It was impossible to escape the word “Turbo” in the 1980s.
There were Turbo Aviators and Turbo Hoover vacuums. Turbo was a character on American Gladiators. There was even Turbo chewing gum, which came with a cool mini car poster wrapper. Turbo was a helluva drug in the 1980s, and Chrysler took note.
BMW offered one turbocharged gasoline model. Porsche offered three. But Chrysler? Over a 10 year span, the Pentastar turbocharged its entire car lineup, bringing us some 20 turbocharged models powered by no less than six different variations of the 2.2- and 2.5-liter inline-fours.
As a six-and-a-half-foot tall red-blooded male who’s driven in demolition derbies and owns John Deere machinery, I naturally gravitated to a big, rear-wheel drive, future Junkyard Find sedan when it came time to replace our family car four years ago. Settling on a Pentastar-powered 2012 Dodge Charger, one non-negotiable item was FCA’s 8.4-inch uConnect screen. The other was ZF’s eight-speed automatic.
As we know, hapless drivers have failed to put their ZF-equipped cars in Park, confused by the spring-loaded shifter’s design, which always returns it to a central position no matter what gear those drivers select. The NHTSA started an investigation and FCA voluntarily recalled over a million 2014-2015 Grand Cherokees and 2012-2014 Chargers/300s.
I got my recall notice in the mail yesterday, which provided me with two things: a “Visor Tips Card” and a good belly laugh.
Not a Taurus reference. (photo courtesy: upload.wikimedia.org)
All righty, Mr. Sajeev, I have four vehicles in the driveway: 2014 Toyota 4Runner Trail Premium (wife’s ride), 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid (teenage son’s ride), 2004 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD 4X4 (my POV) and 2015 Ford Police Interceptor Utility (my company car). Three weeks ago, I arose at my normal 6 am, let the pups out and started a pot of coffee. Shortly after, the dogs are going nuts, so I open front door to investigate. I’m greeted by my neighbor’s 1000 pound steer literally on the front porch. No big deal. We live in a very rural area and I was raised with big animals. I grab a handy dog leash and smack the big boy across the nose fully expecting him to turn and run so I could herd him the 1/4 mile back to the neighbors.
No such luck. (Read More…)
Dodge announced for its Charger Pursuit cars Friday an available 12.1-inch Uconnect touchscreen, which is five times larger than its 5-inch model available in some of its cars.
The 12.1-inch screen — which is only available on Charger cars for police for now — is meant to eliminate mounted laptops in the front seats of many police vehicles. The screen can be connected to a laptop in the trunk via ethernet cord, and can display functions such as lights, sirens, forward-mounted cameras and radio information.
At virtually every other automotive outlet for whom I’ve worked, the communication between writer and reader has been a one-way street. I give advice. The reader listens. Whether the reader acts on that advice is completely unknown. Also, the reader never gives advice to the writer.
Thankfully, TTAC is different and the Best & Brightest will drop a nugget of information in the comments that I can use not only in my professional life, but in my personal life as well.
And it’s on this advice that I drove 2 1/2 hours to Moncton to drive a 2015 Dodge Charger R/T Road and Track.
Just in time for super-low gas prices, Dodge’s Hellcats will cost $3,650 to $4,200 more next year — at least — Autoblog is reporting.
The 2016 Challenger Hellcat will start at $65,190 — including destination and gas guzzler tax, an increase of $4,200 over 2015. The Charger will start at $68,640 — including destination and tax, which is an increase of $3,650.
(Those prices don’t reflect the “market adjustment” one could likely see for the highly coveted, limited-production vehicles. Although, Dodge really doesn’t like that.)
The automotive journalism industry is infinitely weird. I’m much more likely to be recognized by someone in a foreign land than I am in my own city. Just recently, during Halifax’s Pride Parade, a man I didn’t know walked up to me and asked, “Are you Mark Stevenson?” It’s the first time that’s ever happened to me in Halifax. Maybe I have the local LGBT demographic on lock, or at least the “G” part of the initialism.
Regardless of my popularity with the sharply dressed set, I can walk into virtually any local dealer and nobody will know who I am — which is absolutely perfect when you run into a salesman who states: “Let me be honest with you: I make $100,000 a year at this place and it’s made me not care about cars anymore.”
Of course, this was at a Dodge dealer that lacked any kind of automotive enthusiasm on its lot.
Legendary DJ and hip-hop artist Grandmaster Flash is asking fans for help in finding his Dodge Charger that he said was “given away” at a New York parking garage July 16, ABC News is reporting.
Grandmaster Flash, whose real name is Joseph Saddler, asked for help Sunday on his social media accounts, saying he dropped his white Dodge Charger off and returned two hours later July 16 to discover a parking attendant had given the car to someone else who looked like Saddler.
According to ABC News, Saddler reported the car as stolen to the NYPD on July 16, three hours after the incident happened. Saddler said the car was full of vinyl records and equipment.
Dodge will roughly double the number of Charger and Challenger Hellcat models it makes next year and will significantly change the way dealers can order the 707-horsepower model in the future, the company announced Monday. Dodge also announced that it would be cancelling nearly 900 unfulfilled 2015 orders and honoring those prices for 2016.
Dealers will begin taking new orders for the super-performance cars sometime around Aug. 10 and will only be allowed to order their specific allocation. According to Automotive News, reports surfaced last year of Dodge dealers accepting deposits for many more Challenger and Charger Hellcat models than they were allotted.
Dealers will begin receiving Hellcats in September through February.
We just had a fight.
Scratch that. We were still having a fight. This was just the tense calm between volleys of verbal mortar fire. I won’t even tell you what we were fighting about. The subject was so stupid it would make my girlfriend and I both look like utter idiots — like those times when you shout at a character in a TV show to grow up and “just say you’re sorry already!”
Instead of doing what any rational human would do, I figured my only chance of peace was to escape the waves of relationship-drama ordnance. I grabbed the keys to this week’s Charger along with my vaporizer and fled the front line to regroup and regain my sanity.
Looking at all the full-size sedans available in America is certainly a case of “one of these things is not like the other.” Dodge’s latest iteration of the LX-platformed, rear-wheel drive sedan sticks out like a sore thumb covered in beer and barbecue sauce.
The freshly facelifted, second-generation new Charger (it’s the seventh generation overall to use the nameplate) is exactly what I want in a pony car with four doors: mean looks, lots of power and a suspension more tuned for going in a straight line than around corners.
But, I am not going to say its better than the new Maxima — another full-size(-ish) sedan that makes a sporty claim. Actually, it’s definitely not as good as the Maxima.
And I couldn’t care less.
Nothing is more American than a high-horsepower V8 in a muscle car. Thanks to increased demand, roads are going to feature more of that familiar V8 rumble as Dodge ramps up Hellcat production.