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Refreshed Chrysler 300 SRT won’t be sold in NA

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2014 Chrysler 300 SRT

It looks like it might be time to bid farewell to the V8 rumble from the Chrysler 300 SRT - at least if you live in North America. The reported change comes as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles reshuffles its ranks with the Dodge brand, re-absorbing SRT and building its muscular reputation with the Challenger and Charger Hellcat models. Meanwhile, Chrysler is taking a more mainstream approach, and that likely means the end of overt high-performance models from the division for now.

According to Automotive News, the 300 SRT will be discontinued in the US for 2015, but it won't be totally dead. Some right-hand drive markets will still get the brawny V8 sedan next year, a distinction that goes a long way toward explaining some spy shots we've seen recently.

The 300 SRT's North American demise probably shouldn't come as a total shock. In FCA's five-year plan, it says that the 300 is destined for a refresh to be unveiled later this year, presumably at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show. There's no mention of the SRT model in the document, though, which seems to signal its end.

In regards to the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the other non-Dodge from the former SRT brand, it's likely sticking around in spirit, if not in name. According to Automotive News, insiders say that the recent trademark filing for the Trackhawk could be meant for a sporty Grand Cherokee for 2016, but there's no official decision yet. The high-performance SUV still wears the SRT badge for 2015, though. Still, Trackhawk sounds like a nice fit with the off-road Trailhawk models on the Cherokee and upcoming Renegade, and it's possible that the Trackhawk designation will supplant that of SRT on this model.

Refreshed Chrysler 300 SRT won't be sold in NA originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 20 Oct 2014 11:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Has Dodge stepped in it again with Scat Pack lawsuit?

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Dodge Challenger and Charger Scat Pack

Lawsuits are an unfortunate part of doing business in just about any industry, so the latest complaint filed by a California-based aftermarket firm against Chrysler would seem to be nothing more than business as usual. But this isn't the first time the two companies have sparred over this particular issue.

According to a report from Automotive News, the dispute revolves around the Scat Pack name that Chrysler first offered on the Charger, Coronet, Dart and Super Bee starting in 1968. Scat Enterprises, a manufacturer of crankshafts and other components for Dodges and other vehicles, sued Chrysler for using its name. A few years later the Scat Pack disappeared from the Dodge catalog.

Fast forward to August 2013 when Chrysler applied to register the Scat Pack name anew. The US Patent and Trademark Office turned down Chrysler's application, but the automaker proceeded anyway, unveiling new Scat Packs for the Challenger, Charger and Dart at last year's SEMA show.

Now that Chrysler is preparing to reveal a new Scat Pack at SEMA, Scat Enterprises has filed a new lawsuit, demanding that Chrysler stop using the name, turn over all its materials for destruction, and pay the plaintiff damages. Auburn Hills is refusing and refuting Scat's claim, dismissing it as an "opportunistic attempt to hold Chrysler hostage just days before the upcoming SEMA show," noting that it (unlike the plaintiff) only uses the word Scat together with Pack and is responsible for the term's association with its products. We doubt we've heard the last of this one...

Has Dodge stepped in it again with Scat Pack lawsuit? originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2015 Dodge Charger priced from $27,995, Hellcat from $63,995*

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2015 Dodge Charger Hellcat

Ladies and gentlemen, let's get the most salient bit of information out of the way right off the bat: $63,995*. That's the amount of money Dodge dealers will be asking for (at the very least, naturally) for a 2015 Charger Hellcat (*plus $995 for destination on all pricing figures). That rather reasonable sum will bring home its buyer a 6.2-liter Hemi V8 engine boasting a supercharger to post such gaudy figures as 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, leading to a top speed of 204 miles per hour to go along with an NHRA-certified quarter-mile time of 11.0 seconds.

With that out of the way, the rest of the 2015 Dodge Charger pricing information breaks down as follows: $27,995 will deliver a sedan with a 292-horsepower 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Moving up one step of the ladder nets the buyer an SXT model with the same engine, but a nicer chunk of technology and optional equipment for a $2,000 premium. All-wheel drive adds another $3,000. Hemi V8-powered R/T models now boast an eight-speed transmission bolted to the same well-loved 370-horsepower engine as before, for a base price of $32,995.

The SRT 392 model that had hitherto been the top-performing Charger brings with it an asking price of $47,385 while bargain hunters can equip a Charger R/T Scat Pack machine with that same 485-horsepower 6.4-liter Hemi, albeit with somewhat less posh interior bits and pieces, the removal of the 392's adjustable suspension and hi-po wheel and tire package for $39,995.

There are a few other ways to order a Charger in 2015, and we suggest you read all about them in the press release below. We don't have to tell you how amazing it is that you can now mosey on down to your local Dodge dealer and order a 707-hp sedan for under $64,000. Neither must it be said that the SRT's 485 ponies are nothing to sneeze at. In any case, we're officially basking in the golden age of horsepower.

Continue reading 2015 Dodge Charger priced from $27,995, Hellcat from $63,995*

2015 Dodge Charger priced from $27,995, Hellcat from $63,995* originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 19 Oct 2014 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles recalls nearly 750k vehicles in two campaigns

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2014 Chrysler 300S

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is recalling a total of 747,817 vehicles in the US in two separate campaigns recently added to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration database.

