Archive for the ‘chrysler’ Tag

Apple CarPlay: New Car Technology

 

If you love your iPhone, then you’ll love Apple CarPlay — a system that mirrors your iPhone’s functionality on your car’s infotainment system. It’s a new feature that’s available on a wide range of new models including Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep and Ram vehicles.

How It Works

Here’s how it works: Plug in your phone with a USB cord and tap the CarPlay icon. You’ll immediately see the familiar Apple interface on the car’s touchscreen. You control CarPlay using the car’s touchscreen, Siri voice commands, steering-wheel controls or traditional knobs and buttons.

The system works well with directions, and we think the maps function is a good replacement for most in-car navigation systems. As for keeping in touch, the system can play voicemails and read or reply to text messages — all via voice command.

Apple CarPlay also gives you lots of options for accessing your favorite music, podcasts and audiobooks, allowing you to call up a playlist, listen to a favorite song on iTunes or call up a popular app such as Pandora, Spotify or Audible.

With its many safety benefits and easy-to-use interface, look for CarPlay to show up on more and more new vehicles.

Drawbacks

Apple’s CarPlay feature isn’t perfect. We do like it but there are a few drawbacks. First, you need a cable. CarPlay doesn’t work without a hardwire connection to the car. The similar system for Android users (called Android Auto) does not need a wired connection. One thing we dislike about this setup is that finding an Apple Lightning cable has become our new hobby and is not fun. Second, the system can freeze or get confused. If you try to do too many things very quickly, the system can freeze or stop working for a few seconds. Lastly, you need a strong cellular signal to keep features like Pandora and Apple maps working well and properly.

While all new technology options are not without a few hiccups in the beginnig we know that the good outweigh the bad and the hiccups will certainly be worked out as technology continutes to improve.

Learn more about Apple CarPlay at: http://www.apple.com/ios/carplay/

Read more at: http://www.autotrader.com/car-video/apple-carplay-new-car-technology-video-252892?LNX=SOMEDFBGENPOST

10 WAYS THE NEW 2016 CHRYSLER 200 IS BUILT TO COMPETE AND IMPRESS

The new 2016 Chrysler 200 is built to outshine the competition and to stand out in any crowd. Here are 10 ways this next-generation midsize sedan is setting a new standard for performance and luxury in its segment.

1. We start this list the same way we start the 2016 Chrysler 200 — with standard Keyless Enter ‘n Go™. With the key fob in the vehicle’s proximity, Keyless Enter ‘n Go automatically unlocks the driver’s door when you pull the handle.

2. When it comes to competition, few metrics are as powerful as horsepower, and the 2016 Chrysler 200 has that in spades, with an available best-in-class 295-horsepower1 3.6L Pentastar® V6 engine.

3. There’s also plenty of room on our top 10 list for a spacious interior. The 2016 Chrysler 200 has the most interior storage space in its class, and was named among Ward’s 10 Best Interiors. It’s a first-class cabin in a midsize sedan that features sculpted, comfortable seats, two available sunroofs and a unique center console.

4. With a standard 36 hwy mpg, more than Fusion or Camry, the 2016 Chrysler 200’s 2.4L Tigershark® MultiAir® II four-cylinder engine is engineered to go the distance.

5. The Rotary E-shift with available paddle shifters and sport mode helps redefine the ergonomics and modern style of the center console. The standard nine-speed automatic transmission Rotary E-shift is intuitive to operate and takes up much less interior space than a traditional shifter.

6. This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning all four wheels. The highly advanced available All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) system is the most technologically advanced AWD system in its class1 and is a fully pre-emptive system that requires no driver input.

7. The seventh selection on this list is illuminating. The 2016 Chrysler 200 lights the way to luxurious, sleek style with standard bifunctional projector headlamps and contemporary LED taillamps. The available Premium Light Group adds High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps with LED Daytime Running Lamps and LED fog lamps.

8. When you maximize your airflow, you quickly discover how aerodynamics can be about more than just aesthetics. The 2016 Chrysler 200’s active grille shutter system enhances aerodynamic performance by redirecting airflow around the front and down the sides of the vehicle.

