On December 23, an Allpar source wrote that the Jeepster — the presumed name for the upcoming mini-Jeep to be built in Italy — could be produced with the ZF nine-speed automatic transmission. In the January 2, 2014 edition of Quattroruote, that publication proclaimed that not only would the small crossover use the nine-speed, but it would also have Jeep’s five-position traction control.
The source who brought the article to our attention said that the high-end outfitting might be meant as part of a strategy to keep Jeep as a premium brand in Europe. Those interested in saving money and getting a vehicle of similar size without off-road capability can get a Fiat 500X. Other observers have pointed out that the Jeep has a taller stance than the Fiat, with greater ground clearance.
This is not the first Jeep to be built outside the United States and imported in; under AMC, for some years, Jeep Wranglers were built in Canada but not the United States.
Given the costs of making vehicles durable in challenging terrain (particularly with regard to torsional stresses) and providing advanced traction control systems, some level of premium pricing is needed if Jeeps are to retain off-road credibility. It may have seemed logical to go the next step and equip the vehicles with higher-grade systems and trim throughout, raising the price more but also putting them into a more profitable category. Land Rover has charged a high premium for its vehicles in the United States, despite many years of having quality ratings far below Jeep; with production in high-quality, high-cost facilities (Melfi, for Jeepster), Jeep may be positioning itself as the Lexus of off-roaders, at least in Europe and India.
Production is still some time away, and 500X is likely to start up first.
Rumors have been floating around for years about a potential supercharged Viper. It appears that it is finally happening, but it is not a factory built package. Instead, it was developed by Arrow Racing, which has Chrysler’s permission to modify the computer programming. It will be sold at the largest Viper dealer in the country, The Viper Exchange a/k/a Tomball Dodge. There are [...]
Hellcat Grand Cherokee. The term sends shivers of revulsion or anticipation down people’s spines. Revulsion if you are a hardcore Jeep offroad type or any executive at AMG, BMW’s M, or Porsche’s SUV division. Anticipation if you are anyone else with a pulse. Nothing official has been said about a Grand Cherokee coming with the already legendary Hellcat installed, and there is not likely [...]
This week, reliable source oh2o wrote that the Viper ACR would start production in July of 2015 as a 2016 model year car. How much of the concept Viper ACR , which was shown at the 2014 SEMA show, will carry through to production is unknown. We can surmise that the enormous carbon ceramic brakes will make it to production, along with [...]
Recently, Automotive News’ Larry Vellequette reported that Chrysler planned to boost the price their least expensive minivan to around $26,000. This resulted in an extensive discussion on Allpar’s forums, with some outrage over the high entry price. Going back to 2000, when minivan sales were still thriving and Chrysler was the undisputed king of the North American mini-market, we see the [...]