First shown in April at the New York Auto Show, the Jeep Cherokee was set to be in dealers at about this time. It was pushed back at least once, and now it appears that, due to at least two heat dispersion issues, the mid-sized SUV will start production around August. This will at least give Chrysler’s transmission plants time to ramp up nine-speed automatic transmission production, though it will most likely mean that Land Rover will get the world’s first nine-speed automatic in a standard production vehicle. Chrysler remains likely to hold the title for first nine-speed in a minivan.
Karl wrote that Jeep’s web site seems to confirm the change; clicking on the Cherokee photo now brings the title, “Coming Fall 2013.”
In the past, Chrysler has had problems with releasing vehicles that were not quite ready or fully field tested; historians can bring up the disastrous 1957 line, which erased a long-standing, well-earned reputation for solid engineering, while others can choose between the 1976 Volare/Aspen, 1989 UltraDrive, and 1995 Neon for their examples. Since Sergio Marchionne took over, however, the watchword has been “quality first” even if it causes delays or cost; allpar has reported an example in the past, where already-assembled vehicles with unsatisfactory parts were stopped in their tracks for in-house repair, and the number of “pre-complaint” recalls has increased. This most recent delay highlights both the company’s recognition that a late start is better than a botched launch, and the problem of overly aggressive launch schedules.
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, [...]
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 [...]