By on January 20, 2016

2015 Ram 1500 Rebel

FCA has to clean up its act in a hurry, or pay a lot more to sell cars in the future.

That, Europe wants Volkswagen to treat its owners the same as American owners, General Motors’ lawyers get down and dirty and Porsche’s plug-in 911 … after the break!

FCA_Location_1_Torino_Lingotto_high

Fiat Chrysler finishes last in fuel consumption for 2014

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles finished last among manufacturers in 2014 for carbon dioxide emissions among its vehicles, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

That’s the fourth consecutive year the automaker has finished last and an ominous cloud for the automaker’s future viability when emissions requirements become more strict, according to Bloomberg (via Automotive News).

“FCA doesn’t have the resources to fulfill the emissions requirements,” Maryann Keller, an independent auto-industry consultant in Stamford, Conn, told Bloomberg. “It’s not a company that can survive in its present form.”

To offset its cars emissions and fuel consumption, FCA buys more credits than any other automaker now, which may become exponentially more expensive in the future when credits are scarcer and restrictions are tighter.

Matthias Müller

European officials ask Volkswagen to compensate diesel owners

In a letter to Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller, European officials asked Volkswagen to treat diesel car owners in Europe the same as American owners, namely, through its goodwill program.

“I would like to ask you to reconsider your stance regarding compensation and reflect on the ways to offer compensation also to the European consumers,” the European Union’s Industry Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska wrote, according to Reuters. “The issue of compensation goes beyond the difference in the legal set-up between the U.S. and the EU and plays a fundamental role in viewing VW as a responsible and trustworthy company.”

The increasing pressure from European regulators on Volkswagen to spend more for its illegally polluting cars compounds the problem the automaker already faces, including mounting pressure from U.S. authorities to fix — or buy back — its cars, and criminal charges for South Korean executives.

GMIgnitionAndSwitchAssembly02(1)

Oklahoma family’s eviction from home could derail lawsuit against GM

Lawyers for General Motors say a man who is suing the automaker for an alleged faulty ignition switch that disabled the airbags in his Saturn Ion “misled his own counsel, as well as the court and the jury,” Bloomberg reported (via Automotive News).

Attorneys argued that Robert Scheuer, who said the defect injured him in 2014, falsified bank information three weeks after his crash to buy a home. Scheuer and his family were evicted from the home five months later.

Scheuer’s attorneys said they were unaware of the alleged fraud by the man, but said the automaker should still be held accountable for its defective ignition switches.

“Regardless of how GM paints it, the heart of this case is that Mr. Scheuer’s airbag did not deploy” as a result of GM’s misconduct, “and whatever dirt they throw at plaintiff and his wife doesn’t change that,” attorney Robert Hilliard said, according to Bloomberg.

2013 Ford Focus SE Ecoboost 1.6, Exterior, Side, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

NHTSA investigating possible faulty Ford Focus latches

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating reports that doors on some Ford Focus models could open while moving, according to The Detroit News.

The inquiry covers 2012 and 2013 model years for the Ford Focus. One person reported injuries from trying to close the door.

More than 400,000 cars are affected by the investigation, and Ford recalled more than 450,000 Lincoln MKZ, Ford Fusion and Fiesta models last year for a similar problem, according to the report.

911wing

Porsche may make a plug-in hybrid version of its 911 – someday

Autocar reported that Porsche executives are considering a plug-in version of its iconic 911 sportscar — but it might not get here for another half-decade.

Porsche engineers would need to overcome a battery’s sizeable weight and dimensions before it could be added to a 911, according to the report.

At the North American International Auto Show, Porsche engineer Erhard Mössle told Autocar that the company would need to consider alternative powertrains to keep the 911 compliant with emissions regulations. (Considering the fleet average for the rest of Volkswagen, it’s hard to believe that they’ll be running to make the switch anytime soon.)

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107 Comments on “TTAC News Round-up: Let’s Talk Carbon Emissions, Volkswagen’s Bigger Headache, and Plug-in Porsches...”


  • avatar
    thelaine

    Well, putting FCA out of business is a small price to pay for preventing carcon dioxide from destroying the world…..right?

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Chrysler has been living on borrowed time for 3 decades now. Whereas automakers that actually plan to survive have invested billions in quality manufacturing and efficient drivetrains, Chyrsler’s response was to stick a Hemi in whatever fit. Not enough? Try a Hellcat.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        VoGo,
        The Phoenix Project designed the Pentastar. When the Pentastar was developed a V8 Pentastar was also designed.

        I see the biggest problem with the Pentastar is it is running out of life as an efficient engine as well. The initial target for the Phoenix engines was a 10% efficiency gain in FE over existing engines of that era.

        They could only reach 6%-7% effiency gains.

        V8’s and full size pickups/SUVs need to change from gasoline to another form of energy to meet FE requirements. Ford went the path of turbo engines as is many other manufacturers.

        All that is needed to change is the way in which FE is determined. A more stringent and realistic FE test will challenge these turbo engines.

        In the US there are only a couple of ways to go to improve FE. The most economical is diesel, then hybrid.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          I think more pickup truck buyers will be stepping up to the 3/4-ton and 1-ton versions of the pickup trucks where FE and emissions are not an issue.

          Pickup truck buyers are buying a lifestyle. Many buyers don’t cater to high-revving, fully blown, nervous little squirrel engines.

