The Dodge Caliber, the car that was “anything but cute,” will be ending production on November 23, 2011, according to documentation recently sent to dealers. Those who want Redline 2 paint or power express sunroofs can get them starting in October, shortly before the end.
The Caliber was launched in 2006 as a 2007 model, accompanied by official putdowns of the Dodge Neon, which had been so popular in 1994 that many dealers had waiting lists. Early Neons had numerous quality issues, due largely to cost-cutting, though these had been dealt with by 1998; however, it was late to get a four-speed automatic, and endured questionable gearing and styling choices starting in 2000.
While Caliber was to ride the SUV gravy train, many were turned off by its engines, which needed to be revved high for power, and by the tuning of its early CVT (later revised). The interior was later slammed, as well; the interior was restyled in 2010.
Gas mileage and acceleration for the Caliber were both considerably lower than that of stick-shift Neons, though it was competitive with the more popular Neon automatics, and the Caliber was larger than the Neon had been. Numerous features were available or standard, including side airbags, nine-speaker MusicGate sound system with speakers incorporated into the liftgate (for tailgating), a removable flashlight, glowing cupholders, and a beverage cooler. The Caliber was the first Chrysler vehicle to use the World Engines, to have dual variable valve timing, and to have electromagnetically controlled all wheel drive (with variable torque output).
A new Dodge compact is expected to appear during calendar-year 2012. This car will have a choice of turbocharged Fiat 1.4, the existing 2.0 four, and the 2.4 liter four — possibly in Tiger Shark form. The CVT will likely be dropped for a choice between a stick-shift, conventional automatic, and Fiat automated-manual transmission. (Thanks, MooseEater, for the tip.)
David Friedman, deputy director of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, sent a two-page letter to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne expressing concerns about the Chrysler Group’s current efforts to repair 2002-2007 Jeep Libertys and 1993-1998 Jeep Grand Cherokees covered under a voluntary fuel-tank recall. In its most recent report to the agency Chrysler said it has remedied approximately [...]
The 2015 Dodge Charger squad has been tested in police trim for the first time, but since it kept the five-speed automatic, it has turned in numbers similar to past years. While the eight-speed V6 Charger does 0-60 in 6.6 seconds, the five-speed was timed at 8.05 seconds by the Michigan State Police. The civilian 2015 Charger gained acceleration from the eight-speed, [...]
Months after unconfirmed reports made it to Allpar’s pages, the power of Automotive News, in the person of reporter Larry Vellequette, pried a key fact from Chrysler executives — that they cast and build “Ferrari” engines for Maserati. As our sister site pentastars.com reported, the engines are actually cast in Kokomo, and machined in the Trenton Engine plant, using a mixture of [...]