9. As if the drive alone weren’t entertainment enough, the 2016 Chrysler 200 features an available Uconnect® 8.4 NAV system with premium 3-D navigation, a high-resolution 8.4-inch touchscreen display — the largest touchscreen in its class1 — and available SiriusXM® Satellite Radio. Turn up the volume, and enjoy the ride.

10. Safety is always our top priority, so we saved the best for last. The 2016 Chrysler 200 has up to 60 standard and available safety and security features, including eight standard airbags to help protect occupants in the event of a collision. Available safety features include Full-Speed Forward Collision Warning with Active Braking, LaneSense® Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist, and the Blind Spot Monitoring System.

Read more at: https://blog.chrysler.com/uncategorized/10-ways-the-new-2016-chrysler-200-is-built-to-compete-and-impress/

The 2016 Popular Mechanics Automotive Excellence Awards

Best Truck: Ram
2016-Ram-1500-Rebel-pickup-01

– Base price: $26,605
– Towing capacity: 9,000-plus lb.
– EPA mileage: 17 mpg city/25 highway

Give it up for the Ram! Top to bottom, this is the model to beat. Chrysler is a perennial third-place finisher in the domestic-truck sales battles, which means that these new Rams are the product of a striver mentality. Chrysler knows that, unlike with a Ford or a Chevy, you probably won’t buy its truck out of habit or hallowed family tradition. So it wants to give you other reasons, compelling technological reasons, for joining the Mopar crowd.

And there are certainly plenty of those. The Ram is the only pickup with a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission, a device so manifestly excellent that Rolls-Royce and Range Rover put the same one in their cars, too. That transmission can be bolted to a satisfying 305-hp V-6, a beastly Hemi V-8, or a 3.0-liter diesel, the only small diesel you can get in a full-size truck. The Ram EcoDiesel nets 29 mpg highway and can tow more than 9,000 pounds, which makes you wonder why it has, as yet, no direct competition.

The Rams also have the most ambitious suspension. The 1500- and 2500-series trucks come standard with a coil-spring rear end, so when you’ve got nothing in the bed (which is probably most of the time) they still manage a smooth ride with superior control, none of the rear-end hopscotch that leaf springs can give you on a bumpy road.

A coil-spring rear end would be revolutionary enough, but Chrysler also offers the industry’s only available air suspension. Going off-roading? Hit a button and it’s like you installed an instant lift kit. If you’re loading cargo, drop the suspension and you can heave those bags of mulch into the bed without approximating the caber toss at the Scottish Highland Games. The truck even knows to drop the body closer to the pavement at highway speeds to improve fuel economy.

On the heavy-duty side, Ram’s got the most torque (a downright silly 900 lb-ft from the high-output Cummins diesel) and the most powerful gas engine with the 410-hp 6.4-liter Hemi. The trucks with an HD badge also get optional rear air suspension, which means the bed stays level even when you’ve loaded it with two yards of gravel or your pet hippopotamus or a bunch of caber poles.

No, the Ram isn’t perfect—the fancy Laramie Longhorn interiors exhibit the aesthetic sensibility of a Reno whorehouse circa 1895—but in terms of fearless ambition and overall goodness, the striver makes a compelling case. You ought to hear it out.

Read more at: http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/g2573/2016-popular-mechanics-automotive-excellence-awards/

2016 Dodge Journey

Two words best sum up the 2016 Dodge Journey’s success: “versatility and value.” With a price starting just under $22,000, the Journey undercuts more expensive rivals like the Kia Sorento, Hyundai Santa Fe and Honda Pilot. Granted, two of the three come standard with a V6 engine, and the 4-cylinder Journey has neither the power nor the features (Bluetooth isn’t even standard) to compete with the above-mentioned group. However, the Journey’s higher trim levels do come well appointed and can be equipped with one of the most powerful V6 engines in this class. Though aging, the 2016 Dodge Journey still has some surprises in store, such as clever in-floor storage and one of the best infotainment systems money can buy.

