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FCA to become Stellantis, 392 Wrangler Concept debuts and Hagan wins

by Patrick Rall on

FCA didn’t offer much news during the Covid-19 pandemic shutdown, but the company has made up for the previous radio silence. First, the Dodge brand introduced the Hellcat Durango, the Challenger Redeye-based Super Stock and the long awaited Charger Redeye. Those three vehicles came together to dominate the automotive media for a while, but this week, FCA has had a handful of smaller stories.

This started with Matt Hagan winning the first NHRA event since the series got back underway. Next, the Jeep brand introduced the Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept and today, it was announced that FCA will soon become Stellantis as part of the merger with Peugeot.

Hagan Wins in Indy

The NHRA hadn’t run since February due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but with the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, the series got back underway. The Don Schumacher Racing Dodge Charger funny cars came off the trailer fast, grabbing the 1st, 3rd and 6th spots in qualifying. Tommy Johnson Jr was the top qualifier and Matt Hagan was sixth, but the two would make their way to the finals, where they would go head to head. Both Johnson and Hagan ran a 3.959 in the semifinals, so it was anyone’s race in the finals.

Hagan grabbed the hole shot advantage (.044 to .066), but when Johnson ran into issues, Hagan got the easy win. Neither car turned in a good run in the finals, with Hagan cruising to the win with a 4.328 at 215 miles per hour.

In the first three events of the 2020 NHRA season, Don Schumacher Racing has won all three. Jack Beckman opened the season with a win and Tommy Johnson Jr. won back in February before the lengthy hiatus.

The 392 Wrangler Concept

Late last week, the Jeep brand posted a teaser image to social media showing a Wrangler or Gladiator hood with a 392 badge. On Monday, the brand introduced the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept, powered by the SRT 392 Hemi, offering 450 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque in the concept SUV.

While there are rumors that this 392-powered SUV could be a possibility for production, we shudder to imagine the cost of such a Wrangler in production form. It is basically a loaded, top of the line Wrangler Rubicon with a long list of upgrades that include the 392 Hemi, a unique 8-speed automatic transmission, Dana 44 axles, huge 37-inch tires, a Jeep Performance Parts 2-inch lift and much more. A loaded Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon has a price in the $60,000 range. Adding all of the package-specific features of the 392 Rubicon Concept would surely drive the price up past the $70,000 range, if not higher.

However, a Wrangler with the 392 Hemi would unquestionably be the nastiest factory-built off-road machine on the market. We don’t think that it is going to be any more than a concept, but it would be amazing to see such a vehicle in showrooms. That would certainly put a hurting to the EcoBoost’d Bronco.

Stellantis is Coming

Finally, it was announced today that when the 50/50 merger between FCA and PSA (Peugeot) is complete sometime next year, the new company will be named Stellantis.

The announcement of the new name included the following details.

“STELLANTIS is rooted in the Latin verb “stello” meaning “to brighten with stars.” It draws inspiration from this new and ambitious alignment of storied automotive brands and strong company cultures that in coming together are creating one of the new leaders in the next era of mobility while at the same time preserving all the exceptional value and the values of its constituent parts. STELLANTIS will combine the scale of a truly global business with an exceptional breadth and depth of talent, knowhow and resource capable of providing the sustainable mobility solutions for the coming decades. The name’s Latin origins pay tribute to the rich history of its founding companies while the evocation of astronomy captures the true spirit of optimism, energy and renewal driving this industry-changing merger.”

The people who dislike change are likely to hate the name, as it is fairly unusual and it really doesn’t reflect the identity of either company. However, as long as the Dodge, Ram, Jeep and Chrysler favorites continue on, people won’t care about the name of the parent company.

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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