Chrysler to challenge locals with less-costly 300 SRT8 in Australia

December 21, 2012 at 8:51 am

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2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 - front three-quarter view

Chrysler Australia is preparing to launch a new, slightly de-contented version of its 300 SRT8 performance sedan for the Australian market. The planned SRT8 model comes in response to feedback from Aussie buyers, many of whom have expressed interest in a car with the 300 SRT8′s performance, but without all of the high-end features and the big sticker price.

The Chrysler 300 STR8 currently sells for around $66,000 Australian; the intended price for the new, stripped down version of the car is reported to be under $60k Australian. That would make the car an even stronger competitor for rear-drive, V8 powerhouses like the HSV Clubsport, which was recently reintroduced at $64,990 AU.

Russ Ruedisueli of Chrysler Australia tells the Brisbane Times that the lower-spec 300 will do away with things like adjustable suspension, adaptive cruise control and forged alloy wheels, while still offering the massively strong 6.4-liter Hemi V8. In fact, this “core” model SRT8 figures to be a bit quicker than the loaded version, thanks to a lighter curb weight.

SRT’s Ralph Gilles has indicated that the core 300 SRT8 is being produced now, indicating that the models should be ready for Australian consumption by the middle part of 2013.

Chrysler to challenge locals with less-costly 300 SRT8 in Australia originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 20 Dec 2012 17:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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SRT belatedly claims Plymouth Prowler as one of its own

December 20, 2012 at 5:58 am

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Plymouth Prowler - front three-quarter view

Before Chrysler had Street and Racing Technology, it had Performance Vehicle Operations. What the two entities have in common, before SRT became its own brand, of course, is that each was created to take Chrysler and Dodge (and Plymouth, before it was unceremoniously killed off) vehicles to the next level of style and performance.

We’ll leave the question of whether or not the old Plymouth (and later Chrysler) Prowler was ultimately a stylish, performance-oriented car to you, but the boys and girls currently leading the SRT charge at the Pentastar headquarters are keen to accept the retro-rod into the fold.

According to the automaker, all of SRT’s current high-performance models owe a debt of gratitude to the old Prowler, due mostly to that car’s use of lightweight bits and pieces and innovative construction techniques. If nothing else, the fact that the Prowler’s frame is “the largest machined automotive part in history” is pretty cool. Read all the details here.

SRT belatedly claims Plymouth Prowler as one of its own originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 19 Dec 2012 16:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Dodge announces Sport package for AWD Charger

December 18, 2012 at 1:16 am

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2013 Dodge Charger AWD Sport - dashing through the snow

We normally think of the Dodge Charger (and its Chrysler 300 brethren) as being rear-wheel-drive muscle sedans, but we mustn’t forget about the fact that all-wheel drive is available as well. And in an effort to give the AWD models a bit more presence, the all-season Dodge sedan will be getting a new sport package for the 2013 model year.

The AWD Sport pack – available on SXT, SXT Plus, R/T and R/T Plus trims – gets you a raft of visual upgrades including a gloss black grille, unique 19-inch wheels and a body-color rear spoiler. Inside, the package adds paddle shifters and sport seats in either cloth or leather, depending on trim.

This Sport pack retails for $1,395 on SXT models with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, and $1,195 on R/T cars with the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine. As part of the new package, the eight-speed automatic transmission also receives a more aggressive sport setting.

Interested customers can order their cars now, with production spanning from December until February. See the new Sport model for yourself in the gallery above (and yes, we’ve asked Chrysler to pass along some photos that have the whole car in the frame), and scroll down to read the full press blast.

Continue reading Dodge announces Sport package for AWD Charger

Dodge announces Sport package for AWD Charger originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 17 Dec 2012 17:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Maserati looking to book 13,000 sales of new Quattroporte in 2013

December 11, 2012 at 4:33 pm

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2013 Maserati Quattroporte - front three-quarter view

Europe’s continuing financial woe is forcing automakers to get creative, and while Fiat may be scaling back its volume vehicles, it’s looking to ramp up production of the exclusive Maserati brand. Following the debut of a new Quattroporte sedan, Fiat wants to boost Maserati sales to 50,000 vehicles by 2015. Maserati may lose as much as €7 million ($9.05 million) this year, and Fiat is betting big on Chrysler platforms and dealers to turn that around.

Currently regarded as a low-volume boutique carmaker, Maserati sold just 6,159 units last year, and 4,700 units through three quarters of this year. For 2013, Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne is targeting 13,000 in sales of the redesigned Quattroporte alone. Fiat apparently wants the brand’s low volume image to change, hoping to position it closer to BMW and Porsche in the market.

The recent unveiling of the new Quattroporte will be followed by more new vehicle launches, including a crossover utility called Levante, and a long-promised sub-Quattroporte sedan, called Ghibli. The latter will share certain components with the Chrysler 300 sedan in an effort to optimize production costs. The Ghibli will be positioned to take on the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. It’s all in an effort to turn the profit tide for Maserati and its parent company Fiat amidst European economic turmoil.

