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To Hell and Back: Dodge Unleashes 600+ HP Challenger SRT Hellcat

Supercharged Hemi is most powerful V-8 Chrysler has ever produced.

by on May.20, 2014

The Dodge brand will put even more emphasis on performance, going forward, and the Hellcat is the first clear expression of that mandate.

Dodge, it seems, has found a hidden fury inside its already formidable 6.2-liter Hemi, bolting on a supercharger, among other things, to create the new SRT Hellcat, a 2015 addition to its Challenger line that will boast the most powerful V-8 ever offered by one of the Chrysler brands.

While final numbers have yet to be locked down, look for something on the order of 600-plus horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque, suggests SRT Powertrain Director Chris Cowland who suggests the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat will be “bloody fast.”

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As part of the new Fiat Chrysler Automobiles corporate strategy, the Dodge brand will put even more emphasis on performance, going forward, and the Hellcat is the first clear expression of that mandate. (more…)

Fiat Chrysler Hopes to Redefine, Sharpen Image as it Outlines Global Strategy

Tuesday session could deliver some surprises, sources say.

by on May.05, 2014

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne completed his long-sought merger - but must now show he can do something with the company.

Almost exactly five years after taking control of the bankrupt automaker, CEO Sergio Marchionne will outline his global strategy for both Detroit-based Chrysler and its Italian partner Fiat during a day-long strategy session this week.

The marathon meeting will be a follow-up to one that Marchionne and his management team staged shortly after Chrysler emerged from Chapter 11 protection in 2009 – a session that saw skeptics question whether the U.S. maker could survive, never mind flourish under Italian control. But five years later, that’s exactly what is happening, Chrysler last week reporting its 49th consecutive monthly sales gain as it continued to outpace the industry’s overall recovery.

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But the smallest of Detroit’s so-called Big Three has plenty of challenges to deal with – as does partner Fiat. Together, the newly merged Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) will need to sharpen and, in some cases, redefine the identity of its various brands, roll out a wave of new products, and expand its presence in key emerging markets. That’s especially true for Chrysler which was pushed out of China after the collapse of its previous marriage to Germany’s Daimler AG.


Dodge Muscles Up With New Charger, Challenger

Power supplemented with new technology.

by on Apr.17, 2014

Tim Kuniskis introduced the 2015 Dodge Challenger, left, and Dodge Charger at the New York International Auto Show.

Automakers spend a lot of time chasing young buyers, so it was a bit of a shock to see Dodge launch into its New York Auto Show news conference with a short film filled with seniors averaging close to the century mark. No worries, though, as they quickly proved to be as young-at-heart as the typical Dodge buyer.

And so, whatever the age, Chrysler’s muscle car brand quickly refocused the spotlight on a pair of updated performance models, the 2015 Dodge Charger and 2015 Dodge Challenger, both of which undergo some significant mid-cycle updates.

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It’s clearly an appropriate move for the two-door Dodge Challenger, which is in its fifth year since its last full redesign – though, surprisingly, the classic muscle coupe set an all-time sales record last year. (more…)

Dodge at Crossroad with New Journey Model

Special edition crossover gets rugged makeover.

by on Feb.05, 2014

Dodge is introducing its new Journey Crossroad edition during the Chicago Auto Show.

With sales of utility vehicles of all kinds of utility vehicles trending upwards, the Dodge Journey, one of the workman like crossovers in the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles model lineup, is getting an update just in time for this year’s version of the Chicago Auto Show.

The new Journey Crossroad is getting new front and rear fascias, Platinum Chrome side sills and 19-inch Hyper Black aluminum wheels. The interior also gets features, such as an 8.4-inch U-connect touchscreen, a new leather seat design and Liquid Graphite appliques.

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“The Journey has always been Dodge’s Swiss Army knife in the CUV segment, and with the new Journey Crossroad, we are expanding that flexibility by now offering three different exterior appearances,” said Tim Kuniskis, president and CEO, Dodge Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. (more…)

Dodge Not Going Away, Insists Brand Boss

No “master plan to consolidate brands,” insists Kuniskis.

by on Sep.16, 2013

Dodge has a "very solid future," says brand chief Tim Kuniskis, as it launches new Durango.

Despite some uncertainty over its future product program, the Dodge brand isn’t going away, insists the man in charge of coming up with its long-term strategy.

Having dropped such brands as Eagle and Plymouth over the years, there’s been growing speculation in recent months that Dodge would also be sent off to the automotive rust heap, especially after documents leaked out suggesting some of the brand’s key products might not be around for more than a few years.

