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Dodge and Mopar have never strayed far from success in drag racing, be it on run-what-you-brung nights at the local strip or at the highest levels of the sport. Hoping to both add to that heritage and capitalize on some of the media spotlight that's shown so brightly on the brand of late, Dodge has given us our first look at the 2015 Mopar Challenger Drag Pak test car.
Though this first iteration doesn't make use of the 707-horsepower Hellcat engine, it seems to be a pretty formidable racing package. Starting with a stock '15 Challenger, Mopar adds a full roll cage built to National Hot Rod Association specs. Rubber front and back is drag racing-ready as well, with 28x4.5-inch tires in the front, and fat 30x9-inch tires out back - all from Hoosier.
Powering the beast is a massive 426-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) Hemi Race V8, with output levels that are still unspecified. A Chrysler 727 automatic transmission connects up to a racing style shift lever, with integral line lock.
The rear-end is typical of the bulletproof fare needed for the rigors of drag racing, with a solid rear axle with a nine-inch aluminum third member, adjustable shocks, and an anti-sway bar. Front struts are also adjustable for compression and rebound.
The interior also begins life as a 2015 Challenger SRT, but gains Mopar gauges, lightweight racing seats, safety nets and five-point harnesses.
Scroll on below for even more information about the 2015 Mopar Challenger Drag Pak.Permalink | Email this | Comments
This past June I spent an excellent day hanging out with Joey Ruiter, driving and discussing his Reboot Buggy project. Before heading home, I let him know that he was more than welcome to keep me abreast of whichever new automotive project he'd get into. You can never have too many car designers and one-off fabricators in your Rolodex, right?
Ruiter recently made good with the follow-up, emailing me with details on this Dodge Challenger A/T Untamed Concept that pushes a lot of hot buttons for the muscle car and off-roading enthusiasts.
This all-terrain Mopar is a lot more than a Challenger body dropped on a truck chassis, too. A materialized version of the A/T would included a completely new, long-travel suspension, skid plates, body armor and rock sliders, and obviously flared fenders to help accommodate a hellacious set of off-road-ready tires. The dramatically revised underpinnings would be topped with a slick graphics package and a killer lower light bar, all making the A/T look quite cohesive in its own, radical way. And the result would be a car no longer limited to mere road-driving.
I asked Ruiter if his concept was rocking a theoretical Hellcat V8 under the hood, and while he agreed that the supercharged engine would make the A/T "the most insane ride ever," he thinks a tuned V6 would make more sense from a weight standpoint. Ruiter also told me that he "wanted the passion given to the Hellcat to be pushed into more areas."
That's a sentiment a lot of you should be on board with, considering how many "Hellcat Grand Cherokee NOW!!!!" comments I read, every time we run a new HC piece.
Which is important to know, because, while the package isn't ready yet, Ruiter really would like to offer something like the Challenger A/T for real customers. He's working to develop a kit that could A/T-ize Challengers, Mustangs and Camaros. We're all for it.
Do you think the Challenger A/T Untamed should transition from concept to reality? Have your say below, in Comments.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Labor Day weekend usually means the unofficial end of the summer season. Vacations are winding down, school is starting up and cooler weather is moving in. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t still some time for one more top-down adventure (or two).
Whether you’re celebrating the weekend with a sunny trail ride or with a sandy adventure to the nearest beach, take some time to enjoy a well-deserved break from the hustle of everyday life.
How are you planning to celebrate Labor Day this year? Let us know in the comments section below!
The post Celebrate Labor Day Weekend with the Jeep® Brand appeared first on The Jeep Blog.
Today, the Humvee might be as associated with the dead automotive brand from General Motors as it is with the hard-working truck that has long served as one of the backbone vehicles of America's military. But Autoline host John McElroy is showing off a practically unknown part of the model's story by digging out some old photos from his personal archive.