          I’m comfortable with the option of buying an F-250 4-door 4×4 with the biggest gasoline-fired V8 they offer.

          I am seeing people do that now when they trade off their old F100 or F150 for a brand new “last truck”.

          If RAM wants to continue to make money, they’ll have to follow suit. IMO, they will.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “a small price to pay for preventing carcon dioxide from destroying the world”

      Hah! I say, plant more trees instead of cutting them down.

      OTOH, Fisker’s Force 1 V10 is said to meet emission requirements now. And at $268K a pop, it should, if Ferarri and Aston can do it.

      FCA is able to meet emission requirements in Europe, and they’re stricter there than they are in CA.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        The ratio of Fiat 500 to RAM pickup sales in Europe is a little different from in the US.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          I believe the only engine FCA has problems with in the RAM-guise is the 5.7L Hemi V8.

          All others meet or exceed emission requirements, except the 6.4L of the SRT.

          I know the Pentastar V6 engines both meet emission requirements of CA. I did own a 3.6L at one time. And the Diesel 3.0L meets Euro standards.

          Hence my comments about V10 and V12 engines meeting emission requirements.

          One thing I would recommend is to change the FCA 5.7L heads and block to aluminum for lighter weight.

          Another would be to incorporate the VVT tech of the Pentastar into the 5.7L heads, along with 4-valves per cylinder.

          The tech already exists. If FCA can’t do it, they can license it from the 5.7L Toyota V8. It works just fine. I own one.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            There are 2 issues that FCA faces here:
            1. Their fleet fuel economy is lowest, and so FCA has to buy credits from greener manufacturers like Tesla and Honda to meet CAFE targets. This will only get worse as CAFE targets increase over time, until they are 54.5 in 2025.

            2. CO2 will be capped starting in 2025 at 163 grams per mile. Chrysler is currently at 428, so they have a long way to go, longer than competitors.

            This is what happens when 78% of your sales are light trucks.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “This is what happens when 78% of your sales are light trucks.”

            Agree! But this is what their fanbase wants, and more importantly, buys.

            I know of people who have waited six months for their iteration of a RAM 1500 5.7L Hemi pickup truck, whether that be four-door, 2-door, 4×4 or 2wd.

            I’m confident that FCA will find a way to continue to offer their pickup truck fans what they want.

            I think they just need a little help from Tundra and their magnificent all-aluminum, 32-valve, DOHC, 5.7L V8.

            Wouldn’t it be something if RAM contracted with Toyota to supply them the Tundra 5.7L V8 for future RAM trucks? Like VM does now with the 3.0 Diesel or Cummins did in the past.

            FCA will find a way, even after 2025. They need the sales. It’s where they make money.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            the 5.7 already has aluminum heads. The block is iron, but that doesn’t really enter much into emissions. only weight. the problem is that the hemispherical chamber gets you the ability to fit larger valves (thus why the pushrod 5.7 makes as much power and torque as your “magnificent” Toyota 5.7 liter 32-valve V8) at the cost of poorer ignition reliability and lower resistance to knock. it’s why the modern Hemi has quench pads on the sides of the chamber and dual spark plugs. The Hellcat goes further and changes them to “bathtub” style chambers a la Harley-Davidson, which gets them additional squish areas on the chamber sides.

            besides, they already do VVT on the Pentastar so the notion they’d have to license anything from Toyota is silly.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @highdesertcat – we are talking mpg and associated emissions. The 5.7 IForce is probably a bigger pig on gas then the 5.7 Hemi. Swapping one for another isn’t going to change that.
            You are on to something when talking about head design. The 5.7 “hemi” was almost scrapped right from the start due to difficulty with meeting emissions.Dual spark plugs were what saved the design.

            VVT tech is difficult to do with pushrod V8’s. GM does it with a rather complex “cam in cam” design.

            The best option is for FCA to sh!tcan the Hemi since it would be too expensive to make more efficient. It isn’t even a real “hemi” any way.

          • 0 avatar
            MrIcky

            The Hemi already has VVT too. It uses a cam phaser to increase lift at 3000 rpm.

            The 2009-on Hemi flows a lot of air. 4 valves isn’t going to pick up anything flow wise over the 5.7. JimZ is on it.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Yeah, maybe RAM should drop the pushrods and go to the 32-valve DOHC VVT head design.

            Agree on the Tundra 5.7L being thirsty but then, any 350 cubic inch V8 and larger will be thirsty. It’s part and parcel to the pickup truck lifestyle.

            When gasoline was $5/gal I did not see a reduction in traffic on the road or at the gas pumps.

            Hence, I believe that the RAM pickup truck will soldier on as long as pickup trucks will be popular.

            Ironically, while pickup trucks have always been around and somewhat popular, they didn’t really go mainstream until the Yank Tanks like the 4-door full-size sedan of yore, were being phased out.

            People who had previously owned a Mercury Grand Marquis were suddenly seen driving a four-door half-ton pickup truck.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            there’s really little to no need for a high-flowing 4 valve head on a truck engine. GM does just fine with the Gen V small block, and even the Ford “Boss” engine (6.2) is 2 valves/cylinder. The “hemi” chamber is pretty much a dead end at this point, but they can feasibly stay with pushrods and go back to a wedge chamber. Possibly with canted valves if they need increased airflow. OHV engines do have several clear advantages, especially in a vee layout.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            The modern Hemi has been a HUGE success for Chrysler.

          • 0 avatar
            Wheeljack

            5.7/6.2/6.4-liter Hemi heads are already aluminum, and they also has a form of VVT with a phaser that can advance or retard the entire camshaft. The next level would be to adopt the cam-in-cam technology from the Viper V-10 which allows the valve overlap to be changed as well as advancing or retarding the cam, but it is a lot more expensive than the simpler 1-piece cast cam with an oil-pressure controlled cam phaser in the current Hemi.

          • 0 avatar
            nrd515

            The 3rd gen hemis all already have aluminum heads, always have had them. Going to an aluminum block would be nice, though. They’ve had VVT since 2009, and they don’t need 4V per cylinder, as the hemi and GM LS motors have long proven. I know, I own a Challenger R/T with a 5.7, and in about a year, I will be buying another one, with a 6.4.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Surprising they allow Auto companies, carbon credits to exceed their emission limits.in the US. I thought the EPA was the standard as regards emissions went?

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        @ JimZ

        “at the cost of poorer ignition reliability and lower resistance to knock. it’s why the modern Hemi has quench pads on the sides of the chamber and dual spark plugs.”

        Indeed, these days a hemi is mostly if not entirely marketing, especially when you consider GM’s heads match or beat the hemi in airflow with its closed kidney shaped chamber.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          raph – agreed.
          The current “hemi” was based on a Porsche design.
          This 2004 article explains it.

          http://www.automobilemag.com/features/news/0407_hemi_engine/
          “Early in the research phase, they discovered a combustion chamber that Porsche used for 1965-97 air-cooled 911s offered the ideal starting point for their new design. Porsche’s head happened to be a hemi.”

          “The natural course of engineering evolution has moved Chrysler’s hero powerplant far from its Porsche roots and severed all ties to the Hemis of yore. Even though it isn’t a genuine hemi, this engine still packs a powerful punch as a marketing ploy.”

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    @thelaine – all sorts of experts keep saying that FCA is in trouble over the long term. To a some degree, emissions are part of the picture but only a small part. It is convenient to blame emissions for their weaknesses. A big part of that picture is the fact that their is too much production capability for demand. Weaker companies are going to die. Supply and demand. Pure and simple. That is right sided free market ideology at work. Left wing conspiracies aren’t the main culprit killing FCA.
    Why is Marchionne so eager to find a partner? He knows it all too well. Barra won’t merge because FCA will make them weaker and FCA’s death will just benefit the remaining companies.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Lou_BC,
      Explains to a certain extent, the extremely unreliable nature of FCA products here. No wonder, they are losing sales left right and centre.
      A ” marriage ” between GM and FCA, would be a marriage made in hell. Under Barra, GM is going nowhere and Marchionne has not the capital to develop many new products or fix the current ones

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        RobertRyan – agreed. Quality and durability is another big issue. FCA is for all intents and purposes functionally extinct. To quote wikipedia: “the population is no longer viable.” They don’t have what it takes to successfully reproduce unless a stronger more healthier species is willing to water down their own gene pool to help them. that does not happen in the wild and should not happen in business.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      @loubc

      Maybe so Lou. Still, paying CAFE fines and being forced to change your products to satisfy government “carbon” mandates cannot help.

      Ram engines run clean. After that, consumers should be able to choose what level of performance/fuel economy fits their desires. A healthy FCA employs people and imcreases competition. Imposing fines and mandates is counterproductive and totally unnecessary. Maybe it makes some people feel better about themselves. Whatever, if someone feels they are saving the planet, nothing else matters.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      Lou, forcing companies to produce “compliance cars” is a horror. Conspiracies are not required. Destructive policies are sufficient.

      • 0 avatar
        thelaine

        Are

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          thelaine – if one looks at the 70’s era malaise cars one could use the same argument.
          “Big government is killing the auto industry.”
          Part of the reason why fuel prices are down is because oil consumption is down.

          ” Petroleum consumption in the US was lower in 2014 than it was in 1997, despite the fact that the economy grew almost 50% over this period.”
          http://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/07/the-surprising-decline-in-us-petroleum-consumption/

          So in that respect how are tighter regulations a bad thing?

          There is over production but many developed nations are consuming less oil with higher economic activity.

          If FCA cannot compete it is hard for me to feel anger towards government for that situation.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            Lou,

            For goodness sake, you will defend these regulations, regardless of circumstances. CAFE has pushed people to pickups, (which is fine with me, since I love them and so do you) but has not saved energy.

            Where is the evidence that CAFE has caused a reduction in petroleum consumption? The cost of fuel causes many people to choose efficient cars. The Japanese led this revolution, no CAFE help needed. It’s not the 70’s. Japan won with superior tech and reliability, not with regulations on fuel economy.

            Thanks to the once high price of oil, advancements in hydraulic fracturing technology and the discovery of liquid natural gas deposits, America is closer to energy independence than at any other time in its recent history. This mostly occurred on private land in spite of government efforts to suppress this activity on public lands. The United States is likely to become the world’s largest energy exporter within the next decade. Energy reserves keep RISING. Thank you free enterprise system. It didn’t happen elsewhere because in most foreign countries, oil and gas is owned or very closely controlled by the government. Hence, waste and shortage.

