Archive for the ‘Dick Scott News’ Category

Got a Great Jeep Easter Egg Idea? Here’s Your Chance to Make It a Reality

Everyone loves finding Easter eggs in their ride — whether it’s the cat and cub in a Jaguar E-Pace, the spider under the fuel door of a Jeep Renegade or the myriad examples in the latest Jeep Wrangler or Gladiator. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in particular is known for including dozens of Easter eggs in its vehicles — and now, likely because FCA assumes you’ve been home and bored for the last three months or so, the automaker is giving you the chance to dream up an Easter egg for inclusion in an upcoming Jeep product.

Now through July 2, you can submit your ideas for the next Jeep Easter egg at The winner will be announced on July 31, but getting your idea into a future Jeep product isn’t the only prize; you’ll also win a new Jeep of your choice, which is a pretty fantastic Easter egg in itself. 

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Michigan, Fiat Chrysler join federal self-driving car initiative

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is one of nine companies participating in a U.S. Department of Transportation initiative designed to improve the safety and testing transparency of self-driving cars, and Michigan is one of eight states also joining the effort. 

But safety advocates sharply criticized the transportation department for sticking with an voluntary approach to self-driving regulation that critics have described as toothless, citing fatal accidents involving partially autonomous cars that have been operated in recent years by companies such as Tesla and Uber. 

The agency announced Monday the formation of a new Automated Vehicle Transparency and Engagement for Safe Testing (AV TEST) Initiative that it said will include “a series of public events across the country to improve transparency and safety in the development and testing of automated driving systems.” 

The voluntary initiative will provide an online platform for sharing details about testing with the public.

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2/12/2020 Challenger Challenge Indian Motorcycle Draws A Line In The Sand With “Challenger Challenge” – A Head-To-Head Comparison Of The New Indian Challenger Dark Horse & Harley-Davidson® Road Glide® Special

Minneapolis (February 12, 2020) – “May the best V-twin win.” That’s the rally cry for the newest marketing campaign for Indian Motorcycle’s all-new Indian Challenger – a fully-loaded premium bagger designed as a superior alternative to the category leader, the Harley-Davidson® Road Glide® Special. This morning, Indian announced the “Challenger Challenge,” a campaign that invites motorcyclists to test ride the Challenger and Road Glide® Special back-to-back for the ultimate head-to-head comparison.

Launching at Daytona Bike Week on Friday, March 6, the Challenger Challenge product demo tour will visit Indian Motorcycle dealers around the country, as well as select motorcycle rallies and events, including the legendary Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in August. In addition to the national tour, select Indian Motorcycle dealers will have a Road Glide® on hand to ensure that any customer who visits their dealership can take the Challenger Challenge.

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Is a Barracuda still on?

As the world grips both recession and pandemic, it seems insane that FCA would be working on a new Barracuda coupe, to compete better against the 6,000-US-sales-per-month Mustang and 4,000-sales-per-month Camaro. But the rumors are flying, and maybe they’re even true.

A Barracuda, basically a lightweight version of the Challenger, would be closer in size to the Alfa Romeo Giulia than today’s big Charger-based coupes. The base power would almost certainly come from a four-cylinder, while the biggest engine might be a twin-turbo straight-six; or it could be the “usual” 707-horsepower Hellcat V8. Due to the low volumes, a stick-shift might not make the cut.

Back in December 2017, Allpar predicted such a vehicle, arriving around 2022-23, and accompanying the next-gen Challenger. One rumor had it being made in small numbers in Italy, alongside the Giulia, which seemed unlikely then and still seems unlikely now. The car was being planned in both coupe and convertible form (the Challenger was reportedly designed for easy convertible production, but that never happened). The Hellcat was “pencilled in” for the top engine. It would likely have an electric motor for quicker acceleration with the four-cylinder.

Both the existence of the car and the name were still undecided, as far as we could tell, at that point. As we said back in 2017, “The company could downsize the Challenger instead of having two coupes, or ignore the niche entirely, or create a new name, or dredge up another sporty-sounding Dodge name (Daytona, Super Bee, Magnum, Nitro, Rebel, Shadow… but not Lancer, which Mitsubishi’s picked up).”

