Friday, March 27, 2020

Mid-Engined Dodge Viper Rendered To Rival Corvette C8





The Dodge Viper is gone but not forgotten. Since the Chevrolet Corvette is now a mid-engined machine, Abimelec Design imagines a revised Viper with its powerplant behind the driver. The resulting vehicle is handsome. Too bad there's no chance of this model ever going into production.
Abimelec Design's rendering uses the final generation of the Viper as the starting point. It even retains the hood scoop and vents, which are no longer necessary since the engine is in the back.


The big changes start at the B-pillar where Abimelec Design adds a more gradual slope to the rear deck. This creates the extra space for fitting the V10 engine in the back. The powerplant is visible through the glass. More rounded fenders make this Viper look a little less muscular than the real thing.
The last-gen's Viper 8.4-liter V10 pumped out 645 horsepower (480 kilowatts) and 600 pound-feet (812 Newton-meters) of torque. A six-speed manual sent the output to the rear wheels. The mid-engined layout would likely result in an improved weight distribution, which could make the model a better handling machine.


Dodge struggled to find buyers for the last-gen Viper, especially after the Challenger SRT Hellcat arrived with more power than the brand's halo car. It's still possible to find a few new examples at dealers if the big V10 calls to you, though.





FCA is expanding its program of measures to support coronavirus relief efforts




AUBURN HILLS, Mich.March 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- As previously communicated to the company's employees from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) CEO Mike Manley, the company is in the process of converting its first plant to produce face masks for donation to first responders and health care workers. The first machinery has been delivered and installed with supply and donation coming on stream in the coming weeks.
FCA is expanding its program of measures to support coronavirus relief efforts, focused on two principal areas: charities providing food services to children and support for a range of technical, logistical and manufacturing programs, such as face mask production.
"There has never been a more important moment to help children and their families with vital needs in our communities than during this time of great uncertainty," said FCA CEO Mike Manley
Food programs for children in our communities
FCA will work in partnership with non-profit organizations and foundations that are providing food to children until schools return to session. Starting immediately, FCA will help provide more than 1 million meals to school-age children in the communities around our principal manufacturing plants in IllinoisIndianaMichigan and Ohio. The program will then be extended nationwide in the U.S. and to Canada and Mexico, supporting similar relief efforts for kids who would normally access school meal services.
Mobilizing company resources
Following the first actions taken to start face mask production, the company is now investing technical, logistical and manufacturing resources at medical equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE). With the donation of face masks produced by the company starting in the coming weeks, the company will invest to extend that production capacity to other plants and ultimately donate masks to first responders and health care workers across the world. Drawing on experience from the company's engineering and logistics team in Italy who are assisting a local ventilator manufacturer, FCA is engaged with other companies producing ventilators and other much needed medical equipment and PPE.
"In this time of need, we've focused our resources on those actions we can implement quickly and that will have the greatest impact, as we did in Italy as soon as the emergency started," added Manley.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Next Dodge Charger Rendered





The penning master, who often engages in social media adventures, has brought along a pixel work portraying a big coupe that mixes traditional Mopar styling cues with a futuristic design.

However, before we zoom in on the details of this proposal, you should know that Gilles, who used to helm the SRT sub-brand, also delivered the context of sharing the rendering.

Like many of you, the company's design team is working from home and, at least at this point, we're looking at one of the proposals showcasing an experimental design.

"While we are never to show future product on social media. I have made an exception this time as this experimental design of a Dodge of the future fell on the cutting room floor because the designer decided to make the yellow spoiler guards a permanent part of the theme. We had a really good laugh about it though!" the head designer explained.

Now, those yellow lip protectors see the designer behind this work harnessing this opinion-splitting habit that involves certain owners refusing to remove the said plastic bits. And while we're talking about the author of the rendering, it looks like this comes from a designer named Jack Liu. For instance, the gearhead is part of the team that penned the the Challenger 50th Anniversary Edition.


Hellcat-Powered Ram Rebel TRX Finally Official?





