Archive for November, 2014|Monthly archive page

New vans to be modified CUSW?

The Windsor, Ontario plant, the birthplace of Chrysler minivans and currently their only source, will be down for a long changeover period — according to sources, from mid-February 2015 to nearly the end of May.

The factory will have heavy production through that time to produce a good stock of the current vans, and will then go into “build-out” of the 2015s as soon as production returns in late May. New vans are expected in late July, to start arriving on dealer lots in August or September.

Current rumor has the 2016 minivans riding on extended CUSW platforms — longer and wider than the Jeep Cherokee, but with a similar powertrain, and an all wheel drive option (possibly late-availability, and most likely the 200 style rather than the Cherokee style). They will almost certainly have nine-speed automatics and should have better ride and handling than any current minivan.

If the CUSW platform did not work out as well as anticipated and had to be adjusted to meet Chrysler’s minivan needs, it would explain what appears to be a long delay in creating and producing the minivans (based on Sergio Marchionne’s first public estimates on production times).  The Jeep Renegade had an even longer delay due to the need for extensive revisions to get it to pass Jeep tests.

Hybrid-electric minivans are due a month or three after the conventional vans start up.

As read on: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2014/11/new-vans-to-be-modified-cusw

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2015 Nissan Cummins Turbo Diesel Titan

What happens when you give a 1500 truck a motor of a 2500? You get a 2015 Nissan Titan that delivers massive amounts of power and a company that takes advantage of competitor’s possible bad business decisions. Yes it seems that RAM trucks will no longer be able to offer a Cummins diesel as the corporate big wigs want the trucks to share the engines of its Italian diesel engine manufacturers VM Motori. For Nissan that leaves an opening to take the foreign brand and entice more Americans to take a look at the next generation Nissan. As both the engine and truck will be built on American soil we see that is really little to dislike about what the company is doing.

The 5.0 Cummins turbo diesel looks to deliver some impressive numbers like, around 300hp and 550 lb-ft of torque. This should make for a towing monster capable of a possible 20,000lb towing capacity. And with possible numbers such as these, you can bet that it is getting noticed by all the other truck manufacturers. It is Nissan’s way of saying that they are willing to deliver what customers are asking for such as diesel powertrains in 1500 type trucks and with other options you the potential customer has the option to really get the truck you want built without having to make too many exceptions.

With the second generation Nissan Titan sporting more cab and bed configurations along with engine options and an overall more fuel efficient capability means that we just might see Nissan grabbing back some market share from the other players. This feat won’t be easy due to the fact that Ford will still offer engines like the popular Ecoboost and RAM will offer an Eco-diesel engine option to entice those who wish to have a bit more fuel efficiency but it seems that the towing capabilities will go to the new Nissan Titan as this 5.0 liter will be placed more against the HEMI and larger displacement engines in the competition. If we look at the ability for manufacturers to deliver a wide realm of options such as these should make for an interesting read out as to what options buyers will go with.

For Nissan I believe that this is a smart move in order to grab more U.S. customers as many are familiar with the Cummins name and that since both engine and truck will be built here in the states means that there will be a great PR campaign for the 2nd-gen 2015 Nissan Titan. It is unclear as to what the up charge will be for such an engine but it appears that there will be a few individuals looking to make the switch over to Nissan for the first time ever.

As read on: http://gearheads.org/2015-nissan-cummins-turbo-diesel-titan/#.VHSFrr7pjdl

2018 Jeep Wrangler to Gain Eight-Speed Auto

Jeep’s off-road enthusiast focused Wrangler SUV will be significantly more fuel efficient for the 2018 model year.

The iconic utility vehicle is slated to be fitted with an eight-speed automatic transmission that will ease its fuel consumption. Chrysler currently uses the same transmission in the Ram 1500 pickup truck, the Dodge Durango SUV and the Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV. Jeep hasn’t officially announced the change, but a filing with the SEC originally reported by Automotive News is tipping the brand’s plans.

According to the filing, Jeep expects the Wrangler to return nine percent better fuel economy when equipped with the eight-speed than it currently does with a five-speed automatic. Currently the five-speed automatic Wrangler is rated to return 17 MPG in city driving and 21 MPG on the highway.

The Wrangler is slated to be re-designed for 2018 with an aluminum body that will also enhance fuel economy. Chrysler needs to improve average fuel economy across the Jeep line and a smaller displacement engine than the current 3.6-liter V6 will be necessary to do so in the Wrangler, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne has said.

Other efficiency-minded changes are afoot at Chrysler. The company plans to produce its next-generation plug-in hybrid Town & Country minivan at its Windsor, Canada assembly plant.

As read on: http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2014/11/2018-jeep-wrangler-to-gain-eight-speed-auto.html

Home for the Holidays: Is Your Car Up for the Journey?

Before you pack up the car to head home for the holidays, the Car Care Council reminds you to make sure your vehicle is ready for the journey. Conducting a thorough vehicle inspection will help you avoid the inconvenience and potential safety hazards of breaking down miles away from home.

