Archive for the ‘allpar’ Tag

2015 Chrysler 300 has been named one of KBB.com’s ten most comfortable cars under $30,000

The 2015 Chrysler 300 has been named one of KBB.com’s ten most comfortable cars under $30,000. The editors wrote, “Chrysler’s big and bold full-size sedan recalls the glamour and ease of yesteryear in a car that offers all of today’s modern amenities,”

The base price of a 2015 Chrysler 300 Limited is $32,690, including destination charges, but incentives bring it below the $30,000 threshold. A comparably equipped Chevrolet Impala 2LT is $31,110, and it doesn’t have the 300’s outstanding V6/8-speed combination.

In thousands of test miles, many with four adults and luggage, Allpar testing has found that, regardless of trim level, the Chrysler 300 a is standout among non-luxury cars, easily surpassing comparable Ford and GM cars in total passenger comfort over long distances. Even brand-agnostic drivers praise the car’s comfort and driveability.

Often-neglected rear-seat passengers, including those six feet tall, have plenty of room, and the Chrysler 300’s formal roofline makes dignified entry and exit no problem, an advantage over the Dodge Charger.

Allpar real-world testing has shown the Chrysler 300 with the Pentastar V6 cruises effortlessly even at the 80 miles per hour allowed on West Texas highways. We have achieved an easy 33 mpg on long trips at 70-75 mph.

Read more at: http://news.allpar.com/index.php/2015/07/is-chrysler-300-one-the-most-comfortable-cars-under-30k-29271

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2016 Jeep Patriot Planned

Jeep will keep making the Patriot into the 2016 model year, despite the appearance of the new Jeep Renegade, according to reliable Allpar source “Mopar Man.”

Some expected the Patriot to be dropped once the Renegade appeared, since the cars share a basic form and are roughly similar in size and price. However, relatively few Renegades have made it to the United States, and the plant where the Patriot, Compass, and Dodge Dart are all made is not at full capacity.

A new Jeep Compass is planned for calendar-year 2016, having been pushed back at least once. While the name is still not officially settled, most sources believe it will remain Compass, though the platform will change. In the United States, it will likely use a 2-liter Hurricane turbocharged four-cylinder engine, as well as the current 2.4 and possibly the turbocharged Fiat 1.4 to have a fuel economy leader; however, it will almost certainly use a ZF-based nine-speed automatic, possibly in addition to a manual transmission.

Both Jeep Patriot and the current Jeep Compass are to cease production when the new car starts coming down the line. The next-generation, 2017 Dodge Dart is scheduled to appear at around the same time as the Compass.

As read on: http://allparnews.com/index.php/2015/05/2016-jeep-patriot-planned-28695

Renegade, 300 on Ward’s “Best Interior” list

Ward’s Auto has added the Jeep Renegade Limited to its “Ten Best Interiors List” for 2015.

The Renegade was one of two Chrysler-brand vehicles to make list: the other was the new Chrysler 300 Platinum.

Drew Winter, Editor-in-Chief of Ward’s Autoworld magazine, said:

“The interior checks off all our boxes in terms of being roomy, comfortable and having excellent ergonomics — even the voice-activation system works flawlessly. But, the attention given to interior details and design is truly spectacular for a vehicle in this class. Whimsical design elements, bold, contrasting colors and stunning metallic bronze trim convey a sense of fun and adventure that sets it apart. The Renegade isn’t a ’cute ute,’ it’s the Cherokee’s badass little brother.”

Ward’s Auto editors spent two months evaluating and judging 42 vehicles. Scoring was based on a wide variety of factors including fit-and-finish, comfort, material selection, ergonomics, information/displays, value, safety and overall design aesthetics.

At $33,205, the Renegade Limited was one of the least-expensive vehicles on the list. Only the Honda Fit EX-L had a lower sticker.

Last month, the editors of Kelley Blue Book‘s kbb.com said the Renegade was one of their “10 Favorite New-for-2015 Cars” and “10 Best All-Wheel-Drive Vehicles Under $25,000.”