Current rumors claim the Dodge Barracuda will have an independent rear suspension, magnetic damping, and a low ride height. None of these would be surprising; the Challenger rides relatively high, but it’s a big car, and the Barracuda would be smaller. Chances are any Barracuda or next-gen Challenger would have many architecture choices in common with the Alfa Romeo Giulia.

The main credible reason for doing a Barracuda would be reinvigorating Dodge—making it clear that there is something really new. The small-coupe market is too small for anything but maybe the Mustang to be profitable.

Will the recession, switch to CUVs, pandemic, and merger with PSA derail any hopeful thoughts of a Barracuda? We’d guess they would, yes. But who knows?

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Vilner Dresses Up The Devil With Fancy Interior For Dodge SRT Hellcat

Bulgaria’s Vilner tuning house doesn’t put boundaries on the range of cars it modifies – these vary from the one-off Tramontana sports car to classics like the Mercedes-Benz 250CE, to modern luxury yachts on wheels like the BMW X7. The latest model to go under the knife at the firm’s studio in Sofia is the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.

The car started its life as a “regular” SRT Hellcat but its owner wanted a bit more customization and called the folks over at Vilner for help. Several days later, the American muscle left the tuning company’s garage with an array of carbon fiber upgrades and a few new touches inside and out, bringing it closer to the appearance of an SRT Demon.

Starting with the exterior, the car got a complete matte red wrap and new Demon stickers. More important changes have happened inside the cabin where we find reupholstered seats, new seat belts, and new central console and door cards finishes. Also, the back of the front seats is covered in red Alcantara, while parts of the seats mechanisms are covered with carbon fiber.

“We started by stripping the interior, piece by piece, as if we’ve begun to reveal the true soul of the Demon,” company founder and ideologist, Atanas Vilner, explains. “Then came the time to dress it up again, not in Prada, but in something that even Mrs. Prada herself wouldn’t have thought of. We had to make sure that just by someone looking at the interior will instantly recognize that there is no other than one of the most powerful engines on earth hiding under the hood, we wanted to show its power even when the car isn’t moving, even when it’s heart is not pumping gasoline at a few thousand RPM’s per second.”

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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Expands Coronavirus-related Relief Actions; 1 Million Meals for School Children Included in New Programs

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., March 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — As previously communicated to the company’s employees from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) CEO Mike Manley, the company is in the process of converting its first plant to produce face masks for donation to first responders and health care workers. The first machinery has been delivered and installed with supply and donation coming on stream in the coming weeks.

FCA is expanding its program of measures to support coronavirus relief efforts, focused on two principal areas: charities providing food services to children and support for a range of technical, logistical and manufacturing programs, such as face mask production.

“There has never been a more important moment to help children and their families with vital needs in our communities than during this time of great uncertainty,” said FCA CEO Mike Manley. 

Food programs for children in our communities
FCA will work in partnership with non-profit organizations and foundations that are providing food to children until schools return to session. Starting immediately, FCA will help provide more than 1 million meals to school-age children in the communities around our principal manufacturing plants in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. The program will then be extended nationwide in the U.S. and to Canada and Mexico, supporting similar relief efforts for kids who would normally access school meal services.

Mobilizing company resources
Following the first actions taken to start face mask production, the company is now investing technical, logistical and manufacturing resources at medical equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE). With the donation of face masks produced by the company starting in the coming weeks, the company will invest to extend that production capacity to other plants and ultimately donate masks to first responders and health care workers across the world. Drawing on experience from the company’s engineering and logistics team in Italy who are assisting a local ventilator manufacturer, FCA is engaged with other companies producing ventilators and other much needed medical equipment and PPE.

“In this time of need, we’ve focused our resources on those actions we can implement quickly and that will have the greatest impact, as we did in Italy as soon as the emergency started,” added Manley.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is a global automaker that designs, engineers, manufactures and sells vehicles in a portfolio of exciting brands, including Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Jeep®, Lancia, Ram and Maserati. It also sells parts and services under the Mopar name and operates in the components and production systems sectors under the Comau and Teksid brands. FCA employs nearly 200,000 people around the globe. For more details regarding FCA (NYSE: FCAU/ MTA: FCA), please visit   

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2020 Jeep® Gladiator Mojave brings performance to a new terrain

Jeep® vehicles through the years have conquered rocky terrain, unpredictable conditions and challenging trails.

