Chrysler previews SEMA showcars

October 13, 2012 at 8:56 am

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Mopar Fiat 500 Beach Cruiser headed for SEMA 2012

Chrysler is taking on the 2012 SEMA Show in Las Vegas in a big way, with a sprawling 15,300 square-foot display encompassing a total of 24 modified vehicles. We got a chance to preview some of those creations, including the plucky little Fiat 500C you see above. Designers decided to take a page from the West Coast custom scene with unique widebody fender flares. The 500 Beach Cruiser sits a full foot wider front and rear thanks in part to a set of prototype aluminum wheels. We dig on the louvers and the wooden surfboard rack, too (though with the canvas lid slid back, we’re guessing it’d make for some interesting tan lines).

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Mopar booth without at least one outrageous engine swap. The Dodge Charger Juiced fills that role this year with a Viper V10 crate engine worth a full 650 horsepower. Other stars include the Chrysler 300 Luxury, with its unique True Blue Pearl paint and Katzkin leather interior, as well as the 392-powered Urban Ram and carbon-fiber laden Dodge Dart Carbon Fire (which appears to be nearly identical to the car we showed you in spy shots last week). You can check out the full press release below for more information.

Continue reading Chrysler previews SEMA showcars

Chrysler previews SEMA showcars originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 12 Oct 2012 12:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Good Samaritan motorists box in man driving with girlfriend on hood, end ordeal safely

September 26, 2012 at 2:21 pm

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Cell phone image of woman on hood of driving car

A 29-year-old man was arrested last week after driving along Interstate 85 near Buford, Georgia with his girlfriend on the hood of his Jeep Cherokee. Jonathon Lozano Salas and his girlfriend reportedly got into an argument on September 18, and while it isn’t clear how the woman ended up on the hood of Salas’ Jeep, the 911 calls started pouring in once he drove onto the interstate.

Fortunately, a group of Good Samaritan motorists acted fast before the woman could be hurt or, more likely, killed. In the cell phone picture above, you can see the woman’s silhouette through the windshield and her head just peeking over the roof, and according to one witness, Salas was driving on I-85 at about 80 miles per hour. One of the concerned drivers followed the Jeep for at least nine miles while on the phone with 911 and eventually several other motorists formed a rolling roadblock to get Salas to safely slow down before police arrived.

The incident, which police called an outrageous case of domestic abuse, happened about 30 miles north of Atlanta, and Salas was arrested and faces charges of felony aggravated assault, reckless conduct and simple battery.

Since the video can’t be embedded, be sure to head over to WSBTV to check out the news report.

Good Samaritan motorists box in man driving with girlfriend on hood, end ordeal safely originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 26 Sep 2012 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Production resumes at Chrysler plant after murder-suicide

September 21, 2012 at 7:04 pm

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Chrysler Jefferson North Plant

Production resumes today at Chrysler’s Jefferson North plant in Detroit just one day after a tragedy on the line in which a worker slit the throat of another and then later killed himself.

Police said on Thursday that an ongoing dispute between two employees at the plant resulted in one stabbing the other at 7:50 AM, and then fleeing. He was found later Thursday on Belle Isle, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The names of the men were not confirmed by authorities, but co-workers and neighbors identified the man who killed his co-worker as Jeff Hunt and the slain co-worker as Keith Readus, sources have reported.

The Jefferson North plant produces the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango.

Read more here on the incident.

Production resumes at Chrysler plant after murder-suicide originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 21 Sep 2012 14:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chrysler trademarks 8 Mile, ProMaster

September 21, 2012 at 3:33 am

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Fiat Ducato van - red - front three-quarter view

Chrysler has been busy at the trademark office. Allpar.com reports the manufacturer has laid claim to a stack of new names, including Detroit Motor Works, Wrangler Freedom Edition, 8 Mile, Crossroad and Chrysler 100, as well as Ram ProMaster and the Ram ProMaster City. The automaker has made no secret of the fact that it wants to build a new small car, and that the machine will almost certainly ride under the Chrysler 100 banner. Dealers reportedly got a closer look at the vehicle at a recent gathering in Las Vegas.

Likewise, the two ProMaster names are little surprise, as Fiat intends to give the Ford Transit and Transit connect some competition with its own European-style Ducato vans. Now it looks as if those will come with Promaster badges.

But, names like Detroit Motor Works, 8 Mile and Crossroad all leave the door open for some speculation. Allpar.com also reports Chrysler has laid claim to Active Air, which it speculates may be applied to the company’s variable valve timing systems.

Chrysler trademarks 8 Mile, ProMaster originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 20 Sep 2012 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chrysler trademarks 8 Mile, ProMaster

September 21, 2012 at 3:33 am

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Fiat Ducato van - red - front three-quarter view

Chrysler has been busy at the trademark office. Allpar.com reports the manufacturer has laid claim to a stack of new names, including Detroit Motor Works, Wrangler Freedom Edition, 8 Mile, Crossroad and Chrysler 100, as well as Ram ProMaster and the Ram ProMaster City. The automaker has made no secret of the fact that it wants to build a new small car, and that the machine will almost certainly ride under the Chrysler 100 banner. Dealers reportedly got a closer look at the vehicle at a recent gathering in Las Vegas.

Likewise, the two ProMaster names are little surprise, as Fiat intends to give the Ford Transit and Transit connect some competition with its own European-style Ducato vans. Now it looks as if those will come with Promaster badges.

But, names like Detroit Motor Works, 8 Mile and Crossroad all leave the door open for some speculation. Allpar.com also reports Chrysler has laid claim to Active Air, which it speculates may be applied to the company’s variable valve timing systems.