You’ll Like This Car If…

Those who need 7-passenger accommodations and are on a limited budget will appreciate the 4-cylinder engine offered on four of the five available Journey trims. The family-friendly Journey is extremely versatile with lots of places to hide cargo and precious items.

You May Not Like This Car If…

If you need a large 3rd-row seat, a Chevy Traverse or Honda Pilot makes a better choice. The Journey’s 4-cylinder engine and outdated 4-speed automatic are not the best choice for a 7-passenger SUV. Look to the Kia Sorento for a better 4-cylinder entry model, as well as a better warranty.

2016 sees the entry-level AVP trim dropped and the model lineup reduced to just five trim levels. SE, SXT and Crossroad trims have lower base prices than last year, while a new Crossroad Plus trim builds on the success of the Crossroad by offering standard leather seating and the Uconnect 8.4-inch display.


Driving the Journey

Driving Impressions Those accustomed to older, truck-based SUVs will be quite pleased with the way Dodge’s Journey crossover SUV for 2016 rides and drives. A unit body and advanced suspension setup help the Journey return car-like driving characteristics similar to a tall-riding station wagon, which is essentially what the Journey is. Confident on highway runs and surprisingly agile over narrow, twisting roads, the Journey is devoid of the bobbing and weaving one might experience in a truck-based SUV. Although we found the 173-horsepower 4-cylinder engine adequate with two people aboard, any additional bodies or cargo demands the Pentastar V6, which delivers an additional 100 horsepower and nearly the same fuel economy. We like the Journey’s upright seating position and found the front seats to be remarkably supportive and comfortable, even after driving long distances.

Favorite Features

CARGO FLEXIBILITY


Dodge’s Journey SUV for 2016 has numerous clever storage ideas. Not only does the rear seat fold flush, there are additional storage bins beneath the 2nd-row floor and front-passenger seat cushion. The same seat can fold flat to better accommodate long items such as a surfboard and skis.

3.6-LITER PENTASTAR V6 ENGINE


Dodge’s Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 engine is not only smooth and powerful, it also returns impressive fuel economy on par with the Journey’s smaller 4-cylinder engine.

The 2016 Dodge Journey’s cabin is available in a 2-row, 5-passenger layout or as a 3-row, 7-passenger configuration. Passenger space for adults is commendable up front and good in the second row, but legroom is very tight in the third row, which is best left for kids or occasional use. One of the best features of the Journey is its available Uconnect infotainment system. In addition to a large and easy-to-use 8.4-inch touch screen centered in the dash, there are supplementary buttons for climate and audio that are simple to see and use.


Exterior

Is it a sport-utility vehicle or the reincarnation of a station wagon? With the 2016 Journey from Dodge, its 192.4-inch length exceeds much of the competition, but Dodge’s designers have given it exterior treatments such as the chrome-trimmed cross-hair grille and eye-catching aluminum-alloy wheel choices that keep it from being merely bland. If a more stylish look is important, opt for the R/T version, with its 19-inch wheels, monochromatic treatment and distinctive R/T labels. For a tougher-looking version, there’s the Dodge Journey Crossroad, which features a faux skidplate, standard roof rails and blacked-out wheels.

Notable Equipment


Standard Equipment

The 2016 Dodge Journey 7-passenger crossover SUV is available in a five trims, from the base SE to the top-line R/T. At its most basic, the 2016 Journey includes dual-zone climate control, 4.3-inch touch-screen media center, keyless entry and push-button start, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, and power windows and door locks. Entertainment is provided by a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD system with auxiliary and USB inputs, but no Bluetooth streaming as standard. Safety features include electronic traction and stability control, anti-lock brakes, front-seat side airbags and side-curtain airbags for all rows.

Optional Equipment

Plenty of options can be had on the 2016 Journey. Among the more popular are 3-row seating (Flexible Seating Group), traction-enhancing all-wheel drive in lieu of the standard front-drive setup, an 8.4-inch touch-screen Uconnect infotainment system and navigation. Amenities that bring an upscale feel include leather seating, Infinity speakers, rear-seat video entertainment system with 9-inch screen and two wireless headphones, in-car Wi-Fi hotspot, and heated front seats and heated steering wheel. A Driver Convenience Group adds a rearview camera and distance-alert function when in reverse, but more advanced safety functions like blind-spot monitoring and automatic braking are not available.

