Archive for the ‘allpar’ Tag

Does the TRX presage a Jeep Trackhawk Hellcat?

The Ram TRX is the first publicly-shown vehicle that hooks up the Hellcat engine to a four wheel drive system. It dropped down to 575 hp, but that’s a hundred horsepower more than the 6.4 Hemi and even further above the Ford Raptor.

A Hellcat-powered Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk has been rumored since before the Hellcat was even shown to the public. Insiders said that FCA leaders were concerned the engine be too loud or uncouth for the refined Grand Cherokee, and that the cost would be too high.

The supercharged Hemi turned out to be relatively quiet, and easily controllable — surprisingly so, in fact. It might be hard to whip it around corners at speed in the big Jeep, but at least it’ll be possible to drive it gently.

That left durability, and the TRX is our first look at how that’s being handled. Dialed down to 575 horsepower, it seems to be compatible with many factory parts. The differentials are possible issues; so is the full time AWD transfer case. The TRX uses a part-time Borg-Warner 44-45; there is a full-time B-W 44-44, but Jeep already uses the formerly-New-Venture-now-Magna MP3010 on its SRT. Can full time four wheel drive work with 575 horsepower, while still fitting into the Grand Cherokee?

There are still many questions, but sources have told Allpar that there are Grand Cherokee Hellcat mules running around, and that the Hellcat would be detuned for the purpose. Whether they turn out to be “commercial” — practical for commercial sale — is still up in the air. See the Ram 1500 Rebel TRX.

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/news/2016/10/does-the-trx-presage-a-jeep-trackhawk-hellcat-34120

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Insiders on the 2019 Ram pickups

Automotive News has published a surprisingly detailed piece on the 2019 Ram 1500 launch. The industry weekly claimed that the “DT” series pickups, essentially to FCA US profits, are right on schedule for production at the end of January 2018. These will be the first pickups ever to be made in the Sterling Heights Assembly plant, which has made midsized cars for years. The conversion from car to truck assembly will take months.

mule-tailgate

According to writer Larry Vellequette, to speed the launch, some engineers have been given full power of decision, rather than having to bump nearly everything up to higher-level managers. Other launches continue to use the more cumbersome, Daimler-like approach. Still, the first prototypes built at Sterling Heights will be made in early January 2018, three months after the original schedule, which could mean delays if any problems are found.

According to Mr. Vellequette’s sources, the Ram will continue to use steel for most of its body panels, and will keep essentially the same look, with smaller headlights integrated into the grille and horizontal fog lights built into the bumper. The interior is to have a new center console for more storage space.

Both Allpar and Automotive News believe this will be the Ram to finally have direct-injection V6 engines and belt-start generators for higher-performance stop-start systems. A turbocharged V6 is possible, as well.

The empowered-engineer approach should improve relations with suppliers, as Automotive News noted, because suppliers can get answers or needed changes much more quickly. When this approach was used in 1990s, it also slashed costs and in some cases increased quality. See more on the 2019 Ram 1500.

Over the weekend, the 2018 Jeep Compass was revealed, as a photo shoot in Brazil was captured by local media.

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/news/2016/09/an-inside-the-2019-ram-33744

Durango vs Wagoneer: making room

Years ago, when word of a new Jeep Wagoneer first reached Allpar’s ears, we were told that it would replace the Dodge Durango, which is essentially a lengthened, street-tuned Grand Cherokee. That was before a surprisingly successful ad campaign starring Will Ferrell in his Ron Burgundy character.

When Durango sales rose, the thought of having the Durango and Wagoneer co-exist inevitably arose, but how would they differentiate the two?

According to long-time source redriderbob, the first step will be dropping the Dodge Durango Citadel, which is covered in luxury trim. Instead, the future Durango will be performance-focused, fitting the Dodge theme and raison d’être. There will be an entry-level Durango with two-row seating for five, to help absorb some Journey buyers when that crossover is replaced by a smaller, sportier rear drive version.

The Jeep Grand Wagoneer itself is likely to take on all the luxury trappings of the Citadel, but might retain the Grand Cherokee’s off-road-capable suspension design.

There is also speculation that the Wagoneer — since a company rep has talked about there being both a Wagoneer and a Grand Wagoneer — would be a higher-end, lengthened Jeep Cherokee. It could also be based on the forthcoming rear-drive Dodge Journey.