Chrysler’s new top-level Platinum interior also received high praise from Winter:

“In a world overpopulated with giant SUVs, the Chrysler 300C Platinum reminds us how glorious big sedans can be. The ’15 model takes the superb interior of the previous version up another notch with even more features, comfort and sumptuous materials. The quilted leather trim and patterned upholstery are similar to what we see on German luxury sedans costing three times as much. The huge touchscreen and Uconnect infotainment system is about the best at any price. Yet it also has wonderfully practical details, such as stout grab handles and a truly sturdy sunglasses holder. ‘I could live in this car,’ says one judge. Yes indeed. And live well,”

Read more at: http://allparnews.com/index.php/2015/04/renegade-300-on-wards-best-interior-list-28436

Compass: “Honey, I shrunk the Grand Cherokee!”

Today, artist SuzyQ044 provided a rendering of the coming Jeep Compass, following Allpar sources’ claims that it will look like a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee shrunk down to Jeep Renegade size.

We have been told by insiders that the coming “MP” Compass will share its underpinnings and drivetrain with the just-released Renegade. The cars are so close that Compass mules are reportedly out and about, except that you cannot tell that is what they are as they are all cleverly disguised as Renegades.

One insider said the rendering was close, but to make it even more Grand Cherokee-like.

The Compass name itself has not been confirmed, but does not appear to carry enough baggage (or connotations that could be an issue in a worldwide car) to justify a name change.

Theoretically, it could be built at any of the three Renegade/500x plants in the world (Italy, Brazil and China), but it could make more sense for to be domestically produced. If that happens, could the Renegade also find a domestic production line? There is room at the old 200 plant at Sterling Heights, at Toluca in Mexico, and, once the current Compass and Patriot stop, at Belvedere. The question is, which cars can be built on the same lines as each other — and which plants are ready for it?

Read more at: http://allparnews.com/index.php/2015/03/compass-honey-i-shrunk-the-grand-cherokee-28086

Hellcat Challenger picks up 34whp with only a tune (video)

The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is the most powerful muscle car of all time, with a supercharged 6.2L Hellcat Hemi producing a bone chilling 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque, according to the official marketing materials.

From the time that the first media outlets got hold of the Hellcat Challenger, it looked as though the 707/650 figures were a bit underrated; and the owner of the 2015 Challenger SRT Hellcat in the video below wanted to see just how much power his new Mopar muscle car made in stock form, so he took it to a dyno shop for a baseline dyno run and for tuning – tuning which turned out some incredible numbers.

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The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat shown below in Sublime Green is owned by Ohio resident John Michael Hansen. Mr. Hansen is no stranger to high performance vehicles; his current garage is occupied by a Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, a built Lancer Evolution X, a built Nissan GTR, a built MKIV Toyota Supra, and a supercharged Ram 1500 SRT10.

Aside from the Jeep, all of John’s cars are modified and all of them are supercharged, so it should come as no surprise that this horsepower junkie was one of the first people in line when the 2015 Challenger Hellcat went on sale.

Once Mr. Hansen took delivery of his 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, he took it to Accelerated Performance to see just how much power it made in factory stock form. The 2015 Hellcat Challenger in the video below made 646 horsepower and 585lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels; considering the official power numbers of 707hp and 650lb-ft of torque at the crankshaft, Hansen’s Hellcat is losing only about 9% of the power between the engine and the wheels, which is a clear indication that the car is indeed underrated or that the Hellcat Challenger has an extremely efficient automatic transmission, as most self-shifting cars lose at least 12% of their power at the wheels.

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After getting a baseline dyno reading on his 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, John Michael Hansen had Torrie McPhail of Unleashed Tuning see how much extra power they could squeeze from the stock Hellcat. Using an HPTuners tuning tool, McPhail was able to increase the output at the wheels from 646hp and 585lb-ft of torque to 680 horsepower and 616 torque.

With no other modifications, simply tuning the stock computer to optimize performance allowed Mr. Hansen’s Hellcat Challenger to pick up 34 horsepower and 31 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels. Provided that we use the somewhat comical 9% drivetrain loss that we calculated above, this Challenger is making no less than 740 horsepower and 671 lb-ft of torque at the motor…from a car with no modifications and a simple engine computer tune.
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Those are high stock numbers to begin with, and amazing tuned numbers for the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat; and with Mr. Hansen planning to do more to his new Mopar muscle car, we could see even bigger numbers from this Sublime beast in the coming months. In the meantime, crank up your speakers and fall in love with the roar of this tuned Hellcat on the dyno.