Under the Hood

Two engines are available for Dodge’s 2016 Journey crossover SUV. Standard on lower trims is a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder that makes an only-adequate 173 horsepower. The engine we recommend is the 283-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 that is optional on all but base Dodge Journeys and standard in higher trims. The V6 is also your only choice if you require all-wheel drive (AWD) instead of the standard front-wheel drive (FWD) to deal with inclement weather and slippery roads. Both engines run on regular unleaded gasoline. All Dodge Journeys use automatic transmissions, with the 4-cylinder stuck with an older-style 4-speed and the 6-cylinder using a newer 6-speed. The Journey’s towing capacity is on the light end, limited to 1,000 pounds with the 4-cylinder and 2,500 with the V6.

2.4-liter inline-4 (SE, SXT, Crossroad)

173 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm

166 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/26 mpg

3.6-liter V6 (SE, SXT, Crossroad, R/T)

283 horsepower @ 6,350 rpm

260 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25 mpg (FWD), 16/24 mpg (AWD)

Pricing Notes

The 2016 Dodge Journey has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just under $22,000, including destination charge. Better-equipped mid-level versions of the Journey such as the SXT and Crossroad are in the mid-$20,000 range, while a top-line R/T version with AWD reaches the mid-$30,000 level. At its base price, the Dodge Journey SE remains the lowest-priced midsize SUV, and even after climbing trims is a good value among midsize SUVs such as the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, Nissan Pathfinder, Mazda CX-9 and Kia Sorento. The Mitsubishi Outlander with seating for seven is also a value leader among 3-row SUVs, but is smaller than the Journey. Before buying, be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new Journey SUV. In the years ahead, the Journey’s residual value is expected to be average, still lagging the Toyota Highlander.

Read more at: http://www.kbb.com/dodge/journey/2016/?r=45198081889915920

How different is the Power Wagon?

When the 2017 Ram Power Wagon appeared, there was some chatter on public forums about how it was a “sticker package.” This idea may come from the lack of clear, substantial changes from 2016 in official communications.

Still, the Power Wagon is — and has been — quite different from the Ram 2500 4×4 under the skin, where it matters. It goes far beyond tacking on a skid plate and a winch — the latter ruling out the huge Cummins diesel engine, for space reasons. (The original Power Wagon had a flat-head six which was powerful when launched, but could not be called a class leader twenty years later, much less today — 70 years from its birth. That truck never did get a slant six, much less a V8 or a diesel.)

The best “low point to ground” clearance of a Ram 2500 4×4 with the Off-Road Package comes, oddly, with the Mega Cab, with 7.7 inches of clearance. The Power Wagon clears the ground, at its lowest point, by 8.3 inches.

The Power Wagon has a full 26 inches of suspension travel, even with the sway bar engaged, according to Ram reps. This is far greater than ordinary Rams, and may have been the reason why there were rumors of a Wrangler with an independent front suspension.

The approach, breakover, and departure angles are all far better than the rest of the Rams, by a minimum of 3°.

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/news/2016/02/how-different-is-the-power-wagon-31257

Chrysler 200 Vs. Chevrolet Malibu: Compare Cars

The 2016 Chrysler 200 and the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu are sleek, affordable, and full of features–but which one is better for you?

By our numeric rankings, the Chrysler 200 slightly outscores the Chevy Malibu, but that result comes with a couple of caveats. First, it’s largely due to the Chrysler’s excellent safety scores and the absence of data with the new Malibu. The Chevy simply hasn’t yet been tested by either the NHTSA or IIHS, so its score could rise if it performs well.

And while we found few flaws in the Malibu, the 200 has a pair of issues that affect family-car shoppers in particular. Its rear seat simply isn’t large enough for two adults to ride comfortably–the same problem the previous Malibu had–and its nine-speed automatic transmission can be inconsistent, balky, and often unpredictable.