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/news/2016/09/durango-vs-wagoneer-making-room-33314

Cherokee vs Wrangler: the winner

In November, we visited the sales race between the new Jeep Cherokee and the Jeep Wrangler — a modern, lighter-duty vehicle and a heavy-duty traditionalist. The Wrangler had been falling behind, possibly because Daimler did not build the plant with any expansion in mind.

Those constraints will not ease until, ironically, the Wrangler takes over the Cherokee’s plant, pushing the more modern Jeep out of Ohio. The Wrangler sells as quickly as it can be built, despite the lack of a recent redesign or most of the Cherokee’s gizmos and creature comforts.

In November, US buyers had picked up 196,211 Jeep Cherokees, versus 187,111 Jeep Wranglers and 174,950 Jeep Grand Cherokees. Canadians had chosen Cherokees as the top Jeep every month of the year, and outside North America, the Cherokee easily outsells the Wrangler.

For 2015 as a whole, the Jeep Cherokee easily beat the Jeep Wrangler (in the US), 220,260 to 202,702; the pair were closer in 2015, when the Wrangler beat the Cherokee by around 3,200 sales. The Grand Cherokee came in at #3, with 195,958 sales.

The other Jeep race was between the new Jeep Renegade and the Jeep Compass, and we’d called it for the Compass, which had a full year of sales vs the abbreviated Renegade 2015. Not surprisingly, the Compass, with just 66,698 sales, eked out a Pyrrhic victory over the Renegade, with 60,946. 2016 will almost certainly change the order; though a new Jeep Compass is due at some point. In the meantime, the Patriot’s surprising 27% gain, to nearly 120,000 sales, made keeping it around a paying proposition.

There is another disclaimer: there are two Jeep Wrangler models, on different wheelbases, but there are also two cars using the same basic chassis on the Grand Cherokee side. Adding Dodge Durango sales to the Grand Cherokee (as Wrangler Unlimited is added to Wrangler) would easily push that pair to the top.

As read on: https://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2016/01/cherokee-vs-wrangler-the-winner-30944

Wrangler Sahara: old and new

Recently, Allpar road-tested the Jeep Wrangler Sahara, finding a mixture of old and new inside.

Older items included the hard-drive stereo, complete with a tilting screen to show a DVD reader; the basic design, one of the oldest in the FCA empire; and much of the underlying hardware.

Newer items included welcome revisions to the stereo, including better USB thumb drive handling, and top-removal and window-lowering tools in the glovebox (which was not quite large enough for the owner’s manual, oddly enough).

The 2015 model year ushered in a standard eight-speaker stereo with a new sound bar; the optional Alpine Audio Package had nine Alpine speakers with a new all-weather subwoofer under the cargo floor), while the 2016 Saharas will have an olive green interior option, body color bumper, and different wheels.

The 2014s had minor and mostly cosmetic changes, other than the launch of a Rubicon X and Freedom III. The five-speed automatic replaced an older four-speed in 2012, as the old 3.8 “minivan engine” was swapped out for a new Pentastar V6. There were also some aerodynamic improvements and off-road upgrades for the Rubicon. The interior had been redesigned in 2011.

A “completely new” Wrangler is due in 2018 or so, but it will most likely keep the basic body-on-frame, solid-axle setup of the current Jeep icon.

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2015/12/wrangler-sahara-old-and-new-30868

2018 Jeep Wrangler: Still steel, still capable after all these years

The next generation of the iconic off-roader will be the 2018 Jeep Wrangler “JL,” debuting in 2017, followed after about a year by a pickup. Buyers can expect eight-speed automatics and hopefully six-speed manuals; gasoline Jeeps will get the second-generation eight-speed made by Chrysler (850RE), while diesels will get the “pure” ZF 8HP75.

IRS

Jeep reportedly tried an independent suspension for Wrangler, based on the 1963 Jeep Wagoneer or the Ram 4×4, but Larry Vellequette of Automotive News wrote on February 15, 2015, that they would stick with floating solid axles (one insider said they would change the configuration somewhat). This will help Mopar and the aftermarket to keep selling modifications, and make it easier to keep the ground clearance high.

The Wrangler was allegedly to switch to an aluminum tub and use a tough hydroformed steel frame, but then, in May 2015, Sergio Marchionne said, I think we can do almost as well without doing it all-aluminum.” The Wrangler will likely follow Ram in using a strong hydroformed frame.

