Caliber buildout scheduled

The Dodge Caliber, the car that was “anything but cute,” will be ending production on November 23, 2011, according to documentation recently sent to dealers. Those who want Redline 2 paint or power express sunroofs can get them starting in October, shortly before the end.

Dodge Caliber

The Caliber was launched in 2006 as a 2007 model, accompanied by official putdowns of the Dodge Neon, which had been so popular in 1994 that many dealers had waiting lists. Early Neons had numerous quality issues, due largely to cost-cutting, though these had been dealt with by 1998; however, it was late to get a four-speed automatic, and endured questionable gearing and styling choices starting in 2000.

While Caliber was to ride the SUV gravy train, many were turned off by its engines, which needed to be revved high for power, and by the tuning of its early CVT (later revised). The interior was later slammed, as well; the interior was restyled in 2010.

Gas mileage and acceleration for the Caliber were both considerably lower than that of stick-shift Neons, though it was competitive with the more popular Neon automatics, and the Caliber was larger than the Neon had been. Numerous features were available or standard, including side airbags, nine-speaker MusicGate sound system with speakers incorporated into the liftgate (for tailgating), a removable flashlight, glowing cupholders, and a beverage cooler. The Caliber was the first Chrysler vehicle to use the World Engines, to have dual variable valve timing, and to have electromagnetically controlled all wheel drive (with variable torque output).

Sales of the Caliber and the similar Jeep Compass have never reached expectations, though the Jeep Patriot, based on the same architecture and platform, has achieved some critical and sales success.

A new Dodge compact is expected to appear during calendar-year 2012. This car will have a choice of turbocharged Fiat 1.4, the existing 2.0 four, and the 2.4 liter four — possibly in Tiger Shark form. The CVT will likely be dropped for a choice between a stick-shift, conventional automatic, and Fiat automated-manual transmission. (Thanks, MooseEater, for the tip.)

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Rendering the Grand Cherokee

DarkSky envisioned a somewhat Range Rover-influenced 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee, keeping roughly the same body shape but altering the front. This design makes the front end both more conventional and more aggressive, while separating it from the Cherokee and Compass alike.

This goes along, somewhat, with the photos recently seen on a Jeep display, assumed by many to be a Wagoneer. Once the size is corrected for,

Read the full story: Rendering the Grand Cherokee  »

Where are Wranglers sold?

2015 Jeep Wrangler Altitude

The Jeep Wrangler is an American staple, but it’s sold around the world. Recently, as part of a recall, FCA revealed the sales distribution of the 2016-17 Wrangler.

The great bulk of vehicles — 182,743 — were sold or distributed to the United States. Around 10% of those, 18,011, were in Canada. Accounting for around 20% of the Canadian number were 3,087 in Mexico. Finally, 20,948 were sold outside North America — a bit over 10%.

Read the full story: Where are Wranglers sold?  »

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 closely based on the Grand Cherokee, which is in line with past company statements.

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?  »

Rendering the Grand Cherokee
2015 Jeep Wrangler Altitude
Where are Wranglers sold?

Which Rams and Jeeps will we see?

The Renegade-influenced Wrangler

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