Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep news from Allpar

Mini-Jeep: 9 speeds, five modes

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.

jeepster rendering

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.

Does Enders-Stevens strategy open the door for Johnson?

NHRA-Johnson-Enders-Web

NHRA Pro Stock points leader Erica Enders-Stevens didn’t race at Sonoma and she won’t be competing at the Northwest Nationals in Seattle. Elite Motorsports owner Richard Freeman two-event “holiday” at the Mile-High Nationals in Denver. Despite her very impressive racing resume, Enders-Stevens lacks a real sponsor and it’s likely this was a major consideration, especially since she had built up a 241-point lead over Allen Johnson, who is second in the point standings, at the end of the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio....

Coughlin clinches Countdown berth in Sonoma

NHRA-Johnson-Coughlin-Countdown-Web

Jeg Coughlin Jr. became the second Mopar driver to clinch a spot in the six-race Countdown to the Championship that will determine the Mello Yello NHRA Pro Stock world championship. Coughlin joined teammate Allen Johnson in the Countdown after making it to the Pro Stock semifinals in the NHRA Sonoma Nationals that ran this weekend at Sonoma Raceway....

Johnson Clinches Countdown berth in Sonoma

NHRA-Beckman-Sonoma-Web

Allen Johnson has secured his place in the Pro Stock Countdown to the Championship, the six-event series the determines the World Championships of drag racing. Johnson joins Erica Enders-Stevens, who clinched her spot last weekend. Participation is limited to the top ten drivers in each pro class. There were three different top qualifiers in Pro Stock: Johnson had the No....

Steckly scores in National 250

NCATS-Steckly-Natl250-Web

Three-time series champion Scott Steckly earned his first win of the 2014 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series season Saturday in the National 250 at the Autodrome St. Eustache in St. Eustache, Quebec. Starting from the No. 2 spot, Steckly dominated the race in the No. 22 Canadian Tire/Sylvania Dodge, leading for 202 of the 250 laps and beating Alex Guenette and the No....

Categories: Chrysler, Future Cars and Rumors.


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NHRA-Johnson-Enders-Web
Does Enders-Stevens strategy open the door for Johnson?
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Coughlin clinches Countdown berth in Sonoma


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