Upcoming Chrysler and Dodge cars (with some Jeeps)
Lancia will not be used outside of Italy in the future, according to Sergio Marchionne. Chrysler minivans may use Fiat badging, stand as Chryslers, or just leave Europe.
One rear wheel drive architecture to rule them all
RVC wrote some time ago, “This new D architecture is a joint project, developed in Detroit [Auburn Hills] with embedded Fiat engineers [despite the “Giorgio” name which indicates pure Italian development] ... Having a rear wheel drive architecture is costly, and took two years of tinkering between finance and marketing.” This matches past statements by Sergio Marchionne and some inside tips. The rear wheel drive midsized setup was officially approved in early 2013.
Update: Later sources said that a shortage of engineers in the United States and the move from a D-segment RWD architecture to a full-range design resulted in Auburn Hills being mainly shut out of the project. Some insiders have said that this is not true and that it is indeed a corporate-wide project. In any case, in this highly flexible range, we expect:
- Grand Cherokee / Wagoneer, which are labeled as completely new on the investors’ chart. Wagoneer have an extended wheelbase, starting in price where Grand Cherokee leaves off. Think of a Dodge Durango, done only in high-end trim, with a Jeep suspension, transfer case, etc.
- Dodge Journey is likely to give way to a midsized Chrysler crossover based on the minivans, also selling as Fiat Freemont; and a rear wheel drive “tall wagon” for Dodge.
- Dodge Avenger née Dodge Barracuda is the upcoming rear wheel drive midsized car.
- New Dodges may have been pushed back, partly so they can persuade critics that Chrysler had no part in the pricier car. A full line of Alfa Romeos is planned. They will feature a slightly-larger-than-Chrysler stereo based on Linux rather than BSD-UNIX but probably using most of the same code as UConnect.
- Dodge Charger and Challenger could move over to the new platform instead of using the Maserati adaption of Chrysler’s large car platform and architecture, which largely differs in the front suspension, engines,and costlier parts and systems. We don't expect new Chargers and Challengers until model-year 2018 or 2019.
- Dart to become “more of a Dodge.” The SRT Dart has been postponed yet again, but a Dart GLH is due for calendar-year 2017 or so, with a 300 horsepower four cylinder “Hurricane” turbo, and a rear wheel drive Dart may eventually replace the current one.
Front wheel drive: CUSW, SUSW replace old models
The next Town & Country and a full sized crossover, which we’ll call Pacifica, are based on the CUSW platform used for Cherokee and 200, reportedly with a Durango type suspension. It is allegedly to be close in size to the current Town & Country, so many CUSW parts can't be shared due to the change in width.
We expect the minivans and crossover to have a front wheel drive powertrain with a nine-speed and the 3.6 V6; the AWD setup might use electric motors for the rear. We keep hearing that the old Dodge Caravan will continue alongside the new Town & Country to keep volumes up, until the crossover version is ready. Expect to see the next minivan launch at one of the major American auto shows in 2016 — Detroit or Chicago, most likely.
Chrysler 100 and/or 100C has returned from the dead and is likely to be a true compact, smaller than the current Dart, on the SUSW platform; it appears by name in the plans, and will likely share quite a bit with the Fiat Aegea concept above.
There are rumors of front wheel drive 300s which would share much with the minivans; the logic is that Dodge, as the muscle brand, should have rear drive. Having both front and rear wheel drive large cars was Chrysler’s plan as far back as the creation of the original LH series in the early 1990s, with the original Dodge Intrepid. Making the 300 a huge FWD car would differentiate it from the Dodges, as well as the Alfa Romeos and Maseratis. The car could be built at any of a number of plants, rather than being restricted to Brampton.
Dodge Viper, Chrysler Firepower
Minor power increases are being worked on for Viper, with a new Viper ACR replacing the TA, adding downforce and an adjustable suspension. Firepower — a Chrysler badged Viper with no V10 — is still rumor/speculation-only and seems unlikely; the supercharged V8 will not fit.
Maserati has three Chrysler-based vehicles: Quattroporte (extended 300C), Ghibli (sized near Challenger and Charger), and Levante (Ghibli-based). Each uses Maserati engines with ZF eight-speed transmissions, except Ghibli, which has a VM diesel option. See our Maserati page.
JackRatchett did a good job on this one, which was reasonably close to what was produced.
With Alfa Romeo in full swing, Imperial seems unlikely, but who knows?
You can use your own judgment here.