The “SRT” name is more than a name. It’s an acronym, and it has a long line of history that belongs to the automaker known as home – Dodge. “SRT” stands for “Street and Racing Technology”. Notice the “and”, as in, technology made for regular driving on the street and technology made for the racetrack – not street racing. Regardless, Dodge is known for making high-performance cars drivers just can’t help but want to race. Sure, if it’s just to get it out of your system once in a while, someone can go to an SRT Driving School and test the limits of an SRT vehicle themselves. Otherwise, there are several choices available – the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye, 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, or Dodge Durango SRT to get the most out of each lineup. The newest addition may be a Hellcat-powered Ram TRX.
Yes, we know, “It’s official, a Hellcat-powered Ram truck” has been the headlines of internet articles for some time now. It’s just the way news about the auto industry works. Look back at some of the earliest leaks of the Jeep Wrangler pickup truck back in 2017 – it was a whole year before the Jeep pickup truck was seen again. It wasn’t until later that year that Jeep released the 2020 Jeep Gladiator midsize pickup truck. So we get it – we’ve heard a lot about a possible Hellcat Ram truck, but this time it seems to be the real deal.
The Hellcat-powered Ram TRX pickup has been approved for production. It’s been several months since we saw anything about the mighty Ram Rebel TRX truck, spied back in March 2019. Just like the name says, it’s the Ram Rebel Tyrannosaurus Rex, powered by a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 engine called the “Banshee”, able to produce 520 horsepower and 525 lb-ft of torque. Coincidentally, there was once a time where the TRX was said to be powered by the legendary 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine, able to produce 707 horsepower. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
So why would they want to cap it and not go into the 700’s? One would think a truck flying down the highway at 100 mph is a death wish. With Head of Jeep® Brand, FCA – North America Jim Morrison claiming the concept Ram 1500 Rebel TRX powered by a 575 horsepower, supercharged 6.2 liter HEMI could, handle the harshest terrains at speeds over 100 mph, that’s all some people need to hear to test it for themselves.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The Agnelli Family and its Companies respond to the COVID-19 emergency






In response to the COVID-19 emergency, the Agnelli Family and its Companies have put in place a series of measures, in coordination with the Italian Civil Protection Department, to support the Italian national health service in its care of the sick and to provide assistance to those who currently require it, or who will do so in future.
In detail:
  • The Agnelli Family has made a €10 million donation to the Italian Civil Protection Department, as it manages the emergency at national level; and to Specchio dei Tempi /La Stampa (a social assistance organization which operates in the Region of Piedmont), to respond to the local health and social needs in the city of Turin and Piedmont.
  • EXOR and its subsidiaries Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ferrari and CNH Industrial -  together with companies from outside the Group, including Ermenegildo Zegna and Pesenti Group – have sourced and purchased a total of 150 ventilators, alongside other medical equipment from various overseas suppliers, and are preparing for their immediate air transport to Italy.
  • the automotive long-term rental company Leasys (FCA Bank) has provided the Italian Red Cross and ANPAS (the Italian National Association for Public Assistance) with a fleet of vehicles for the distribution of food and medicine to the sick, the elderly and people in need of assistance across Italy.
  • EXOR, FCA, Ferrari and CNH Industrial remain in close contact with the Italian Department of Civil Protection, to provide the Country with scouting services – free of charge – to identify medical equipment and healthcare products available internationally, and to provide assistance with customs related matters to ensure expedited import to Italy.

These initiatives are in addition to those already in place:
  • #DistantiMaUniti, a fundraising initiative promoted by the Juventus Football Club, which is live on the gofundme platform (www.gofundme.com/f/distanti-ma-uniti-dona-insieme-alla-juventus)
  • #restoascuola, an initiative promoted by the Agnelli Foundation, together with the La Stampa and Specchio dei Tempi Foundation and La Stampa newspaper, to support long-distance teaching in schools, especially for those students who experience greater barriers to learning.



Monday, March 23, 2020








Ram Truck Unveils New 2020 Ram 1500 Laramie Southwest Edition

  • New Ram 1500 Southwest Edition packs additional features into new premium package
  • Laramie Southwest to be offered exclusively in Texas and neighboring states
  • Ram 1500 Lone Star continues to be Ram’s top seller in Texas

March 18, 2020 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Ram today unveiled the 2020 Ram 1500 Laramie Southwest Edition, a new luxury trim aimed at the largest truck-buying region in the world. The Ram 1500 Laramie Southwest Edition packages together popular appearance and luxury features.