            Cars burn cleanly and have done so since at least the turn of the century. Continuing to tighten regulations to reduce “carbon” increases costs for no good reason.
            Regulations should be strictly limited and continually justified. It is NOT, as so many defenders refuse to comprehend, all or nothing. Either keep tightening them, or go back to some terrible time in the past where regulations did not exist. CAFÉ and “carbon” regulations impose penalties on automakers and consumers and distort the market by forcing automakers to make Orwellian “compliance cars” and take losses on efficient small cars.
            Whether you or anyone else who does not have the responsibility of running FCA agrees with how it is being run should not be relevant to the question of these ridiculous regulations, nor should taxpayers bail FCA out again when they fail again. Most people who criticize their business practices have never even run a lemonade stand, but nevertheless want to impose costly and unnecessary regulations. Everyone pays for this arrogance and foolishness.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            thelaine – I’m not defending the regulations per se. Everyone else is meeting them.

            CAFE may or may not have caused improved fuel efficiency. It all depends if you source research from a “left” or “right” leaning site.

            The other side of this debate is climate change aka global warming. I’ve seen it first hand living in Northern Canada. I had a long conversation with an old trapper guide/outfitter who lives 4 hours out in the middle of nowhere. He has a journal with daily temperature readings as well as environmental changes in his area. He says there is a definite trend to warmer weather. This “old boy” started coming to this conclusion well before it became a “Liberal Pet Project”.

            “regardless of circumstances” can be used for keeping regulations or killing them!

          • 0 avatar
            Ol Shel

            Some folks just like to complain about regulations, as they live in the most powerful nation on earth (that immigrants still flock to) while they drink clean water and breathe clean air.

            It’s more fun for them to complain.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            Some people are just born to be ruled.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “Some people are just born to be ruled”

            I have a foot but don’t use it as a rule.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            My comment wasn’t directed at you Lou. The “reply” system is…imperfect.

  • avatar
    qfrog

    That looks like a Fusion not a Focus.

  • avatar
    mcs

    @porsche

    Just use the “back seat” space and the new Samsung SDI batteries slated for the new Audi SUV. The new Samsung batteries are a 20 to 30% improvement in density over current products.

    http://insideevs.com/samsung-sdi-presents-batteries-that-enable-370-miles-600-km-of-range-at-2016-naias/

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    In Mr Marchionne’s press conference the other day, he made it clear that they know how to produce more efficient, compliant products – but the question is cost (price).

    From this, I concluded that FCA has chosen to maximize its profits today, and implement costly, efficient changes later. But “later” is getting closer to becoming “today”, and they’ll need to get on with it ASAP.

    An aggravating factor is that consumer thirst for big, powerful vehicles is clearly at odds with CAFE requirements. It’s just that the other mfrs have enough offsetting economy cars to help them.

    • 0 avatar
      seth1065

      Shouldn’t the Fiat part of the company be able to offset this? or maybe buy Mazda? Really Fiat had done nothing in the US as it car line is not vert extensive here in the states, I know small cars are out of style here in the states but there are plenty of small cars sold in this big market, hell it may make sense to sell the Fiats at cost to save the Ram trucks.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        Fiat more interested in the Commercial side of FCA and Jeep. RAM can die as far as they are concerned as they do not sel US Pickups outside NA

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          Ram and Jeep have been keeping all of FCA afloat for a long while now. your suggestion makes as much sense as saying Ford should discontinue the F-Series since it’s not sold outside of NA.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Chrysler side of FCA is more interested in the plight of RAM( US Pickups). Fiat wants to push more Commercial vehicles and some sedans, into the US market and expand Jeep Globally. 85% of Jeeps are sold in NA

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            I agree, the down under thinking is hard to fathom.

            Fact is that Jeep and RAM are the only parts of the company that have any real value.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            No outside NA, Jeep is FCA’s main asset,RAM brand does not exist .Fiats Commercial and Agricultural assets are far larger on a Global basis.. In fact their IVECO/ CASE company does not have anything to do with FCA here and their IVECO products are in Competition with Fiats Vans

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “No outside NA, Jeep is FCA’s main asset,RAM brand does not exist”

            so what? Ram is still making a ton of money for FCA even with no market outside of NA.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Yes FCA is making a lot of money in NA with RAM, but Globally Fiat is looking at the larger picture and competing with the current Automotive heavyweights.
            Chrysler is responsible for RAM’s health

          • 0 avatar
            mason

            Sacrificing Ram due to their lack of global sales is akin to committing US suicide. If it made so much sense to do so, VW would be telling us “stupid greedy Americans” to go f*ck ourselves. Which seems to be quite the contrary, for some odd reason it seems as if Europe is the one getting f*cked via lack of GoodWill program among other ” apologies”.

            Go figure.

            And unfortunately for FCA, you’ve got it backwards. Ram is one of few that is largely responsible for Chryslers current health. Take Ram (still Dodge to me) and Jeep out of the picture and FCA goes tits up in the US.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Not sacrificing RAM sales, but increasingl Global ones, of everything else

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @Robert, Ram and Jeep are the only things keeping the operations formerly known as Chrysler making money. The artist formerly known as Chrysler is the only thing keeping the lights on at FCA. Killing one of your only two profit centers is suicide.

            The fact that Jeep and Ram are the only profitable portions of FCA is the reason it has been so hard to unload Chrysler so many times.

