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Liberty: 9 speeds, coming soon

by David Zatz on

The Jeep Liberty replacement, whose name has still not been officially announced (Liberty and Cherokee are probably the front-runners), will come with a nine-speed automatic at launch and be unveiled in less than 90 days, Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne said today. Dealerships will probably not have the new car until July.

Speaking at the Detroit Auto Show, Marchionne also implied that the Dodge Dart was originally to have launched with the nine-speed, but that it was not available quickly enough. Once enough nine-speeds have been produced to satisfy the midsized SUV, Dart may indeed get the sophisticated automatic — which is making its world debut on the new Jeep. Still,  Marchionne said that the Dart was “over-equipped for the money we get,” and that he was disappointed by its reception .

Mr. Marchionne also noted that, while new Jeeps are planned for the brand’s planned expansion in India, a lower-cost offshoot of the Wrangler is not planned; he proclaimed that the Wrangler would absolutely not be compromised.

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