Upcoming Chryslers, Dodges, Rams, and Jeeps
Lancia will not be used outside of Italy in the future, according to Sergio Marchionne; whether this means that Chrysler vehicles will use Fiat badging, stand alone, or will simply not enter Europe, is unknown at this time. We suspect the 200 and 300 will simply leave Europe while the Voyager (Town & Country) will become a Fiat.
Compact and mid-sized cars and crossovers
Dodge Avenger née Dodge Barracuda may re-appear as a rear wheel drive midsized car, shareed with an Alfa Romeo. The rear wheel drive midsized setup was reportedly approved in early 2013. RVC wrote, echoing other sources, “This new D architecture is a joint project, developed in Detroit with permanently embedded Fiat engineers ... Having a RWD D-segment architecture is costly, and took two years of tinkering between finance and marketing.” These may arrive around calendar-year 2016, the same year the Dodge Dart revision is expected. Some believe, because of the timing, that the new car will simply be called Dart, and Dart will become Chrysler 100. Others believe Dart will be downsized and Avenger slotted in.
Either way, Dart is due to become “more of a Dodge,” thanks partly to new Chrysler turbo engines. The SRT Dart is due for calendar-year 2016 or so, and is expected to have a four cylinder “Hurricane” turbo — but it may be delayed or dropped if they can’t get the numbers from a new and unproven engine.
Chrysler 100 and/or 100C has returned from the dead and is likely to be a true compact, smaller than the current Dart.LX, RT, and E-Evo: large cars and minivans
The large cars
A new large-car (“E”) platform was supposedly being developed years back, with the goal of bringing together minivans, cars, and crossovers — both front and rear wheel drive, at least for cars; we do not know if this is still the plan. If so, it’s coming around calendar-year 2019. There are rumors circulating of front wheel drive Chargers and 300s.
The first new L-series car to appear in 2014 was the 2015 Dodge Challenger, on the new LA platform, roughly the same size as the 2014s. The main benefit is the eight-speed automatic, standard on all Challengers, along with a reconfigurable gauge cluster and comprehensive interior upgrade. It has UConnect 2, Via Mobile, 8.4 inch touch screen, etc. Following the Challenger by a few months, the 2015 Dodge Charger also gained the 7-inch custom gauge setup and across-the-board eight-speeds, along with a new front and a “solid line” version of the racetrack tail-lamps. It is about the same weight but feels much lighter, and the eight speed feels more refined and shifts better and more quickly than the old five-speed Mercedes automatic (track / street reviews). The hot Hellcat version comes with a 707 horsepower engine.
Finally, the 300/300C is to appear as 2014 runs out. Ralph Gilles told us that the current styling cues are to continue, and we expect mild changes to the optics and grille, with some changes to rear lighting.
Both Charger and 300 are set to be replaced in the 2017-2020 timeframe by new cars based on the Maserati Ghibli. The Ghibli was described to us as an LX with all the Mercedes gear removed, though it is more complicated than that; the engine bay was cut down since there is no V8 option, and while the rear suspension seemssimilar to that of the 300C, the front suspension double-wishbone design was modified from the Mercedes-style to a Maserati-style setup. The next generation large cars from Chrysler will probably use many of the Ghibli’s changes.
- Charger and 300C: There’s a possibility that 300 and/or Charger will go back to the LH style front wheel drive large family car with an emphasis on space and comfort. Rear wheel drive might be a Dodge/Alfa or a Chrysler differentiator; there has been some talk of the Charger being the front drive version. Chances are people in Auburn Hills are playing with a lot of options.
- Imperial has probably been dropped in favor of Maserati and Alfa Romeo cars.
- Stop/start systems will be upgraded with a belt-starter generator system.
The Dodge Journey, for a while the #1 crossover in Canada and Mexico, is selling well as the Fiat Freemont; a replacement is due in calendar year 2015-2016 or so. It can be built at Sterling Heights, Belvedere, or Toledo. The Dodge version might be dropped in favor of a Chrysler.
Sergio Marchionne said in January 2014 that the final platform for Journey had not even been established yet, indicating that a Cherokee/200-based crossover might have been dropped in favor of a something based on the new minivan platform, and, moreover, that Journey sales may be high enough that the company isn’t making a new version top priority.
Dodge Viper, Chrysler Firepower
We understand 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.
Caravan, Town & Country
Minivans: All wheel drive will be optional on the first truly new minivans to hit Chrysler for many years, slated to hit the market in mid-2015 with nine-speed automatics and a brand new body and architecture. See our 2016 Chrysler minivans page.
Maserati and Fiat
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.
A Fiat 500X crossover will also be launched in 2014; and a seven-passenger version of the 500L, titled 500XL in Europe, with “some other name” in North America.
Platforms (sets of key dimensions): what Chrysler will be using in the future
A = small (500), B = subcompact (500L), C = compact (Dart), D = midsize (200), E = large (Charger).
- SUSW — updated version of the Fiat-GM SCSS platform used by cars from Fiat, Opel, and others (500X, Renegade).
- CUSW — American version of Fiat C-EVO (C - US - Wide) for compact and midsized cars and crossovers (Dart, Cherokee, 200, so far)
- D-RWD — rear wheel drive, midsized altered-CUSW, approved in 2012 (for next-gen Avenger?)
- E-EVO — large cars, crossovers, and minivans, for both front and rear wheel drive. This appears to be an evolution of the current L platform. It may not actually be used.