            Mercedes tried to unload the entire Chrysler car business for years. When they could find no takers they through RAM in the deal. When that didn’t attract any buyers they included Jeep. They had takers for Jeep, Jeep & Ram but essentially everyone said you’re going to have to sell it to me for less if you expect me to take the car business off of your hands.

            Eventually they did find a fool in Cerebus but once that went sour the US gov’t had to pay Fiat to take the entire mess off of their hands.

            Fiat is not worth anything and they would not exist today if GM had not paid billions to end the agreement that would have forced GM to buy Fiat outright.

            So FIAT would have to have sub Aussie IQ levels to not be worrying about Ram.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Or Dimwitted , Insular US I Q’s , thinking that RAM was a great part of their saviour. Fiat as a total organisation, includes FCA, needs to grow globally and needs a partner to do that. Chrysler looks after RAM in the US

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Cerberus from what I have read was only interested in ownership of Chrysler Financial to go with their GMAC takeover in 2006.

            The firm retained ownership of Chrysler Financial after the bailout, later selling it and recouping 90% of its initial investment in *all* of Chrysler while retaining some $900M in CF assets as part of the deal.

            “Cerberus will get about 75 cents on the dollar in cash when the sale of Chrysler Financial Corp. closes, said the people, asking not to be identified because the New York-based firm is private. Including about $900 million of assets Cerberus is retaining as part of the deal, the company will be left with a loss of 10 percent on the initial investment in the automaker and its finance arm.”

            http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2010-12-21/cerberus-said-to-recoup-90-of-chrysler-investment-after-sale

            more

            “[UPDATE: I’ve gotten a bit more info on the math. Seems that certain Chrysler Financial assets are excluded from the deal, including a foreclosure unit and another group involved in auto insurance. Cerberus values those pieces, in aggregate, at approximately $940 million. In other words, the book loss as of today is just around $70 million, or less than 1% of the original Chrysler buyout value.]

            Still a lousy deal for Cerberus, but not anything close to the disaster that most folks once assumed…”

            http://fortune.com/2010/12/21/cerberus-saying-goodbye-to-chrysler-financial/

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            It would appear that Cerberus had an interesting (although ultimately bad) strategy that it never really got to try out — build trucks for itself and others, while outsourcing the cars to other OEMs.

            The financial crisis derailed implementation of the plan, but it probably would have failed anyway.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @ Robert Ryan what is so hard to understand. FCA makes all of its money right now from Jeep and Ram. Make one of those go away and FCA is in bankruptcy court, again, in short order. If they want to stay in the automotive sector Ram key. If they want to expand sales of commercial vehicles Ram is again key to making that happen.

            Lets put it another way. If a FCA vehicle doesn’t have a Jeep or Ram badge on it they do not make money selling it.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Scoutdude,
            Yes if Ram and Jeep went belly up then FCA would be insolvent including Fiat cars. Fiat industrial would not be affected as they are a separate Company.. They include CASE and John Holland Agricultural Machinery, IVECO Trucks. Ferrari and Maserati are also separate entities.
            Marchionne deliberately split Fiat up for that reason.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I recall hearing something along those lines, it would have been interesting to see the plan in action but yes I agree it probably would have failed. I believe Penske had a similar plan for Saturn, GM was supposed to continue to produce them for two years and then the new ownership was going to buy cars from someone else and rebadge them (or something to this effect).

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        seth1065 – the bitter irony of Chrysler’s plight was that their sale to Fiat was partially based upon the obligation of Fiat to provide more fuel efficient engines and vehicles.

        Obviously there isn’t going to be a 100 million Americans wanting Fiat 500’s.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        @seth1065: Fiat does sell a lot of cars, but not in the US. Since FCA’s carbon credit problem is in the US, Fiat doesn’t help much.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Here’s my total wild-a$$ (and likely wrong) guess on FCA in future:

      -5.7L is killed completely. A 6.4L/8A combo goes to the Ram 1500 at a higher premium than the current 5.7 (and about the same mileage). In LX cars the 5.7 is replaced by a turbo (or higher output) Pentastar. JGC and JGW are Pentastar and diesel only.

      -Scat pack dies, but the SRT and Hellcat live on. Small price drop in the SRT lines.

      -Hybrid is offered on 200, JC, Pacifica, the ComPatriot replacement, and Journey replacement.

      -I4 diesel is offered in the Wrangler, Ram 1500, and utility vans.

      -Viper dies. Durango dies.

      -Fiat and Alfa sell in low enough numbers to not make a difference.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Time will tell.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        ajla – FCA so far is playing their cars er cards close to their chest. The “PUG” or Pentastar Upgrade which is a poor acronym for a turbo Pentastar is in the works. 2018 seems to be the common rumour for Ram. I’m betting it replaces the 5.7.

        The Ecodiesel in its current form is also rumoured to go away. Even Marchionne said it would not be in Ram long term. What does that mean? Maybe a major upgrade or a new engine. i don’t know of anything coming down the pipeline from VM Motori (but then again I haven’t spent much time looking).
        There is a rumour that the Ecodiesel will get some tweaks to up its tow ratings. The problem is that the Ram 1500 chassis isn’t set up for any real “big boy” work. With that being said, there is a rumour of a Ram 1500 HD.
        A Ram 750 aka Strada might show up somewhere but I highly doubt it.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          I can see the Ram “1500” and the rest of the so called 1/2 ton trucks going away just like the E150 and GM 1500 vans did. The will have their GVW increased to 8500lbs Just like Ford did with the E150. Overnight the CAFE problem goes away

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I am pretty much geared up to going the 3/4-ton route with my next truck.

