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Fiat Chrysler Latest to be Charged With Rigging Diesel Emissions

Automaker’s stock price tumbles in wake of EPA allegations.

by on Jan.12, 2017

The Ram 1500 turbodiesel has won a number of awards since its 2015 introduction.

Barely 24 hours after the U.S. Justice Department announced a $4.3 billion settlement with Volkswagen AG in connection with the German maker’s diesel emissions scandal, the Environmental Protection Agency accused Fiat Chrysler Automobiles of rigging its own diesel engines to illegally pass emissions test.

The agency said the so-called defeat device technology “appeared to cause the vehicles to perform differently when being tested” than when in use in real-world conditions. That was the same thing the EPA, in September 2014, charged that Volkswagen had done. Since then, VW has paid out close to $25 billion in fines and penalties related to the scandal. And FCA stockholders, apparently fearing a similar financial hit, sent the maker’s stock tumbling in the wake of the latest revelation.

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Enviro News!

“This is a clear and serious violation of the Clean Air Act,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “The undisclosed software results in increased emissions of nitrogen oxides from the vehicles, threatening public health by polluting the air that we breathe.”

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The Demon Returns – as Next Dodge Hellcat

New Dodge Challenger SRT Demon could top 707-hp.

by on Jan.12, 2017

The Demon is coming - a scene from the teaser video announcing the new Dodge Demon.

For those who didn’t think the Dodge Charger and Challenger Hellcat models, with their 707-horsepower hemi V-8s were powerful enough, salvation is coming – in the form of the new 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon set to make its debut at the New York International Auto Show three months from now.

The Demon name is a blast from the past. It was used for one of the old Chrysler Corp.’s classic ‘70s muscle cars, though back then it was based off the old two-door Dodge Dart. Dodge hinted it might want to resurrect the name with the debuting of a roadster concept, dubbed Dodge Demon, that made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in 2007.

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The new beast, it turns out, will be based off the same modern coupe as one of Fiat Chrysler’s current Hellcat models, the Dodge Challenger SRT. But it apparently has some devilish new tricks.

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Dodge Adding All-Wheel-Drive Challenger GT

“Shifting the muscle-car paradigm.”

by on Dec.07, 2016

The 2017 Dodge Challenger GT will be the first Detroit muscle car to use all-wheel-drive.

If you’re a muscle car fan living in the Midwest or some other part of the Snowbelt, odds are you either put your steed up on blocks over the winter or spend much of your time driving worried about spinning out.

But Dodge is “shifting the muscle-car paradigm,” according to brand boss Tim Kuniskis. It’s about to launch the first Detroit model to offer all-wheel-drive, the new Dodge Challenger GT expected to plow into dealer showrooms before the end of the first quarter of 2017.

Gain Traction!

Set to become “the world’s first and only all-wheel-drive American muscle coupe,” the Challenger GT actually becomes the latest in a string of high-performance models intended to improve all-weather drivability by delivering torque to all four wheels.

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Dodge Unleashes Two New Beasts for Dream Cruise

New versions close to Hellcat muscle, but not quite.

by on Aug.16, 2016

Just in time for the Woodward Dream Cruise, Dodge unveiled two new beasts the 2017 Dodge Challenger T/A and 2017 Dodge Charger Daytona.

The rumble and roar of the Woodward Dream Cruise is going to be made a little louder by two new muscle car entries from Dodge: the Challenger T/A and Charger Daytona.

Dodge unleashed the new beasts a week before the annual congregation of muscle car mavens meet to give them maximum exposure.

A Luxury You Can Afford!

“More than 1.5 million enthusiasts are expected to come to Woodward to celebrate classic muscle cars this week, so it’s a perfect opportunity to pay tribute to the Challenger T/A and Charger Daytona with new special editions,” said Tim Kuniskis, head of Passenger Cars – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA – North America. (more…)

Dodge Killing Off Viper Again

Slow sales led to repeated production cuts.

by on Jun.22, 2016

The Dodge Viper will end its run this year.

For the second time since 2010, Fiat Chrysler is killing off the Dodge Viper sports car.

Reintroduced in 2012 to much fanfare, the Viper received strong reviews, but relatively few buyers ponied up the initial MSRP of $97,395. Dodge later cut the price but sluggish sales forced it to repeatedly put production on hold.

In the Know!

“The Dodge Viper has had a great run and, 25 years after it was first introduced, it leaves the super car world reaching for the records it continues to set,” Tim Kuniskis, the head of the Dodge brand, said in a statement.

