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FauxPar #5: Vehicles of the National Dealer Convention in Las Vegas

by Patrick Rall

Back in August, the Chrysler Group held their National Dealer Convention in Las Vegas, showing a large collection of "future vehicles." No cameras were permitted in the event, so all we have is accounts of the vehicles on display, but the pictures painted by the memories of the attendees are incredible.

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In reading the accounts of the dealership employees on hand in Las Vegas, it is as though the company is working on making every vehicle that the Internet communities demand.

From Jeep, there was a new Grand Wagoneer, the next generation Wrangler, the Hellcat-powered Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, a new Compass, and a new, unnamed subcompact Jeep.

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From Chrysler, there was a new large sport utility vehicle that would likely share a platform with the Jeep Grand Wagoneer along with the new Town & Country minivan - which includes a plug-in hybrid (mentioned by Sergio Marchionne for at least three years). (This is in addition to the 100, which was apparently not shown.)

From Ram, there was a next generation pickup, which will reportedly arrive for 2018, as well as a new, more heavily bulked-up Power Wagon.

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Finally, from Dodge, there was an SRT Durango with the 392 cubic inch Hemi, the next generation Charger (already), a street legal Challenger drag car named the American Drag Racer (ADR), a 300hp turbocharged engine for the next Dodge Dart, and a new Dodge 'Cuda in both coupe and convertible.

That makes five Jeeps, two Chryslers, two Rams and five Dodges - a total of 14 new vehicles - and all of the unofficial reports insist that all of these vehicles will arrive within the next three years.

I have spoken with a handful of Chrysler representatives who claim to have inside information, and they insist that all of the vehicles mentioned above were on display, but not all of them are actually going to see production. Basically, some will become reality, while others are nothing more than styling studies designed to gauge the interest of the dealer reps.

So which will become a reality? There is no official word on any of these vehicles, but I believe that several of these vehicles are a sure thing: the Power Wagon, the 2018 Ram pickup, the Grand Wagoneer, the Wrangler, the Trackhawk, the hybrid minivan, the SRT Durango, and the 300hp Dart.

Sergio Marchionne has stated that he doesn't want redundancies in the lineups, so I don't expect to see a Chrysler SUV that is based on the Grand Wagoneer, nor do I believe that the next Charger sedan will look like the 1999 Concept. I loved that concept and I hope that I am wrong.

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I still don't believe that there will be a Dodge called the Cuda and while I have my fingers crossed for the Hellcat-powered American Drag Racer to become a real world vehicle, that isn't going to happen until every order for the "normal" Hellcat cars have been filled.

Finally, while I believe that several of the vehicles discussed here will be on sale in the coming years, I have a hard time believing that the company will roll out so many crucial new vehicles in the short amount of time some have quoted. Some of these vehicles will be in showrooms in the next two years, but Mopar fans shouldn't expect a product siege of this size over the next 24 months.

Fauxpars: Dodge Barracuda, Ramcharger, Hellcat power, Coronet Super Bee
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