With the introduction of the 2020 Jeep® Gladiator Mojave, enthusiasts now have a Jeep vehicle that is designed to take on grueling desert and sand environments.

2020 Jeep® Gladiator Mojave

The Gladiator is already the most capable Jeep midsize pickup truck ever,” said Jim Morrison, describing the development of the Gladiator Mojave. “We are now taking it to the next level.”

2020 Jeep® Gladiator Mojave

The Gladiator Mojave is the first vehicle to carry the Desert Rated badge, which represents the ultimate in high-speed off-road capability and performance in rugged and punishing desert terrain.

This new vehicle is the latest evolution in Jeep capability with features including new, specially tuned FOX™ 2.5-inch internal bypass shocks with external reservoirs; industry-exclusive FOX front hydraulic jounce bumpers; a reinforced frame; a one-inch front suspension lift with a silver front skid plate and standard 33-inch Falken Wildpeak All-terrain tires.

2020 Jeep® Gladiator Mojave

Inside the Gladiator are performance-based features including a leather-wrapped steering wheel, featuring thumb bumps so the driver always knows where they are on the wheel, and front seats, which are available in a more desert-heat-friendly Steel Gray color, with new bolsters that will keep the driver planted when cornering hard or pushing through sand berms.

The Gladiator Mojave models will be arriving in Jeep showrooms in the second quarter of 2020.

2020 Jeep® Gladiator Mojave

“We are proud to bring this capability to our desert-loving enthusiasts,” Morrison said.

Learn more about the Jeep Gladiator by visiting

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2021 Dodge Durango to get surprisingly hefty refresh?

The Dodge Durango may be on its way out as a new three-row Jeep Grand Cherokee goes into production, but it’s apparently going to stick around for a while—and get a hefty refresh along the way. It’s possible that the Durango may even continue for a few years, as a serious tow SUV that undercuts the future Jeep Wagoneer by thousands of dollars. At least, that’s what AutoBison claims, and they take the idea seriously enough to have a rendering.

2021 Durango rendering

The current Durango has been around for a while, but aside from fuel economy, it’s still quite competitive—if overshadowed by the Grand Cherokee. The two vehicles are built in the same Detroit plant, and have the same platform; the main differences are a little more length in the Dodge, providing room for a third row of seats, and a suspension more tuned for on-road than off-road driving.

AutoBison reported that the 2021 Durango is set to get eTorque engines, as part of FCA’s effort to cut back on its subsidies for Tesla. A new front fascia, seen in disguise during testing, will have more aggressive vents, with integrated fog lights and LED headlights (see the rendering for their idea of what the effect may be).

Several sources have also said that a Hellcat-based Durango SRT is on the way, either replacing or adding to the current (and surprisingly potent) 392 Hemi Durango. Regardless, 2021 Durango buyers will see a new dashboard, and top-model buyers may get the 10-inch UConnect 5 system from the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica Pinnacle.

Some may ask why FCA would spend the money, when the Grand Cherokee three-row and the Wagoneer are coming; but they might be setting up the Durango to be the value leader of the group, or they might be targeting a completely different audience from the Jeep buyers. There might be suspension tweaks to make the Durango even more capable on-road, as it’s decoupled from the Grand Cherokee, as well.

It’s quite possible the Durango will stick around as long as customers want it—which frees up Jeeps to be Jeeps, so to speak. The Durango can soak up the big-SUV volume, while the Wagoneer and three-row Grand Cherokee are more off-road-oriented, and more expensive. It seems like a clever strategy.   Original 2021 Durango story

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, Daily Telegraph, Detroit News, and USA Today. His books are Dodge Viper: The Full Story of the World’s First V10 Sports Car, Wagoneer, Gladiator, Comanche, and Scrambler: Jeep’s Go-Anywhere Vehicles, and The Rise and Reinvention of Chrysler Minivans:
How a rejected idea became a 14-million-sale success
, available in ebook and paper formats.