Changing the basic design of the top of the Wrangler could save even more weight. Cars without tops, such as convertibles and roadsters, need heavy bolstering, and the Wrangler is built to withstand abuse. This and possible new safety rules may have led engineers to replace the “safety bar” with stronger tubes over the top and reduce lower-body reinforcement. Weight remains the biggest factor in city mileage. Jeep could then also do a fixed-roof version with relatively little re-engineering and retooling.

An Allpar source claimed, “The traditional soft top is gone, [replaced by] removable soft panels over the substructure. The sport bar design is gone. It even appears to have built in grab handles.” This would be consistent with Bob Sheaves’ predictions. He also wrote, “The taillight design will change (my guess with an “x” design, such as the one used in the Renegade), and bumpers, tailgate construction, and the 5×5 wheel bolt pattern are mostly the same as the current ones.”

This does not necessarily mean there will be no soft top, no removable doors, or even no fold-down windshield, though the latter may be difficult to justify. Indeed, another Allpar source reported that there would now be four roof setups: hard + soft (over the front), non-removable hard, an update of the current Freedom Top™, and a complete soft top.

The Jeep Wrangler is a key vehicle for Chrysler, the “ring that controls all Jeeps,” and Sergio Marchionne has said many times they cannot reduce its off-road capability. Whether this means they will actually not reduce its capability remains to be seen.

The appearance of the Wrangler is not likely to change much, other the “roof replacement” structure, and aerodynamic improvements may be brought about mostly by changes in the windshield angle, side mirrors, and underbody covers.

Diesel engines, pickup trucks, and other changes

Many expect Jeep to finally issue a U.S. diesel version of the Wrangler, and a limited production pickup version (Gladiator? Comanche?).

A diesel could still provide a serious boost in both city and highway fuel efficiency while pleasing hard-core off-roaders (thanks to its low-end torque), and it’s likely that the company will attempt to do a light-hybrid version a year or two after the main launch.

Standard American engines would likely be a V6 — by then, upgraded with more power and efficiency — and possibly the upcoming Hurricane Four. Europe will continue to get a diesel.

Most expect Jeep to make the Wrangler more aerodynamic, with a slightly larger slant to the windshield. The fold-down windshield may be dropped; it is unique for Jeep in North America, but few seem to care about it. Removable doors are likely to remain.

New axles

Allpar sources generally agree that there will be a new Dana axle, with a larger bolt pattern (going from 10 to 12); the Dana 44 bolt pattern did not change even when they increased the ring gear size and pinion for the current JK. The 44 has been used for many years, and advances in the state of the art may have led to a major upgrade for economy and off-road performance alike.

Flip-up rear window

A new patent application shows a unique full folding back glass design. The Jeep Wrangler is used for the illustrations.

The current Wrangler has a tailgate/spare tire that swing sideways, then the backglass can open upwards. The patent application is different in that the backglass folds all of the way up to the roof, with clips built into the roof so it can be pinned down and left all the way open. There are clips inside, to hold the struts after they are disconnected from the backglass (so it can reach the roof).

full-folding-backglass-3a

Driving with rear glass open could cause exhaust fumes in the cabin, and can also draw in mud when used off-road. Still, there are people who would like to be able to keep the backglass of their Jeep Wrangler open while driving with the top on, so the next generation Wrangler may include this as an optional package. It could also just be a patent to cover research and development on something that will never get used.

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/SUVs/jeep/wrangler/2017.html

Wrangler: “best resale value”

The Jeep Wrangler has won Kelley Blue Books’s 2016 Best Resale Value award in the Small Crossover/SUV segment. Kelley’s analysts expect Wrangler to keep more of their value over five years than any competitors, including numerous Asian entries.

The Wrangler also came in at number five on KBB’s Top Ten list, with an estimated resale value of 66% of its original price after three years, and 55% at five years.

KBB wrote, “You could count on one hand the number of new vehicles that actually thrive by doing things the same way for decades, and the Jeep Wrangler is one of them. In fact, it could be the poster child for such an exclusive set… the Wrangler’s core mission hasn’t deviated far from that of its World War II-era ancestors: to affordably go where others can not.”

They pointed to its relatively low pricing, starting at $25,000. “No matter which Wrangler you choose, it will make you smile — even when it’s time to sell.”

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2015/12/wrangler-wins-best-resale-value-award-30797

What exactly is the Hurricane engine?

Speculation/analysis. Last week, Allpar was the first to show one of the Hurricane prototype engines. It is a turbocharged two-liter, according to various reports; scuttlebutt had the goal at 300 horsepower or so for an SRT version, and the mid-200s for a standard model.

