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Ram Long-Hauler Concept Revealed

Ram Long-Hauler Concept

Measuring an almost incredible 24 feet (7.3 meters) long, we completely agree with the Chrysler Group saying that “they don’t get much bigger” than their new Ram Long-Hauler Concept truck. This huge vehicle is based on a Class 5 Ram 5500 Chassis Cab, and sports a stretched wheelbase that measures a whopping 197.4 inches in length and is 79.1 inches tall.

Ram Long-Hauler Concept

As you would expect from a truck that has these dimensions, its weight is also quite astonishing, standing at 9,300 lbs (4,218 kg). Ram affirms that this truck has a maximum Gross Combined Weight Rating of 37,500 lbs (16,783 kg).

Ram Long-Hauler Concept

Under that massive hood is a big 6-cylinder 6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel power unit that has a peak torque of 800 lb.-ft, mated to a 6-speed Aisin automatic gearbox. It sports a 4WD transfer case linked to a 4.88 Dana 110 axle with dual rear wheels. To reach your destination, you need a pretty large fuel tank, and luckily, the Long-Hauler has one as Ram fitted the truck with three of them, with a total capacity of 170 gallons.

Ram Long-Hauler Concept

It features a full Kelderman Air Suspension and massive 19.5-inch Alcoa aluminum rims, while the 2+2 interior has a DVD player with an overhead screen for the passengers in the back, along with a rear center console that sports tray tables, cup holders and a refrigerator.

Ram Long-Hauler Concept

Ram said that at the moment, the Long-Hauler remains a concept, but they will show it off across the United States during this year in order “to gauge public opinion”, which means that if it receives a positive feedback, we might see one the next year in our rear view mirror.

Ram Long-Hauler Concept

Source: Chrysler Group via Carscoop

Chrysler Group Plans On Repaying All Government Loans

Fiat is only a few steps away from owning 51% of the Chrysler Group as the latter has announced a few days ago that it will repay all the loans provided by the United States and Canadian governments in 2009. The $7.53 billion that the Auburn Hills-based automaker owns will be repaid during Q2 2011 which ends in June.

To get the money, Chrysler will have to use a new term loan facility, along with issuing new debt securities that are going to be sold to institutional investors in a private offering, along with proceeds from Fiat’s recent cash infusion that increases its stake in Chrysler.

Chrysler will have to pay $5.8 billion to the United States Department of the Treasury and another $1.7 billion to the Canadian federal and Ontario governments.

As we previously mentioned here on rpmGo, CEO Sergio Marchionne has announced that Fiat wants to take majority stake in Chrysler in 2011 and for accomplishing this; they have to buy another 16% of Chrysler for $1.27 billion, which will raise the company’s position to 46%. Later on this year, they will buy another 5% to obtain the majority stake. For increasing ownership to 51%, Fiat must roll out a 40 mpg model in the U.S.

Source: Chrysler via Carscoop

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New York Auto Show – 2012 Chrysler 300C SRT8

2012 Chrysler 300C SRT8

In the inaugural day of the 2011 New York Auto Show, Chrysler has revealed the SRT8 version of its 300C model, packing a HEMI V8 6.4-liter engine that develops 465 hp (471 PS / 347 kW), mated to a 5-speed automatic gearbox. There aren’t many details about the car yet, but the manufacturer said that it can do the 0-60 mph in almost five seconds or so, before hitting a top speed of 175 mph (282 km/h).

2012 Chrysler 300C SRT8

The car has been lowered by 13 mm in comparison to the standard model and rolls on 20-inch forged-aluminum rims. Inside the cabin, the 300C SRT8 features carbon trim highlights, a new blue-lit instrument panel and a leather steering wheel.

2012 Chrysler 300C SRT8

Set to go on sale in Q3 2011 in North America, it will be available with an optional Black Chrome package.

2012 Chrysler 300C SRT8

More information should be revealed in the following days. Stay tuned.

2012 Chrysler 300C SRT8

Source: Chrysler via WCF

2011 Chrysler 200 Sedan & Convertible, Get “S” Trim

Chrysler 200 S

Chrysler has revealed this week its new “S” trim level for the 200 Sedan and Convertible models, aimed at a younger audience. Unfortunately, this new trim level offers only cosmetic upgrades for both cars, adding a bespoke grille that has a black background, smoked headlamps, body-color mirrors and door handles, along with 18-inch aluminum rims that have dark painted pockets, and the “S” badging.

