Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep news from Allpar

Jeep shows 4 concepts at Beijing Auto Show


Jeep has unveiled four new design concepts for the 2014 Beijing International Motor Show which opens to the public today. The one-off show vehicles combine Jeep production models with touches inspired by Chinese culture and the style of modern Chinese megacities such as Shanghai and Beijing.

“Jeep is one of the fastest growing imported brands in China and this is our largest Jeep market outside the U.S.,” said Mike Manley, Jeep CEO and Chief Operating Officer for Asia Pacific. “It makes sense for us to use this year’s Beijing Motor Show as a platform to explore how consumers react to these new Chinese-inspired ideas that may find their way into future production vehicles.”


Jeep Zi You Xia Design Concept: In Chinese, Zi You Xia means “rebel:” to Jeep designers the new Renegade was the perfect platform for a special design concept.

Drawn from the colors of the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, the Zi You Xia concept is finished in a warm chocolate gray with contrasting dark anodized bronze accents on the grille throats, front fog lamp bezels, rear lower fascia, skidplate, tail lamp insert bezel and badging. The roof panel, grille surrounds and door mirror caps are painted a dark charcoal to provide an upscale appearance. The exterior is finished with 20-inch, dark anodized bronze alloy wheels.

The interior is based on Piano Black accented by gray A-pillars and headliner. The air vents, speaker bezel, gear shifter, steering wheel bezels, cup holder and door release handles are finished in anodized copper. The brown leather upholstery on the seats and door panels feature ‘ombre’ gray/black plaid fabric inserts.

Jeep Cherokee Sageland Design Concept: The design theme and color palette for the Sageland was inspired by the historical landmarks and natural scenery found in the Shangri-La Region.

The exterior is Ivory tri-coat Pearl with bronze grille collars and front and rear fascia appliques. The Daylight opening (DLO), roof rack, door mirror caps and exhaust tips are painted in satin bronze chrome.

The Sageland’s interior uses an earth-tone palette. Light, neutral gray Nappa leather seats have red and water blue accent stitching inspired by traditional Chinese knot design. The pattern on the door appliques is derived from the color and finish of Chinese ornamental door knobs.

Jeep Cherokee Urbane Design Concept: The Cherokee Urbane is aimed at the night life of a modern megacity. It features a Maximum Steel metallic exterior with Hyper Black accents on the roof rack, door mirror caps, grille collars, front and rear fascias, wheel finishings, vehicle badging and antenna.

Inside, the Urbane embraces the Chinese spirit, colors and patterns. Chinese calligraphy inspired the bold brush stroke patterns on the door appliques that accentuate the predominantly Piano Black interior. The seats are finished in dark red Nappa leather with bright red accent stitching. The floor mats feature a pattern inspired by traditional Chinese windows.

Jeep Wrangler Sundancer Design Concept: Jeep designers say the Sundancer is a Wrangler with a touch of sophistication and a sense of fashion.

The concept is painted tri-coat Chocolate Brown metallic with gold accents. The fender flares feature a unique golden bronze tone-on-tone ghosted pattern, and the windows also have bronze tinted glass.

The front and rear bumpers are equipped with linear LED lighting and have been painted in matching Chocolate Brown metallic with golden bronze accents. 20-inch pale gold billet aluminum wheels with polished gold inserts and a special, multi-piece billet aluminum fender badge complete the exterior touches.

The Sundancer’s interior features Axis II perforated seat inserts and exclusive Berry Baltique Semi-Aniline leather, the same leather found in the most luxurious labels in fashion. The door panels and upper instrument panel are wrapped in premium leather and hand sewn provocateur lace stitching can be found on the outer deck seam, steering wheel and center lid console. The gold color scheme from the exterior continues into the interior, with new ‘Gold Rush’ interior paint on the door handles, steering wheel bezel, grab handle, gear shifter trim ring bezels and sill plates.

The interior is topped off with Romina premium leather trimmed/wrapped floor mats.

Auto 2014, the 13th Beijing International Automotive Exhibition, opens today and runs through Thursday, April 24 at the China International Exhibition Center.

Chrysler announces deal for China Jeep production

Fiat Group Automobiles S.p.A., Chrysler Group International LLC and Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., Ltd. (GAC Group) have reached an agreement to expand their joint venture partnership to include Jeep brand vehicles for sale in the Chinese market.

By the terms of the agreement announced Saturday in Beijing, GAC Fiat, the group’s joint venture in China, will produce three new Jeep vehicles for the Chinese market. The Chinese government has already approved the expansion and the related projects.

GAC Fiat will finalize its localized production plans, including consideration of a Jeep model uniquely designed for China, and begin production by late 2015. Jeep vehicles will be built at a GAC Fiat manufacturing branch to be established in Guangzhou, the capital city of Guangdong Province. In earlier comments, Jeep CEO Mike Manley had indicated the production site would be the GAC Fiat plant in Changsha in Hunan Province, located to the north of Guangdong.

Guangdong Province is where many of the manufacturing jobs outsourced from the United States went, making it one of the most prosperous of the Chinese provinces.

“Today’s announcement represents the next chapter in the proper utilization and expansion on a global scale of the Jeep brand,” said Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat S.p.A and Chrysler Group LLC. “Equally important is our continued development in the Chinese market with an established and respected partner such as Guangzhou Automobile Group.”

GAC Group Chairman Zhang Fangyou said: “The world-noted SUV brand Jeep being introduced into GAC Fiat will bring the cooperation between GAC and Fiat-Chrysler to a new phase. It will enhance the sustainable development of the JV, and will surely bring premium experiences of driving and services to the Chinese customers.”

Worldwide, China is the second-largest market for Jeep vehicles. Jeeps were last produced in China by Beijing Benz DaimlerChrysler Automotive in 2006.

(Note: The Chinese characters in the illustration translate as “ji” “pu” and “che.” Together they are the Chinese term for “Jeep.”)

Jeep deal for China production by end of April

Jeep brand CEO Mike Manley says Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will most likely have completed a deal for production of certain Jeep models in China by the end of the month.

According to comments made during a phone interview with Reuters, Manley said he hopes the announcement can be made at the Beijing International Auto show that opens Monday, April 21.

“It will be ideal if I can get the timing right for the Beijing show, but I’m not at the stage to say that definitely,” Manley told Reuters’ Bernie Woodall.

The Jeeps would be built in Hunan Province at the Changsa plant FCA operates in a joint venture with Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. The plant currently produces the Fiat Viaggio, a clone of the Dodge Dart.

Company officials have not committed to a specific model that would be the first to be produced under the new deal, but there have been indications it would be the the new Cherokee, which shares the CUSW platform with the Dart/Viaggio. The new Renegade would likely be the next model to be added to the line.

About the only Jeep model not on the table for China production is the Wrangler, which FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne has promised will be produced only in Toledo.

If all goes well, China production would begin early in the third quarter of 2015.

Renegade and Rubicon

Brian Kapral reported from the New York Auto Show:

After the presentation of the Jeep Renegade, I was able to talk to Philip M. Jansen, the Vehicle Line Executive, A/B Segment, Minivan, and current C/D Segment.

I asked him if the Renegade had crossed the famed Rubicon Trail, and he said that it had not, but had been on one of Jeep’s testing grounds. He elaborated that for the “Trail Rating” of the Jeeps, they assign a ranking of 1-10 with 10 being the best. The rating equate to what kind of trail it should be able to handle.

Renegade in NYC

Mr. Jansen gave the Renegade a rating of a 4 out of 10, which would mean they would not recommend it for a trail such as the Rubicon. Part of the reason, according to Mr. Jansen, is the Renegade’s focus on power over torque; the latter would be needed to climb boulders and such for the likes of the Rubicon trail. He then said that the Wrangler is rated at a 8 – 9 out of 10, and would be able to go over the Rubicon trail with no problems.

When I had asked him if the Renegade had any styling or influence from the Fiat 500L, he said that were some shared modules such as the seating, steering column, and other small things.  The differences were the wheel openings (which have the typical Jeep trapezoid opening), a unique front suspension, different transmission, and some other things.  Mr. Jansen also said that while both the 500L and the Renegade both use the small wide design, the design is different due to 500L using the front wheel drive version while the Renegade uses the AWD version.

Chrysler has several off-road trails for testing purposes, including one which faithfully replicates difficult portions of the Rubicon trail, as they stood in the 1990s. This both allows Chrysler to test off-road vehicles in secret, and provides a stable benchmark, since the actual Rubicon trail is in a constant state of change.

Anodized Viper TA debuts

anodized Viper TA

Yesterday, at the New York Auto Show, SRT debuted a combination of its Viper Anodized Carbon Special Edition Package with the Time Attack Group road-racing package.

Fifty SRT Viper Anodized Carbon Special Edition vehicles will be produced, with only the last ten carrying the new Time Attack Group. Each includes a  numbered dash plaque.

The Time Attack Group takes all of the functional chassis and aero parts from the Viper TA Special Edition and adds them to the GTS price class, including a carbon fiber rear deck lid spoiler and two-piece front corner splitters that provide a total of 339 pounds of downforce at 150 mph, and two-mode Bilstein dampers. The suspension has firmer damping than the Viper GTS, and Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires and solid sway bars provide more capable handling. The brakes have more resistance to fade.

Challenger Scat Pack: Dodge 392

The 6.1 liter V8 was restricted to SRT cars; the 6.4 was used only by SRT as well, until Ram got a retuned version, with much less power but greater durability under towing and hauling conditions, this year. For 2015, Dodge will get a full-power, 470-horsepower 6.4 liter engine under the hood of the Dodge Challenger Scat Pack models.

The move is likely part of an effort to drop the price of the “392” Challenger for performance enthusiasts who do not necessarily want all the frills, while maintaining the exclusivity and margins of the SRT brand. Chrysler has been trying to position SRT as a competitor to BMW and other higher-cost brands, appealing to customers who would not consider a mass-market brand such as Dodge.

The Dodge Challenger Scat Pack comes with a beefed-up suspension to handle the power of the big Hemi, along with “Performance Pages” (performance timers, extra gauges, and options for Launch Control and such); four-piston Brembo calipers for all four wheels; 20-inch wheels with performance tires; and a half-inch lower ride height. For more, see the 2015 Dodge Challenger page.

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