“It’s easy to remember to get your family ready for the holiday festivities, but what about preparing the car that’s going to get you there?” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Having a pre-inspection performed on your car will give you peace of mind as you travel and help make your journey safer.”

Before leaving home, the Car Care Council recommends a check of the following, often overlooked, items: tires and tire pressure, brakes, hoses and belts, air filters, wipers, exterior and interior lighting, and fluid levels, including engine oil, windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.

“A pre-trip inspection provides the opportunity to have service repairs made at home by your own trusted technician who knows the vehicle, and helps reduce the chance of costly and dangerous trouble on the road,” said Rich While.

The Car Care Council also recommends that drivers keep important telephone numbers in their cell phone or glove box in case of a breakdown or travel emergency. Vehicles should have a roadside emergency kit that includes items such as a first aid kit, a tire-changing jack, a tire pressure gauge, jumper cables, a flashlight and a blanket. A copy of the recently-updated 80-page Car Care Guide should be kept in the glove box and can be ordered free of charge at www.carcare.org/car-care-guide.

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a free copy of the council’s popular Car Care Guide or for more information, visit www.carcare.org.

As read on: http://www.carcare.org/2014/11/home-holidays-car-journey/

2015 Chrysler 300C revealed

Chrysler has revealed the 2015 300, 300S, and 300C, the company’s flagship cars (even if their prices are equalled by their own minivans).

300c 2015
All 300s get an eight-speed automatic, but none get the 6.4 liter engine used in the past 300C SRT, unless a future un-announced model will have it. All wheel drive is restricted to the V6 cars.

The cars continue into 2015 with relatively minor cosmetic changes: the front is more curvaceous, the side line emphasized a little, the grilles updated, a 200-like lower grille added, and the tail-lights simplified. Inside, the same basic forms continue, but with noticeably different styling.

For many more photos, including interior and exterior shots, along with pricing and other information, see our 2015 Chrysler 300 – 300C – 300S page.

As read on: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2014/11/2015-chrysler-300c-revealed-2

Chrysler limits colors for Durango and Grand Cherokee

Chrysler is echoing Henry Ford’s famous quote: “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.”

The only difference is that Chrysler is adding white, gray and silver to the choices.

Automotive News reporter Larry Vellequette writes that orders for new Dodge Durangos and Jeep Grand Cherokees will be temporarily limited to those four colors as the paint shop at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant is upgraded to allow tricolor finishes on the popular SUVs.

Even though the limitation will be in place until at least February 2015, it most likely won’t be too onerous. According to automotive paintmaker PPG,  the most popular color in North America in 2014 has been white, followed by black, gray and silver – 72% of all 2014 vehicles were painted in one of those colors. Silver, once the most popular color, has fallen from favor in recent years.

Vellequette notes that just 19% of the Jeep Grand Cherokees and 8% of the Durangos on dealer lots are painted in a color other than the top four.

Of more concern to dealers is the fact the plant will shut down for three weeks from December 22 to January 12. This is the first time in several years the assembly line has been halted for such an extended period. In October, the plant produced 38,241 vehicles, up 20% from a year ago. October NAFTA region sales of the Durango and Grand Cherokee totaled 22,017 and the Grand Cherokee was the second-best-selling Chrysler Group vehicle.

As read on: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2014/11/chrysler-limits-colors-for-durango-and-grand-cherokee

Report Why the Charger Hellcat can’t be ordered with a manual transmission

Fans of truly irreverent amounts of horsepower will find lots to love in the form of the 2015 Dodge Challenger and Charger Hellcat models. Both of them send 707 ridiculous horsepower to the rear wheels; the only question is whether you want your absurdity delivered with two or four doors. Oh, and whether or not you want the option of a manual transmission.

If you prefer rowing your own gears, the choice is made for you; there is no manual gearbox option available on the Charger Hellcat, or any Charger model at all, for that matter. Wonder why? Well, besides the fact that almost nobody – sorry, clutch fans, but it’s true – would choose to buy a Charger with a manual transmission, that is? The answer, according to an industry insider in a post written on Jalopnik’s Opposite Lock forum, is the floorpan.

It’s probably not a surprise to most of our readers that the Dodge Challenger and Charger share a large portion of their chassis structure, which is codenamed LX at Chrysler, but there are still some significant differences under the skin due to the shorter wheelbase and two-door coupe bodyshell of the Challenger, as opposed to the sedan shape of the Charger. One of the differences is the floorpan, the huge chunk of sheetmetal that makes up the floor of the car and props up such essential items as the car’s seats.

According to user doodon2whls, the Dodge Challenger was crash tested way back in 2008 when it first hit the market with a floorpan stamping that can accommodate a manual transmission. The Charger, though, was crash tested and approved by the government two years earlier with the automatic-transmission floorpan stamping only, which means it would need to be completely recertified for sale in the US, with new crash tests included, if Dodge decided to offer it with a six-speed manual. That’s an expensive proposition, especially considering how few manual models Dodge would ever sell.

