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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
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Dodge is bringing a touch of style to the seven-passenger vehicles in its lineup. Starting a little later this year Grand Caravan, Durango and Journey buyers will have the option of ordering a unique “Blacktop” package on these vehicles, which adds a healthy dose of design flair without breaking the bank.
Chrysler has issued a recall on Dodge Journey and Fiat 500 models produced between October 24th, 2011 and October 26th, 2011. Even though it’s such a narrow timeframe, 340 vehicles are impacted by the recall due to a faulty brake issue.
The vehicles produced in the Chrysler’s Toluca, Mexico plant may have been assembled with contaminated brake fluid, leading to possible degradation of the sealing components within the braking system. If the degradation does occur and the sealing components break down, a brake failure could occur resulting in a crash.
The recall notices will be sent out next month and Chrysler will replace all the brake components impacted by the contaminated fluid.
Infiniti announced U.S pricing for the 2012 QX full-size SUV and the 2012 EX crossover. The QX was redesigned in 2011, so changes to the 2012 model are non-existent.
The full-sized SUV will be offered in both a 2WD and 4WD setup, and some options have been changed to make some features more accessible in lower-level packages. One change on the 2012 model is the Blind Spot Intervention system available with the Technology Package. This option alerts the driver to vehicles in the blind spot area. Both the QX models will utilize the 400-hp 5.6-liter V8 mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission. Pricing for the 2012 2WD model will start at $58,700 and the 2012 4WD model will start at $61,800.
The 2012 EX will be available in four models including the EX35 RWD ($35,600), EX35 AWD ($37,000), EX35 RWD Journey ($37,900) and EX35 AWD Journey ($39,300). The crossover also gains the HomeLink Universal Transceiver as standard equipment on the EX35 Journey. All four models will utilize the same 297-hp 3.5-liter V6 mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission.
GALLERY: Infinti EX35/ QX56
Fiat has asked Chrysler to boost Freemont output after European demand soars for the rebadged Dodge Journey. Last June, with the Freemonts introduction, Fiat hoped to sell 13,000 of the minivans this year, however the automaker has already collected 15,700 orders. Fiat planned to sell 33,000 Freemonts in 2012 and as a result, Fiat was promised 3,000 Freemonts a month from Chryslers plant in Toluca, Mexico. With the high demand for the minivan, Chrysler boosted production to 4,067 units in June.
The European version of the minivan differs from its American counterpart with different front and rear styling, suspension tweaks and a Fiat’s MultiJet 2 diesel engine, not offered by Dodge.
[Source: Automotive News]
Chrysler announced a recall of 248,000 Dodge Journey, Grand Caravan, and Chrysler Town & Country models for a chance that the key could slip out while driving, shutting down the engine without warning.
At least two rear-end collisions have occurred from this fault, says Chrysler and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. From driver contact or bumpy road conditions, the key could get knocked into the accessory position, which would shut down the engine as a result. Chrysler received 32 complaints and 465 warranty claims from customers, and launched an investigation last September to respond to these. The key’s supplier is Continental AG.
The models affected are all 2010 vehicles, built between August 3, 2009, and June 17, 2010. About 3 percent of the 248,000 vehicles recalled may have this problem.
Mentioning that the car had never lived up to its promise, he said that the Journey had to be almost completely rethought to make it what it was always supposed to be. The 2011 Dodge Journey is now a crossover to covet, Dodge claims. With a completely overhauled interior and suspension, it gets the same treatment as the rest of the Dodge lineup, but it makes a bigger difference in the Journey according to Ralph.
The Journey was always handsome if a bit anonymous. Now it features design cues that more closely match the rest of the family, both inside and out. With the new materials and layout for the interiors, these 2011 Dodge models have taken a huge step in the right direction. If they handle half as well as promised, they will be true competitors, especially with that new powerful and efficient Pentastar under their hoods – which in the Journey makes 283-hp and 260 ft-lbs of torque.
The 2011 Journey will start at a base price ranging from a really low $22,245 for the base level Express model to $32,740 for the Lux. Full pricing and live pics below.
GALLERY: 2011 Dodge Journey Debut in LA
The Dodge Nitro and Caliber have been quietly dropped from Chrysler’s UK lineup.
Chrysler’s decision to drop the two crossovers comes on the heels of “extremely modest” sales of both models. This isn’t surprising to any of us, since Europeans haven’t been as quick to adopt crossovers as Americans, and the Nitro and Caliber aren’t exactly what we’d call “good cars.”
The only Dodge left on sale in the UK is now the Journey, and while slightly revamped from last year’s model, Dodge’s UK website illustrates the sad reality better than words…
We’re sure all six people looking to get on the waiting list for the 2011 Nitro will be extremely disappointed.
"No state-of-the-art dual-clutch transmission for you," Chrysler says to North America
Chrysler continues to expand the use of its new dual-clutch transmission, offering it in a total of three models – just not in North American. Originally offered in the Dodge Journey in European markets, the transmission will now also be available in the Avenger and Sebring.
Designed in partnership with Getrag, the state of the art transmission is similar in design to Audi’s DSG unit or the new PDK transmission found on new Porsches. Essentially it operates like an automatic transmission from the driver’s perspective, and gears can be selected through a manumatic-type system. Because of the dual-clutches, the next gear is always pre-loaded, meaning gear changes are incredibly quick and smooth.
According to Chrysler, it also makes for an improvement in fuel economy of six percent.
Currently the dual-clutch transmission is only available on 2.0-liter turbo diesel engines found in the Journey, Avenger and Sebring overseas.
Official release after the jump: