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The better car finder

June 28, 2016 - by David Zatz

Thanks to a pair of Fiat engineers in Turin, owners may find it easier to find their FCA cars. Way back in 2012, Andrea Mainini and Antonio Erario filed a patent application for a dramatically improved antenna-mounted “finder light” (provisions for sound alerts is also included). The owner can push a button on the fob or, for connected cars, their phone, and a light will appear on the end of the antenna (see the not-quite-artist’s rendering; the drawings […]

More nine speed updates

June 27, 2016 - by David Zatz

Some time ago, FCA announced that it had improved its nine-speed automatics for the 2016 model year. The company issued software releases for both the Chrysler 200 and Jeep Cherokee in the past two months. An update issued in April 2016 for the 2015 Chrysler 200 (made on or after April 1, 2015) covers low speed drivability and shift quality; another, from May 2016, covers the 2016 200 for upshift and downshift quality during both normal driving and […]

Official Wrangler launch; pickup status

June 24, 2016 - by David Zatz

A Jeep Wrangler pickup is to be unveiled in early 2018, according to Automotive News, which interviewed Jeep chief Mike Manley yesterday. The 2018 Jeep Wrangler is to be unveiled in the first half of 2017; Mr. Manley told Larry Vellequette that “I’m delighted in the way it’s turning out,” in both styling and function. Aerodynamics, weight, and fuel economy have all been improved (the spy shot above shows an angled front, reshaped fender flares, and a more angled windshield, […]

Shifter madness continues with lawsuit

monostable shifter
June 24, 2016 - by David Zatz

It seems that any automotive news comes with its own lawsuit; if a company has a recall, lawyers and stockholders or owners immediately come forward to demand that they be repaid for damages. In this case, Reuters notes that the lawyers claim FCA “concealed” a “defect” in the “monostable” (so named because it always springs back to the same position) shifter. Reuters was unable to get a comment from FCA, since the company had not yet been served with the suit. FCA […]

2017 Challenger: What’s new?

June 23, 2016 - by David Zatz

The next major revision of the Dodge Challenger will be in model-year 2018, but Dodge isn’t standing still with their soon-to-be flagship car. TorqueNews reported on an unconfirmed report from on what we can expect to see and, in essence, it’s changes to paints — or to the names of paints — and an updated stereo which will finally fulfill FCA’s promise of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It appears that the powertrain options are […]

Recall nearly here: how the auto-park works

June 22, 2016 - by David Zatz

Owners of cars with “spring-back” electronic shifters will get their recalls months sooner than expected, according to a company spokesman. Last week, FCA US began to provide 2,427 dealers with software to update vehicles with the shifters (certain Chrysler 300s, Dodge Chargers, and Jeep Grand Cherokees).  Letters asking customers to schedule service will be mailed beginning on June 24, months before the expected date. The “fast track” treatment had, according to a spokesman, begun in May. The recall was first announced […]

Hemi Under Glass flips with Jay Leno on board

hemi under glass rolls still
June 22, 2016 - by Patrick Rall

Few Mopar drag cars are as well-recognized at the Hurst “Hemi Under Glass” Plymouth Barracuda. Bob Riggle has been making quarter mile passes on the rear wheels of his black-and-gold machine since the mid-1960s, with the help of the supercharged Hemi engine behind the driver’s seat. After campaigning the wheelstanding Hemi Under Glass in the 1960s and 1970s, Riggle and his rear engine Plymouth Barracuda have been making runs at tracks all over the country. In fact, […]

Jeep ending use of suspect airbags

June 22, 2016 - by David Zatz

The Jeep Wrangler is the sole FCA vehicle that still uses Takata airbags which use non-dessicated ammonium nitrate. Other cars that still use it include the Toyota 4Runner, Lexus GX460,  Mitsubishis, and Volkswagens. The airbag will go out of production for US-bound Wranglers by next week, and in all Wranglers by mid-September. Every airbag of that design sold in the US must be recalled by 2019, and FCA has asked dealers to inform customers of that fact. When ammonium […]

Photos: the Viper Specials

June 21, 2016 - by David Zatz

In its 25th and final year, there will be five limited edition Dodge Vipers grounded in the car’s illustrious run. Beginning on June 24 and new for 2017 model year, customers can customize their snake using the normal GTC program or buy one of the following special editions: Viper 1:28 Edition ACR Pays tribute to the current production car single lap record of 1:28.65 set in a 2016 Dodge Viper ACR at the Laguna Seca Raceway in October 2015. […]

Media murdering shifter story

June 21, 2016 - by David Zatz

On Sunday, actor Anton Yelchin left is 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and was pinned against a fence by it. The news media generally reported the story with a focus on the “recalled” Jeep. It had indeed been recalled, and not yet fixed, because the “fix” was not yet ready.  What is the fix? Making the transmission move into Park when the driver opens the door. There was some mirth when the recall was announced, because despite the real crashes and 41 […]

Confirmed: future of the Viper and special editions

June 20, 2016 - by David Zatz

A company representative has confirmed that the Dodge Viper is to be dropped, confirming a year of rumors. First, though, five special editions of the unique V-10 muscle car, with numbered plates, will be made. To celebrate 25 years of the Dodge Viper, the company will produce: The Viper 1:28 ACR, celebrating its track record at the Laguna Seca Raceway, will be black with red ACR stripes. The Viper GTS-R Commemorative Edition ACR, painted white with a blue stripe, to recognize the highly successful […]

New Wrangler spy shots (updated)

June 20, 2016 - by David Zatz

New spy shots have been taken of what seems to be the 2018 Jeep Wrangler have been making the rounds, this time showing a two-door. They show nothing more than this earlier photo from an Allpar source — except for two sets of interior shots. The interior photos are interesting because the two dashboards seem to be different. They could be “mule parts” rather than finished prototypes — parts that happened to be handy. There does appear to be space for […]

Next Journey: Italian RWD (updated)

June 20, 2016 - by David Zatz

The next Dodge Journey will not only have rear wheel drive, but will be made in Italy, according to Automotive News’ First Shift. Allpar has speculated that the Journey’s current form factor would shift to Chrysler, replaced by a rear wheel drive crossover at Dodge, for over a year, based largely on FCA’s apparent decision to bolster Dodge’s “muscle car” image. This also explains why there does not seem to be a replacement for the Dodge Caravan […]

Dodge nabs fifth drag-racing sweep

June 19, 2016 - by Bill Cawthon

Tommy Johnson Jr. scored his first Wally of the 2016 NHRA drag racing season with a hole-shot win over Matt Hagan in the fifth consecutive all-Dodge Funny Car final round at the Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tennessee. Johnson was in the lead until the 330-foot mark, when Hagan began to catch up. Hagan ran out of track, hitting the lights 0.0145 seconds (about seven feet) after Johnson. That moved Johnson up two spots in points […]

Dodge sponsoring Pontiac raceway

M1 cars - 2016 Dodge Viper, Hellcat
June 17, 2016 - by David Zatz

Dodge is sponsoring a new racing park in Pontiac, Michigan, dubbed the M1 Concourse. Dodge will have a large presence on four-acre venue, which has a 2.5-acre skid pad and a 1.5-mile speedway, aside from having the Dodge Viper ACR designated as its official pace car. As part of the deal, two Dodge Viper ACRs will be used at all track events, including driving schools and M1 Motorsports Club events. Dodge is also providing Dodge Viper GTS, Charger SRT Hellcat, and Challenger SRT […]

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2017 Viper Specials

1999 Dodge Charger concept

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Willys before Jeep

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