 
The Ram 1500 Laramie Southwest Edition will be offered exclusively in Texas and neighboring states.
 
“For nearly 20 years, Ram has recognized that Texas and America’s Southwest are the center of the truck universe,” said Mike Koval, Ad Interim Head of Ram Brand, FCA - North America. “Ram was the first manufacturer to offer a Texas-exclusive model and the Lone Star edition remains our most popular truck in Texas. Our new Ram Laramie Southwest Edition adds the segment’s best combination of performance, capability, luxury and technology.”
 
Outside, the Laramie Southwest Edition’s body-colored bumpers, mirrors and grille surround give it a sophisticated appearance. Subtle chrome highlights, including tow hooks, grille inserts, body side moldings and polished 20-inch wheels, provide exterior visual accents. Power side steps are also included and fold out of the way when the truck is parked or underway.
 
Inside, the Ram 1500 Laramie Southwest Edition is loaded with features, technology and a unique feature. Among those features are the Uconnect 4C infotainment system with a massive 12-inch touchscreen, dual-pane panoramic sunroof and electronic trailer brake control. Also included are automatic high beam headlights, Blind-spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Path detection, ParkSense® Front and Rear Park-Assist with Stop, remote tailgate-release and rain-sensing windshield wipers. Buyers have a choice of either a bench or buckets seats. All Ram 1500 Laramie Southwest Editions are delivered with a heavy-duty Mopar locking console when the bucket seat option is selected.
 
The 2020 Ram 1500 Laramie Southwest Edition is available in all powertrain options. Buyers can choose Quad and Crew Cab body configurations and 5 ft.-7 in. (Crew only) or 6 ft.-4-in. bed lengths.
 
Ram 1500 Laramie Southwest Edition’s Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts at $45,380, plus $1,695 destination.
 
New 2020 Ram 1500 Laramie Southwest Edition models will go on sale in the second quarter of 2020.
 


Ram Truck Brand
In 2009, the Ram Truck brand launched as a stand-alone division, focused on meeting the demands of truck buyers and delivering benchmark-quality vehicles. With a full lineup of trucks, the Ram 1500, 2500/3500 Heavy Duty, 3500/4500/5500 Chassis Cab, ProMaster and ProMaster City, the Ram brand builds trucks that get the hard work done and families where they need to go. 
 
Ram continues to outperform the competition and sets the benchmarks for:

  • Segment first 1,000 lb.-ft of torque with Cummins Turbo Diesel
  • Towing capacity of 35,100 lbs. with Ram 3500
  • Payload of 7,680 lbs. with Ram 3500
  • Most luxurious: Ram Limited with real wood, real leather and 12-inch Uconnect touchscreen
  • Best ride and handling with exclusive link coil rear and auto-level air suspensions
  • Most interior space with Ram Mega Cab
  • Most capable full-size off-road pickup – Ram Power Wagon
  • Most-awarded light-duty truck in America
  • Highest owner loyalty of any half-ton pickup
  • Over the last 30 years, Ram has the highest percentage of pickups still on the road



Chrysler Brand Expands Partnership with No Kid Hungry




Chrysler Brand Expands Partnership with No Kid Hungry to Help Provide Up to 10 Million Meals

  • Chrysler first partnered with No Kid Hungry in 2018 to help in their goal of ending childhood hunger
  • With each Pacifica sold from now through the end of the school year,* Chrysler will donate enough to provide up to 500 meals to kids in need with the goal of providing up to 10 million meals**   
  • As a brand focused on making life easier for families, beginning March 19, Chrysler is introducing new Chrysler Pacifica Family Pricing plus zero-percent financing for 60 months on every 2020 model year Chrysler Pacifica. For a limited time, no payments for 90 days is also available on gasoline-powered Pacifica models

March 19, 2020 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - The Chrysler brand is expanding its partnership with No Kid Hungry, a national campaign focused on ending child hunger in America. Since it began in 2010, No Kid Hungry has provided more than 1 billion meals to kids in need, and helped cut childhood hunger in America by one third. Starting now until the end of the school year, with the sale of every Pacifica, Chrysler will make a contribution that will help No Kid Hungry provide hundreds of meals to kids across the country.