Before making Allpar a full-time career, David was a consultant in organizational psychology, leading to his research and change and Mac statistics software sites. You can reach him at his personal site.

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Ram 1500 Named 2020 Luxury Car of the Year by

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Jan. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ —

  • Ram 1500 is the first truck to win’s Luxury Car of the Year award  
  • Winners represent ultimate in luxury, usability and drivability
  • Any model vehicle, regardless of when it was introduced, is eligible
Ram 1500 named Luxury Car of the Year by
Ram 1500 named Luxury Car of the Year by has named the Ram 1500 its 2020 Luxury Car of the Year. The editors of look for a vehicle that represents ultimate luxury in its class, is exceptionally well-rounded and demonstrates outstanding usability and drivability. This is the first time a truck has won the Luxury Car of the Year award from

“This award validates Ram’s unrelenting efforts to deliver more comfort, refinement and value to our customers,” said Reid Bigland, Head of Ram Brand. “The Ram 1500 Longhorn and Limited are examples of how we deliver the most luxurious pickups in the industry. It is immensely satisfying to have recognize the Ram 1500 as Luxury Car of the Year.”

Any model vehicle, regardless of when it was introduced or last updated, is eligible for the award.

“The 2020 Ram 1500 Longhorn and Limited trims stand out from the crowd thanks to their stunning interiors with premium wood, leather, metal and chrome finishes, an awe-inspiring multimedia system and outstanding ride quality,” said Jenni Newman, Editor-in-Chief of “The Ram 1500’s top trim levels are stunning and well deserving of’s Luxury Vehicle of the Year award.”

For 2020, an all-new V-6 EcoDiesel joins the Ram 1500 lineup and brings with it best-in-class diesel torque with 480 lb.-ft. and diesel towing capability of 12,560 pounds. The 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel also leads all trucks in fuel range. Paired with an available 33-gallon fuel tank, Ram’s driving range exceeds 1,000 miles. The 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is available in all models and configurations, including a first-time offering in the Ram Rebel.

Ram’s class-leading ride and handling is accomplished via a segment-exclusive link-coil rear suspension system with optional Active-level four-corner air suspension.

As a segment disrupter, the Ram 1500’s Uconnect 4C with a massive 12-inch touchscreen leads the pickup world in technology, featuring split-screen capability, 360-degree camera views and exclusive content from SiriusXM with Personalized Stations Powered by Pandora, which delivers ad-free personalization not found on other entertainment services.

The Ram 1500 is also the truck industry’s cargo-management and storage leader. The Ram 1500 multifunction tailgate feature is unique among all pickups and offers customers cargo-access flexibility without compromise. The 2020 Ram 1500 also features twice the interior storage capacity versus the competition.

Among the Ram 1500’s other innovative storage solutions are the RamBox cargo management system. The RamBox system includes versatile, weatherproof, lockable, illuminated and drainable storage bins built into the bed rails. RamBox bins also feature a handy 115-volt, 400-watt outlet. Also available with RamBox is a pickup bed divider/two-foot bed extender and cargo rail system with four sliding, adjustable cleats.

Ram 1500
The 2020 Ram 1500 is the no-compromise benchmark for durability, technology, efficiency and convenience with features never before offered in a pickup. The Ram 1500 features up to 12,750 pounds of towing capability (5.7-liter HEMI® V-8) and 2,300 pounds of payload. Ram’s eTorque mild hybrid system delivers improved fuel efficiency in both V-6 (standard) and V-8 configurations. The Ram 1500 features more than 100 active safety and security systems, including adaptive cruise control, Forward Collision Warning, Blind-spot Monitoring and Ready Alert Braking.

