Sergio: new minivans, 100 and 200

sergio marchionne

Sergio Marchionne’s recent interview with Automotive News’ Luca Ciferri yielded both new information and confirmations of prior rumors.

First, Chrysler’s CEO revealed that the new architecture for the Chrysler minivans was already complete, though the timing of their launch is still unknown. The figure “within 21 months” was tossed out as a possibility. This indicates that the new minivans are most likely around 2 years from being available on dealer lots. Chrysler’s schedules have been tight and delays have become common as a result, so 21 months is likely to be on the early side of an estimate.

While he said his preference would be to have sliding doors on the Town & Country replacement and standard doors on a Dodge crossover, he also said that the issue would likely be decided by current clinics and market research.

Mr. Marchionne said that the Chrysler 100 was nearly complete, and just needed approval. It will be sold in Europe as the Lancia Delta. Earlier reports suggested that, while a team effort, Chrysler 100 development was led by Lancia people. It is based on the same basic architecture as the Dodge Dart, with rumors and Allpar projections suggesting it will be sold as a hatchback even in North America; the hatchback form was confirmed in the interview.

Perhaps most immediate, the next-generation Chrysler 200 has been confirmed as being unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show in January 2013. This car is based on the same basic platform and architecture as the Dodge Dart, and is expected to be somewhat larger, with traditional luxury cues inside and out, and a 3.2 liter V6 option coupled to a nine-speed automatic (if that transmission is ready). Production would likely start around March to July 2013.

He also confirmed that the Maserati Levante would be built at Miarifiori, and that the Jeep Grand Wagoneer was coming to Jefferson Avenue.

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How will Wrangler keep its tops “free”?

Jeep Wrangler roof slider system cloth

Even as the 2018 Jeep Wrangler grows ever-closer, sources are divided as to how the roof will be handled — though we are starting get some clarity.

The JT pickup, due in 2019, will almost certainly have a fixed roof with removable panels. As for the Wrangler, some believe it will have the setup shown in the  scale model below (whose front styling was rejected):

The model above has the same removable panels as the pickup,

Read the full story: How will Wrangler keep its tops “free”?  »

Here are the SEMA-car sneak peeks

With the 2016 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show is drawing near, Mopar has started to show their usual teaser sketches of concepts to be displayed at the Las Vegas Convention Center on November 1-4.

Including Mopar-modified vehicles created especially for SEMA, fourteen FCA US vehicles will spread out over the 15,345-square-foot Mopar exhibit.

The annual Mopar press event will take place at its usual 4:26 p.m.

Read the full story: Here are the SEMA-car sneak peeks  »

CR and FCA quality


Many people regard Consumer Reports as the last word in car reliability, despite problems with CR’s methods and an attitude which leads to cease-and-desist letters for posting pages like this one.

The current guide was headlined by Buick’s rise to #3, but the secondary story was FCA brands anchoring the bottom, along with Tesla.

What happened?

FCA can counter CR with good scores in J.D.

Read the full story: CR and FCA quality  »

Envisioning the 2018 Jeep Cherokee

For the next Jeep Cherokee, Susan Rand and “DarkSky” considered what the phrase “a more traditional front that is still unique” might mean. Sources claimed that the body would remain essentially unchanged.

Since the “headlights below the DRLs” aspect of the current Cherokee is the most radical change from the norm, both renderings swap the two positions, putting the headlights up high, with integral DRLs, parking lights in a separate area,

Read the full story: Envisioning the 2018 Jeep Cherokee  »

Ram: King of Canadian trucks

Ram-Canadian Truck King

For the third time in a row, the Ram 1500 has been crowned the overall winner of the Canadian Truck King Challenge.

The tenth annual Canadian Truck King Challenge, run in Ontario but including seven judges from across Canada, includes real-world evaluations covering nearly 4,000 km, during which payload is tested up to 4,000 pounds, towing is tested up to 15,000 pounds, and off-road capability is assessed.

There were eleven pickups entered into the Canadian Truck King Challenge competition,

Read the full story: Ram: King of Canadian trucks  »

Jeep Wrangler roof slider system cloth
How will Wrangler keep its tops “free”?

Here are the SEMA-car sneak peeks
CR and FCA quality

Envisioning the 2018 Jeep Cherokee

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