“Chrysler first partnered with No Kid Hungry in 2018 to help in their goal of ending childhood hunger,” said Tim Kuniskis, Global Head of Alfa Romeo and Head of Passenger Cars – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA – North America. “As a brand that is focused on making life easier for families, we at Chrysler want to continue to help those in need and make it easier for families to help others. So with each Pacifica sold, we’ll help No Kid Hungry provide up to 500 meals to kids in need with the goal of providing up to 10 million meals.”

“One in seven kids in America live in families that struggle with hunger. We know a hungry child can’t learn, can’t focus, can’t be who they want to be,” said Tom Nelson, President and CEO, Share Our Strength. “We are so grateful for Chrysler’s support of our work to ensure kids have the food they need to thrive.”

Our family is your family, all families pay the same price
Building on its efforts to get meals to kids who need them, the Chrysler brand is also working to make things financially easier for all families with Chrysler Pacifica Family Pricing. 

Chrysler Pacifica Family Pricing takes the negotiating out of the experience and gives all customers the same great discount. Beginning March 19, Pacifica Family Pricing plus zero-percent financing for 60 months is included on every 2020 model year Chrysler Pacifica from the Pacifica Touring to the Pacifica Hybrid Limited. For a limited time, no payments for 90 days is also available on gasoline-powered Pacifica models.

Examples include:
ModelMSRPFamilly PriceFamily Discount0%/60TOTAL VALUE
Pacifica Touring FWD$37,447$34,682$2,765$3,267$6,032
Pacifica Touring L FWD$40,581$37,453$3,128$3,528$6,656
Pacifica Touring L Plus FWD$43,613$40,128$3,468$3,780$7,265
Pacifica Limited FWD$49,467$45,263$4,205$4,263$8,468
Pacifica Hybrid Touring Plus FWD$42,162$40,205$1,957$3,787$5,744
Pacifica Hybrid Touring L FWD$45,989$43,808$2,180$4,126$6,307
Pacifica Hybrid Limited FWD$49,539$47,175$2,364$4,444$6,807

In addition, Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is also eligible for a $7,500 tax credit from the federal government, as well as additional state incentives. Check here for more details: https://www.chrysler.com/pacifica/incentives/hybrid-incentives.html
No Kid Hungry
No child should go hungry in America. But 1 in 7 kids lives with hunger. No Kid Hungry is ending childhood hunger through effective programs that provide kids with the food they need. This is a problem we know how to solve. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of Share Our Strength, an organization working to end hunger and poverty.
*Current program period runs from March 18 until June 30, 2020. 
**Learn more at NoKidHungry.org/onedollar.



2020 Chrysler Voyager



2020 Chrysler Voyager Fact Sheet

Auburn Hills, Mich. June 27, 2019 - The award-winning FCA US minivan lineup expands in 2020 with the addition of the Chrysler Voyager to offer even more value for those who seek the quintessential family vehicle. Designed with budget-friendly family and fleet customers in mind, the Voyager delivers an exceptional driving experience. Standard features and utilities include seven-passenger seating, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone compatibility. Voyager also offers mobility innovations to ensure superior maneuverability and improved ease of entry and exit for wheelchair users. Well-equipped to stand against the competition, the Voyager is a no-compromise minivan at an unbeatable value.

As the first company to introduce the minivan and through six generations of the vehicle, FCA US has innovated 115 minivan firsts. The company has sold more than 14.6 million minivans globally since 1983, twice as many as any other manufacturer over the past 35 years.

New for 2020:
  • Expanding the award-winning FCA US minivan lineup, the Chrysler Voyager replaces the Pacifica L and LX models to now offer three value-add models – L, LX and LXi (fleet only)
  • LXi (fleet only) offers new, durable, UltraTec leatherette seats for fleet rental customers, as well as second-row Stow ‘n Go, remote start, security alarm, black Stow ‘n Place roof rack, universal garage door opener, second-row retractable sunshades and auto-dim rearview mirror
  • BraunAbility rear- and side-entry conversions offer a wider entryway and more interior space, with an enhanced ramp securement system, passenger seat flexibility and plenty of room for even the largest power wheelchairs and scooters
  • Exterior modifications include a Voyager liftgate badge; interior updates on the Voyager LX include satellite radio and second-row quad seats and in-floor storage bins
  • Available options on the Voyager L and LX include SafetyTec Group with optional Cold Weather Group Package, Stow ‘n Place roof rack and single overhead DVD on the Voyager LX

