Chrysler Plans New 200, Dodge Avenger, Jeep Compass
Chrysler is going to introduce new midsize sedans to replace the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger and new versions of the Compass and Liberty for 2013. They’ll be based on the platform that underpins the Dart and built in Toledo.
Modifying the platform to meet Jeep owners’ demands will be a crucial test of the Fiat-Chrysler strategy.
“It’s gonna be a trail-rated, full-blooded Jeep that has its origins in the architecture of a sports car,” Chrysler and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said in an interview.
Chrysler is also considering a compact hatchback — Marchionne calls it the “Chrysler 100.” If that car gets the green light, Chrysler will also export it as a Lancia, Fiat’s European luxury brand.
He also plans to export sporty Alfa Romeos, probably a midsize sport sedan and wagon. Alfa’s return to the U.S. has been frustratingly delayed until 2013, but Marchionne remains adamant it will happen.
“We had to make sure they were lightweight, fast cars with Alfa powertrains,” he said, citing an upcoming 1.8-liter engine that produces a mind-boggling 300 horsepower.
“There will be plants making Alfas in the United States and Europe,” he said. “I need to export to Europe from the U.S. The volumes I get here are how I reintroduce Alfa to Europe,” where it has become a bit player compared with brands such as Audi and BMW.
Marchionne must also solve the riddle of Chrysler and Dodge’s minivans in 2013. He hates building nearly identical vehicles for two different brands, but he can’t afford to throw away tens of thousands of sales by rashly killing a model.
“Retention and growth of volume is key,” he said. “I’ve got to protect (the golden) goose.”
Source: [USA Today]
>Click Here To Go Back
Dodge Challenger Wins Cars.Com’s “2012 Shopper’s Choice Award”
2012 Dodge Challenger named “Shopper’s Choice,” representing their favorite car of the year
Online shoppers activity for Challenger, combined with it grabbing the most votes from Cars.com Facebook fans in the final round earned it the title
Representing the voice of millions of shoppers who visit Cars.com, the Dodge Challenger beat out nine other domestic and import finalists, ranging from small cars to larger SUVs and trucks, to become their favorite car of 2012. The Dodge Challenger was awarded at Cars.com’s annual “Best of 2012″ event during the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).
“The Dodge Challenger’s win proves, once again, that our Cars.com shoppers know what makes a great vehicle,” said Patrick Olsen, Cars.com editor-in-chief. “The Challenger’s classic muscle car styling, refined handling and spacious interior make this an excellent choice for anyone in the market for a fun and surprisingly practical car.”
The top 10 finalists for the Shopper’s Choice Award were selected based on shoppers’ actions on the site that indicated interest in new vehicles, including searching for vehicles, sending inquiries to dealers on availability and most importantly, filling out a positive review of their vehicle. The Dodge Challenger took home the title after grabbing the most votes from Cars.com Facebook fans in the final round of the competition.
“The Dodge Challenger is the ultimate American muscle machine,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO, Dodge Brand — Chrysler Group LLC. “We’re very proud that interest in the Challenger remains exceptionally high and that our owners are so enthusiastic, they voted for it to win the cars.com Shopper’s Choice Award.”
About the Dodge Challenger The 2012 Dodge Challenger delivers exactly what muscle car enthusiasts want — a powerful and efficient engine lineup, a performance suspension designed for maximum grip, and athletic head-turning styling — all executed with quality and precision.
The Dodge Challenger SXT models package feature the lightweight, aluminum 3.6-liter Pentastar(TM) V-6 engine with 305 horsepower (227 kW), responsive 268 lb.-ft. (363 Nm) of torque and up to 27 mpg highway. With legendary 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 engines under their hoods, the 2012 Challenger R/T models delivers up to 375 horsepower (280 kW), 410 lb.-ft. (556 Nm) of torque and 25 mpg highway.
With customization options, including hood-to-fender stripes, dual stripes, bodyside stripes, nostalgic paint colors and a choice of seven different wheel designs, Dodge Challenger sits apart from the pack and perfectly combines fun, nostalgia and power in one car.
All-new die-cast zinc steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters enable even more spirited driving and are now available on Dodge Challenger SXT Plus package and R/T models with five-speed Auto Stick transmission.
Innovative Uconnect® Media Center radios (430, 430N and 730N) integrate a 6.4-inch touchscreen display with a 20 to 28-gigabyte hard drive for additional storage, USB port with iPod control, segment-leading Garmin® navigation guidance and mapping, SIRIUS Traffic and SIRIUS Travel Link, providing real-time weather, fuel prices and more while on the go (depending on model). The 2012 Dodge Challenger also offers a world-class 900-watt, 18-speaker premium surround-sound system from Harman Kardon®.
To make long cruises more comfortable, the 2012 Dodge Challenger features highly cushioned and comfortably contoured seating, while maintaining large bolsters to hold passengers in place during performance driving. To make it easy for up to three passengers to get in and out of the backseat, the driver’s seat features seatback tilt- with memory and an easy-to-reach release handle, while the front-passenger seat includes tilt-and-slide with memory.
