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Chrysler Hints at Future Products

Discussion in 'Dodge Challenger and Industry News' started by Theresa, May 4, 2011.

  1. Theresa

    Theresa Challenger Life Moderator Staff Member

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    Chrysler Hints at Future Products
    Published May 3, 2011

    Just the Facts:
    • Chrysler will revive the lauded Super Bee badge for a variant of the Dodge Charger.
    • Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited upgrade from the 3.8-liter V6 to the more efficient Pentastar V6 engine range.
    • A new Chrysler 40-mpg vehicle — almost surely based on the Fiat 500 architecture — should be launched by the end of 2011.
    DETROIT — Chrysler this week announced its first profit in the car-making business since it emerged from bankruptcy in summer 2009 — and the first profit for the company in any form since 2006 — and hand-in-hand with the financial turnaround comes detail about some of Chrysler's coming product moves.

    While a lot of the action centers on quickly shifting the center of gravity of Chrysler's product ranges away from thirsty pickups and SUVs, corporate planners apparently know the Dodge and Jeep brands, in particular, must retain aspects of performance and off-road capability. Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed yesterday in a meeting with analysts and the media that the company will revive the lauded Super Bee badge for a variant of the Dodge Charger and that the Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited finally will give up their dog-eared 3.8-liter V6s and be available with the new, more efficient Pentastar V6 engine range.

    The Pentastar V6 — could it be a displacement smaller than the current 3.6 liters? — will make the celebrated Wrangler lineup 10 percent more efficient, said Marchionne, when combined with a new automatic transmission that, curiously, Chrysler said will be only a five-speeder. Other significant coming powertrain upgrades include an eight-speed automatic — initially supplied by German transmission specialist ZF Group, then built by Chrysler itself — this year for the Chrysler 300 and Charger, not to mention a nine-speed job for front- and all-wheel-drive platforms in 2013.

    Then there's an all-new dual-clutch automated manual transmission slated initially for the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger, although Chrysler did not detail timing for the fuel-saving transmission's introduction in the U.S. Prior to its bankruptcy, Chrysler was immersed in a venture to manufacture dual-clutch automated manuals with Getrag at a refurbished Chrysler transmission plant in Kokomo, Indiana, but the deal was killed not long before the "old" Chrysler went belly-up.

    In the coming weeks, Chrysler's managing partner Fiat Automotive is pulling the trigger on a deal to refinance its government bailout loans that will result in Fiat owning 46 percent of Chrysler. The final action in Fiat's plan to gain a controlling 51 percent interest in Chrysler is tied to the company producing a vehicle in the U.S. that delivers combined fuel economy of at least 40 mpg. Fiat wants control of Chrysler this year, so the new 40-mpg vehicle — almost surely based on the Fiat 500 architecture — should be launched by the end of 2011, according to the timeline Chrysler presented today.

    Diesel aficionados will cheer indications that a new, Fiat-owned Chrysler also will be more accepting of diesel technology. Chrysler showed a chart listing a jump in its global mix of diesel models from 9 percent in 2010 to 14 percent by 2014. The company already has fitted diesels for the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Compass for international markets, and with Chrysler and all other full-line automakers facing a 35.5-mpg fleet Corporate Average Fuel Economy mandate in 2016, it's possible the company would seek to raise Jeep's contribution to the goal by certifying those diesel variants for U.S. use. Rumors still circulate about a diesel Wrangler, a model that has cycled on and off the product-development front burner for years.

    Inside Line says: Post-bankruptcy profit breathes life into Chrysler's broad product lineup, and every division benefits from turnaround cash. — Bill Visnic, Senior Editor, AutoObserver
     
  2. Houdini

    Houdini Platinum Level Supporter

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    Lots of good things coming.
     
  3. sickr bee

    sickr bee Well-Known Member

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    Ill never understand them calling a 4-door a Super Bee. The only year that the Super Bee was a Charger was BECAUSE the Coronet DIDNT have a two-door model in '71? And untill they put SOME kind of manual tranny in Charger, to ME anyway ain't no Super to it! JMHO.
     
  4. Hesser

    Hesser Well-Known Member

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    Still looking for anything new on the Jeep Gladiator. Last I heard was 2013.
     

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