The High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle project, better known today as the Humvee, can be traced back to a US Department of Defense request for bids to build a new military truck. According to McElroy, he was invited to the Chrysler proving grounds in 1981 to check out the bid from the brand's defense division. The company's concept was that it might be able to build an inexpensive, capable vehicle by using off-the-shelf parts.
The angular body panels gave the truck a look almost like a modern, stealth vehicle. However, the flat look was actually just to make the tooling as cheap as possible to produce. Still, this Chrysler looked surprisingly futuristic for the early '80s. It's actually not too far away from the famous Lamborghini LM002, itself intended as a possible military-spec machine.
Obviously, Chrysler's proposal never made it to production, but it's interesting to think that if history had gone differently, this could have been America's military vehicle rather than the Hummer. Fast-forward to the 3:35-mark in the video to get the full scoop on this forgotten piece of automotive history.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Episode #394 of the Autoblog Podcast is here, and this week, Dan Roth, Steven Ewing, and Michael Harley talk about the possibility of a supercharged Dodge Viper, the Chevrolet Silverado Rally Edition, the newly released supercharger kit for the Honda CR-Z, and rumblings of an Alfa Romeo 6C. We start with what's in the garage and finish up with some of your questions, and for those of you who hung with us live on our UStream channel, thanks for taking the time. Check out the rundown below with times for topics, and you can follow along down below with our Q&A. Thanks for listening!
Autoblog Podcast #394:
In The Autoblog Garage:
Hosts: Dan Roth, Steven Ewing, Michael Harley
- Intro and Garage - 00:00
- Supercharged Viper - 44:25
- Chevrolet Silverado Rally Edition - 55:19
- Supercharged Honda CR-Z - 01:00:52
- Alfa Romeo 6C - 01:07:29
- Q&A - 01:13:41
Get the podcast:
[UStream] Listen live on Mondays at 10 PM Eastern at UStream
[iTunes] Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes
[RSS] Add the Autoblog Podcast feed to your RSS aggregator
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly
Email: Podcast at Autoblog dot com
Review the show in iTunesPermalink | Email this | Comments
Summer may be starting to wind down, but there’s still time to celebrate #JeepSummer.
If you haven’t already helped us celebrate the Summer of Jeep® this year, you’ve still got plenty time. Our contest isn’t officially over until September. In the meantime, relive some of the highlights from one from one of our most recent #JeepSummer celebrations.
A few weeks ago, we made a big stop at Navy Pier in Chicago. During our summer celebrations, fans are able to stop by and check out some of the vehicles in our 2014 Altitude Edition lineup, play games and enter for a chance to win prizes — including a 2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Altitude Edition.
We also brought along a few students from the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy in Detroit. The students were able to meet with Kyrie Irving, attend basketball skills events and watch the USA Basketball team take on Brazil in an exhibition game. Check out some photo highlights from the event below!
There’s still a little time to enter for a chance to win a 2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Altitude Edition and other great Jeep brand prizes online. Upload your best summer photos to Instagram with #JeepSummer for your shot. For rules and more details on the event, visit Jeep.com/Summer.
We're set to record Autoblog Podcast #394 this evening. Check out the topics below or drop us your questions and comments via the Q&A module. And don't forget to subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven't already done so. To take it all in live, tune in to our UStream (audio only) channel at 10:00 PM Eastern tonight.
Discussion Topics For Autoblog Podcast Episode #394
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If you want to build a cheap truck that can still do dirty deeds off the beaten path, it's best to start with solid axles and a solid V8 engine. That sums up the lessons learned after watching the 2014 Cheap Truck Challenge from the Dirt Every Day video crew, who took to the deserts and surrounding areas near Reno, NV, in an attempt to find the best 4x4 for under $4,000. Fortunately for us, the whole sordid journey was captured on video.
