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Exclusive: KUSW platform cars

by David Zatz on

Lovers of the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200, there’s good news ahead: FCA will indeed be building new front wheel drive compact and midsize cars, using the new KUSW platform.

“Once we realized we would not find a satisfactory partner, we had to rush to get a replacement to market,” said Sergio Marchionne, FCA CEO. “The ideal would be something we had already developed, but our CUSW cars have already been rejected by the market, and SUSW would not be suitable for our larger compact car.


“Therefore, we reached back to the last really popular series of Chrysler front wheel drive cars.”

The KUSW series will start with start with the new Dodge Dart and a related Chrysler Reliant (rendered above); and the Chrysler LeBaron name will be resurrected for the midsize. A minivan (Chrysler Voyager) will slot in below the Pacifica to keep the sales crown, and a sporty front wheel drive car is due for Dodge, using a turbocharged four-cylinder “Hurricane” engine.  Mr. Marchionne noted that they could also extend the flexible platform to a high-end luxury car, which insiders have said will be called the Imperial.

All KUSW cars will have the exact same engine and transmission tuning, even the minivan.

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Mike Manley, head of Ram and Jeep, said he thought a Ram cargo van might work, but was unlikely due to competition with the Prom-Masters.  However, a Jeep version, tentatively dubbed the JeepJeep (JJ for short), has already been spotted.

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