Both of these four-doors are targeted at the heart of the mid-size sedan market. The 200, now in its second model year, replaced an unloved previous generation that dated back to the Chrysler Sebring a decade ago. The Malibu, new this year, also replaces a less-than-successful model that lasted only three years.

The Chrysler 200 has a smoothly rounded shape led by a refined grille and front end. The roofline is long, and tapers down to the tail and a short, flush decklid. It’s a new and elegant appearance for Chrysler that looks more expensive than it is. The 2016 Malibu echoes the handsome Impala in smaller, more svelte proportions. The long new body and rich-looking interior on premium models dispense completely with any historic Chevy references, and it works.

Inside, the Chrysler 200 is superbly detailed, with a waterfall-style dash containing features like sliding cupholders and plenty of cubbies, while the dash itself is covered with top-notch materials, fits, and finishes. A number of design touches are both functional and distinctive—like the rotary shift controller and the pass-through storage area in the center console.

The new Malibu has a more conventional dashboard shape that’s both unified and appealing. The center stack makes space for bigger MyLink infotainment screens, while materials include interesting trim choices—fabric-wrapped panels on less expensive trim levels, metallic-look on others, a leather-looking synthetic wrap on dash and console trim on top models.

While the Chrysler 200 feels roomy in the front seats (if a bit low), it’s less useful in back. The door openings make the rear seat difficult to get into, and the swooping roofline exacts a penalty on riders 6 feet or taller. The Malibu, on the other hand, feels far roomier than its predecessor, due to design decisions that maximize the feeling of interior space. The dash has been lowered and pushed out at the corners; new seats offer better support all around; and there’s much more rear legroom than before. Four larger adults can ride comfortably in the Malibu, not in the 200.

The Chrysler offers two powertrains, a 184-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder or a 295-hp 3.6-liter V-6, both with nine-speed automatic transmissions. All-wheel drive is available with the V-6 only. We’ve found the nine-speed automatic can shift abruptly—especially with the four-cylinder. You’ll find the V-6 has a bit of torque steer unless you opt for all-wheel drive. The 200’s fuel efficiency is lower than many mid-size sedans with larger interiors, and there’s no hybrid or diesel model. The four-cylinder gets 28 mpg combined; switch up to the V-6 and that falls to 23 mpg combined. Add all-wheel drive, and you drop to 22 mpg combined–no better than some mid-size SUVs.

Most Malibu will be powered by a 160-hp 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, driving the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. It’s quiet, composed, and hard to catch flat-footed. High-end models step up to a 250-hp 2.0-liter turbo four, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission that gives precise, defined gear changes. This top turbo Malibu now feels as quick as predecessors with V-6s, and offers some of the best drivability and refinement in its class. There’s no AWD option, though.

Finally, there’s a Malibu Hybrid, which pairs a 1.8-liter (non-turbo) four-cylinder with a 1.5-kwh battery pack and twin electric motors that effectively operate as a continuously variable transmission. This model makes 182 hp combined and can operate in electric-only mode up to 55 mph. Gasoline Malibus with the 1.5-liter turbo get 31 mpg–a start-stop system is standard–while those with the 2.0-liter turbo come in at 26 mpg combined. The Malibu Hybrid is rated at 47 mpg combined–better than any other hybrid mid-size sedan this year.

The Chrysler 200 gets excellent crash-test ratings from both U.S. agencies. And it offers an available lane-departure warning system, blind-spot monitors, and forward-collision warnings with automatic braking, plus adaptive cruise control and rain-sensing wipers.

We’d expect the Malibu to earn some top-level scores from both the NHTSA and IIHS when test results are released. It too has a long list of available active-safety items–pretty much everything on the 200 plus some newer systems as well, although most are the exclusive domain of the top LT and Premier models.

In the end, the Chrysler 200 edges the Chevy Malibu on styling and an excellent interior, though it’s a very close finish. Pending test results for the Malibu, the 200 also gets the safety crown. The Malibu is far more fuel-efficient in both gasoline versions, not to mention the Hybrid–but those scores don’t factor into our overall rating. Either one is stylish, fresh, well-equipped, and will provide comfortable transport. If you need to put adults in the rear, though, you’ll want the Malibu.

