According to normally reliable source oh2o, Jeep has produced a fairly wide mix of 2014 Cherokees so far at their Toledo plant. oh2o wrote that the company has made mostly Latitudes (nearly 9,000 of them), with over two thousand Sports, four thousand Limiteds, and nearly two thousand of the off-road-specialized Trailhawks.
The FWD vs 4×4 mix is unknown, but given its friendly road manners, Cherokee is likely to have a higher proportion of 4×2 sales than the original XJ Cherokee.
Though not a single Cherokee has been cleared for resale yet, due to ongoing software development, the factory returned to two shifts today. Reportedly, 17,000 Cherokees have been built but cannot be sold yet. The issue is, according to an Autoblog report, related to the dog clutches used in the axles and limited-slip differential; dog clutches have been used in past commercial vehicles but not “civilian” cars.
As far as we can tell, the company is still trying to work around issues with the clutches, which could involve timing, noise, and smoothness of engagement. Work done to make the system smoother and quieter has to be balanced by longevity, a serious issue given 100,000 mile powertrain warranties and an expectation that cars will last 200,000 miles before major issues. Dog clutch engagement is mechanical and will vary in time depending on where each clutch’s parts are, relative to each other, when they engage; while the nine-speed automatic’s timing can come down to nanoseconds. The system presumably already has safeguards to prevent one clutch from engagement if the other cannot, which could also lead to problems.
Overall, given the issues involves, software delays are not entirely surprising; Chrysler officials are apparently optimistic, since the factory is pumping out Cherokees full time again. Many consider the delay in resale to be a good sign — indicating Chrysler’s unwillingness to sell a car they know has a problem.
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 [...]
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 [...]
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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 [...]
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 [...]