Alfa Romeo recently announced its two-liter four would hit 276 horsepower, but other than taking full credit for its development, said nothing about its origins. If it were based on the 1.75 liter engine they already have, we would expect them to say it, so we suspect they are using some version of the Hurricane.

Normally, it would seem that the Hurricane was an updated, turbocharged version of the current “World Engine,” but Bob Lees’ 2014 presentation included an image of a future four-cylinder engine family, to be made in two sizes, for the entire company: Fiat, Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, and Alfa Romeo (Maserati seems unlikely to use it).

Some of these technologies are being explored by Chrysler, such as the belt-starter alternator, stop-start system, cooled EGR, integrated manifold, and variable-displacement oil pump. MultiAir is from Fiat, and direct injection probably draws on Fiat’s expertise as well. The Alfa Romeo engine uses MultiAir and direct injection.

It’s possible that this will be the first appearance of the new engine family, which would, among other things, explain why the Alfa Romeo Giulia is taking so long to arrive.

It’s also possible that they are building on the existing Chrysler 2-liter engine and past work on trying to make a Dart SRT4. Alfa Romeo would have to do their own tuning and engineering, partly because the SRT engine would be built to a lower cost budget, partly because they have different goals.

Regardless, for marketing reasons, expect any new engine to show up as an Alfa Romeo first — because no premium car owner wants a mass-market engine under the hood. Since mass-market car buyers don’t mind high-end engines, even if Auburn Hills had done all the work on the new engine series (which they almost certainly have not), it would still be credited to Alfa Romeo.

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2015/11/what-exactly-irricane-engine-30625

New Jeeps to be shown at LA

Jeep will show two special editions at the Los Angeles Auto Show: the 2016 Grand Cherokee SRT Night and the 2016 Jeep Wrangler Backcountry.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Night, due in the first quarter of 2016, adds a black roof, lightweight performance wheels, and other touches, while the Wrangler Backcountry, coming late this November, is winter-themed.

In addition to the black roof, the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Night will have a gloss-black rear spoiler, front grille bezels, B and C pillars, and side window surrounds, with a satin-black front appliqué, hood and rear liftgate badges, and split five-spoke “5Ten” 20-inch wheels (which reveal red Brembo brake calipers). Inside, the Night comes with black Laguna leather with Silver accent stitching and metallic black bezels. Colors are Velvet Red, Billet Silver, and Granite Crystal.

As with any Grand Cherokee SRT, the Night has a 6.4-liter V-8 engine with 475 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque, an adaptive damping suspension, and a Selec-Track Traction Control system; and can do 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds.

The Jeep Wrangler Backcountry is based on the Wrangler Sahara, and has decals on the front fender and rear quarter panel, front and rear powder coated bumpers, 17-inch Rubicon wheels painted in mildly glossy black, and a black fuel fill door; it has Rubicon rock rails with no-charge-optional Sahara side steps. A black hard top is standard but a body color hard top is optional. Colors are Hydro Blue, Black, Bright White, Granite Crystal, and Xtreme Purple, a color unique (within the Wrangler range) to Backcountry.

The interior has glossy black vent rings, door handles, and grab handles, with black leather seat bolsters and mesh inserts. The console lid and door armrests have light gray accent stitching. Rounding off the package are a nine-speaker premium Alpine sound system, all-weather slush mats, and the Bluetooth hands-free Connectivity Group.

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2015/11/new-jeeps-to-be-shown-at-la-30560

300-hp Dart GLH coming, turbos for all?

Work on a Dart SRT has yielded one result, according to an Allpar source: the Dart GLH, borrowing a name from hot Omnis of the past.

Carroll Shelby claimed that GLH stood for “Goes Like Heck,” and it’s likely that the new Dart will do just that, with its long-rumored turbocharged engine.

In addition to the Dart GLH, other Darts will be available with the optional “Hurricane” turbo, though probably not tuned to the GLH’s 300 hp. Indeed, we were told earlier to expect more like 240 hp from the engine, which has been reported as being 1.8 or 2.0 liters.

It seems likely that the engine will eventually be available everywhere the 2.4 World Engine is, except for the current Compass and Patriot.

Production times are unknown and could be one or two calendar years away.

Increased competition likely put the kibosh on an SRT4, but the GLH, if it comes to fruition, would probably be the car that was once to be badged as an SRT. The moniker is only used on cars that are at the top of their class, for the price.

The above rendering was designed to illustrate rumors of a Dart SRT4.

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2015/08/dart-glh-coming-turbos-for-all-29765