The first one covers about 434,581 units of the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Challenger, Durango, and Jeep Grand Cherokee from the 2011-2014 model years with electric hydraulic power steering, the 3.6-liter V6 engine and a 160 amp alternator, according to FCA. In the affected vehicles, it's possible for the alternator to fail without warning and possibly cause the car to stall. According to the documentation submitted to NHTSA, the automaker began investigating the problem in August 2014 and has found possible evidence of one crash caused by the failures but no known injuries.

Customers will begin receiving notification about the recall next month, and obviously the repairs will be done at no cost to them.

The second recall covers a reported 313,236 units of the 2011-2013 Jeep Wrangler built between February 16, 2010, and July 19, 2013. An electrical connection could corrode and cause a short in models with heated power side mirrors. The company says that this could potentially cause a fire. However, there are no reports of crashes, injuries, fatalities or fires related to the problem known to the automaker at this time.

According to the documents submitted to NHTSA, the first reports of this came from three Wranglers in Canada in February, 2013. Testing showed that water was making contact with the connection and caused the corrosion.

To fix the problem dealers will move the connection to a new place and will add a water shield and dielectric grease to the area. The company will begin contacting owners in early December.

Scroll down to read NHTSA's reports about both recalls.

Continue reading Fiat Chrysler Automobiles recalls nearly 750k vehicles in two campaigns

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles recalls nearly 750k vehicles in two campaigns originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 16 Oct 2014 09:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chrysler teases upcoming outlay of SEMA cars

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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles teaser

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is hauling a multitude of modified models to the annual SEMA show in Las Vegas this November, and the company is releasing the first teasing sketches of many of them.

Unfortunately, FCA isn't giving many solid details on any of the concepts other than saying the vehicles from Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and Fiat all benefit from tuning from its Mopar performance brand. The teaser photos include a sinister-looking Chrysler 200S, Fiat 500 Abarth with two-tone paint and a scorpion on the hood, a red and black 500L, seemingly two different takes on the Jeep Renegade, a green Dodge Challenger wearing the T/A badge, an orange and black Dart, a very neon Charger, just the outline of a red and black Viper, a Ram ProMaster in Mopar livery and a Ram pickup called the Outdoorsman.

Take a look through the gallery to see what you think of the sketches for these concepts, and scroll down for the full announcement from FCA.

Continue reading Chrysler teases upcoming outlay of SEMA cars

Chrysler teases upcoming outlay of SEMA cars originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 15 Oct 2014 11:16:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda2 nets Japan Car of the Year, Cherokee first US model to ever crack top 10 [UPDATE]

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2015 Mazda2

2015 Jeep CherokeeThe 2015 Mazda2 is quite high up on our must-drive list. Yes, the teeny, tiny successor to the 100-horsepower five-door is worth getting excited over, largely because the previous generation was one of the absolute best smiles-per-dollar values on the market.

While we eagerly await for our opportunity to take to the 2's helm, our expectations of the new car have just been heightened thanks to its win in Japan's Car of the Year competition. Called "Demio" in the land of the rising sun, Japanese journalists handed out Mazda's second COTY award since the CX-5 took the title in 2012.

In more surprising news, the new Jeep Cherokee has made the list of 10 Best Cars in Japan. The Jeep's triumph marks the first time an American car has cracked the top ten, finishing eighth. It's not, however, the first Fiat Chrysler vehicle to snag the title, following in the footsteps of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta and Fiat Panda. Still, the fact that an American brand can make such impressive inroads into the traditionally tough-to-crack Japanese market is a seriously big deal.

Take a look below for the official press releases from Mazda and Jeep.

UPDATE: The original, Google-translated Jeep press release has been replaced with an official English translation.

Continue reading Mazda2 nets Japan Car of the Year, Cherokee first US model to ever crack top 10 [UPDATE]

Mazda2 nets Japan Car of the Year, Cherokee first US model to ever crack top 10 [UPDATE] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 14 Oct 2014 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2015 Ford F-150 named Truck of Texas, Lincoln and Jeep also awarded at Truck Rodeo

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2015 Ford F-150

The Ford Motor Company has a lot of reasons to celebrate after winning eight categories in this year's Texas Auto Writers Association's annual Truck Rodeo. Most important among them, the Blue Oval's latest 2015 Ford F-150 earned the prestigious Truck of Texas award, ending the Ram 1500's two-year winning streak. The 2015 Lincoln MKC also grabbed the honor as the CUV of Texas, and Ford was named Truck Line of Texas.

FoMoCo even took trophies for best technology with its extensive use of aluminum on its latest F-Series and best commercial vehicle for the new Transit 250. It wasn't a total sweep, though, because the Jeep Grand Cherokee grabbed the title of the SUV of Texas for the fifth straight time.

This year's event put 60 auto writers in 75 pickups, SUVs and crossovers and challenged them to find the best in a plethora of categories. All of the winners are listed below, and scroll down to read the full announcements from the Texas Auto Writers Association and Ford.