This isn't the first time the boys from DED filmed a Cheap Truck Challenge, and this year's festivities pitted together a 1993 Chevy S10 pickup, a 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee and a 1975 International truck in a series of challenges ranging from donuts to drag races, with plenty of hill-climbing and rock-crawling action in between. We don't want to spoil all the fun, but suffice it to say one competitor was found to be lacking while the other two performed (mostly) well. See for yourself in the video above.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The heavy-duty truck segment boasts some of the tightest competition of any automotive niche in the US. Being able to tout just one best-in-class figure can be a marketing advantage over competitors, and Ram Trucks is adding one more accolade to its tally with a powertrain update for the 2015 Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty pickups. Ram now claims best-in-class ratings for torque, towing and payload, depending on configuration.
The major change comes for the 3500 HD with a boost in torque for its Cummins 6.7-liter, inline-six diesel engine. It now produces a meaty 865 pound-feet of twist, a boost of 15 lb-ft, which is the best figure in its segment, according to the company. To eek out the extra power, the mill has more aggressive fuel delivery, and the turbo has been recalibrated. Of course, more grunt would be meaningless if drivers couldn't do anything with it, and the tweaks help allow payload to grow to 7,390 pounds, up from a rating of 7,320 pounds last year. The max towing rating remains unchanged at 30,000 pounds, though.
The rest of the powertrain lineup carries over from last year. The base HD mill is the gasoline-fed 5.7-liter V8 with 383 hp and 400 lb-ft and a six-speed automatic. The next step up is a 6.4-liter V8 with 410 hp and 429 lb-ft. There are also three trims of the 6.7-liter Cummins diesel starting with 350 hp and 660 lb-ft with a six-speed manual gearbox. If buyers opt for a the 68RFE six-speed auto, they get 370 hp and 800 lb-ft. Finally, there's the updated, top-rung version with 385 hp and 865 lb-ft with an Aisin six-speed automatic transmission.
These brawny new pickups begin rolling off the line at the Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Coahuila, Mexico, this week. Scroll down for the official announcement along with a video of Mike Cairns, director of engineering at Ram Truck, talking about the best-in-class specs.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Chrysler owners are hopping mad after experiencing a series of electrical gremlins in some of the company's vehicles. Issues range from mere annoyances - windows rolling down and radios turning off of their own accord - to serious safety issues, with headlights that randomly shut off at night and cars that stall and refuse to start.
The issues are being blamed on the total integrated power module, which can cost up to $1,000 for customers to replace. This, of course, has led to a hefty batch of complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with 240 owners expressing their displeasure so far. Another site, CarComplaints.com, has registered over 300 complaints relating to the 2010 to 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango, alone, according to The New York Times.
Chrysler has acknowledged that it's investigating the complaints and is analyzing the faulty TIPMs, but that isn't quite enough for customers of the affected vehicles. The newspaper has snagged a few of the more harrowing tales with the electrically challenged Chrysler products, culled from the NHTSA complaints.
One customer recounted a 2011 Grand Cherokee that would shut off at highway speed, with no warning. This same customer said her problems were "worse than [the] GM issue."
"Are they insane?," another customer complained. "We could have been in a serious accident. I just purchased this car in November of 2013 because I thought it would be safe for me and my new baby, and now I have to dish out $1,300 because of a faulty part."
The complaints have elicited responses from the Center for Auto Safety, one of the most strongly critical voices of General Motors' ignition switch recall. The advocacy group is, according to The New York Times, formally requesting that NHTSA investigate the issue.
This isn't the first time the TIPM has caused issues. NHTSA investigated the systems in 2007 after Jeep Wrangler and Dodge Nitro customers complained. That led to an 81,000-unit recall. That was followed in 2011 by a technical service bulletin covering the 2011 Ram 1500, as well as the troublesome Grand Cherokee and Durango.
While Chrysler has acknowledged the problems, it's unclear what, if anything, it will do about it. The company recently filed a motion disputing the electrical issues as part of a 2013 class-action suit, moving to dismiss the case, which was filed in the US Court in California's Central District. According to The Times, the judge in that case hasn't reached a decision.Permalink | Email this | Comments