Dodge Challenger offers exceptional rear seating for a two-door coupe, achieving best-in-class rear head room (37.4 inches) and legroom (32.6 inches) compared with its competition. With class-exclusive seating for five, coupled with best-in-class cargo space (16.2 cu. ft.), the Dodge Challenger is the segment’s best day-to-day pony-car choice, offering maximum comfort and functionality to go with its legendary iconic styling and performance.
The 2012 Dodge Challenger features more than 45 safety and security features, including standard ESC, now integrating Chrysler Group’s new proprietary Ready Alert Braking and Rain Brake Support safety features to improve overall vehicle handling and performance both on and off the track.
Source: [Market Watch]
>Click Here To Go Back
Jeep Introduces New Production-Intent Concept Grand Cherokee
The Jeep® brand has introduced a new, production-intent concept version of its award-winning Grand Cherokee, a unique model with distinctive yet stealthy exterior cues designed to attract new Jeep Grand Cherokee enthusiasts and customers.
Showing the vehicle publicly for the first time this morning at the Houston Auto Show, Jeep also announced that it has created an online contest for consumers to name the new production-intent Grand Cherokee concept. The person who chooses the winning name will have an opportunity to win a new 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
“Highlighted by a unique platinum-chrome front-end appearance and distinctive black-gloss 20-inch wheels and exterior treatments, our new Grand Cherokee concept provides a completely new look – one that is edgy and aggressive, and certainly different than any Grand Cherokee on the road today,” said Mike Manley, President and CEO – Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “Jeep enthusiasts have always appreciated limited-edition models and the ability to customize their vehicles. This new Grand Cherokee comes with a unique, ‘factory-customized’ stealth appearance directly from Jeep, and is certain to attract interest from an array of potential customers.
“We plan to garner feedback from consumers at the Houston Auto Show, and via our online Jeep ‘Name My Ride’ contest,” Manley added. “If the level of excitement is what we anticipate, this new Grand Cherokee will be in Jeep showrooms this spring.”
In the U.S., Grand Cherokee sales increased 51 percent in 2011 vs. 2010. In Texas, sales increased 226 percent. The Jeep Grand Cherokee was named “SUV of Texas” the past two years by the Texas Auto Writers Association.
Jeep Grand Cherokee Production-intent Concept
With the Laredo X package as its starting point, the new production-intent concept Jeep Grand Cherokee combines a variety of exterior design changes to create a unique model with an aggressive, chrome and “blacked-out” look.
The vehicle’s grille surround appears in Black, and mesh grille texture in Platinum Chrome. A Platinum Chrome lower fascia applique completes the unique front-end appearance. Black headlamp bezels and a Black liftgate light-bar continues the “blacked-out” theme throughout the vehicle’s exterior.
The production-intent concept rides on 20-inch tires that surround one-of-a-kind Black-gloss aluminum wheels for Jeep.
Based on the Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo X package, the production-intent concept model includes standard leather-trimmed seats, heated front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, a 9-speaker 506 watt amp sound system with subwoofer, iPod/MP3 connectivity, Parkview™ rear back-up camera, ParkSense® rear-park assist system, Keyless Enter-N-Go, Chrysler Group’s Uconnect hands-free communications system, and more than 50 advanced safety and security features.
Shown in Houston as a Brilliant Black 4×4 model, a Deep Cherry Red 4×4 version will be on display tomorrow at the Washington (D.C.) Auto Show.
Jeep “Name My Ride” Contest
Also announced at the Houston Auto Show, consumers now have the opportunity to name the Jeep Grand Cherokee concept vehicle, via Jeep.com/namemyride or m.jeep.com/namemyride (mobile site). The Jeep “Name My Ride” contest begins today. The Jeep brand will compile entries and narrow them down to three favored choices. Consumers will then have the opportunity to vote online for the winning name, to be announced in May. The person who submits the chosen, official vehicle name will have a chance to win a new 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Customers can visit Jeep.com/namemyride to submit a name for consideration, and for more information and complete contest rules.
2011 Jeep sales highlights
In 2011, Jeep brand sales increased 44 percent in the U.S. – with each Jeep model up more than 30 percent – while industry sales rose 11 percent. Globally, Jeep sales increased 41 percent in 2011. December marked the best Jeep sales month since 2007. Jeep Grand Cherokee sales were up 51 percent in 2011 in the U.S., with more than 127,000 units sold.
2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Jeep Grand Cherokee delivers premium on-road performance while maintaining the Jeep brand’s legendary four-wheel-drive, torque-on-demand two-speed transfer case and towing capability. It offers improved fuel economy (up to 23 miles per gallon), a driving range of more than 550 miles, superb on-road ride and handling, a world-class interior cabin, more than 50 safety and security features, and a variety of advanced technology features.