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Big Changes Coming for Dodge Charger, Challenger Models

New platform, lighter weight, 300 hp twin-turbo four among updates.

by on Jun.03, 2016

A Dodge Charger concept shown to dealers last August bore a strong resemblance to this 1999 concept.

Two of Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s most classically American models will become a little more global when they undergo complete makeovers two years from now.

While FCA officials are saying little to nothing about the planned mid-2018 replacements for the Dodge Charger and Challenger muscle cars, it appears they will likely switch platforms, adopting an “architecture” getting its first use for the all-new 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia.

A Real Performer!

While there will likely be a number of modifications made for the American muscle cars, a key goal will be to slash the weight of the next-generation models. One media report this week suggested the Dodge Charger, in particular, is targeted to shed as much as 500 pounds of mass. That would mirror moves made by key rivals General Motors and Ford.

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Detroit Muscle Cars Fall Short in New Crash Tests

Ford Mustang outperforms Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger.

by on May.24, 2016

They perform well on the street, but the IIHS wanted to see how the Ford Mustang, Dodge Challenger and Chevy Camaro perform in a crash.

The Ford Mustang outperformed its domestic muscle car rivals in the latest series of crash tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, but none of the three managed to earn top ratings in the closely watched tests.

This marks the first time the insurance industry-funded safety group tested and compared all three of the domestic “pony cars,” a move that reflects the fact that muscle cars collectively suffer some of the highest loss rates of any vehicle category, according to government statistics.

Safety News!

“Given that sports cars have high crash rates, it’s especially important that they offer the best occupant protection possible in a crash,” said IIHS President Adrian Lund.

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End May Be Near for Dodge Viper

Document sees production ending in 2017.

by on Oct.16, 2015

Dodge has tried everything it can to build demand for the Viper, including adding the ACR version.

(This story has been updated to include additional comments from Fiat Chrysler.)

The Dodge Viper SRT was intended to be one of the fastest cars ever produced in Detroit. But you couldn’t tell by the way it’s moving on dealer lots. Despite a big price cut, the two-seat sports car just can’t seem to build much momentum.

So, after launching an all-new version of the Viper in 2012, production is apparently set to wrap up in two years, at least according to a document provided to the United Auto Workers Union as part of recently concluded contract talks.

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The last Dodge Viper is expect to roll down the line at the special, low-volume Connor Assembly Plant in Detroit in 2017, the letter indicated, adding that, “No future product has yet been identified beyond the product life cycle.”

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New Hellraiser? Jeep Grand Cherokee to Get the Hellcat Treatment

Jeep to add 707-hp version of the Grand Cherokee.

by on Aug.27, 2015

Jeep will be adding a 707-hp Hellcat version of the Grand Cherokee it will call Trackhawk.

Things are going to hell at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Which is, apparently, a good thing considering the huge demand for the maker’s two Hellcat muscle cars, 707-horsepower versions of the Dodge Charger sedan and Challenger coupe.

They’ll soon be joined by another Hellcat-powered model. Several FCA insiders have confirmed that the Jeep brand is getting ready to launch a 707-horesepower SUV that will be known as the Grand Cherokee SRT Trackhawk.

A Real Performer!

Fiat Chrysler officials this week have been briefing dealers about plans to expand the Hellcat line during their annual retail get-together in Las Vegas. They’re also advising dealers that they’ve boosted production capacity for the Hellcat engine. Demand has been so strong that orders for the 2015 models had to be cut off well before the end of the model-year.

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Woodward Dream Cruise Can Celebrate Past and Present

Forget the ‘60s; the best muscle cars ever are being built today.

by on Aug.10, 2015

The latest version of Chevy's Corvette Stingray can get up to 31 mpg while making 455-hp.

The roar is back. All this week, you can expect to see countless classic hot rods, muscle cars and other exotics cruising Detroit’s main drag as the Motor City gets ready for the annual Woodward Dream Cruise.

This will mark the 20th anniversary of an improbable event that took shape almost by accident when a small car club in the Detroit suburb of Ferndale decided to change things up. Rather than having its members park their cars for their annual gathering, organizers decided it would be more fun to cruise up and down Woodward Avenue. Word got out and almost 250,000 people lined the eight-lane boulevard to watch. In recent years, that has grown to as many as 1.5 million, with an estimated 40,000 to 60,000 classic cars cruising Woodward.

Cruise on In!

“It gets bigger and bigger every year,” noted regular Dream Cruise fan Bob Wissman, who recalled spending plenty of time riding around with friends in their Corvettes, Camaros and Mustangs as a teenager back in the 1960s.

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