Category Archives: All Mopars

New midsize Rams?

Are new mid-sized Ram pickups under development? The rumor mill is burning up with this idea, easily confused with the spread of the Mitsubishi L200 through FCA dealerships (sold in various countries as the Fiat Fullback and Ram 1200).

If the L200 is successful when sold as a Fiat and Ram, it’s possible the company will embark on its own midsize pickup program. Chances are leaders thought the L200 would do just fine — until Mitsubishi got into bed with competitor Nissan.

Rob Heglboom and Ram 1200

There’s no clue yet as to what such a truck would look like, but it might resemble the original or second-generation Dodge Dakota. The main thought would be to have a narrower truck, for use in Europe and other place with narrower roads; a lighter truck; and a cheaper one. It would have to be durable on bad roads, as well.

Pickup 1200 1500
Base engine 2.4 diesel 3.6 gas
Opt engine 2.4 diesel 3.0 diesel
Length 208 229
Width 71.5 79.4
Weight 4,250 4,500-5,700
Max payload 2,300 3,125
Max tow 6,800 11,500

The United States is not the primary target market, but it’s likely to do mildly well in Ram’s home country, facing competition from the industry-elephant Toyota Tacoma, newcomer Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon, and returning Ford Ranger.

(Member MJAB added that the towing number in EU and some South American trucks is often targeted at specific laws. For example, in the EU, the top gross weight of a “light vehicle,” which doesn’t require a special license and has fewer restrictions, is 3,500 kg, or around 7,716 lb.) Thus many vehicles come right up to the same number. Payload can be more important in many countries.

AMP version.

Toluca to supply EU?

The Jeep Compass is being built in Toluca (quite possibly, production has already started). While the United States is the major target of the plant, it was redesigned to deal with global distribution, and may supply Europe as well — even though the closely related Jeep Renegade is already made in Italy.

If heavy tariffs are imposed on trade with Mexico, Sergio Marchionne said they would likely close their Mexican plants — but that’s unlikely to apply to Toluca, which is a fairly flexible plant that could make several products for Mexico and Europe alike.

AMP version.

Dodge lives in China

Not long ago, there was chatter about FCA dropping Dodge. Then the Hellcat came and, slowly, the chatter died out.

china dodge

Dodge lovers may be happy to know that Dodge cars are sold in China. “Triple T” wrote that one can buy the Dodge Charger 392 Hemi, with 485 horsepower, lane-keeping, front collision alert, adaptive cruise, and Beats audio.

The Dodge Charger R/T starts at 500,000 yuan, or $72,500; the Chrysler 300C Hemi starts at 598,000, or $86,700.  Prices reflect high Chinese import taxes. The Charger listed in the ad would cost far more, being an SRT with an safety packages.

AMP version.

FF8 Challenger video

This may be old news, but AutoWeek recently posted a video of Vin Diesel wrapping the last Fast and Furious movie. If you wanted a good look at the movie’s Dodge Challengers but didn’t want to bother with the movie itself, they’re “in shot.” AutoWeek noted that the cars don’t have windshields.
AMP version.

Dodge Challenger Demon: Hellcat on a diet

The second piece of the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon was shown this morning, in the form of this image and a new 24-second video titled “Reduction” on

Leading up to the New York Auto Show, Dodge is launching a pre-debut video teaser campaign to show the new 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon’s engineering prowess. “Reduction,” the second teaser video, reveals that when the Dodge SRT Demon makes its debut in April, it will be more than 200 pounds lighter than its current Hellcat brother. Fans can check out website for weekly updates and new videos.

The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon promises better performance than the Challenger SRT Hellcat; according to today’s announcement, the Demon will be at least 200 pounds lighter. The release states that “adjustments have been made to the wheels, steering, suspension, brakes, interior construction and components.”

This first official image of the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon shows the car’s silhouette with an interesting x-ray view which highlights the wheels, the steering assembly, the brakes, the seats and some portions of the upper unibody structure. This confirms the Demon’s will have unique wheels (from the burnout video) with a steering, suspension and braking setup that weighs less than that of the Hellcat Challenger.

I can imagine how using different components can reduce the weight of the wheels, brakes, steering and suspension, but it will be interesting to see how Dodge cuts weight from the Challenger SRT Demon with new seats and, possibly, a revised unibody structure which improves stiffness while reducing weight.

Finally, aside from the weight reduction aspect, this first real image of the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon appears to reveal a hood with a higher raised section – presumably with a huge hood scoop running across the leading edge for optimal air flow.

AMP version.

Is this the Wrangler power top?

“Ruptured Duck” sent over a patent application that illustrates a new kind of power top — using the Jeep Wrangler in its drawings.

Jeep Wrangler JL top down

The top overcomes the challenges of the Wrangler shape and unique needs — including being able to operate even when there is an obstacle in the cargo bay.

wrangler power roof closed

The design comes from a vendor, Webasto-Edscha Cabrio, rather than from FCA itself.  Still, we can probably expect to see this on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler, which has been rumored to have a power top.

wrangler power roof

AMP version.

Mopar’s Canadian twin: Autopar

The Mopar people have made their history clear, but we haven’t heard much about Autopar, their northern brethren. Why not? And what was Autopar, anyway?


Canadian company photographer Lawrence Monkhouse wrote:

The Mopar product line couldn’t be sold in Canada at first;   Canadian Tire Stores had the rights to the name “Mopower,” which was too similar, so Marketing came up with “Autopar.”
Products must be in both English and French, so all products had to be re-labelled. This created a whole new industry that removed Mopar labels and replaced them with Autopar. The instructions also had to be printed in French.
I photographed hundreds of Autopar products for brochures and catalogues. I had to recruit attractive young ladies to model and convince their bosses to allow it — a tough job, but someone had to do it.
AMP version.

Hottest year ever for Jeep

Last year, customers around the world bought 1,401,321 new Jeeps— 13% over the record 1.2 million sold in 2015.

2016 was the brand’s seventh consecutive year of sales growth;  Jeep turnover has soared by nearly 38% in just the past two years.

2018 Jeep Compass

Growth in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, and a new record in Europe were around 80% of the worldwide total; North American and Europe accounted for 1,115,899 deliveries in 2016.

Chinese joint-venture production of the Jeep Cherokee and Renegade set a record of 118,763 sales through November, the latest month for which figures are available.

AMP version.