Chrysler announced that it would contract with ZF Friedrichschafen AG to run a new axle factory in Marysville, Michigan, set to open in 2010 with a capacity of 500,000 axles per year. Chrysler will retain ownership of the building, and 350 employees of the nearby Chrysler axle plant will work there; while ZF will buy the equipment needed to run the plant, easing Chrysler’s cash flow. The plan has been in the works for a considerable time; ZF, which provides axles to all three German automakers and sells transmissions to BMW, hopes to supply other automakers using the facility, which will make high-efficiency components.
Chrysler has released some details on the new axles; they will be based on a ZF design, using aluminum housings which can cut 30-35 pounds and, in some cases, welded ring gears, which can cut another two pounds. Synthetic fluids work more effectively as a coolant while cutting resistance, lowering parasitic losses while increasing life, and avoiding the need to replace the lubricant. Advanced bearings will also reduce parasitic losses.
We may have the first clear 2017 Chrysler Town & Country minivan spy shots, adding to a small “phone pic” shot posted some time ago. The vehicle, parked with the Chrysler Technical Center in sight, has camouflage and padding, but you can clearly see the openings for the side and front door handles. The photo gives some idea of the relatively length [...]
This year’s winners of the prestigious Ward’s Top Ten were (in alphabetical order) the BMW 5-series electric motor, the Corvette Stingray’s 6.2 liter V8, the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat V8, the Ford Fiesta three-cylinder, one-liter turbo, Hyundai Tuscon fuel cell vehicle, Mini Cooper 1.5 turbo three cylinder, the Ram 3-liter VM diesel, Subaru WRX four-cylinder turbo, VW Golf 1.8 liter [...]
Some time ago, Sergio Marchionne, head of Fiat Chrysler, said that the only way to reboot Alfa Romeo would be by amortizing engineering costs with Dodge. That’s gone down the memory hole, now. It had to. The Alfisti will have fitsies if they overtly share with Chrysler. The D-RWD platform is now Giorgio, an Italian name for something developed largely in Auburn [...]
The Ram 1500 faced down the aluminum-bodied Ford F-150 and new Chevrolet Silverado in Motor Trend’s half-ton truck shootout. The three contenders were put through a broad array of testing, including a 260-mile drive through California and Arizona. Measurements included: Testing without load: 0-60 mph and 1/4-mile acceleration, 60-0 mph braking, and maximum lateral grip (Ram was Limits-handling without load: closed-course cornering, braking, [...]
FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne has long expressed his desire to slash the number of Fiat and Chrysler platforms, emulating Volkswagen’s “back to the future” move of putting just about everything onto a single platform. Mr. Marchionne has allowed major exceptions; the combination of an over-ambitious plan and a grip on reality delayed the Jeep Renegade and some other cars, because the [...]