Upcoming Dodge, Ram, and Jeep Trucks and SUVs
Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango, Wagoneer, Maserati
The Maserati Levante crossover is due soon; it uses Maserati and modified VM diesel engines, based on the modified-LX chassis and platform used in Ghibli, and will be built in Italy.
The Wagoneer, a luxury seven-seater positioned above the Grand Cherokee (Durango is currently $2,000 more at the base level), is still planned for the time when a minivan-based crossover joins the Dodge lineup, replacing the Caravan. One correspondent reported: “Grand Wagoneer looks just like the classic Wagoneer with a bit of Durango styling.”
Ram vans (commercial vans)
Fiat Doblo is to be sold as Ram ProMaster City, with minor changes, imported from Turkey; we expect the sole powertrain to be the 1.4 liter turbocharged engine, most likely made in Europe, though a diesel is possible.
The Ram ProMaster van, Chrysler-modified from the Fiat Ducato, is made in Mexico and sold under both North and South American free trade agreements. The van was extensively modified by Ram engineers, particularly the parts you can’t see. See Fiat commercial vans and ProMaster passenger vans.
Ram Heavy Duty / Medium Duty Pickups and Chassis Cabs
oh20 wrote: “Dodge is currently working on a plan that would make the Ram 4500 and 5500 chassis cabs available to all Ram dealers.”
The Long Hauler concept used a Kelderman air suspension in front and rear, for higher capacity with a smoother ride; that model was based on the Ram 5500, which has a leaf-spring rear suspension. Here’s the full Long Hauler story and status update (as part of a January 2014 interview).
Commercial heavy-duty trucks (e.g. tractors, class 7-8) might be planned, though they could be Ivecos, and aren't expected until 2015 at the earliest. Update: According to Fred Diaz, these were discussed, but leaders decided that they did not know the market well enough, and decided to wait until the end of the Five Year Plan and then to reconsider it. Push that date back a few years.
The Gladiator concept truck was driven on-stage at a 2010 dealer meeting, with an indication that something like it might be made. Sergio Marchionne later said it would probably be a Wrangler-based vehicle with a short bed. A Mopar pickup kit followed, then a September 2011 statement that a Jeep pickup is still a few years out. It now appears to be slated for 2015-2016, along with the new Wrangler itself.
Two new pickups have been rumored to be closer and more likely. One is a Ram 50-sized compact powered by the Tiger Shark four cylinder; it’s due for Mexican production — Mexico, because then they can sell it all over North and South America without duties — both the South American and North American free trade zones include Mexico.
The other is the Dodge Dakota replacement, possible 2015 Ram Dakota, lighter but still capable -- the so-called "lifestyle Dakota." In 2007, when we first broke the story on this new truck, we quoted a Dodge rep saying that it would still be capable, just not as capable. Chances are that plans have changed since then.
There is only space in the product plan for one new pickup truck, and it’s an American-platform vehicle, which presumably rules out a beefed up Strada. Suzq044 has provided two renderings showing possible design directions, along with the one above from JackRatchett. JackRatchett was basing his off statements that a minivan-based truck would be made at Windsor; this now appears to be unlikely, though it’s still possible that the forthcoming pickup will come from the new minivan platform.
The rendering above shows a truck made on its own platform; the one below, a modification of the Dodge Charger to provide an El Camino/Ranchero/Rampage style pickup/car. The variety here may indicate that we do not know exactly what Ram is going to do, and that would be a valid conclusion.
Ram 1500 pickup trucks, SRT10
See the Ram 1500 page. As for another SRT10 Ram, Ralph Gilles said in May 2012, “We'll never put an SRT engine just randomly in any car... just never, that's just not what you do with a performance engine. ... [When John McElroy asked about the Ram V10:] We did look at it, to be honest with you...in the past... but, the original short wheelbase V10 truck was an amazing machine... When we went to four doors we ruined the formula. ...I vowed, we will never do that again.” A two-door Ram with the Viper V10 is possible, but seems unlikely in the foreseeable future, and would not arrive until 2016 at the earliest.
Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Scrambler / Gladiator
A US diesel is being looked at seriously. An updated transfer case may appear, possibly bringing back a full-time setting for broader market appeal. Sheet metal changes will improve aerodynamics (strong chance of major windshield and front end redesign). There is a chance of some sort of “stripped” model as the production line can now apply bedliner to tubs during assembly. Better quality is also expected.
Word from within Chrysler suggests that the Jeep Wrangler plant in Toledo, Ohio, has come under increasing scrutiny by company engineers, as they attempt to expand production and, many believe, make room for variants including a factory pickup and vehicles closer to the original Peeps in functionality. Insiders told Allpar that the plant was built without expansion in mind, which may have made sense at the time, with sales well below the plant's maximum output for many years. Engineers have found ways to "make" space within the existing plant by reconfiguring it.
Many now believe an independent suspension Wrangler based on “Li’l Blue” is under development and will replace the traditional solid axle setup. If the company can produce it along the lines of the 1990s prototype, it should provide good articulation with a superior on-road ride, but at the cost of higher prices.
CUSW, C-EVO, D crossovers
B-SUV: not Jeepster
A miniature Jeep, code-named BU (not to be called Jeepster) and based on a spur of the 500X, has been developed, primarily in India, for worldwide sale. The new vehicle has been delayed as Jeep capability required many changes from the Fiat platform and architecture, according to a leader of Chrysler’s India engineering center in Chennai (established before Fiat). Engineering was done in Auburn Hills, Italy, and India. Little is known about this vehicle so far but it appears to have a traditional Jeep grille, a more traditional shape than the 2014 Cherokee, and should arrive around 2014-2015.
Jeep Patriot / Jeep Compass
For the current model: as predicted by oh2o, the Compass and Patriot switched to a normal six-speed automatic, jettisoning the Nissan CVT2. The 2014 model year started early (February 2013), but by mid-2014, both Compass and Patriot will have been replaced (this might no longer be the case. Compass appears to have gotten a new lease on life.)
The new transmission is, as predicted by informed speculation at the Allpar forums, likely be the same one used on the Kia Sportage and Hyundai ix35.
The DynaMax AWD system, currently built in Korea by Hyundai, uses an electric oil pump to create pressure, applying a multi-disc clutch to move torque from the front wheels to the rear differential. As more pressure is applied, more torque is shifted back. The Controller Area Network (CAN bus), which is also used by Chrysler, monitors the steering angle, car's speed, throttle position, wheel speed sensors, and the clutch oil pressure, to calculate the ideal front-rear torque split and the current system status. The system starts up with all wheels engaged by default. It does not use any pump valves. We do not know if this system is in use on Compass/Patriot but we do know you still need CVT with Freedom Drive II.
As for their replacements:
redriderbob, historically a good source, wrote: “Jeep engineers are working closely with Fiat engineers on this project. We will more likely see a diesel version of the replacement Compass/Patriot here in the US and Canada. They are also making sure this new Jeep is more capable then the ones it replaces. Expect for a vehicle that is built to be a 80% on road 20% off road vehicle but still have trail rated offerings.”
It appears Chrysler’s going to go with the Compass name instead of Patriot. There are two sets of insider comments, one saying it would “look very much like the current Patriot in shape and size but mixed just slightly with the soft lines of the old Jeep Renegade and Willys2 concepts” and the other saying it looks like an Alfa Romeo Giulietta with a Grand Cherokee/Compass front clip.
The Compass/Patriot successor and an Alfa Romeo CUV are to be closely related and all are built on CUSW, the same platform as the Dodge Dart, as is Liberty. The “Compatriot” would likely be front wheel drive and all wheel drive, lighter in weight and duty cycle than Liberty, and smaller — C class versus D class.