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Chrysler compact still coming

by David Zatz on

The Chrysler compact car, normally referred to as the 100, is still on the way, according to both the company’s strategic plan and insiders.

Some believe the forthcoming Chrysler  is closely linked to the new Fiat Linea replacement, which will be unveiled shortly. It seems likely that most of the work will be done by Fiat, which traditionally has more expertise in small cars, especially since Chrysler itself has its hands full with yet more revisions to its pickups, work on next-generation large cars, Dart upgrades, nine-speed fixes, the next-generation Compass, new minivans, possibly bringing over a Ram version of the big Daily commercial van, and other projects.

At minimum, Chrysler is likely to retune the suspension to fit American roads, and adjust the interior and exterior styling to match American tastes. Unfortunately, the Microsoft-based Fiat Blue & Me system, now renamed UConnect, may be the only connectivity system available, at least on lower models.

The company recently trademarked the Hornet name, first used by Hudson for its only “small” car, then used by AMC (the company formed by the merger of Hudson and Nash), and made famous by the movie Cars. So far, there has been no indication of what the name might be used on — they may replace Dart or Avenger with Hornet, or set up a midsized, rear-wheel-drive hatchback or coupe with the name — but it’s possible, albeit unlikely, that it will be used for the small compact Chrysler.

The launch of the upcoming Chrysler car might be timed so that it comes close to the relaunch of the Dodge Dart. Some observers believe that the Dart will be made into more of a niche car, perhaps with the lowest performance version matching today’s Dart GT, or having a turbocharged “Hurricane” engine, while the Chrysler 100 will cater to the mainstream.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304

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