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Five Year Plan: Jeep Onslaught, Hellcat Ram and Chrysler stays alive

by Patrick Rall on

The details from the latest FCA Five Year plan have been trickling out of Italy all day, but it looks like the biggest news is that there are a ton of new Jeep models coming by 2022, as well as the long-rumored arrival of the Hellcat Hemi-powered Ram 1500. Also, contrary to the many reports, the company did not announce the end of the Chrysler brand, nor were the Dodge or Fiat brands addressed as part of this day of big announcements.

Dodge and Chrysler

Before getting into all of the interesting information on the Jeep and Ram brands, we want to start by pointing out that the Chrysler, Dodge and Fiat brands were not included in this five year plan. Company head Sergio Marchionne did state refute the erroneous reports that the Chrysler brand was being killed off- stressing that the five year plan was a focus on global brands while Chrysler and Dodge are not global brands. The company does plan to dedicate 25% of its future product investments over the next five years to those brands, while the other 75% is focused on the Jeep, Ram, Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands.

So, although we didn’t get any new information on Chrysler or Dodge, we know that the company is still investing a quarter of its resources in those brands and that for now, the Chrysler brand is not going anywhere. Of course, things can always change, but right now, the FCA brand lineup is continuing on in its current form in the USA and Canada.

Big Things for Jeep

The biggest news today focused on the Jeep brand, with the expectation of 9 new models by 2022, along with 10 plug-in hybrid options and 4 pure-electric models in that that same frame of time.

First, there are some new models that we have known about officially for some time. That includes the return of the full-sized Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, the arrival of the Wrangler-based pickup and the expected next-generation Renegade – all of which should arrive sooner than later.

Next, Jeep will roll out a new Cherokee, the new Grand Cherokee and a refreshed Compass – none of which comes as a big surprise. Although the Cherokee just got a facelift, each of those models would be very old by 2022, so new versions of significant refreshes will be necessary.

As for the hybrid and electric models, with 10 PHEVs planned, it seems that just about every Jeep will have a hybrid model similar to the new WranglerChrysler, while four wheel get a pure-electric drivetrain. We would guess that the smaller vehicles would get the all-electric power, but that stands to be seen.

The big news from Jeep is that the Trail Rated brand will introduce a “Low D 3-Row”, which should be something that size of a Cherokee, but slightly bigger, to accommodate three rows of seats. Along the same lines, the Grand Cherokee will be joined by a similarly-sized 3-row vehicle and based on the chart from FCA, this vehicle will be different from the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. There will also be a new, smaller Jeep that will slide into the lineup below the Renegade.

Finally, the brand will look to expand the availability of their performance oriented models, including the Trailhawk, the Deserthawk and the Trackhawk. That’s right, there is another Trackhawk of some variety on the way – hopefully also packing the 707-horsepower Hellcat Hemi. While the Trailhawk name is already used on multiple models, the Trackhawk is currently only available on the Grand Cherokee while the Deserthawk is only available for the Renegade. It seems that any model could get the Deserthawk treatment, but if all Trackhawk models pack a monster Hemi, it seems likely that the 3-row Grand Cherokee-sized model and the new Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer would also make sense with the supercharged Hemi.

The Hellcat Ram

Next up, Ram brand boss Mike Manley confirmed that they will bring a production version of the Ram TRX Rebel Concept to market in the next five years. This is the Hellcat Hemi-powered model that debuted a few years back and while there have been lots of rumors, this is the first official verification that it is on the way.

 

While this supercharged beast will be designed to battle the Ford F-150 Raptor, it will also play a key role in increasing the average purchase price of the Ram 1500. If the Ram is priced similarly to the Jeep Trackhawk – and it definitely could be – that will most certainly bring up the average purchase price of the 1500 lineup. Right now, not only is Ford selling more trucks than any other company, but they also have a far higher average purchase price, so with the Hellcat-powered Ram 1500, FCA hopes to close that purchase price gap.

Next, it was confirmed that a new Ram Heavy Duty will arrive in 2019 and by 2022, Ram will roll out a new mid-sized pickup. The Dodge Dakota was very popular in its earlier days, but as the automakers pushed their focus to the half-ton segment, we saw the mid-sized trucks die. That has changed, so with the arrival of the new Ford Ranger, Ram will offer its own mid-sized truck in the coming years. We do not know if it will be called the Dakota, but that would seem like a good move, as the previous generations of the Dakota still have a solid owner base.

As for the other current Ram models, the ProMaster City will enter into a new generation by 2022, while the larger ProMaster will carry on relatively unchanged.

Changes for Alfa and Maserati

As former Dodge boss Tim Kuniskis looks to right the ship of the Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands, each of those Italian brands will see significant changes by 2022.

 

From the Alfa Romeo brand we will see a new 8C, a new crossover that will be larger than the Stelvio, a refreshed Giulia, a refreshed Stelvio and the end of the MiTo.

From the Maserati brand, a new plug-in hybrid, all-wheel drive luxury two-door will replace the Gran Turismo (shown below) in the company’s lineup, effectively giving Maserati a Tesla-fighter that could be very interesting. This performance EV will come as a coupe or convertible, with a lightweight aluminum space frame and a top speed of more than 186 miles per hour.

Also, the Levante and Quattroporte will each see new versions by 2022, and they will be joined by a new, smaller crossover that will have plug-in hybrid technology.  This new model is promised to have a 50/50 weight distribution and the best power-to-weight ratio in the segment – so it might be an incredible performance crossover with hybrid features. The Italian brand will eventually offer four all-electric models and eight hybrids by 2022.

The company hopes that this refresh of the Maserati lineup will help the brand hit 100,000 units by 2022 – which is about double the brand’s current annual sales volume.

Self-Driving Vehicles

FCA announced that they are continuing to work on their autonomous technology, working with Waymo and BMW to bring a Level 4 autonomous vehicle to at least one FCA vehicle by 2019 and a full range of vehicles with this system by 2021.

As we have reported in the past, FCA is already working with Waymo as the two collaborate in self-driving versions of the Chrysler Pacifica.

Patrick Rall was raised a Mopar boy, spending years racing a Dodge Mirada while working his way through college. After spending a few years post-college in the tax accounting field, Patrick made the jump to the world of journalism and his work has been published in magazines and websites around the world.

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