Spy photographer Chris Doane caught this raised crossover mule, integrating an Alfa grille and fascia and Hornet-like sheet metal, cruising around the Detroit area. Over the past year, many mules for the (possibly) Dodge Hornet sedan have been spied wearing a similar, hacked-together body; this one’s ride height has been pumped up several inches, though whether (as Chris thinks) that means it’s going to be sold as a Jeep is open to question. It might be destined to be a Dodge-branded CUV instead, with Jeep keeping the Patriot form factor.
Much like Hornet mules, this Jeep mule has a few inches of sheet metal added in the rear doors, and a few inches added down the centerline of the car. It even looks as if Jeep engineers had to resort to some kind of caulk to hold the rear passenger windows in place!
This new Jeep will be riding on the CUSW platform, a modified version of Fiat’s C-Evo. When production starts, it’s expected to come in FWD and AWD variants, with a choice of turbocharged Fiat 1.4 (made in Michigan) and 2.4 liter engines. This particular car seems to have a charge air cooler, indicating it’s carrying the 1.4.
Rumors have this Jeep, along with an Alfa Romeo-badged version, being built in Turin, Italy, but no final decision (or announcement) has been made.
Update: we have been told that the upcoming Patriot/Compass replacement will not look like this mule, which was created largely to test the 4×4 powertrain. Most observers expect the replacement for the Patriot and Compass to drop the much-maligned CVT, using instead a choice of manual transmission, Fiat DCT, or six-speed conventional automatic. In addition, engines are expected to be a choice of turbo-Fiat 1.4, 2.0 WGE, and 2.4 WGE. Tiger Shark could either be used for a performance variant or as the top-end engine. The 2-liter WGE should gain some performance boosts, if not in peak horsepower than in real-life driveability.
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 [...]
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 [...]
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, [...]
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 [...]