Chrysler 200 S

Inside the cabin you will find a perforated leather steering wheel, heated front seats that have Digital suede inserts and the “S” logo on the head rests, along with a Boston Acoustic sound system that packs a 30 GB hard drive media center. The 200 Sedan S also benefits from a black headliner and suede door trim bolsters.

Chrysler 200 S

Customers that order this S trim for either the sedan or the convertible model, won’t be able to choose the engine as Chrysler offers only the V6 3.6-liter unit. This power plant develops 283 hp and has a peak torque of 260 lb.-ft., linked to a 6-speed automatic gearbox.

Chrysler 200 S

The Chrysler 200 S sedan will set you back at least $26,790 (including the $750 destination fee), while the convertible has a starting price of $32,490. The car will be officially unveiled this week at the New York Auto Show and will be able to order it in a couple of weeks.

Chrysler 200 S

Source: Chrysler via Carscoop

Chrysler Will Introduce Natural-Gas Cars In 2017

Khodro Soren ELX

Cars running on natural gas are not very popular around the world, except for several countries like Brazil, Iran and India. In United States there are only a few and if you ask someone to name an alternative fuel, the first answer they’ll have is probably ethanol. In other parts of the world, 2% of all cars are running on natural gas so this shouldn’t come as a surprise that automakers are starting to research on this technology.

Fiat is already selling a bunch of natural-gas vehicles (aka NGVs) in Europe and South America, and most likely Chrysler will do the same thing in the years to come as part of making its lineup green. In addition, Fiat will probably own the majority stake in Chrysler so they’ll implement this strategy for launching NGVs.
(more…)

Fiat SpA Wants To Raise Chrysler Ownership With Another 16%

It was only a couple of days ago when Fiat SpA announced that they have increased their share at Chrysler by 5%, reaching a total of 30%. They don’t plan to stop there as rumors say that by the end of this June, the Italian group will raise its Chrysler ownership to 46%. These reports are coming from Automotive News who have quoted two unnamed insiders with direct knowledge of the matter, who talked about the plans of Fiat’s CEO, Sergio Marchionne.
(more…)

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Chrysler, To Have Short 2011 Model Year

2011 Chrysler 300

Chrysler’s lineup of models was pretty short when they entered bankruptcy protection, but they’ve managed to improve this situation in the months to follow, and we can see their results this year with the launch of 16 new and refreshed models.
(more…)

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Spy Shots: 2012 Chrysler 300C SRT8

2012 Chrysler 300C SRT8

Our colleges from Worldcarfans have managed to take a couple of spy shots with the upcoming 2012 Chrysler 300C SRT8; wearing the most ridiculous camouflage I’ve ever seen. These photos were taken on the roads of Michigan and the prototype was fitted with 20-inch rims and generous brakes, which probably means that the car will share more than a few components with the Dodge Charger SRT8, a model that was unveiled back in February.

2012 Chrysler 300C SRT8

If you recall, the Dodge Charger SRT8 is powered by a massive HEMI V8 6.4-liter engine that cranks out 465 hp (471 PS / 347 kW) and 465 lb.-ft (630 Nm) of torque. This engine is mated to a 5-speed automatic gearbox worked by paddle shifters located on the steering wheel. Most likely, the Chrysler 300C SRT8 will get the same drivetrain configuration when it will be launched later on this year.

2012 Chrysler 300C SRT8

Source: WCF

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Detroit City Council shows its appreciation for Chrysler’s Super Bowl ad


Chrysler’s Super Bowl ad featuring Eminem was one of the finest examples of commercials we’ve seen during this event. In fact, the ad was so successful that is still continues to move hearts and minds. Its success relied upon the fact that Chrysler went back to basic, back to its roots, back to the people of Detroit and to the essence of this town that gave America so many car, some better, some worse.

That’s why Detroit City Council decided to honor this commercial, by officially stating that it

“helped to paint a positive portrayal of our beloved city on a national level by filming the entire commercial inside the city of Detroit and showcasing all of our great landmarks.”

The ad is quite powerful and it’s definitely full of emotion and that’s why we love it. So often we talk about cars, forgetting that they’re the result of hard working people. This is a chance to think about that. Take a moment to do so.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HV6iWZaZQQ[/youtube]

Source: Autoblog.
Photo source.

