Supercharged Viper? (Updated)

With the supercharged 6.2 Hemi delivering 707 horsepower to the Dodge Charger and Challenger, the Viper boys are reportedly looking for ways to get back on top. While the Viper may be superior on a tight racing course, the straight-line performance of Charger and Challenger, in five-seaters with all the amenities, large trunks, and automatic or manual transmissions, is a challenge for Team Viper — as is the current series of Corvettes.

2014 dodge viper

The power difference is not that large, and Viper no doubt has a major edge in low-end torque, but some people just look at the top number and say, “707 is bigger than 640 (and for torque, 650 is bigger than 600.)”

We have now had two reports of supercharged V10 engines being delivered. Either way, the supercharger would presumably allow Viper to pass 707, and quite possibly, if the block, internal parts, transmission, and body can endure it, shoot up to, say, 800. That could restart lagging Viper sales and decisively put Viper back on top of the Corvette in performance comparisons, albeit at a high development and production cost.

Why not shoot for, say, a stunning 1,000 horsepower, one may ask? Because that would require a new and expensive transmission and differential, more substantial cooling upgrades, much more incoming air, and quite possibly a new body to deal with the added stresses. Cars are systems, and upgrading the engine often requires upgrades to a large number of other components. The engineering and production costs would skyrocket.  The Tremec TR-6060 in the Viper can handle, at most, 650 lb-ft of torque — no coincidence that the Hellcat maxes out at that number (which is also roughly the capacity of the ZF eight-speed). Even the Tremec TR-9008 can only handle 664 lb-ft. Tremec does have a “Magnum XL” which is good for 700 lb-ft, but would require changes to work in the Viper.

Note: we have now had one other source say that supercharged V10 engines have been delivered to Chrysler.

AMP version.

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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  »

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  »

CR and FCA quality

Envisioning the 2018 Jeep Cherokee
Ram-Canadian Truck King
Ram: King of Canadian trucks
FCA profits shot up — driven by US

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