Read more at: http://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1102132_chrysler-200-vs-chevrolet-malibu-compare-cars

Crossovers replacing sedans: Back to the past

Sergio Marchionne’s comment that the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 would be allowed to “run their course” and then be replaced by cars from a “potential partner” caused a range of emotional reactions.

This is not the first time for such thoughts. In the late 1980s, GM, Ford, and Chrysler all lost money on each compact car. Chrysler changed that with the Neon and Cirrus/Stratus, which made hefty profits even while GM and Ford kept losing money. This time, though, insiders claim the company does not have the facilities nor the experienced engineers to make it happen; and even Ford now wants a partner for its sedans.

The earliest mass-produced cars included sedans, but many were the equivalent, in size and shape, of today’s crossovers — the area where Sergio Marchionne wants FCA to focus, at least in North America. Long, low, and sleek appeared as “the look to have” a few years after World War II, for 20-30 years; then the hatchback came into style.

Chrysler sparked a resurgence in the large sedan market in the early 1990s, then helped to rejuvenate midsize and small cars. The moribund large sedan market revived, and sedans in general gained a new lease on life.

Still, the popularity of the low sedan is recent and may be at an end. Ordinary sedans have been getting taller, with the 300 just two inches from the Nissan Juke and six from the Compass and 500L. The 1946 Plymouth was taller than any of them — and the Jeep Cherokee: 68 inches.

So why do many of us, including me, prefer sedans? Is it because they are lower to the ground and handle better? I don’t think so, given how most people drive, and the competent handling of most new crossovers (not to mention the popularity of BMW and Porsche’s crossovers).

Even gas mileage is not really penalized much now, with their larger frontal area countered by aerodynamic design, valve timing, and wide-range transmissions. They also have more space for the large batteries and other gear needed for light and full hybrid systems.

I have had numerous sedans in my life, no SUVs, and just two minivans; my only crossover was a PT Cruiser GT. Still, I can see the attraction of the crossover, especially now that everyone has minivans, SUVs, pickups, and crossovers, which makes visibility rather hard from a low-slung car.

I think the sedan will become more and more specialized over time. Two-door cars (including sedans) used to be extremely common, but they rapidly declined from the 1970s on, and now FCA US only makes the Dodge Challenger, Dodge Viper, Jeep Wrangler, Rams, and Fiat 500 in that form; and even in pickups and Wranglers, the two-door form is less and less popular.

I don’t think this presages the death of Chrysler or Dodge. The 200 and Dart (and Fiat 500) need high incentives to sell. Is replacing them worth delaying rear wheel drive cars for Dodge or large cars and crossovers for Chrysler and Dodge? Mr. Marchionne has a finite number of engineers at hand, and only so many factories. Paying off $5 billion in debt will earn the company more cash than building a new plant.

(I am very, very disappointed that Mr. Marchionne’s pledge that Chrysler would “lead” the engineering of future compact and midsize and large cars has been completely ignored and reneged upon.)

Limited resources, limited time, and a class of car that appears to be disappearing, selling only with large incentives … I can’t say I’d have been able to do anything different.

Or… it’s another trial balloon or an attempt to mis-lead competitors. We are talking about Sergio Marchionne, after all; and his announcements tend not to be set in stone.

Update: When buyers choose sedans, they almost invariably choose imports. Of the top ten 2015 best sellers in the US, there were no American sedans — Camry, Corolla, Accord, Civic and Altima accompanied two imported crossovers (CR-V and RAV4) and the three American pickups. The best selling cars (Camry and Corolla) combined barely outsold Ford’s pickups. In Europe, Fiat’s Panda has grown to challenge its best-seller, the 500; while the 500X, in its first year, nearly matched the declining Punto (both were beaten by the 500L). Fiat’s sales in Europe, 500 aside, are heavily biased in favor of crossovers, vans, and utilities. The same is not true for everyone — over half of Ford’s sales are the Fiesta and Focus.