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Chrysler Reveals Ram 1500 Adventurer

Ram 1500 Adventurer

Yesterday Chrysler revealed that they are going to introduce a new Ram model, the 1500 Adventurer. The truck will be addressing first time buyers and generally, the younger side of the market that is looking for a pickup truck. This new edition comes as a follow-up to the big hit Tradesman model which was revealed in January at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show.

The truck will feature a powerful V8 HEMI 5.7-liter engine that cranks out 390 hp and 407 lb.-ft of torque and it will be available in both 4×4 and 4×2 versions, and with a regular cab. The truck will be available with a 700-amp maintenance-free battery, 3.55 rear axle ratio, 26-gallon fuel tank, 160-amp alternator, heavy-duty engine and transmission cooling as well as four and seven-pin harness.

Ram 1500 Adventurer

In addition, the new Ram 1500 Adventurer will pack heavy-duty front and rear shock absorbers, a full-size spare tire, halogen headlamps, power rack-and-pinion steering plus front and rear stabilizer bars.

Chrysler did not left out the entertainment factor and added a 6-speaker media center with CD & MP3 support, a 12-volt auxiliary power outlet and an audio jack input.

Ram 1500 Adventurer

Similar with other previous Ram models, the 1500 Adventurer will be available with a bundle of personalization options, like folding and heated trailer-tow power mirrors, Mopar chrome steel bed rails, Mopar chrome tubular side steps, a Class IV receiver hitch, spray-in bedliner and under-rail bedliner and others as well.

Sales for the Ram 1500 Adventurer will commence in the second quarter of this year at a base price of $23,830.

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Rumor – Chrysler Will Reveal 200S and 300S Models

Chrysler 300 S Concept

According to some sources, the American automaker Chrysler will launch the S trim for their newest models – 200 and 300. Various manufacturers use the “S” for launching a sportier version of a certain model. This won’t be the case with the aforementioned two models because the “S” will stand for “Style”, meaning that none of the cars will get a power increase.

Most likely, the car will get new materials of the various interior trim elements, new equipment, new colors and other “boring” upgrades. The 200S and 300S will most likely get leather seats with Alcantara inserts, new exterior finish colors, other Alcantara inserts and a black headliner in the sedans.

The 200S will be available as standard with a V6 3.6-liter Pentastar engine that outputs 283 hp, linked to a 6-speed automatic gearbox and should be available this spring.

Obviously, the starting price for both models will be a little bit higher in comparison with the standard models, a couple of thousands if not more. Chrysler is planning on launching S models for every model in their lineup, including the Town & Country. They had a Town & Country S exhibited at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show which was organized last month and they plan on bringing another “S-ified” concept next week at the Chicago show.

We will provide more accurate info about the upcoming 200S and 300S once Chrysler pulls up the curtain of this new trim level.

Source: CarAndDriver

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Preview – 2011 Chicago Auto Show PART 1

The 2011 edition of the Chicago Auto Show will open its doors on February 9th, lasting until the 20th of the month. Here are some of the most important cars that will be exhibited at this important automotive event.

2011 Audi TT-RS

Audi will be bringing three new production models in the United States: TT-RS, 2012 Audi A6 and the 2012 Audi A7 Sportback. The sexy TT-RS is the most powerful and expensive TT model and will be offered with a 5-cylinder 2.5-liter supercharged power unit that outputs 340 hp. At first, the car will be sold with only a 6-speed manual gearbox. Later on, the German automaker will introduce other transmissions.

The A6 grabbed the EyesOn Design award a couple of weeks ago at the Detroit Auto Show and will feature a V6 3.0-liter supercharged engine which will probably be linked to an 8-speed automatic gearbox. The A7 Sportback will be offered with the same engine that churns 333 hp and will be linked to a 7-speed dual-clutch automated-manual gearbox.

2012 BMW 1-Series Convertible

BMW will take to the Chicago Auto Show two of their newest models: the 2012 1-Series and the gorgeous 2012 6-Series. The first one will be available with new styling features that should be popular among American customers. The 128i and the 135i models will carry the 3.0-liter engine which is available in the 3-Series. The 128i will pack 230 hp under its hood while the 135i will be able to output 300 hp. If this isn’t enough, you could get the 1-Series M-coupe which will offer you 335 ponies to play around with.

If you like to drive with the top down, the 6-Series Convertible is the way to go. The car will feature a powerful V8 4.4-liter engine that cranks up 400 hp and is mated to BMW’s 8-speed automatic gearbox.