            And it most likely will be a Ford V8 since Tundra doesn’t make a 3/4-ton Tundra.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Ford still sells vast numbers of F150’s and GM likewise with the Silverado. They will be the SUV’s of choice. Their GVM is still pretty light

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Previous F-150 Heavy Duties had a GVWR of 8200 (since 2004), but I just looked on the chart and the ’15+ F-150 HD only has a GVWR of 7850. Payload is up, though, to 3270#. I wonder what happened.

            In some states, though, going to an 8500+ GVWR vehicle requires different (read: more expensive) licensing. But hey, maybe that will push more buyers into a mid-size truck that better suits their needs.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “Previous F-150 Heavy Duties had a GVWR of 8200 (since 2004), but I just looked on the chart and the ’15+ F-150 HD only has a GVWR of 7850. Payload is up, though, to 3270#. I wonder what happened.”

            the aluminum body.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            RobertRyan, Drzhivago138, right on all accounts.

            But we’re talking the future here, i.e. 2017 to beyond 2025, EPA and CAFE mandates, and the dying-off of the pickup truck buyin’ baby boomers.

            I think Scoutdude is right. I think the automakers will do what they need to do to make the CAFE problem go away.

            With the increasingly tougher Federal mandates imposed on the US auto industry since the nineties, and the push to get new-car buyers into ever smaller, lighter, sardine-can-size Europeanized cars, what we saw over the past 20 years is that American buyers overwhelmingly stepped up to full-size half-ton pickup trucks.

            I cannot envision any scenario where Americans would abandon their full-size pickup truck for a midsize pickup trucks or a pregnant roller skate sized car.

            My bet would be that pickup trucks will remain the best-selling vehicles in America, for decades yet to come.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            How does the aluminum body affect GVWR? Not that I doubt you outright, I just wanna know the reasoning behind it.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            “How does the aluminum body affect GVWR? Not that I doubt you outright, I just wanna know the reasoning behind it.”

            Strictly a guess, but I would say a lighter truck means they had to lighten up the suspension as well to make the ride class competitive, and with the loss of suspension mass, they also lost capability. Plus making a truck lighter is the opposite of what I want when I’m towing a large trailer, the more weight, the better I can control the trailer.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            I’m with you on the ride quality (Fords have the harshest ride unloaded), but if they lightened up the suspension, wouldn’t that have negatively affected payload? Payload went up from ’14 to ’15 because of the weight savings.

            I also partially agree with you that a heavier tow vehicle does prevent tail-wagging-the-dog, but then explain why Class 2 and higher trucks seek to lose weight whenever possible.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “explain why Class 2 and higher trucks seek to lose weight whenever possible.”

            FE and mpg.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @ DrZ, yes truck licensing is based on weight in most if not all states, so a person would have to pay more for a truck licensed at a higher weight. In my state the difference would not be significant on a new truck as some of the fee is based on value which of course can be 50K or more.

            In my state for example it is $2 per year to move from the 6001-8,000 class to 8001-10,000 per year. The differences between weight classes no not follow a logical curve. http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=46.17.355 Also you don’t have to license it to the advertised GVWR just more than the vehicle weighs. So you could save your $2 particularly if you never plan to put that 1 1/2 tons in your “1/2 ton” pickup.

            I can also see the only 1/2 tons being available with the lower GVW being the ones with the automaker’s most fuel efficient power train and most definitely not in a reg cab short bed version. Doing so will cost the automakers next to nothing compared to other options and will allow them to offer the trucks that people want to buy.

            Another great example goes back to the initial phase in of emissions requirements. Initially only passenger cars were regulated. That left out trucks, but in 1975 they changed the regulation to apply to trucks with a GVWR of 6000lbs or less. CAFE was also applied later to trucks and initially the cut off GVW was lower too. That is what led to the “heavy half” movement and gave us the F150. By exploiting that loop hole they could avoid Catalytic converters and other emissions hardware. CAFE led to the biggest engines only being available in the heavy half trucks.

            Over at International the Scout became the Scout XLC (xtra load capacity) with a GVWR of 6200lbs. They already had axles to support those ratings they just changed the springs. Otherwise it was the same truck that had been rated for 5200 lbs the prior year. It did allow them to advertise the Terra pickup version as a 1 ton, as it could be configured to weigh under 4200lbs. For IH the 100 series trucks of 1974 morphed into the 150 series trucks of 1975 and they were all equipped with the highest GVWR of the 100.

            Of course the gov’t eventually upped the magic number for CAFE to 8500lbs where it has stayed for many years. I do suspect that once enough the system has been gamed for a while the EPA will try to up the cut off to say 10,000lbs.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            @ Drzhivago138

            “How does the aluminum body affect GVWR? Not that I doubt you outright, I just wanna know the reasoning behind it.”

