Pack sitting in front of a large flat screen, but what you cannot see is the mechanisms under the car which rock the body from side to side, forward and back. The brakes and steering are both disconnected from the ordinary mechanisms, so the wheels don’t move and the brake lights don’t light.
Each person gets into the new Charger and “drives” the car by using the steering wheel and pedals. On the screen in front of the car is a first-person view, similar to what you would see if you were actually driving the car on a track. As you accelerate, the car that you are sitting in leans back while turning leans the car side to side and braking causes the car to nose down. This gives the driver the sensation of driving the car while playing a video game that has them racing against a group of other modern Dodge products. This is free, and next to the screen is a leaderboard so anyone attending the Detroit Auto Show in the next week and a half can take a shot at being the quickest to pilot the 2015 Charger around the virtual road course.
There was also a B5 Blue Charger Scat Pack. Real cars like this are to start production in mid-March, according to reliable source oh2o.
Sure, it’s got relatively tame horsepower ratings and gets 31 mpg on the highway, but the V6 Charger is still as fast as the 2005 Hemi Chargers, doing 0-60 in 6.6 seconds flat (at least, the 2014s did, with the same powertrain). The 2015s are similar in most regards, with upgraded interiors and electronics, but the somewhat controversial front end looks relatively seamless and the car itself is more aerodynamic... albeit not enough to bump up the official highway mileage.
The top of the line is the 707 horsepower Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, easily outpowering (and outpricing) the fastest Chrysler-branded car made, as well as generating more power than any Chrysler Corporation car ever made, and reaching a higher top speed than any stock American sedan, ever. That includes the more-aerodynamic (from a period before any serious safety rules) 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona.
The Challenger SXT should now do 0-60 in around two seconds less than the past model, while getting much better gas mileage, as all Challengers got eight-speed automatics for 2015 (except when buyers opt for the Tremec manual transmission). The Challenger SXT comes with a little horsepower bump over the Charger; and for 2015 the main exterior changes are the halo lamps and the retro-but-not-the-same-year grille inserts.
The Hellcat Challenger has Air Catcher fog lamps (the center is not a fog lamp but an air path, which was actually needed to cool the supercharged V8) and a different look than the standard Challengers. Oh, and a 707 horsepower engine.
A Challenger Scat Pack Shaker was also shown; the hood scoop is mounted to the engine, not the hood, so if you had a 1970s engine with a carburetor and such, it would shake while the engine idled. No such luck with the smoothly-running 392 V8,which only shakes if you suddenly floor the gas.
The 2014 Dodge Challenger T/A concept car follows the legendary Challenger T/A package of the 1970s. The functional scoop hood with gloss black hood pins includes a Mopar induction system which brings cool air coming into the 6.4-liter legendary 392 HEMI® engine.
The new semi-bespoke Viper GTC package includes a “personal concierge” to guide buyers through the purchase and product process, provides a choice of 8,000 exterior colors and more than 24,000 stripe packages to help create a large group of 1-of-1 Mopar super cars; buyers can also choose to tour the assembly line and pick up their car there.
For those wanting something more affordable and more nimble, there’s the compact/mid-sized Dart GT, with a sport-tuned suspension and specially tuned 2.4 engine:
It doesn’t seem like a Dodge, somehow, and in many part of the world they sell a Fiat version of it, the Freemont, but the Journey is still a good seller for Dodge, replacing the old short-wheelbase Caravan.
The Durango R/T seems to fit the Dodge muscle image a bit better, though it’s essentially a road-tuned Grand Cherokee.
Dodge has its own apparel, as you’d expect. Note the Hemi gear.
... and then there’s Mopar, the customization/aftermarket brand which is being brought worldwide by Fiat.
Neither Jeep nor Chrysler had any big debuts, but the Chrysler brand continues to show off its new and improved sedan lineup and the industry’s best-selling minivan, while Jeep had a group of both stock and Mopar-modified models. (Town & Country’s success is rather interesting given the lower price and similar core features and engineering of the Dodge Caravan.)
While there were no big announcements at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show for the “affordable luxury brand,” NAIAS was the first chance for many in the Motor City to see the refreshed 2015 Chrysler 300. Joining the new 300 was the hot-selling 200 sedan and the Chrysler Town & Country minivan, which took the US minivan sales crown for 2014 — relegating the prior winner to fourth place, below Chrysler, Dodge, and Toyota.
The Chrysler 200S, available now, gleamed in white.
The sporty Chrysler 300S is shown in front of the Alfa Romeo 4C display — a somewhat different approach to building a car.
The new top of the line is the Chrysler 300C Platinum, replacing the somewhat pretentious Varvatos Edition. The Platinum comes with paddle shifters, the only way to get them in a 300C. There are rumors of a 392-powered 300C in the future, but so far, outside of right-hand-drive markets such as Australia, they remain rumors.
The Jeep spread at the media days of the 2015 North American International Auto Show was quite a bit bigger than that of the Chrysler brand, not surprising given Jeep’s far higher sales and its position as the #1 seller of SUVs in the United States. Rather than just showing off for-sale trimlines, Jeep showed a hefty injection of Mopar style, with not one but two customized Renegades — one “urban,” one “off-road.”
The stock Renegade was also shown, in the person of this burnt orange example.
The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon remains the most off-road capable Jeep, and possibly the most off-road capable civilian vehicle you can buy in the United States today. Certainly, it’s the top off-roader for the money (though the two-door classic Wrangler is more capable than the four-door Unlimited shown here).
The displays included a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon on the wall — attaching a two-ton-plus vehicle must have been quite a challenge.
Jeep Patriot and Compass were also shown, along with this Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk (we recently reviewed one and found that the growing pains have been beaten.)
Gleaming under the bright lights in a bright white was this Jeep Grand Cherokee California Edition. An SRT was also shown.
Joining the various accessory lines was this section for Jeep.
2015 Detroit show • Ram Rebel • Sergio Marchionne Q&A • Viper GTC • Press Kits • Fiat, Alfa
Hellcat Cars • Interview with Ram Chief Engineer Mike Cairns
Past Detroit shows: 2006 • 2007 • 2008 • 2009 • 2010 • 2011 • 2012 • 2013 • 2014
Also see: All car shows • Interviews • Sergio 2013 • Sergio 2014
Chrysler Heritage • History by Year • Chrysler People and Bios • Corporate Facts and History
More Mopar Car and Truck News
FCA Pays down debt by $1.8 billion • Dodge Demon hints... • 2017 Compass (MP) Info