Highlights:
  • Chrysler Voyager minivan features the next generation of the award-winning Pentastar V-6 gasoline engine, which delivers 287 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. of torque, mated to a segment-exclusive TorqueFlite nine-speed automatic transmission
  • With standard seven-passenger seating, Chrysler Voyager delivers a smooth, exceptionally quiet and comfortable ride
  • Voyager’s available SafetyTec Group includes ParkSense rear park assist with stop, Blind-spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path detection
  • Chrysler Voyager comes standard with a 3.5-inch digital information display and offers the Uconnect 4 system with a 7-inch touchscreen, standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
    • Apple CarPlay enables iPhone users to access Apple Maps, Messages, phone and Apple Music through Siri Voice control or the Uconnect touchscreen
    • Android Auto enables easy and safe access to Google Voice Search, Google Maps and Google Play Music via the Uconnect touchscreen or steering wheel controls
    • Uconnect 4 systems include fast startup time, enhanced processing power, vivid imagery, high resolution and sharp graphics
  • Chrysler Voyager comes standard with six speakers and Active Noise Cancellation
  • The 2020 Chrysler Voyager model lineup has a starting U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $26,985 (excluding $1,495 destination charge)
  • The 2020 Chrysler Voyager is built at the Windsor Assembly Plant (Ont.) with vehicles arriving in dealerships in the fall of 2019


Model Lineup
For 2020, the Chrysler Voyager lineup consists of three models:
  • L
  • LX
  • LXi (fleet only)

Available Exterior Colors:
  • Billet Metallic Coat
  • Brilliant Black Crystal Pearl Coat
  • Bright White Clear Coat
  • Granite Crystal Metallic Coat
  • Jazz Blue Pearl Coat
  • Velvet Red Pearl Coat

Available Interior Colors:
  • Black (cloth, UltraTec leatherette on LXi model)
  • Toffee (cloth, UltraTec leatherette on LXi model)
  • Alloy (UltraTec leatherette on LXi model)

Fiat Chrysler to make face masks for U.S. health-care workers



FCA plans to convert a plant in China to make and donate face masks for first responders and healthcare workers in the United States, the automaker confirmed Sunday.
The response to the COVID-19 pandemic comes after President Donald Trump on Friday invoked the Defense Production Act that allows the government to call upon private businesses to address defense needs. Experts have expressed concerns over a shortage of personal protective equipment for health-care workers, ventilators and other medical equipment because of the respiratory illness. Several automakers have said they are looking to help.

Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley in a letter to employees over the weekend revealed the company's plan, indicating that conversations on converting one of the automaker's plants to make the masks would begin Monday.
"We are working through the protocols to start production in the coming weeks and ultimately produce over a million face masks per month to donate to first responders and health care providers," he wrote.

Fiat Chrysler also is working with ventilator manufacturer Siare Engineering International Group in Italy, the epicenter for COVID-19 in Europe. FCA's engineers and manufacturing teams along with Ferrari are helping to more than double Siare's productivity, Manley wrote.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

FCA Statement Regarding Suspension of Production Operations at North American Manufacturing Facilities



March 18, 2020 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Working with the UAW and listening to the concerns of our people, we have agreed to cease production at our plants across North America, starting progressively from today through the end of March. While production is paused, the Company will put actions into place to facilitate the steps agreed to through the joint task-force set up between the UAW and the automakers. Through this period, which we will re-evaluate at the end of this month, FCA will work to enhance its manufacturing operations to facilitate the changes agreed with the UAW including shift timings, structures and enhanced cleaning protocols.
 
Commenting on this action, FCA CEO, Mike Manley said: “Working with the UAW, and having visited many of our plants yesterday, we need to ensure employees feel safe at work and that we are taking every step possible to protect them. We will continue to do what is right for our people through this period of uncertainty.”
 
With our priority towards the health and safety of our workforce we are also evaluating the impact of all steps being taken inside the company related to the Coronavirus emergency on our current financial guidance.  We will provide an update on our financial guidance when that evaluation is complete and we have sufficient visibility on market conditions.