Ram 1500 Longhorn
The Ram 1500 Longhorn is filled with more craftsman-like details, including real wood surfaces and 100 percent full-grain leather seats, than any other truck in the segment. Longhorn models feature design cues from traditionally handcrafted, time-tested wares, such as the antique pocket watch, hand-tooled leather cowboy boots or a horseman’s saddle. Real barnwood accents, such as wood tandem doors on the center console, are individually applied to “Longhorn” branding burned on the wood-trimmed upper glove box door and segment-exclusive hand-wrapped, 100 percent full-grain leather dashboard. Embossed alligator skin pattern leather on the center console, instrument panel, seats and door panel inserts, brushed-nickel metal badge and satin chrome accents set Longhorn apart from the rest of the Ram lineup. 

Ram 1500 Limited
The Ram 1500 Limited is a no-compromise truck that sets the standard for interior comfort and refinement. The Ram 1500 Limited features unique technology, materials and storage solutions to give customers a premium experience while staying true to the hardworking nature of the Ram 1500. The Ram 1500 Limited features an exclusive and largest-in-class Uconnect 4C with 12-inch touchscreen and SiriusXM with Personalized Stations Powered by Pandora, which delivers ad-free personalization not found on any other entertainment service. Premium full-leather front and rear reclining seats with heating and cooling, segment-exclusive 100 percent full-grain hand-wrapped leather dashboard, door-panel coverings and armrests, real aluminum and wood accents and a 900-watt, 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system give owners an unmatched sense of luxury and refinement.

About Ram Truck Brand
In 2009, the Ram Truck brand launched as a stand-alone division, focused on meeting the demands of truck buyers and delivering benchmark-quality vehicles. With a full lineup of trucks, the Ram 1500, 2500/3500 Heavy Duty, 3500/4500/5500 Chassis Cab, ProMaster and ProMaster City, the Ram brand builds trucks that get the hard work done and families where they need to go. 

Ram continues to outperform the competition and sets the benchmarks for:

  • Segment first 1,000 lb.-ft of torque with Cummins Turbo Diesel
  • Towing capacity of 35,100 lbs. with Ram 3500
  • Payload of 7,680 lbs. with Ram 3500
  • Most luxurious: Ram Limited with real wood, real leather and 12-inch Uconnect touchscreen
  • Best ride and handling with exclusive link coil rear and auto-level air suspensions
  • Most interior space with Ram Mega Cab
  • Most capable full-size off-road pickup – Ram Power Wagon
  • Most-awarded light-duty truck in America
  • Highest owner loyalty of any half-ton pickup
  • Over the last 30 years, Ram has the highest percentage of pickups still on the road

Ram is part of the portfolio of brands offered by global automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. For more information regarding FCA (NYSE: FCAU/ MTA: FCA), please visit

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New Ram 1500 Leading Light in Safety

Safety is nothing to make light of. But light can certainly enhance vehicle safety, as demonstrated by the 2019-20 Ram 1500.

FCA recently refined the performance of the redesigned pickup’s available, curve-adaptive, LED projector headlamps with high-beam assist. The result? 

The reigning Motor Trend Truck of the Year made history as the first full-size pickup to capture a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Specifically, the rating applies to models built after May of this year that feature the refined headlamp system and Ram’s Automatic Emergency Braking technology, Forward Collision Warning-Plus. 

But the road to Ram’s success runs through an elite test site in a corner of Canada known as that country’s automotive nucleus – the Lighting Research Facility at the Advanced Research and Development Centre in Windsor, Ontario.

“The Lighting Research Facility features an exceptional working dynamic,” says Antonio Mancina, FCA Head of Canada Engineering. “And the results we are able to achieve resonate where they matter – on the road, for the benefit of our customers.”

Jointly operated by FCA and the University of Windsor, the facility leverages the combined energy and insights of students, professors and engineers as they work together on research initiatives. At more than 25,000 square feet, it is one of the largest facilities of its kind in the world.

Such scale is appropriate because redesigning FCA’s best-selling vehicle, the Ram 1500, was no minor responsibility. The truck’s lighting technology profited from the site’s controlled laboratory environment that simulates a two-lane roadway, including roadside markings and reflectors. 

It also houses advanced light-measurement equipment to accommodate optimal accuracy when compiling quantitative lighting assessments.

Such resources signal lights out for the Ram 1500’s competitors. 

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