Marchionne's Crew Gave the Fully Monty in Auburn Hills
Dart SRT4, a Supercharged 6.2L V8 and the SRT Viper is Dead, Sort of
Chrysler’s recently-formed SRT performance brand was supposed to serve as a standalone company for Chrysler. It’s first model, the SRT Viper, is a colossal sales flop and there apparently isn’t any will left to keep the brand alive as a separate entity. As part of a broader restructuring of the brands under FCA’s umbrella, the Viper will once again be branded as a Dodge vehicle.
That wasn’t the only big performance vehicle news coming by way of Dodge yesterday. The company also revealed plans for the near future that will include several more SRT-tuned vehicles. One of the big announcements yesterday was that the Charger and Challenger will both be offered wit ha supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V8. Output for the powertrain hasn’t been disclosed yet, but the rumor is that it could turn out as much as 700 hp. Earlier this year, SRT boss Ralph Gilles said the company had started something of an internal arms race for horsepower with its new V8 that could potentially overpower the Viper’s massive V10.
The long-rumored Dart SRT – spiritual successor to the SRT4 – will arrive in 2016 with a turbocharged four-cylinder powertrain spinning all four wheels. That model will accompany a refreshed version of the 2016 Dart. In SRT form, the force-fed inline four-cylinder engine will allow Dodge to take on Subaru’s new WRX directly.
It won’t be the only all-wheel drive, turbocharged SRT model Dodge introduces in 2016 either. The company is also planning a D-segment turbocharged crossover that could be a new version of the Journey or a replacement to that model. In the past, Dodge sold an SRT-tuned version of the Caliber with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Of course, that wouldn’t be comparable in terms of size or power distribution to all four wheels, but the precedent is there for the brand to give unlikely models a boost.
Maserati Alfieri Concept Heading to Production in 2016
If you were watching AutoGuide.com’s coverage of the Geneva Motor Show in March, you’ve probably already spent time looking at the Alfieri concept Maserati revealed there. The exotic Italian luxury brand came up in FCA’s announcement marathon. The company said it does, in fact, plan to build the Alfieri. Specific dates weren’t announced, but the chart shown during the presentation suggested that it would be sometime in 2016. Following that, there will also be a convertible model in 2017 and then a replacement to the GranTurismo in 2018. By that time, Maserati plans to expand its product portfolio to six models including the Ghibli mid-size sedan and Levante SUV.
Jeep Grand Wagoneer
In Geneva and more recently New York, Jeep showcased its new small crossover: the Renegade. Unlike the brand’s traditional products, the Renegade (pictured) is a tiny soft-roader meant to appeal as much with European preferences as the voracious U.S. appetite for utility vehicles.
The company promises that its new cute ute will be able to handle off-road duty – at least when properly optioned – but it’s hard to shake the notion that Jeep hasn’t done much in the larger CUV segment in a while. That won’t be true very much longer because the company is planning a return for the Grand Wagoneer nameplate as a seven-seat utility.
The Grand Cherokee is currently the largest vehicle in Jeep’s portfolio, but it lacks a third row of seats. The Grand Wagoneer will serve to fill that gap, but not until 2018, one year after the new Grand Cherokee arrives.