by David Zatz • Posted on February 11th, 2011
In a surprise disclosure, reliable source oh2o reported that the Pentastar V6-equipped models will be the first of the big rear-drive cars to get the fast-shifting, eight-speed ZF transmission in place of the five-speed Mercedes unit.
The Charger R/T, 300C, Challenger R/T, and SRT8 versions of the cars are all slated to keep their five-speed automatics at the launch of the 2012 model year (except for the manual-transmission Challengers). Only Charger V6 and 300 V6 are to get the eight-speed automatics, at least at the start of the model year; Challenger SE will also keep the five-speed.
The reasons, and the timetable itself, have not been officially disclosed; it is possible that Chrysler is planning to start importation or production of a lighter-duty transmission first, and then move on to the heavier-duty models; they may be planning to test the design on less powerful engines first, to expose any problems that would cause more widespread issues with the Hemis; or it may be an issue of parallel or faster development with the control systems and physical connections with the V6. It is also possible that the eight-speed makes more of an impact with the V6 than the Hemi V8, and that with a limited number of transmissions available, Chrysler chose to make a bigger “splash.”
No word is available on when the transmissions will be available for trucks or the Grand Cherokee.
Chrysler Group has announced it will recall an estimated 29,500 2014 and 2015 Fiat 500L vehicles shipped in the U.S. and Canada to replace their knee airbags. Of the total, an estimated 25,500 are in the U.S. with the other 4,000 in Canada.
Based on U.S. sales reported through the end of June, the recall appears to cover all of the 500Ls sold or shipped since the model went on the market....
Robert C. Evans wrote, “I caught these right outside my office this morning. It appears to be an updated 2015 Chrysler 300, with a much larger front grill than the current generation. It seems it is almost returning to the original 300 grill and squared off front end. You will also see integrated exhaust in the rear much like the 2015 Chrysler 200.”
Most of the sheet metal should be similar to the current version, as the 2015 will be a relatively minor refresh — except for the use of eight-speed automatics across the board and UConnect upgrades....
If you can’t afford $60,000 or more for the real thing, or the insurance surcharges for driving a 707 horsepower car (even if you promise to use the 500-hp black fob), Dodge will help out by providing a Hemi Hellcat ring-tone for your phone.
The ringtone can be heard and downloaded from www.drivesrt.com/hellcatringtone.
2015 Challenger SRT: Hellcat and 392
2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat at the track
HellCat: supercharged Hemi engines...