            Ignore me, I was thinking of payload capacity and not GVWR.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            @Scoutdude: I can see CAFE footprint regs hastening the demise of the RCSB pickup, which would be just fine. Aside from looking kinda cool, they’re not very useful unless space is an issue–and then you can get a mid-size. (Notice that after Ford and Chevy brought out their first in-house compact pickups in ’82-’83, the number of RCSB F-100s and C-10s dropped off.) Already Toyota has stopped making the RCSB Tundra.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Drzhivago138 – I think that it depends on which F150 you look at. IIRC The SuperCrew 4×4 gained 400 lbs in cargo rating. It went from 3200 to 3600 lbs.

            Another point that again IIRC Ford used to have 3 different frame thickness/crossmember configurations for the F150. Around 2013-14 they went to 2 frames. The long box supercrew 4×4 shared frames with the HD payload truck. The other F150’s went with the lighter frame.

            Ford now has just 1 frame in the F150. That may carry just as much weight (pardon the pun) in affecting overall max GVW.

            It does look like every F150 configuration has seen some sort of cargo increase. The lightest truck is the SuperCrew Limited at 1,450 lbs. The previous truck was around 1,000 lbs. The rest of the line up seems to sit around 2k.
            With the previous F150 the HD payload package was available in all Ford’s up to and including the Lariat and KingRanch. Now it is confined to just the XL and XLT.

            I haven’t looked closely at reg cab or extended cab configurations since I’m not interested in them.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            @Lou: All I looked for on the charts was the absolute highest GVWR, and saw it was lower in ’15 than in ’14. I paid no attention to any other numbers.

            Your assessment of the HDPP is not quite correct. From 2004-2010, the package was only available on RC/8′ or SC/8′, which meant it was only available on XL or XLT, since those were the only trims in those configs.

            In 2011, the package was extended to CC/6.5′, which meant you could now get a Lariat HD, but not a King Ranch. With the ’15s, you could now get Lariat as SC/8′ (a first since 2003). So yes, the HDPP is still available on Lariat, but never has been on King Ranch.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Drzhivago138 – thanks for the update. I personally thought that the HD payload package was not available on King Ranch but lately someone had argued with me that it was.

            I should have double checked.

            The guys on this site are too good to let such a slip get bye.

            That is why I like this site.

        • 0 avatar
          mason

          @ Lou, I’d be super interested in seeing some legit literature where the Eco Diesel is slated to “go away”. It’s been a pretty hot seller to date and I don’t see sales going anywhere but up.

          As for Rams anemic 1500 payload ratings, their payloads are equally anemic as Fords are over inflated. I’ve been shotgun in an Ecoboost F150 within its rated tow ratings and felt genuinely sorry for the truck, not to mention a little apprehensive. Ford and to an extent GM have fallen victim to the “hype”. It’s not that the chassis/drivetrain isn’t capable, its just that in general half tons have largely fallen victim to ” comfort over function”. Ride quality takes precedence over functionality in the suspension/tire/tuning market. Also gearing towards FE kicks in and plays a big factor at higher GCVW.

          Bottom line, if you need to haul/tow at the upper end of Fords tow ratings you need to step up to an HD. They’re over rated in their current configuration.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            When they announced the release of the EcoDiesel they said right off the bat that its shelf life was limited by future emissions standards.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Scoutdude,
            Yes if Ram and Jeep went belly up then FCA would be insolvent including Fiat cars. Fiat industrial would not be affected as they are a separate Company.. They include CASE and John Holland Agricultural Machinery, IVECO Trucks. Ferrari and Maserati are also separate entities.
            Marchionne deliberately split Fiat up for that reason.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            mason – Marchionne had made a comment about it a while back but Marchionne has a habit of doing that sort of thing.

            I do agree that any towing done close to the high end of any 1/2 ton’s ratings should mean a step up to a HD pickup.

            My comments tend to be focused on payload as opposed to towing. For me and many guys I know with pickups, their capacity in the truck as opposed to behind the truck matters much more. I don’t tow much but I do max out my cargo ratings fairly often and occasionally go over.

            Most 1/2 tons don’t really have the cargo ratings to go with those high tow ratings. The Titan XD is a prime example. TFL Truck did a test and had to load the pin light to keep from going over the truck’s load rating and after all was said and done, they could only have 1 passenger besides the driver. That same math applies to Ford, GM and Ram.

        • 0 avatar
          SC5door

          “PUG” is already in the 2016 Grand Cherokee, it is not turbocharged.

          http://www.allpar.com/mopar/V6/PUG-2015.php

        • 0 avatar
          Wheeljack

          Pentastar Upgrade is already here in the 2016 Grand Cherokee and Durango….sadly or gladly, no turbos.

          Edit: SC5 beat me to it!

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        I disagree on the Vipper being discontinued because of CAFE since it sells in such low volume.

        If anything they will just raise the price to cover the offsetting credits purchased because of it.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          Not a CAFE thing, just a “we don’t want it anymore” thing.

          I agree it is low enough volume to not make a difference.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            I read that the Viper is dying because side curtain air bags are now required by law and there isn’t room for them to be installed.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            the problem with the Viper is they forgot what it was supposed to be. With this gen they clearly set out to beat the C6 Corvette; but got blindsided by the C7.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Correct, Scoutdude,

          FCA needs to ramp up production of thrifty vehicles, PHEVs and/or alternative fuel vehicles. Changing the heads on the Hemi may be helpful, but doesn’t change the fact that FCA is headed for a rather large iceberg.

