With work on the 2014 Jeep Cherokee’s innovative and complex 4×4 system still reportedly ongoing, one observer now expects the first Cherokees to be front wheel drive (FWD) models. While perhaps a dent to the car’s credibility in off-road circles, starting with the simpler FWD configuration would simplify production and provide more time to put the 4×4 through its paces.
Jeep has taken pride on the durability of its cars in off-road use, and problems which may not surface during normal “snow, ice, sand, and dirt” running, but could be a problem in more severe tests, are being taken seriously. There have been some reports that engineers are still squashing the last durability issues from pre-production cars — not issues that would be encountered by “ordinary” customers, but items that could affect serious Jeepers. Running FWD cars first would help fill the pipeline and get Cherokee out to customers, while working out bugs in the manufacturing process, in preparation for ramping up with the 4×4 models — just as Dart started out with the 1.4 engines and manual transmissions. The alternative could be pushing back the start of production, which might happen regardless if nine-speed production is slowed.
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 [...]
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 [...]
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, [...]