By on May 23, 2017

dodge demon

Dodge announced pricing for the 2018 Challenger SRT Demon today — not that it matters, as dealers will do everything in their powers to not adhere to its MSRP. However, the starting point for their gouging occurs at $84,995, which includes the gas guzzler tax but not a $1,095 destination fee.

The good news is there are loads of optional extras that only cost a dollar, even though those are gimmick prices already rolled into the vehicle’s initial value. That won’t make it any less fun when you tell your neighbor about it, right before you wrap your freshly minted Demon in a car cover and store it for eternity.

Let’s get into what an extra dollar can get you on this 840-horsepower garage queen!  (Read More…)

By on May 23, 2017

2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel HFE, Image: FCA

The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a civil lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, alleging the automaker violated the Clean Air Act.

At the root of the lawsuit is roughly 104,000 Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles equipped with the 3.0-liter diesel V6, sold between 2014 and 2016. Earlier this year, the Environmental Protection Agency accused FCA of failing to disclose eight auxiliary emissions control devices during the certification process. The vehicle’s software allows for higher-than-permitted emissions at certain times.

Despite FCA’s protests — as well as attempts to head off a potential multi-billion-dollar fine — the parallels between this case and Volkswagen’s emissions saga are growing by the day. (Read More…)

By on May 19, 2017

2017 Ram 1500 Outdoorsman Crew Cab 4x4 EcoDiesel

After being forbidden from selling 2017 Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee models equipped with the 3.0-liter diesel V6, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is hoping for a little love from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA suspended the certification process in January after discovering eight undeclared auxiliary emissions control devices on the EcoDiesel models. The existence of the software, installed in those vehicles since the 2014 model year, earned FCA a notice of violation of the Clean Air Act. Since then, the automaker has attempted to work with environmental regulators to smooth over the controversy, even as its mailbox filled with subpoenas from federal and state authorities.

Yesterday, we learned the Justice Department was readying a lawsuit against FCA. With the potential for billions of dollars in fines staring it in the face, FCA has whipped up a new application in the hopes of placating the EPA and selling some light-duty diesels. (Read More…)

By on May 18, 2017

2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel HFE, Image: FCA

The U.S. Justice Department is preparing itself for a lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles over, you guessed it, diesel-burning engines. Cetane-rated fuel has been a broad target for governments lately, but the forthcoming FCA suit is less concerned with what you’re burning than with how you’re burning it.

Officials are concerned the automaker may have used a defeat device after the Environmental Protection Agency accused it of using software that allowed about 104,000 diesel vehicles to emit excess emissions. The models in question are 2014-2016 Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Ram 1500 trucks with 3.0-liter diesel engines. (Read More…)

By on May 12, 2017

2017 Ram 1500 Outdoorsman Crew Cab 4x4 EcoDiesel

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled 1 million Ram pickups in North America as the side airbags and seatbelt pretensioners may not operate as designed in the event of a rollover.

According to The Detroit News, the recall covers the 2013-2016 Ram 1500 and Ram 2500 and 2014-2016 Ram 3500. On Friday, FCA stated one death, two injuries and two accidents may be linked to the issue. Apart from the U.S., around 216,007 vehicles are affected in Canada, 21,668 in Mexico and 21,530 outside the NAFTA landscape.
(Read More…)

By on May 4, 2017

Jeep Compass ad

The only thing missing is Fleetwood Mac’s Go Your Own Way bleating from the speakers, but songs from 1977 often don’t play well with those born after 1980. (Or 1982, depending on your source.) Slow, maudlin hipster “rock,” if you can call it that, is how you reel in those youngsters these days.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, knowing exactly what it wants the second-generation Jeep Compass to mean to the most sought-after segment of car buyers, is placing its sales pitch to scruffy Millennials in a new ad campaign.

As Millennial automotive marketing is usually a cringe-inducing affair, each new product launch and ad campaign targeting this generation sparks morbid interest in cynical observers. Hence, this post. (Read More…)

By on April 28, 2017

Dodge Challenger SRT Demon

After the reveal of Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s Dodge Demon at the New York Auto Show, I thought all the hooplah would be over. We all did. Little did I know Automotive News’ editorial board would pen a screed calling for the Demon’s banishment from American roads, which then caused others to cry foul at the bylineless editorial, and subsequently triggered Larry Vellequette — the author of the original piece — to double down on his thoughts, name attached.

In the last piece, Mr. Vellequette claims, “It is still a stupid idea for Fiat Chrysler to outfit the Dodge Demon as a high-performance drag racer and then sell it to the motoring public in a form that makes it inherently more dangerous off the track.”

