Dodge to abandon Mainstreet for 2012

Dodge will drop the new Express, Heat, and Mainstreet models on the Avenger, according to sources within the organization, in favor of the traditional SE and R/T models, accompanied by the new Lux and new-old Rallye names. The R/T will be getting a unique interior with a center tachometer, “Z-stripe” seats, “spider monkey” wheels, fender stripes, and red LED ambient lighting.

Most customers are expected to opt for the mid-range Rallye model, with around half opting for the four and half for the six.

Journey will carry forward with its Express, R/T, and Lux, renaming Mainstreet to Crew. The Lux will gain chrome on the sides, and Crew will get fog lamps. Most buyers are expected to go for Crew and Crew Plus.

Grand Caravan will adopt the new names, with four models: Express, Crew, Crew Plus, and R/T. Most buyers are again expected to go for the two Crew models. Mainstreet is being swapped for Crew, while the existing Crew is moving to Crew Plus. Numerous option package changes are being made, leather quad seats are being made optional on R/T, and a new “sapphire blue” interior lighting setup is being added.

Durango is the only model to keep the Heat name; CrewLux, however, is being dropped. Late in the year, Dodge is expected to add second-row Captain’s Chairs, and as Allpar reported earlier, the six-speed Chrysler-engineered 65RFE automatic is expected to replace the 545RFE five-speed on V8 models only.

Nitro is expected to return as an extended-2011, possibly only in the Heat model, with both 3.7 and 4.0 liter engines; this may be a simple “spare parts buildout” exercise with assembly ending before calendar-year 2012, but well after most other models have switched over.

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Which Rams and Jeeps will we see?

The last few days have brought numerous photos to the fore; but which will we see?

The big truck-based Wagoneer, so far as it’s based on the photos above, seems least likely, at least in that form. Looking at it after the two images were set to the same scale, you can see that the “new Jeep” is likely a design study for the Grand Cherokee — either the next or current generation.

Read the full story: Which Rams and Jeeps will we see?  »

The Renegade-influenced Wrangler

Reddit member “arcsreddit” recently shared this photo of a Renegade-fronted Jeep Wrangler was photographed, in part-size clay-model form (which looks incredibly real).  While it’s hard to criticize on its appearance, it could send the wrong message — that the Wrangler has been “Renegaded” and lost capability.

Sources have told us that the next Wrangler will be as capable as the current one, if not more so;

Read the full story: The Renegade-influenced Wrangler  »

Could we see a Chrysler SUV?

Chrysler SUV

With the Warren plant soon to be emptied of mainstream Ram production, FCA will be able to create derivatives of the popular pickups without fear of disrupting production. The question is, will they do it? If so, what will we see?

There has already been some speculation about whether the Jeep Grand Wagoneer would be based on the Grand Cherokee, as statements from Mike Manley would lead us to believe,

Read the full story: Could we see a Chrysler SUV?  »

FCA’s “22 minute” diesel defense

Harald Wester

After Volkswagen and Audi were found to have been deliberately violating emissions laws worldwide for over a decade, both Volkswagen and Germany started a hunt to validate their claim that “everyone does it.”

One result of this is a movement to have more practical tests that are harder to trick. Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche had set up their diesel engines with “test sniffing” software. Another result was the discovery that other automakers worked within the EU law by implementing rather severe “engine protection” software (which may be one reason Fiat never brought its popular small MultiJets to the US).

Read the full story: FCA’s “22 minute” diesel defense  »

Spy shot: is this the 2019 Ram?

Spy photographer Glenn Paulina wrote:

We may have just gotten a look at the face of the 2019 Ram 1500 pickup, thanks to new camera phone images snapped at a dealer meeting.

The Ram images were on a print-out posted on the wall, entitled “Ram Brand Lit Signatures.”  … it seems logical to assume that this Ram presentation also shows a truck that currently resides in the future product pipeline.

Read the full story: Spy shot: is this the 2019 Ram?  »

Which Rams and Jeeps will we see?

The Renegade-influenced Wrangler
Chrysler SUV
Could we see a Chrysler SUV?
Harald Wester
FCA’s “22 minute” diesel defense

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