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Monthly Archives: April 2017

Keeping the (valve lift) pressure up

FCA US has been awarded a patent, based on the work of Peter Nowak, for retaining hydraulic fluid in a variable valve lift system.

In fluid-activated valve lift systems, including (but not only) MultiAir, the fluid pressure tends to dissipate after the engine is shut off, causing a delay in operation when the driver restarts. This patent is designed to keep the pressure up,

Read the full story: Keeping the (valve lift) pressure up  »

Behind the Jeep/Ram spinoff chatter

Analysis. During the quarterly results teleconference, one analyst asked whether FCA could spin off Jeep and Ram.

Sergio Marchionne said, “Yes.”

Thus began a firestorm of people insisting that because FCA’s leader said it can be done, that it would be done.

Spinning off Jeep and Ram is an interesting idea. Outside of China, Jeep’s plants only make Jeeps; and Ram’s core business is done entirely within two American factories (there are also rebadged Fiats and Mitsubishis).

Read the full story: Behind the Jeep/Ram spinoff chatter  »

Demon to beat Exorcist?

Hennessey Peformance’s first reaction to news of the Dodge Demon was a car they called The Exorcist — a “1000 HP” ZL1 Camaro (the company measured 959 horsepower at the rear wheels).

The second, according to Fox News, was to announce a 1,500 horsepower version of the Dodge Challenger Demon itself, which should neatly beat “The Exorcist” — at least in a straight line.  

Read the full story: Demon to beat Exorcist?  »

FCA profits as buyers drop sedans


Analysis. Two years ago, FCA US had a problem: they needed more factory space for their SUVs, and some of their most important plants were outdated and unfit for their current duties. Meanwhile, their front wheel drive sedans were struggling to find buyers.

Sergio Marchionne set into motion an ambitious “musical factories” plan. The Dart and 200 were dropped so their factories could be converted to Cherokee and Ram production.

Read the full story: FCA profits as buyers drop sedans  »

FCA: more profits

FCA’s first quarter was kind, according to the company’s latest statement: net revenues rose by 4% to $30 billion, with an adjusted earnings before interest and taxes of $1.6 billion (up 11%). The net profit was around $700 million; the adjusted net profit, around $730 million.

Margins were fairly high, with an 11% profit margin at Maserati due partly to the new Levante crossover.

Read the full story: FCA: more profits  »

New Pacifica Touring Plus hits sweet spot

According to Allpar sources, Chrysler is set to bring out a new Pacifica Touring Plus minivan, which should hit the “sweet spot” of features and price for more buyers. It’s similar to the old SXT trimlines, which added a small cost but provided the most-ordered options at far less than their usual price.

The Touring Plus has premium cloth seats, a higher-end fascia, power liftgate, triple-zone automatic climate control, 

Read the full story: New Pacifica Touring Plus hits sweet spot  »

Does the Demon stop faster than the Camaro ZL1?

Critics of the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon insist that it is nothing more than a drag car, and some claim that the smaller Brembo braking package will cause this supercharged Challenger to offer worse braking performance than the Hellcat cars.

The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon comes with 14.2 inch rotors and four-piston calipers up front, and 13.8 inch rotors and 4-piston calipers out back.

Read the full story: Does the Demon stop faster than the Camaro ZL1?  »

More Waymo Pacificas; public to test

According to FCA US, Google subsidiary Waymo is buying 500 more Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans, which seem to be replacing Lexus crossovers as the company’s “go to” vehicle. The original plan was for Waymo to buy 100 of the Chryslers.

Chrysler builds the minivans in Windsor, Ontario, then turns them over to Waymo for conversion to self-driving. The first members of the general public to experience the autonomous vans will be in Phoenix.

Read the full story: More Waymo Pacificas; public to test  »

Dodge Demon

2018 Wrangler JL

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