He’s not wrong. Drag radials come fitted to the Demon from the factory, and he claims they’re “prone to lose traction in even a light morning mist under that much torque — regardless of electronic intervention.” I won’t argue with that.

But I will argue with the logic upon which Mr. Vellequette bases his call for exorcising this Demon from America’s roads, and who he thinks should do something about it.

(Read More…)

By on April 28, 2017

2017 Ford F-150 Lariat - Image: Ford

What a difference a few (hundred thousand) recalls make. In a sales market best described as stagnant, a widespread vehicle glitch can dog an automaker’s balance sheet. That seems to be the case at Ford Motor Company, which saw its first-quarter profit fall 35 percent on a combination of factors — not the least of which was a pair of recalls of engine fires and faulty door latches.

Elsewhere in the domestic market, General Motors rode to the financial finish line with a record post-bankruptcy net income while Fiat Chrysler Automobiles climbed further into the black. (Read More…)

By on April 21, 2017

Fiat Tipo, Image: FCA

Say you’re a dealer with a backlog of slow-selling models. What’s the last thing you would want?

The correct answer would be a springtime deluge of more of the same, whether you asked for it or not. That’s what some angry retailers across the Atlantic are facing after Fiat Chrysler Automobiles dumped 6,000 anemic sellers into Italian dealer management systems at the end of February. (Read More…)

By on April 19, 2017

2018 Jeep Wrangler

If photos taken of a strange feature on a camouflaged 2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited make it to production, expect an even larger smorgasbord of ways to let the sun shine in.

Many details of the next-generation off-roader remain unconfirmed, but we’ve seen spy photos of cloaked prototypes for what seems like forever. Each time, there’s (usually) something new to see, and these photos aren’t any different. The interest here lies above the driver’s head. (Read More…)

By on April 19, 2017

dg018_138clk088bg2o992nvdqb704m4tbhuv__mid-1

Dodge’s target demographic for the SRT Demon, which is presumably Hellcat owners with leftover money, will be relieved to learn that the straight-line monster will be priced “well below ” six-figures. That’s a bargain considering that the majority of production vehicles that can approach its quarter-mile time are priced using the phrase “of a million dollars” as a reference point.

While it is a little surprising that Dodge isn’t trying to get excited shoppers to shell out more for the Demon, it has far more value to Fiat Chrysler as a media darling. Even at a much higher cost, it would still be too low volume to be a genuine money maker — but the positive attention it garners for the brand is invaluable.  (Read More…)

By on April 12, 2017

[Image: FCA]

We won’t bore you with a rehash of the upgrades and advancements bestowed upon the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, because we already did that last week.

With the ultimate Mopar muscle machine now exposed at the New York International Auto Show, those advancements — and the speculation surrounding the vehicle’s unknowns — fade in comparison to newly released numbers. Power and acceleration figures, to be exact.

This time, the speculation was largely wrong, as the Demon makes more horsepower than we thought. So powerful is this limited-edition beast, it has already been banned from National Hot Rod Association dragstrips. (Read More…)

By on April 10, 2017

2014-Jeep-Cherokee-002

Chinese car buyers are big fans of stretched American midsize sedans, and extra-long crossovers are seen as the next logical way for U.S. automakers to woo buyers into the brand.

In China, where Jeep began production of the Cherokee in late 2015, a new vehicle has appeared online ahead of the Shanghai Auto Show. Rather than a longer Cherokee, the concept in the image seems to preview an entirely new three-row Jeep that could see a different body and badge in North America. (Read More…)

By on April 10, 2017

[Image: FCA]

Just in time for spring and dry pavement, FCA heeds the internet credo to Hellcat All the Things by dropping that model’s supercharged 6.2-liter mill in its Jeep Grand Cherokee.

This completes the trifecta of gonzo SUVs, with the Tesla Model X and fish-faced Bentley Bentayga already scorching the pavement. Think a Jeep won’t play in the same league as those rarified SUVs? Both of those vehicles lay claim to 0-60 times in the three-and-a-half second range; with 707 hp on tap, all-wheel drive, and an estimated weight of around 900 lbs more than a Charger Hellcat, the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk should do the same.

(Read More…)

By on April 7, 2017

Dodge Challenger SRT Demon

If you haven’t yet heard, Dodge will unveil the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon at the New York International Auto Show on April 11th.

If you have heard, then you’ll be relieved to know that one of the most drawn out vehicle releases in history has reached its end. (Read More…)

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