As read on: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2016/02/crossovers-replacing-sedans-back-to-the-past-31159

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

2017 Chrysler Town & Country Spy Shots

The current Chrysler Town & Country has been with us since the 2008 model year but a successor, the nameplate’s sixth generation, is in the works and has been spotted again, this time with the least camouflage gear we’ve seen yet. The new minivan is due on the market next year, as a 2017 model, and will make its debut at next month’s 2016 Detroit Auto Show.

2017 town and country

Not much is known about the new Town & Country except its aforementioned arrival date, plus rumors it will offer a plug-in hybrid option. Though it’s not common for multiple powertrains to be offered in the minivan segment, it’s likely a non-hybrid option will be available as well, either a four-cylinder or V-6. The transmission is expected to be a nine-speed auto and buyers should be able to choose from front- or all-wheel-drive configurations.

As for styling, Chrysler’s 700C concept from 2012 hints at what’s to come. The new Town & Country looks to be a bit wider and more planted than the model it replaces. We can also see the new front end which has a similar design to the Chrysler 200.

Inside, look for a number of tech goodies including the popular Uconnect interface with an 8.4-inch screen in the dash. It appears that Chrysler may even add a digital screen in the instrument cluster.

This time around, the Town & Country won’t spawn a Dodge Grand Caravan twin. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles [NYSE:FCAU] has confirmed that the Grand Caravan will be phased out as part of Dodge’s transformation into a performance brand. However, the Detroit Free Press reports that the existing Dodge Grand Caravan will continue to be sold for some years still.

Key rivals for the new Town & Country will remain the Honda Odyssey, Kia Sedona, Nissan Quest and Toyota Sienna. You can see that FCA engineers are using some of these rivals for benchmarking.

Stay tuned for the debut at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show, which gets underway January 13. In the meantime, see what else will be appearing at the via our dedicated hub.

Read more at: http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1017648_2017-chrysler-town-country-spy-shots?fbfanpage#image=100538875

2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee Review

Although many expected a radical change and innovation with the new model 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee, it will unfortunately not happen with this generation of Cherokee model. According to verified information, this model will next year go on sale as a model for 2016 year. The biggest change will be the new automatic transmission. Standard for each new model are minor changes in some segments of the interior and exterior. Major changes on Cherokee should not be expected before 2017, maybe and later.

2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee: Specs

It is hard to decide whether it is better to drive this model on ordinary town road or enjoy in the temptations, steps and inclines through forest roads. In this adventure, 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee on the best way showing its main characteristic – reliability, regardless of the road conditions, and weather. This model also provides pleasant feeling in driving. Nominated is as a chief in its competition.

2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee: Design

Italian designers have marked the interior. Distinctive appearance characterized rich segments, constructed from high quality materials and with digitized all the commands. Tech adds in interior include 8.4″ touchscreen, then 19-speakers, more than 90 info on the panel and 12 different parameters for tractions. Luxury and style, great sound isolation and satisfactory parameters will follow and 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Exterior will not have radical changes. For expect is that new model bring new design of light-groups, re-stylish grille, bumper and air intakes. Offer could include and new body colors.

2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee: Engine

Better fuel efficiency, slightly advanced aerodynamic characteristics and handling will follow new model. Under the hood will be engines with more power, which will cause higher towing capacity. 2016 Grand Cherokee will run 3.6-litre V6 engine. This Pentastar product is capable to produce up to 290 hp. The second option is a 5.7-litre V8 Hemi engine with more power than its predecessor, more than 360 hp. Towing capacity will be more than 8000 pounds (3,630 kg). Engines will be paired to the automatic ZF gearbox with eight speeds. EPA estimates will be better. Previous model was rated with 20/23 mpg (3.6L engine) and with 23/30 mpg (5.7L engine) in city/highway driving (consumes 7.5 liters on 100 kilometers).

2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee: Price and Release

This model of SUV category will have main rivals in models such as Ford Explorer, then Honda Pilot LX and Toyota Highlander. Also, new model will offer and diesel engine. 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel will continue competition with similar models from Volkswagen, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz. Model will be released early next fall, with the same range of price. So, new model will cost between $ 30,590 and $ 65,390.

Read more at: http://2016carsreview.com/2016-jeep-grand-cherokee/