Chrysler trademarks 8 Mile, ProMaster originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 20 Sep 2012 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Jeep Wrangler + tow ropes + canal = wakeboarding fun

September 18, 2012 at 12:36 pm

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These are the kinds of activities that one may conjure up and say “what if?” but few ever actually follow through on. That said, we don’t recommend trying this at home (err… your “home” canal, that is).

The video, by Devin Graham, perhaps inaccurately named “Ghetto Wakeboarding,” shows a pack of suburban kids towing a series of wakeboard-riding daredevils down a rural canal by way of Jeep Wrangler. It looks like a heck of a lot of fun.

We say that the video may be inaccurately named, because we could never envision this taking place in the ghetto. As a matter of fact, this looks like a pretty well-to-do group of teens, on a pristine late-model Jeep and filmed on a Canon 5D Mark III- not an inexpensive piece of equipment by any stretch.

Click below to check out the video, which bears a passing resemblance to a late-1990s jeans commercial.

Continue reading Jeep Wrangler + tow ropes + canal = wakeboarding fun

Jeep Wrangler + tow ropes + canal = wakeboarding fun originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 17 Sep 2012 20:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chrysler dealers fixing Pentastar V6s due to cylinder head issue

September 15, 2012 at 10:56 pm

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Chrysler Pentastar V6

Automotive News reports that Chrysler is replacing the cylinder heads on certain Pentastar V6 engines with “more robust” parts. The automaker hasn’t detailed the problem behind the replacement, but says that there were around 1,300 vehicles across the country over the past few weeks waiting for replacement parts.

A shortage of replacement cylinder heads left many owners out of their vehicle for a week or more with Chrysler paying for rentals in the interim. The company says it is receiving as many as 500 requests per week for the new cylinder heads. In response, Chrysler supplied its service network with around 3,000 new parts to fill the orders. New Pentastar engines are being built with the revised heads.

All told, the automaker says the issue impacts around 7,500 of the 1.5 million Pentastar engines produced during the past two years. Owners have complained of ticking, stalling and other issues from Pentastar-equipped models, though Chrysler says the problem is the combination of a number of variables. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Chrysler has yet to release a technical service bulletin on the issue, though all replacements are being done under warranty.

Chrysler dealers fixing Pentastar V6s due to cylinder head issue originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 14 Aug 2012 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chrysler dealers fixing Pentastar V6s due to cylinder head issue

September 15, 2012 at 10:56 pm

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Chrysler Pentastar V6

Automotive News reports that Chrysler is replacing the cylinder heads on certain Pentastar V6 engines with “more robust” parts. The automaker hasn’t detailed the problem behind the replacement, but says that there were around 1,300 vehicles across the country over the past few weeks waiting for replacement parts.

A shortage of replacement cylinder heads left many owners out of their vehicle for a week or more with Chrysler paying for rentals in the interim. The company says it is receiving as many as 500 requests per week for the new cylinder heads. In response, Chrysler supplied its service network with around 3,000 new parts to fill the orders. New Pentastar engines are being built with the revised heads.

All told, the automaker says the issue impacts around 7,500 of the 1.5 million Pentastar engines produced during the past two years. Owners have complained of ticking, stalling and other issues from Pentastar-equipped models, though Chrysler says the problem is the combination of a number of variables. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Chrysler has yet to release a technical service bulletin on the issue, though all replacements are being done under warranty.

Chrysler dealers fixing Pentastar V6s due to cylinder head issue originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 14 Aug 2012 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Consumer Reports calls out “Five Popular Cars To Avoid”

September 13, 2012 at 11:03 pm

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2012 Honda Civic  - front three-quarter view, burgundy

Those crusaders of shopping empowerment over at Consumer Reports have put together a list of five cars to avoid, even if their sales numbers suggest otherwise. CR points out that just because a vehicle is making a lot of buzz and ringing cash registers, that doesn’t necessarily make it a wise choice for buyers. According to the report, these are vehicles that either tested poorly or have been experiencing poor reliability in their new car surveys.

Perhaps of little surprise is the presence of the Honda Civic on this list. The latest Civic has been getting dinged by auto critics left and right, and CR specifically points to a “Choppy ride, noisy cabin, vague steering, and mediocre interior quality” as reasons for its inclusion on the list. Its a good thing, then, that a short-term update is its way.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Consumer Reports once again voices its disapproval of the Toyota Prius C. We knew they weren’t in love with it when they reviewed it back in May, and apparently the passage of time hasn’t softened their opinions of Toyota’s least-expensive hybrid.

Check out the gallery of all five cars that Consumer Reports is telling buyers to avoid and then weigh in with your thought in Comments.

Consumer Reports calls out “Five Popular Cars To Avoid” originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 09 Aug 2012 11:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chrysler 200 successor to boast 38 mpg, 9-speed automatic

September 12, 2012 at 6:07 am

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2011 Chrysler 200 - front three-quarter view, silver

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the next-generation Chrysler 200 will show off a host of improvements, including a fuel economy rating of 38 miles per gallon on the highway. That’s a jump of seven mpg over the current model, and much of that efficiency can be chalked up to a new nine-speed automatic transmission. Expect to see the revised 200 show up on dealer lots in the first quarter of 2014. The news came courtesy of a dealer meeting in Las Vegas, where Chrysler unveiled upwards of six new vehicles set to arrive within the next year and a half.

Chrysler reportedly also showed off its subcompact 100, said to be based on the Dodge Dart. Other vehicles shown at the dealer sit-down included a four-door version of the Fiat 500, the replacement for the Jeep Liberty and a new small Jeep as well. Both dealers and the manufacturer are keeping the rest of their secrets to themselves at the moment. Stay tuned.

Chrysler 200 successor to boast 38 mpg, 9-speed automatic originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 11 Sep 2012 10:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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