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But that only suggests that Dodge, like the rest of the Chrysler Group, is trying to get a better handle on its overall line-up and end product duplication – badge engineering, in industry-speak – insists Tim Kuniskis, the President and CEO of the Dodge brand.

Getting rid of Dodge, “is not a part of a master plan to consolidate brands,” the executive said during a media preview of the new 2014 Dodge Durango in suburban Los Angeles.


Dodge Offers First Tease of Reborn Viper

Hints of retro for snake charmer.

by on Jan.31, 2012

Dodge offers a first hint of what's to come when the Viper makes its return.

With the reborn Dodge Viper scheduled to make its return debut at the upcoming New York Auto Show, the Detroit maker is offering a first vague hint of what’s to come in the form of this stylized silhouette on the SRT Facebook fan page.

The original Viper roadster,  designed to be a pure American muscle car, not even offering anti-lock brakes or airbags in its original incarnation.  A coupe roof was grudgingly added in 1996, with ABS, airbags and a few other niceties eventually becoming part of the package.  But from Day One, the snake was all about muscle and that’s expected to remain the heart-and-soul of the all-new Dodge Viper when it finally returns to showrooms next year.

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The front-view teaser suggests the design is a bit retro, though the new version of the Viper will be all-new, this time with a platform borrowed from Fiat’s Maserati division – though it is expected to feature a unique-to-Viper engine.


Dodge Durango will live again

New sport ute will be based on same platform as new Jeep Grand Cherokee.

by on Aug.16, 2010

Dodge will keep the Durango name for a new three-row sport utility vehicle that it will launch this fall.

Chrysler has posted a short montage of images showing details of the new Dodge Durango, while also confirming that it will carry the Durango name.

Click here to watch the 28-second video is posted

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Chrysler has already indicated that it was working on a Durango replacement, but offered no new details other than the images of the new vehicle.

GM’s New App Turns Smartphones into Virtual Key

New app uses OnStar to access vehicle functions.

by on Jul.22, 2010

Well, does this have anything to do with selling cars? Comments requested.

The automotive world is going smartphone app crazy.

The latest to join the fray? General Motors will roll out smartphone apps – specialized apps geared for customers of its four remaining U.S. brands – this fall.

GM will release a new app for smartphones that will allow owners to access all of the functions of a traditional key fob. No longer will the car owner have to be within a certain distance to control vehicle.

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Say you park the car at the mall, but realize you forgot to lock it while shopping at Aeropostale. Just log in and send a remote lock signal to the vehicle.

This could also eliminate many of the calls subscribers make to have their vehicle unlocked by an OnStar advisor. So long as you don’t lock your phone in the car, you could just unlock it yourself.


Chrysler Smartphone App Coming

Starting with iPhone owners can view manuals and promotions.

by on Jun.17, 2010

Chrysler Group LLC is the first automotive company to introduce vehicle-information apps. The app is free and will be available first on the all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee. The app will phase into select Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep and Ram Truck vehicles by the end of this year.

The app is free and will be available first on the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee. The app will phase into select Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep and Ram Truck vehicles by year end.

Chrysler is joining the smartphone craze with an app to help customers learn more about their vehicles and connect with other owners.

The new owner information app, an industry first, will be introduced with the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, then rolled out for the rest of Chrysler’s lineup soon after. Initially, it will be available only for iPhone, but Droid and Blackberry versions will soon follow. It will play on the iPad, but images are not optimized for that platform.

Mopar President and CEO Pietro Golier made the announcement Thursday morning to reporters on a live chat feed.

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Customers can view owner’s manuals, product literature, feature descriptions, instrument panel information, maintenance and service contracts and frequently asked questions. They can browse and buy Mopar parts and accessories. Potential customers will be able to use the app to learn about Chrysler, Dodge, Ram, Jeep and Fiat vehicles.   (more…)

Chrysler Launches May Sales Incentives

April sales while up still lagged the overall market.

by on May.04, 2010

Not a Chrysler product in the group. Click on the chart to enlarge.

Chrysler Group LLC today announced 0% financing on most 2010 model year Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram truck vehicles when financed through GMAC Financial Services. The terms vary by brand, with three or five year loan lengths.

Cash rebates vary from $1,000 to $4,000.

Year-to-date, Chrysler sales at 330,000 units are up 2%, while the total light vehicle market is at 3.5 million units or +17%. Chrysler last month posted a 25% sales increase, which was its best year-over-year sales improvement since July 2005. (See the story Domestic Car Sales Jump in April )

The incentives announced today are valid through June 1, 2010.