          • 0 avatar
            MrIcky

            This is the problem though. We are only talking about CAFE, not the world- so Murica. And Murica doesn’t want these things that you suggest FCA ramp up.

            FCA had plans to introduce vehicles like you described and they put those plans on ice because it’s not what American’s are buying. So producing more of these things won’t really help.

            And sales are down on most fuel efficient cars. For example, the car with the biggest advertised rebate in the Toyota stable is the Prius.

            I think I first heard that Chrysler was dying for one reason or another in the late 70s. I think I’ve been hearing the same thing ever since. We’ll see it when we see it I guess.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            Let FCA make what sells

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            If only we could free Dutch carmakers like FCA to build whatever they want, we’d be saved from American carmakers like Tesla?

            The thing is, thelaine, FCA can sell whatever they want.

            The US government has put in place a series of incentives and disincentives meant to improve fuel economy and reduce CO2 emissions. This is because American politicians won’t vote to raise the gas tax, despite the fact that gas is so cheap, by historic and world standards.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            You can do whatever you want Vogo, but when you do what I don’t want, I will bullwhip you, and when you do what I want, I won’t bullwhip you. So yeah, do whatever you want. You have freedom!

  • avatar
    Hummer

    That truck looks really good out in the wild, in pictures it doesn’t sit right, but in person, it’s a pretty good looking truck.

    Just needs the 6.4L out of the cars and it would be the perfect modern day pickup.

    • 0 avatar
      mason

      I am particularly interested in the electronic sway bar disconnect and how it holds up in real world abuse.

      • 0 avatar
        Wheeljack

        The same basic swaybar disconnect system has been in use since 2007 on the Wrangler Rubicon, and it has proven to be reliable in real world use.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Wheeljack – I know a few guys with Wrangler Rubicons and they say sway bar disconnect works well as long as you don’t run it through deep mud disconnected. They get mud into them and then will not re-engage. One fellow I know had to get them replaced twice. The dealer told him it was fairly common problem.

          • 0 avatar
            Wheeljack

            Lou, I personally detest mud and most of the people I know rock crawl or offroad on relatively dry forest trails, so the conditions are dry. Under that type of use, the swaybar system has proven to be fine.

            If simply sloshing through mud, the swaybar system is IMHO probably totally unnecessary since articulation plays a much smaller role in that type of use.

            To me, it’s the same as pressing the clutch pedal on a manual trans vehicle in a mudhole – bad things are going to happen to your clutch.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Wheeljack – sometimes you need wheel articulation to find traction in deep mud. Some of the older abandoned logging roads around my home were winter roads intended for use only when the ground is frozen or old roads with rotted corduroy in them. there are other situations where even in deep mud articulation helps.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    It’s time for the UAW to earn its keep by defending its members’ jobs. They need to demand that whoever they endorse and buy for POTUS runs on a platform to repeal elitist attacks on the middle class starting with CAFE.

  • avatar
    Brett Woods

    The problem as I see it is twofold. The amount of exhaust gas is larger than most of us appreciate. Correct me if I’m wrong: 5.7L @3000 RPM = (@ one exhaust stroke out of four/second) 50/4 = 12.5 exhaust strokes per second each 5.7L = 71.25 litres of gas expelled PER SECOND.

    A percentage of that is CO2 which is hard to get around. But as I understand it, as much as 60% of the Gasoline isn’t even burned, but exhausted as hot energized unburned gas. That’s why you can thread a spark plug in your tail pipe and have flames shoot out the back when you trip it.

    Incomplete combustion is responsible for the Nitrous Oxides which as well as being poisonous, are also greenhouse gasses.

    When you have got a good business going, why would you let a simple engineering problem get in the way? There must be a list of patents as long as your arm that would reduce incomplete combustion.

    So would it follow that more complete combustion would yield more power, so that less raw volume would be needed. Or is there an expansion power limit that doesn’t make it worth burning fuel completely?

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Sorry you’ve got a number of things wrong here.

      First off just because the advertised displacement is X does not mean that 1/2x exhaust is expelled with every revolution. It is about volumetric efficiency. An engine makes vacuum because the throttle is preventing enough air flow to completely fill the cylinder. So for a lot of operation the actual volume of air injested is in the range of 30-40% of 1/2 the displacement. However the volume of exhaust is greater than the volume of air that went in because the combustion process turned the liquid fuel into a gas.

      On modern engines the amount of unburnt fuel is minuscule. In fact they intentionally cause a little more unburnt fuel to escape into the exhaust system than is possible. This is to cause the catalyst to “light off” as otherwise there is not enough fuel to start and keep the reaction going.

      NOx is not caused by unburnt fuel NOx forms when combustion temps are high. You can have low unburnt fuel (HC) and high NOx and in fact the conditions that cause a lot of unburnt fuel in the exhaust will be a condition where NOx is low.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “A percentage of that is CO2 which is hard to get around. But as I understand it, as much as 60% of the Gasoline isn’t even burned, but exhausted as hot energized unburned gas. That’s why you can thread a spark plug in your tail pipe and have flames shoot out the back when you trip it.”

      LOL no. if that was the case, the catalytic converters would melt down in short order.

  • avatar
    SOneThreeCoupe

    911 picture is of a ’68 L that was for sale by CPR Classic back in 2013/2014.

    ’68s are a good example of Porsche’s evolution toward the LWB cars with a lot of one-year-only or first-year changes.


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