Good thing, then, that the eight-speed automatic transmission that Dodge pairs with pretty much all of its rear-wheel-drive vehicles is such a good unit. Having tested numerous Charger and Challenger models in all states of tune and with every available transmission option, we’re here to tell you that you’ll be plenty pleased with the Hellcat’s 707 horsepower, whether it’s being channeled through an automatic or manual transmission.

As read on: http://www.autoblog.com/2014/11/16/charger-hellcat-no-manual-transmission-report/?ncid=edlinkusauto00000016

Ram Truck prices ProMaster City

Chrysler Group wants to benchmark its 2015 Ram ProMaster City against the popular Ford Transit Connect in every aspect, including price.

The Auburn Hills subsidiary of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV on Wednesday announced pricing for the all-new cargo van and wagon that directly competes with Ford’s Transit Connect vehicles.

The starting prices of the Ram ProMaster City Cargo, primarily for commercial use, is $23,130, plus $995 destination. The 2015 Ram ProMaster City Wagon, for passenger use, starts at $24,130, plus $995 destination. Those compare to the Transit Connect Van and Wagon at $22,130 and $24,655, respectively.

Since the ProMaster City’s unveiling in June 2014, officials have touted the vehicle as a proven performer because it is based off of the Fiat Doblo — a two-time International Van of the Year winner with more than 1.3 million units sold.

“The new Ram ProMaster City enters the (small van) market with a long list of customer-focused, best-in-class features, including the highest available payload and cargo capacities,” said Bob Hegbloom, Ram Truck president and CEO in a statement.

With a 2.4-liter Tigershark and exclusive nine-speed automatic transmission, the ProMaster City delivers EPA fuel economy of up to 21 miles per gallon city, 29 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined. That compares to the Transit Connect that offers two engines, including an optional 1.6-liter EcoBoost with an EPA-estimated 30 mpg highway, 22 mpg city and 25 combined.

The ProMaster City is expected to arrive in U.S. dealerships around year’s end. It comes to market as redesigned and new products from General Motors Co., Nissan Motor Co. and Ford Motor Co. compete for sales in the growing segment.

Global commercial vehicle sales are expected to grow by 4.8 million during the next several years to 21 million units annually by 2017.

The 2015 Ram ProMaster City is the brand’s second shared collaboration with Fiat Professional. The 2014 Ram ProMaster full-size van was the first.

As read on: http://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/autos/chrysler/2014/11/12/chrysler-prices-ram-promaster-city/18888105/

2014 Wayne County Lightfest Run/Walk

Want to be the first to view the Lightfest in Hines Park? Sign-up for the Wayne County Lightfest 8K Fun Run/Walk and Bike Through the Lights NEXT WEEK! The cost is $20, or $25 on the day-of the events. The 8K Fun Run/Walk is on Tuesday, Nov. 18, 7 pm, meeting at Merriman Hollow Park, 7651 Merriman Rd.

The Bike Ride will be held the following night, Wednesday, Nov. 19, 7 pm, at the same location.

Check out each of the registration websites for more information!

-To register for the Run/Walk:
https://runningfitevents.webconnex.com/14lightfestrun

-To register for the Bike: https://runningfitevents.webconnex.com/14lightfestbike

Renewed Ram comparisons

With both Chevrolet Colorado and Ford F-150 boasting of their fuel economy— the latter without actually releasing it yet — Ram has done the footwork to provide comparisons of their mileage versus every competitor.

Of note, the Ram 1500 V6 is no longer the most efficient full-sized gasoline-powered pickup, though it is tied for best with the Chevrolet Silverado. The Ram 1500 diesel does retain the title of most efficient full or midsized pickup, arguably, with Tacoma coming in at the same rounded combined mileage (1 mpg better city, 3 mpg worse highway). Tacoma is smaller, and comes with a four cylinder engine coupled to a manual transmission.

The new Ford F-150’s gas mileage has yet to be revealed; the company has already said that it will be the highest-mileage F-150 ever,  but has not said it will be the best in the full size segment.

Ram wrote that their 1500 achieved strong mileage through its low drag (0.36 cD compared with mode of around 0.40, resulting in a gain of around 0.4 mpg on the highway); eight-speed automatic and parasitic loss prevention systems (around 2 mpg gain); and diesel engine (around 6 mpg gain). A Ram press release claimed that a 500 pound weight reduction results in around a 2% increase in fuel economy, or around 0.5 mpg.

Ford continues to enjoy a reputation for fuel economy, though F-150 is near the bottom of the class, ironically only beating a pair of Japanese trucks. The top two trucks in fuel economy come from two companies whose reputation among the general public is, also ironically, for inefficient powertrains: Chrysler/Ram and GM/Chevrolet.

Ram fuel economy

As read on: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2014/11/renewed-ram-comparisons