2012 Buick Verano

For those of you that prefer a car from the domestic market, the 2012 Buick Verano might be what you need. Placed below the Regal, the Verano will feature a 4-cylinder 2.4-liter engine that outputs 177 hp and is linked to a 6-speed automatic gearbox. A couple of months later, the Verano will be available with a 2.0-liter.

2012 Chevrolet Sonic

Aveo is dead, long live the Sonic. Chevrolet will be taking to Chicago their new car which will come with a 1.8-liter engine that produces 135 hp and is mated to either a 5-speed manual (as standard) or with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The car will also be available with a 1.4-liter turbocharged power unit that will be linked to a 6-speed manual gearbox, outputting 138 hp.

2011 Chrysler Town & Country

Being a North American auto show, it is obvious why all of the local automakers will be bringing their latest models. Chrysler will roll out the 200, 300 and the all-new Town & Country models. The first one will be the company’s new mid-size sedan, replacing the now defunct Sebring. As far as the engine choices are concerned, the 200 can be fitted with a 4-cylinder 2.4-liter, mated to a 4-speed / 6-speed automatic gearbox. The high-end 200 model will be equipped with a more powerful V6 3.6-liter that produces 283 hp, linked to a 6-speed automatic gearbox.

Presented at the Detroit Auto Show, the Chrysler 300 will be shown at Chicago next week. It will be available in three versions, as follows: Touring, Limited and the 300C. The first two versions will pack a V6 3.6-liter engine that produces 292 hp while the 300C will get a massive V8 5.7-liter that is good for 370 hp. The Town & Country will be available with a V6 3.6-liter engine which will be mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox. The model will be available with the following trim levels: Touring, Touring L and Limited.

2011 Dodge Durango

Dodge will be bringing the Charger, Avenger, Journey and the Durango. The first one will feature two new sets of engines for the SE and R/T models. The SE will pack a V6 3.6-liter power unit that outputs 292 hp while the R/T will get a more powerful 5.7-liter HEMI V8 that will offer 370 ponies. Both of the engines will be linked to a 5-speed automatic gearbox.

The Avenger will be available in four trim levels: Express, Mainstreet, Lux and R/T. The car will have a 4-cylinder 2.4-liter engine that will output 173 hp, fitted with a 4-speed automatic transmission for the Express trim while the Mainstreet and Lux get a 6-speed automatic gearbox. The R/T will benefit from a V6 3.6-liter engine with 283 hp and a 6-speed automatic gearbox.

The Journey is a crossover/SUV which will be available in a 5-seater or 7-seater configuration. The model will be offered in five different trim levels: Express, Mainstreet, R/T, Crew and Lux. The entry-level Express will get a 4-cylinder 2.4-liter engine that offers 173 hp and will be mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission. The rest of the trims will get a V6 3.6-liter that outputs 283 hp, linked to a 6-speed automatic gearbox.

The Durango will be available in three different trim levels: Express, Crew and Citadel. All of them will benefit from the same power unit, which will be a V6 3.6-liter that produces 290 hp. The customers that choose the Crew or the Citadel trim levels can get a more powerful engine, in the shape of a 5.7 HEMI V8, good for 360 hp. Regardless of the engine, all cars will get a 5-speed automatic gearbox.

2012 Fiat 500

After a couple of years of waiting, Fiat will be delivering the lovely 500 model to the US market. For this reason, they will exhibit the car at the upcoming Chicago Auto Show. The model will be available in three trim levels: Pop, Sport and Lounge. The engine will be a 4-cylinder 1.4-liter that will output 101 hp and will be linked to either a 5-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed automatic transmission. Later on, Fiat will launch the 2-door convertible 500C model.

Join us tomorrow for the second part of the article.

In Depth – 2011 Chrysler 300

2011 Chrysler 300

Mitch Clauw is the Chief Engineer on the new 2011 Chrysler 300 and he said that very few parts were taken over from the old model which means that the car you see in these pictures is basically new. The outgoing generation was produced between 2005 and 2010 and had a sported bold, in-your-face styling while the new one has a more grown-up appearance. Its bodylines are less angular and crisper. Despite the fact that the wheelbase remained just about the same (120.2 inches in comparison with 120 inches of the old gen), the 300 model is now longer, taller and wider – better.

The old model wasn’t really capable of standing out against the other competitors from the segment and the engineers at Chrysler had to do something to change this situation. What they did is they made the A- and B-pillars a little bit thinner; the beltline was lowered while the windshield was racked back about three inches. All of the modifications were made in order to improve the outward visibility which I must say it was a very good idea.