Compact CUV: 2015 Honda CR-V Touring
Midsize CUV: 2015 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium
Fullsize CUV: 2015 Kia Sedona SX
Luxury CUV: 2015 Lincoln MKC
Compact SUV: 2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk
Midsize SUV: 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4x4
Fullsize SUV: 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD
Compact Luxury SUV: 2015 Range Rover Evoque 5-Door
Midsize Luxury SUV: 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit EcoDiesel 4x4
Fullsize Luxury SUV: 2015 GMC Yukon Denali
Off-Road SUV: 2015 Jeep Wrangler
Midsize Pickup Truck: 2015 Chevrolet Colorado Crew Cab
Fullsize Pickup Truck: 2015 Ford F-150 King Ranch
Luxury Pickup Truck: 2015 Ford F-150 Platinum
Heavy Duty Pickup Truck: 2015 Ram 2500 Laramie Longhorn
Off-Road Pickup Truck: 2015 Ram Power Wagon
Commercial Vehicle: 2015 Ford Transit 250
Best Powertrain: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' 3.0-liter V6 EcoDiesel Engine
Best Connectivity: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' Uconnect Access
Best Technology: 2015 Ford F-150 King Ranch high-strength military-grade aluminum body
CUV of Texas: 2015 Lincoln MKC
SUV of Texas: 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Truck of Texas: 2015 Ford F-150
Truck Line of Texas: Ford

Continue reading 2015 Ford F-150 named Truck of Texas, Lincoln and Jeep also awarded at Truck Rodeo

2015 Ford F-150 named Truck of Texas, Lincoln and Jeep also awarded at Truck Rodeo originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 14 Oct 2014 09:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Weekly Recap: Aluminum spurs controversy for Ford, Chrysler

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Ford F-150

Automakers are increasingly turning to aluminum as a way to cut weight and improve fuel economy.

Aluminum was a flammable topic this week, and its use in the 2015 Ford F-150 and potential use in the future Jeep Wrangler ignited controversy.

In both cases, it came down to money.

Ford stock took a brief hit on Wednesday when Morgan Stanley cut its price target from $16 to $14 a share, though it soon recovered later in the day. The reason? In a note to investors, Morgan Stanley said the aluminum-bodied F-150 could be a challenge to make and launches into an ultra-competitive market against entrenched products from Chevrolet, GMC and Chrysler. All of this could eat into Ford's short- and mid-term profits, the brokerage firm said.

A Ford spokesperson said the company generally doesn't comment on analyst reports, adding that it's working "to deliver profitable growth for all of Ford's stakeholders."

Meanwhile, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne suggested at the Paris Motor Show that the redesigned Jeep Wrangler - which is likely still years away - could shift to an aluminum body in a bid to cut weight and improve fuel economy. That could mean relocating the Wrangler to a different factory, as retrofitting its longtime home in Toledo, OH, could prove too expensive.

Continue reading Weekly Recap: Aluminum spurs controversy for Ford, Chrysler

Weekly Recap: Aluminum spurs controversy for Ford, Chrysler originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 11 Oct 2014 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chrysler mum on Toledo Wrangler production after meeting Ohio leaders

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2014 Jeep Wrangler Polar edition

"Fiat Chrysler remains committed to producing vehicles in Toledo and anticipates employment to remain at current levels."

The future of the iconic Jeep Wrangler in Toledo, OH, remains uncertain after a meeting Thursday between Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne and Ohio government leaders.

Marchionne met with Ohio officials at Chrysler headquarters in Auburn Hills, MI, after his comments at the Paris Motor Show last week started a firestorm in the northwestern Ohio city. He said the next-generation Wrangler would likely shift to an aluminum body, which could require moving production from its longtime home in Toledo.

If the iconic Jeep were to move to another factory, Chrysler has already confirmed it will continue to build vehicles at the Toledo complex and maintain employment levels there. The site also currently makes the Jeep Cherokee.

In a statement to Autoblog, Chrysler said: "It was a productive meeting that helped further the understanding of all parties. It is important to emphasize that Fiat Chrysler remains committed to producing vehicles in Toledo and anticipates employment to remain at current levels. The parties have agreed to meet again in short order."

Continue reading Chrysler mum on Toledo Wrangler production after meeting Ohio leaders

Chrysler mum on Toledo Wrangler production after meeting Ohio leaders originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 10 Oct 2014 17:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles gets officially official this Sunday

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Fiat Chrysler

Want a chunk of the new Fiat Chrysler Automobiles? Shares of the newly joined (technically) Dutch automaker will begin trading on Monday on the New York Stock Exchange. The company itself will become a single entity on Sunday.

According to The Detroit Free Press, the new FCA will be the world's seventh largest company after Fiat shareholders' chance to oppose the merger expired on October 4. To prevent the merger, shareholders would have needed to exchange at least 500 million euros in shares for cash.

On Monday, current shareholders of both Fiat and Chrysler stock will see their shares converted into an equal number of FCA shares, the Freep reports.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles gets officially official this Sunday originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 09 Oct 2014 09:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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