Sergio Marchionne revealed that the hybrid Chrysler 300 sedan would be joined by a hybrid minivan in 2013 at the Windsor Assembly Plant celebration today. He also noted that a new compact car, replacing the Neon and filling a long-standing hole in the product line, would be the first to get a nine-speed automatic transmission when it arrives in April 2013.
The hybrid technology is, according to Marchionne, Chrysler’s own, which appears to run counter to earlier rumors that it would be based on that of Maserati. [Update: 20 pilot cars will get a hydraulic hybrid system. If this system is successful, it may be put into larger production.]
As hinted last week, the next generation of minivans will include a conventional van with a sliding door, a crossover, a full size front wheel drive sedan, and possibly other vehicles to sell under Fiat brands. All wheel drive appears to be returning to minivans, or to vehicles on the same architecture. All vehicles based on this architecture (at least for North America) are to be built in Windsor.
The Windsor plant runs three shifts, partly due to the closing of the St. Louis minivan plant. Currently, the Town & Country is the U.S.’s best selling minivan while the Grand Caravan is the world’s best seller.
Rumors from Windsor suggested first that the current “RT” minivan body would continue for some years alongside the new “RU,” and then that it would be dropped as soon as the new designs came out — in Chrysler form only. Sergio Marchionne has thrown some fuel onto the speculative fire, commenting today in Detroit that: Where is Reid [Bigland]? If it [...]
Today, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne implied that the odds were against the Toledo plant keeping Jeep Wrangler production, despite a recent land purchase and the city’s long history with Jeep in general and CJ and Wrangler in particular. He did say that, if Wrangler was to find a new home, new product would be moved to the plant: … if the economic [...]
Patrick Rall took the new 2015 Jeep Renegade off-road and on-road — in both cases, taking a standard AWD model as well as the Trailhawk, which has more ground clearance and skid plates. Though the venue, an off-road vehicle park and various city streets and highways, was chosen by Jeep, Mr. Rall was able to choose his route through the obstacles to get [...]
Burns Motors has posted two videos of a Dodge Challenger Hellcat doing the quarter mile in 10.48 seconds. These stand in contrast to a video elsewhere which shows a $105,000 Tesla owner jumping the red light at the track to beat a Hellcat owner who was unused to the car, and struggled for traction through the run. The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT [...]