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Read more at: http://allparnews.com/index.php/2015/03/hellcat-challenger-picks-up-34whp-with-only-a-tune-video-28067

Official: New Ram Sports

Today, Ram confirmed the launch of two “buzz trucks” based on the Ram 1500 Sport pickup. Both share the Sport’s normal Hemi V8 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission and are sold as crew cabs only, in rear wheel drive and 4×4 forms. They have a 3.92:1 axle ratio, dual exhaust, vented hood, and 20-inch wheels. Canadian versions are similar, but, even accounting for exchange rates, have different pricing (see the Canadian Ignition Orange and Black Sport, announced by Allpar over the last two days).

The packages include the 8.4-inch Uconnect phone-stereo-navigation systems and rear-view cameras.

The Ignition Orange Sport has body-color accent stitching through the cabin, embroidery on the seat-backs, accent-color Ram’s heads on the headrests, and colored accent sport mesh on the seat inserts, along with hood stripes and headlight blackouts.

The Black Sport is nearly all black inside, with leather and “light black” chrome accents.

Ordering opens this week, and production starts in April. In the U.S., the Ram 1500 Ignition Orange package and the Ram 1500 Black Sport package are both $1,595.

The Ram 1500 Sport Crew Cab 4×2 starts at $42,215, including destination. All Rams with the eight-speed automatic and Hemi include a thermal management system, pulse-width modulation, and active aerodynamics, including grille shutters and air suspension, for best-in-class fuel efficiency, unsurpassed torque, and high towing capability. The Sports also have stop-start systems (which can be shut off by the driver if desired) to boost real-world city/suburb mileage.

Earlier this year, Ram announced a diesel version of the Ram 1500 HFE, boosting both city and highway mileage by 1 mpg (to 21/29).

Read more at: http://allparnews.com/index.php/2015/03/new-ram-sports-confirmed-27975

Ram grille change no big deal?

Opinion/Analysis:  it seems to me that the uproar over the new grilles on the Ram Laramie and Rebel is a classic case of making a mountain out of a molehill: a task made more difficult because it starts without a molehill.

Automotive News’ Larry Vellequette and Allpar’s Daniel Bennet have written about the change, saying it’s a sign that the Ram brand is suffering from an identity crisis. Their argument is that Ram trying to further distance itself from Dodge by moving away from the crosshair grille and the ram’s head badge.

The more likely reason for the change is to let buyers know this is a new Ram pickup [as alluded to by designer Greg Howell].

How long has the Ram pickup used the same general grille design with only very small changes that most consumers won’t even notice? Since Ram became a separate brand five years ago? In fact, the same general grille design was used on the last model year of the Dodge Ram pickup.

Maybe it’s time for a change?

The fact the new grille’s first appearance on a regular production truck came on the top-of-the-line Laramie is an indication that Ram is looking to persuade owners of earlier premium Ram pickups to trade their old truck by making the new truck visibly different.

When I was young, grille changes were an annual event, making each new model distinct from those that came before. Automakers don’t do that any more, but a change after six years seems reasonable.

The use of the prominent “RAM” on the Rebel’s grille is similar to what Ford has done on the Raptor, which has a big “FORD” on the grille instead of a blue oval. It sets the special truck apart from other models.

As for the large RAM on the tailgate, name a pickup brand that hasn’t done this at one time or another.

In short, there’s no identity crisis required to explain the change.

As far as establishing a brand identity, I would imagine that if you asked most male consumers to complete the phrase “Guts, Glory…”, most would say “Ram.” They might even try to sound like Sam Elliott. That’s successful branding.

Worries about losing the classic Ram logo would seem to be unfounded. A look at the interior shows the familiar shield is right in  the center of the steering wheel. Considering that it’s much less costly to change a small badge than it is to change a grille and tailgate, one would assume any effort to rebrand would include that change.

Consider the ProMaster City. While the big ProMaster was already in production, it would have been easy to change the small van’s grille and badging. Yet the ProMaster City has Ram shield badges front and rear.

Now consider at the two brands’ product lines: Ram has pickups, chassis-cabs and commercial vans (ProMaster City is clearly targeted at businesses). Dodge has passenger cars, family minivans and SUVs. The only Dodge fleet vehicles are special purpose, such as the Charger Pursuit and the Durango SSV. There isn’t any overlap, even in the same showroom.

It was Chrysler, not Fiat, that originally pushed for a retail network in which as many dealers as possible sold all the Chrysler brands.

