By on May 14, 2012

An article in Automotive News lavishing praise on the Chrysler/Fiat merger of equals marriage inadvertently spilled the beans on a couple upcoming products from Marchionne’s minions.

The AN piece, which focuses on the birth of the miracle child known as the Dodge Dart, briefly touches on the car’s platform, known as CUSW. Discussing the ability for CUSW to underpin both C and D segment vehicles, AN states

“Some of those next vehicles are already out in testing, including the successor to the Jeep Liberty that will be built at Chrysler’s Toledo (Ohio) North Assembly plant and a Chrysler 100 hatchback that will join the Dart on the line in Belvidere, Ill. Both of those vehicles are expected in 2013.”

That should provide more grist for the online automotive content mill for the next few weeks. At the very least, all those spy shots of jacked-up Alfa Romeo hatches conclusively prove that the newest Liberty is going to become an American pseudo-Q5 (in the same way that the Grand Cherokee is an American-flavored premium SUV) while the Chrysler 100 exists largely as an offering to Lancia.

If the new Liberty really is going to be a smaller version of the Grand Cherokee – an off-road capable SUV that’s primarily concerned with luxury and on-road manners, then re-naming the car as a “Cherokee” makes a lot of sense. The 100 now looks to be a go after a series of long, drawn out teases from Sergio himself.

And with that said and done, let’s pour one out for the mail Jeep.

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17 Comments on “Automotive News Spills The Beans; Confirms Chrysler 100, Jeep Liberty Based On Dodge Dart Platform...”

  • avatar

    I’ve still been seeing a lot of non-chopped-in-half-and-lengthened Alfa Romeo hatchbacks running around in camo, and the most recent even looked like it had a very Dart-esque front grill under the camo, although it had the Alfa DRL LED’s in the headlights

  • avatar

    “while the Chrysler 100 exists largely as an offering to Lancia.”

    It might also have something to do with the 1.5 Million Chrysler PT compact owners that’ll be wanting a replacement at some point. Chrysler would be silly not to serve them.

  • avatar

    A Dart-sized 5-door 100 makes much more sense than bringing the tiny Lancia Ypsilon over; that car is too small and too similar to the Fiat 500.

    As for Jeep, like Porsche with the 911, as long as they still make the traditional Wrangler, Jeep can do whatever they want (short of a rebadged 200 convertible) and it will probably sell.

  • avatar

    I hope they don’t call it a “100”. Nassau, Newport, Chrysler Lancia, anything but another number name. They have a illustration of this car on Allpar and sure looks stunning for compact hatchback.

    • 0 avatar
      Secret Hi5

      Chyrsler committed to the 300 and 200 nomenclature, so it makes sense, unfortunately, to call this the 100 (AKA the “Benjamin” in urban circles).

  • avatar

    Compass, Patriot, Dart-based-Liberty; how many small CUVs does one dealer body need?

    • 0 avatar

      Murano, “new” Pathfinder, Rogue (also, Juke is what?). Explorer, Escape, Edge. Toyota manages to get by with just two by replicating them on the Lexus side, although then again Chrysler also has Journey and Durango.

      • 0 avatar

        Ford’s CUV brand management has been insane: Edge, Escape, Explorer, Freestyle, Flex, and Taurus X are all recent car based CUVs for the US market. Four of them are currently offered, meaning two more had marketing budgets thrown at them for next to nothing. Edge and Explorer compete with each other better than they do with any external foes. Nissan is starting to split things a little close too. Whatever anyone else is doing, the Compass and Patriot already represented duplication of effort and putting the Liberty on a car-based platform of the same size is a sorry substitute for making one really strong entry in the class.

    • 0 avatar

      That “Dart-based-Liberty” will replace the current offerings you listed.

      Given people actually buy (ahem, lease) ThOSE turds it’s bound to be a success.

  • avatar

    Spilled the beans? What is this, amateur hour? Upcoming Alfa-based 100 and Liberkee is hardly a secret to any demographic reading “Automotive News.” In other news, the sky is blue.

  • avatar

    I thought the Dart underpinnings were confirmed a long time ago as well.

    I’m still wondering if the rumors of a 3.2 version of the Pentastar and a ZF 9 speed transmisson are still in the works.

    My wife drives a 2005 Liberty and she is wondering about the redesign as well.

  • avatar

    Whatever happened to that Lancia-as-Chrysler Delta they were showing a while back? I kinda liked that idea, or is this essentially the same thing?

  • avatar

    Another one bites the dust. Hopefully the Wrangler will make it through this misbegotten CUV craze unmolested. If there is anything that I can personally do to help make CUVs uncool (aside from driving one) please let me know.

    • 0 avatar

      Agree, save the Wrangler!

      The problem with the current “KK” Liberty is that it uses the same 3.7 V6 that the “KJ” Liberty had. They need to use the Pentastar on the next model. Plus, if they rename it a Cherokee, bring back the front solid axle! I’d buy one!

  • avatar

    If the 100 is going to look anything like the current Lancia Delta, it will be a huge competition to the Foci, Elantras and Cruzes of the world.

    Small car-based Jeep with a retrofit awd? Don’t they have the Compass/Patriot junk for that?

  • avatar

    Here’s how I understand it. The Chrysler 100 will be a new hatchback based on the Dodge Dart platform (and the US version of the new Lancia Delta). The new Chrysler 200 will be a sedan based on a stretched version of the Dart platform. Likewise, the Compass/Patriot will be replaced by a single model that is built off the Dart platform, and the Liberty replacement (probably called Cherokee) will be built off a stretched version of the the Dart, like the 200. Still up in the air is a replacement for the Dodge Avenger. Rumor is that it will share a smaller RWD platform with an upcoming Alfa sedan. Sergio is trying to eliminate exact duplications from the line-up, like the current Avenger/200 and Grand Caravan/Town & Country. That’s why the new Chrysler 100 will be a hatchback, not a sedan like the Dart. He wants them more individually defined at the dealerships.

  • avatar

    Don’t forget, this single new Dart/Lancia/Jeep architecture is supposed to be stretchable not only lengthwise but in width as well, allowing a wide variety of models in both the compact and midsize classes, all buildable on the same assembly line. That’s a neat trick if they can pull it off.

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