2011 Chrysler 300

Putting it side-by-side with the previous model, the front of the car looks to have suffered the most changes. The nose is now more contoured, improving the car’s aerodynamics, which was another area where serious work had to be done. In this attempt, they also made the grille more trapezoidal and LED daytime running lights were attached to the now slimmer headlamps which look very elegant. The new exterior changes are not as obvious as you might have hoped, but move on inside and you’ll think that this is a totally different car and by “different” we mean way better. What I like the most is the new instrument cluster which looks awesome, way better than the highly-appraised 5-Series from BMW. We’ve seen this design on the Chrysler Imperial Concept which debuted back in ’09.

2011 Chrysler 300

Can’t say the same thing about the steering wheel but it is considerably better than the one on the old gen. A big plus for the cabin is the generous 8.4-inch LED screen located right in the center. It is capable of providing you with all the audio controls, the HVAC system, Bluetooth phone as well as the built-in Garmin navigation system for which you have to pay extra money. The monitor and the gauges are easy to read even in bright sunlight.

The people over at Chrysler did a hell of a job at making the cabin as silent as possible which means that if you are looking for a quiet full-size sedan, the new 300 might be what you need. They also used a lot of lightweight materials like aluminum and high-strength steel in order to maintain the weight of the old model while at the same time making the car bigger due to the new added equipments.

2011 Chrysler 300

Under the hood you will find a V6 engine that outputs 292 hp and is linked to a 5-speed automatic gearbox. With this engine and RWD, the Chrysler 300 does 18 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway, according to EPA ratings, which is just about the same as the BMW 535i @ 19/28. A transmission with more gears will certainly improve the car’s fuel efficiency and I’m pretty sure that in the next 1-2 years, the 300 will get a 7- or 8-speed (courtesy of ZF) automatic gearbox which will allow the car to do over 20 mpg in the city.

The base price for the 300 with the V6 and RWD is $27,995 while the 300 Limited is a little bit more expensive, standing at $31,995. The starting price for the 300 with a more powerful HEMI V8 is $38,995. This engine is capable of producing 363 hp. In the future, Chrysler will probably roll out a SRT8 300 model which will produce even more horsepower. Over the old gen V6, you’ll get an additional number of 71 ponies which you will definitely feel.

Even more significant is the increased torque – the old one had 260 lb.-ft while the new generation offers 394 lb.-ft, a pretty important upgrade. With the HEMI engine and RWD, the Chrysler 300 will do 16 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway while the AWD model does 15/23. The cars fitted with the V8 HEMI also get the fuel saving cylinder deactivation.

2011 Chrysler 300

The 2011 Chrysler 300 offers a pretty smooth ride thanks to its fully-independent suspension that does the job very well. Steering is very precise with the help of the EPAS – electrically assisted power steering.

Taking into consideration the rough last few years of the company – surviving Cerberus mismanagement, bankruptcy issues and being taken over by Fiat, we must admit that they did a very good job with the new 300 model and put the manufacturer back on the map, promising a bright future ahead.

I for one didn’t like the old model – I thought that it had an outdated look ever since the first day it was launched. The new model is a major improvement in all compartments over the old gen and now it can really face up the competition in the full-size sedan segment.

Nine-Speed Gearbox, Due In 2 Years

8-Speed Automatic Gearbox 2011 Chrysler 300

It wasn’t that long ago when we first drove a car equipped with a six-speed gearbox and we thought that that extra gear was quite cool. A couple of years have passed since then and the number of gears has continued to grow to seven, eight and it seems that pretty soon we will have a nine-speed gearbox. The German drivetrain supplier ZF is currently working on a nine-speed automatic gearbox and the first cars that will be equipped with it will be Chryslers.

According to ZF, the new gearbox which will be launched in two years will offer double-digit improvements in fuel efficiency. The gearbox is designed for vehicles with transverse power units, which account for about 80% of cars built around the world.

They also said that this new nine-speed gearbox will feature the “sporty genes”  of the eight-speed automatic that can be found in the 2011 Chrysler 300 (but I don’t think that it is a “sporty” car at all). The nine-speed unit will have the same weight as the eight-speed and the shift times will be measured in milliseconds.

The question is: is there going to be a ten-speed gearbox in the next few years? The answer is probably no, because according to Michael Paul who is executive VP of ZF, any further gains “would require an entirely different concept”.


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