If anyone is worried that Ram is phasing out the Ram logo, the first question that comes to mind is “Why would they?” The brand name is Ram; what else are they going to use?

It’s unlikely that Bob Hegbloom, Sergio Marchionne or Olivier Francois lose much sleep over whether dealers or consumers call the truck a Ram or a Dodge Ram. FCA US and people can call it anything they want as long as it changes hands from the first group to the second group in large quantities, and Ram U.S. sales last year were the best since the all-time record year of 2003 and missed setting a new all-time Graham/Dodge/Ram sales record by just 9,583 sales.

In the end, the grille change isn’t a quest for identity or an escape from the shadow of another brand. It is a relatively inexpensive styling change made by a brand that seems comfortable enough in its own skin to try something new.

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2015/03/relax-ram-grille-change-no-big-deal

2018 Wrangler engines

With the help of former Jeep engineer Bob Sheaves and others, Allpar has posted an investigation of what Jeep could use to power the domestic 2018 Wrangler, due to arrive sometime in calendar-year 2017.

The choices are tough for the iconic Jeep, America’s heir to the famed military vehicles — which were far smaller and weighed half as much. On the one hand, higher fuel economy is likely to be needed if fuel prices rise, and if the government continues its demands for efficiency (for national security, balance-of-trade, and, ostensibly, for environmental reasons). On the other, the Jeep must still haul around over two tons of weight, while easily climbing difficult obstacles — and it can’t cheap out on torque.

With that in mind, Wrangler is likely to come with at least two engines, one for economy in Jeeps that will not be challenged much by off-road driving; and one for those who will immediately tackle tough terrain. Indeed, given the popularity of the Ram 1500 Diesel and long-time demands of hard-core Jeepers, a diesel might even be in the cards, and Fiat Chrysler has several options there, too.

As read on: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2014/12/2018-wrangler-engines-surprises

Fitting 8 speeds into Wrangler

The Jeep Wrangler is one of two vehicles still being built with Mercedes’ five-speed automatic (made by Chrysler in Indiana). The reason for that, according to Allpar sources, is the length of the ZF eight-speed which would be much better for Wrangler: it may fit into the Unlimited, but it won’t fit into the standard Wrangler.

Even when the next-generation “JL” Wrangler arrives, that transmission will be too long, as it’s made now. Yet, Automotive News and Allpar have both heard that the iconic Jeep will indeed have the eight-speed, which is practically mandatory if one wants to get the most out of the Pentastar V6 engine – especially if the Wrangler drops down to the 3.2 liter version, as we expect.

The solution may be to carefully alter the transmission and transfer case, according to former Jeep engineer, and current engineer-at-large, Robert Sheaves. See his illustrated article to learn more about how the eight-speed can be shoe-horned into even short-wheelbase Wranglers.

As read on: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2014/12/fitting-8-speeds-into-wrangler

Grand Cherokee diesel on the road

While it’s been neglected by most people in favor of the Ram 1500 diesel, the Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel was the first Chrysler vehicle sold in North America to have the VM 3.0 V6 engine.  We tested this briefly at a Chelsea, Michigan test track, and found it to be instantly responsive, more so than the Hemi — which has far better acceleration numbers, but doesn’t respond quite as quickly to the throttle.

Chrysler has dabbled in diesels as a non-hybrid solution to large fuel-economy boosts, but applications have been limited so far partly due to cheap gasoline and high premiums for diesel engines. The diesel, which uses compression rather than spark to ignite fuel, is much more expensive to build, partly due to the extremely high pressures involved, and partly because of the need to control small particles in the exhaust which have been reliably and consistently linked to cancer. The current popular methods of dealing with emissions controls are diesel emissions fluid (DEF) and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR).

The company may be able to add more diesels soon, if the next generation VM and Fiat four cylinders prove to be suitable. A Fiat 3-liter four-cylinder is due to appear soon on the ProMaster van, for example, though this has been deemed unsuitable for “civilian” cars.

Allpar has added a second Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel test, by Daniel Bennett, to our existing Bill Cawthon road test. The article also includes an analysis of the payback time. It’s worth noting that diesels tend to have less of a fuel economy reduction when towing or carrying heavy loads than gasoline engines.

As read on: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2014/12/grand-cherokee-diesel-on-the-road