2015 Charger: the unexpected refresh

With E-Evo work pushed back (and maybe abandoned) and a complete rework of the large car line postponed until 2017 or later, Chrysler announced in late 2012 that it would have an unexpected L-car refresh, covering Charger and 300/300C. Thus, the 2015 Dodge Charger (to be unveiled in mid-2014) will not be the completely new car some expected, but is likely to be a polish-and-update of the current cars.

Most observers expect the 2015 Charger and 300C to get eight-speed automatics as standard equipment across the line, which would help the V6 police car to compete more effectively against Chevy’s V8 Caprice, and could cut operating costs for police departments regardless of which engine they choose. By then, the eight-speed should have amassed a good reputation for reliability and durability, including the Chrysler-rejiggered version built in Indiana. UConnect 2, full parking assist, and other gizmos are also de rigeur for the refreshed cars.

What is less likely, perhaps, is a major revision to the front suspension, moving from the Mercedes-influenced high-wishbone design to Maserati’s new low-stacked wishbone, as seen in the Maserati Ghibli. However, Chrysler engineers are likely to do what they can to edge closer to the livelier Maserati configuration, without causing too much disruption at the plant. Currently, we expect that the Charger, Challenger, and 300C will each be phased in at different times, which may limit how much each model can be changed. Ralph Gilles has already told us that the 300C will not be moving to the new Chrysler styling theme for this refresh, because the changes would be too extensive. The rear suspension may or may not adopt some of the Ghibli tuning changes, where time and cost permit.

The speculative rendering above wraps current Dodge cues around the shape of the Ghibli, and might be a rough pointer as to where the Charger will end up in its 2017-2020 reincarnation. You can see a more forward-looking rendering and an overlay of the Charger over the Ghibli, along with a rear view (based on 1999 Charger, 2013 Charger, and Ghibli) and more details on our 2015 Dodge Charger page.

AMP version.

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FCA profits shot up — driven by US


FCA’s adjusted operating profits shot up in the third quarter, with profits in North America rising from 6.7% of sales a year ago to 7.6% of sales. North America once again drove profits for FCA as a whole, but the Europe/Africa/Middle East region returned to profitability.

Net income went from a $420 million loss in the third quarter of 2015 to a net profit of roughly $660 million in this past quarter.  

Read the full story: FCA profits shot up — driven by US  »

Ram leading in van growth

With a nearly 47% year-over-year increase as of the end of September, Ram leads the market in commercial van sales.

Nine months into 2016, Ram has sold 39,214 ProMasters — 26,544 full-size ProMasters and 12,649 compact ProMaster Citys.

In September, monthly sales of Chevrolet and Ford vans fell, while Ram van deliveries were up more than 10%. The big ProMaster outsold every full-size van that didn’t wear a blue oval or a bow tie.

Read the full story: Ram leading in van growth  »

What’s behind the 2017 diesel delays?

2017 Ram and Jeep diesels are reportedly being delayed — but the same is true of diesel engines from nearly all automakers, as the EPA rushes to crack down on diesel emissions cheats.

So far, according to Automotive News’ groundbreaking report, only Jaguar and BMW have been given permission to sell diesels in the US. Others have to wait, pending testing clearance, thanks to Audi-Volkswagen cheats.

Read the full story: What’s behind the 2017 diesel delays?  »

Canadians get cheaper Pacificas

2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivans

Chrysler Canada is now selling a complete line of Pacifica minivans in Canada, with the base LX and Touring models added to Touring-L, Touring-L Plus, and Limited.

All 2017 Chrysler Pacificas are made in Canada at the award-winning Windsor Assembly Plant; the plant built 70% of all full-size minivans sold in Canada last year (including Caravan and Town & Country).

The LX lists for C$37,995,

Read the full story: Canadians get cheaper Pacificas  »

Ram Commercial’s relaunch

ram commercial video

Ram’s “Ram Commercial” division made its full public debut yesterday with a multidimensional ad campaign, four years after being established.

The campaign covers television, print, digital, video and social media. The first ad, “Time,” showed up on yesterday’s NFL game, showing the “surprise and delight” of small businesses with Ram vans. Print ads will appear in magazines including Forbes, Professional Builder, and Remodeling.

Read the full story: Ram Commercial’s relaunch  »

FCA profits shot up — driven by US

Ram leading in van growth

What’s behind the 2017 diesel delays?
2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivans
Canadians get cheaper Pacificas

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