Contributing to Grand Cherokee’s class-leading capability is the combination of Jeep’s Quadra-Lift™ air suspension system and the Jeep Selec-Terrain™ traction control system that lets customers choose the 4×4 setting for the optimum driving experience on all terrains.
The 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee is available with three 4×4 systems, and with either V-6 or V-8 powertrains.
Source: [PR Newswire]
>Click Here To Go Back
Spring Cleaning for Your Car
Winter is the harshest time of year for cars. Those of you in the snow (rust) belt have it the worst. Corrosive road salt, loose stones and road debris from snow plows, traction sand, and repeated freezing and thawing can wreak havoc on your car’s body. To compound the matter, the cold winter weather probably kept you from washing your car as often as you should have. The first warm, spring weekend of the year, give your car a good spring cleaning, and check for any minor damage from the long winter before it turns into a costly or dangerous problem.
Here’s what you should do:
- Give your car a thorough hand-washing, inside and out, and do it the right way.
- Clean and vacuum inside first.
- Make sure you have soap that’s specifically for cars.
- Never wash your car in direct sunlight.
- Use a hose with a mist-spray nozzle to wet down the car and wash away debris.
- Using a bucket with tepid water and soap, sponge down all areas of the car gently, rinsing the sponge frequently. Do the fender and bumper areas last.
- Blast the undercarriage and wheel wells with the hose to remove as much salt buildup as you can.
- Dry the vehicle lightly with a chamois or natural-fiber drying cloth.
- Remember to clean the windows and mirrors!
Stay away from automated, commercial car washes on busy, winter-thaw days. Many of them recycle a certain portion of their water, to the point that they’re washing with salty water at those times. Otherwise, they’re alternatives for keeping your underbody clean and for when it’s too cold to hand-wash.
Look for stone chips, sand abrasions and rust. Look over the body completely for stone chips, including smaller surface nicks and scratches from traction sand thrown up by trucks. Repair them immediately with a touch-up kit (a small bottle of touch-up paint plus a special brush for application, usually inexpensive and available at the dealership). Make sure the spot is clean and dry, without any loose or sharp edges, and apply primer if bare metal is exposed. Have a body shop repair larger patches of rust.
Lubricate your locks and hinges. Consult with your owner’s manual and use a graphite lubricant on your locks if recommended. Applying a small amount of petroleum-based lubricant to door and trunk hinges might also silence any creaking that started during winter.
Inspect your weather-stripping. Get any that looks mildewy, cracked, or brittle replaced right away. According to advice from the International Carwash Association, spraying weather-stripping with silicone spray will ensure that the water will bead away.
Inspect your car’s underbody for rust and winter damage. If there are any suspicious areas, have a mechanic look at them, and fix them immediately if needed. Pay special attention to brake components (sticky calipers, corroded brake lines), and exhaust components (rusted clamps, crumbling tailpipes, holes forming in muffler) that might have salt or slush damage. Suspension and steering pieces such as bushings, strut mounts, springs and tie rods are also susceptible to winter damage.
Source: [AOL Autos]
>Click Here To Go Back
Get Your Plate in Shape for National Nutrition Month
Before you eat, think about what goes on your plate or in your bowl. Foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lean protein foods contain the nutrients you need without too many calories. Over the day, include foods from all the food groups. Try the following tips to “Get Your Plate in Shape.”
- Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
- Eat a variety of vegetables, especially dark-green, red and orange vegetables plus beans and peas. Fresh, frozen and canned vegetables all count. Choose “reduced sodium” or “no-salt-added” canned vegetables.
- Add fruit to meals and snacks. Buy fruits that are dried, frozen or canned in water or 100% juice, as well as fresh fruits.
- Make at least half your grains whole.
- Choose 100% whole-grain breads, cereals, crackers, pasta and brown rice.
- Check the ingredients list on food packages to find whole-grain foods.
- Switch to fat-free or low-fat milk.
- Fat-free and low-fat milk have the same amount of calcium and other essential nutrients as whole milk, but less fat and calories.
- If you are lactose intolerant, try lactose-free milk or a calcium-fortified soy beverage.
- Vary your protein choices.
- Eat a variety of foods from the protein food group each week, such as seafood, nuts and beans, as well as lean meat, poultry and eggs.
- Twice a week, make seafood the protein on your plate.
- Keep meat and poultry portions small and lean.
- Cut back on sodium and empty calories from solid fats and added sugars.
- Drink water instead of sugary drinks. Select fruit for dessert. Eat sugary desserts less often. Choose 100% fruit juice instead of fruit-flavored drinks.
- Look out for salt (sodium) in foods you buy. Compare sodium in foods and choose those with lower numbers. Add spices or herbs to season food without adding salt.
- Make major sources of saturated fats such as desserts, pizza, cheese, sausages and hot dogs occasional choices, not every day foods.
- Select lean cuts of meat or poultry and fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese.
- Switch from solid fats to oils when preparing food.
Source: [Eat Right]
>Click Here To Go Back