Maserati looking to book 13,000 sales of new Quattroporte in 2013 originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 10 Dec 2012 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Can Fiat’s sexy new ads score during the Super Bowl? [w/poll]

December 4, 2012 at 2:36 pm

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Fiat sexy Catrinel Menghia topless beach ad

Chrysler marketing chief Olivier Francois has unveiled five new Fiat ads he says could be used in the 2013 Super Bowl. All five were previewed at the Los Angeles Auto Show last week and show five different “everyday” situations where the 500 acts as a catalyst to boost adrenaline levels.

The first shows an attractive female driver suiting up for a spin around a track in the new electric-powered 500e. The drive goes well until the second turn when, obviously, something goes wrong. The 500e is all over the road and eventually careens off course in a cloud of dust. The support crew races to the car where the picturesque brunette is French-kissing a shirtless man behind the wheel. The spot ends with the tagline “Environmentally Sexy” above a rocking 500e.

The second ad has two tuxedoed men in the front seat of a 500L trying to catch a glimpse of two young ladies changing into bridesmaid dresses in the back seat. It’s mildly entertaining but gets better at the end when the surprise punchline carries home the message “More room. More possibilities.”

The third and fourth ads are also for the 500L and make clever twists on the “Very family friendly” tagline. Dear old Dad gets some sisterly jollies in one and in the other Junior gets a hearty welcome into his girlfriend’s family.

But Fiat saved the best for last. Remember that hot ad for the Fiat 500 Abarth that debuted in the 2012 Super Bowl? Called “Seduction,” it starred supermodel Catrinel Menghia. Ms. Menghia returns with a scorpion co-star slowly inching its way up her bikini-covered back. As the new 500 Abarth Cabrio streaks by, the stinger-equipped arachnid makes a strategic clip with a claw and we get the tag, “Small, wicked… and now topless.”

Check out the videos below and give us your opinion in our poll.

View Poll

Continue reading Can Fiat’s sexy new ads score during the Super Bowl? [w/poll]

Can Fiat’s sexy new ads score during the Super Bowl? [w/poll] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 03 Dec 2012 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2013 Fiat 500C Abarth rocks you like a hurricane

December 1, 2012 at 12:21 pm

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The 2013 Fiat 500C Abarth is debuting in the City of Angels. It’s the super-tuned version of the 500C combining all the best of fresh-air motoring and heightened performance from the scorpion-badged marque. As with the vanilla 500C, the Abarth’s folding canvas roof opens all the way at up to 50 miles per hour, and will slide back to the rear spoiler at up to 60 mph.

Sweetening is found everywhere else, with Fiat’s 1.4-liter MultiAir good for 160 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque in Sport mode (155 lb-ft standard), which takes the baby hatch from standstill to 60 miles per hour in just over seven seconds. Shifting is via a five-speed manual, but the sound of that engine running straight from the dual exhaust pipes to your ears with no roof to intervene should help you forget about the anachronistic transmission.

Underneath its skimpy bits of metal, the Abarth gets tons of tweaks compared to the 500C to support its sporting nature. Things like a reworked suspension with stiffer springs, larger half shafts and CV joints, quicker steering and larger brake rotors, a three-setting ESC and optional 17-inch alloys all add to the fun. The cabin throws plenty of black leather around, along with one-piece seats that get racing harness pass-throughs.

If the engine note isn’t enough to satisfy your aural requests, the 500C Abarth is the first convertible in the world to get a Beats by Dr. Dre audio system, boasting six speakers and a subwoofer. Buyers can also take advantage of the Abarth Driving Experience free of charge, taught by instructors at – of all things – the Richard Petty Driving Experience.

Sit tight, we’ll have live pictures of the new performance ragtop live from the 2012 LA Motor Show for you shortly.

Continue reading 2013 Fiat 500C Abarth rocks you like a hurricane

2013 Fiat 500C Abarth rocks you like a hurricane originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 28 Nov 2012 00:06:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2013 Fiat 500C Abarth rocks you like a hurricane

December 1, 2012 at 12:21 pm

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The 2013 Fiat 500C Abarth is debuting in the City of Angels. It’s the super-tuned version of the 500C combining all the best of fresh-air motoring and heightened performance from the scorpion-badged marque. As with the vanilla 500C, the Abarth’s folding canvas roof opens all the way at up to 50 miles per hour, and will slide back to the rear spoiler at up to 60 mph.

Sweetening is found everywhere else, with Fiat’s 1.4-liter MultiAir good for 160 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque in Sport mode (155 lb-ft standard), which takes the baby hatch from standstill to 60 miles per hour in just over seven seconds. Shifting is via a five-speed manual, but the sound of that engine running straight from the dual exhaust pipes to your ears with no roof to intervene should help you forget about the anachronistic transmission.

Underneath its skimpy bits of metal, the Abarth gets tons of tweaks compared to the 500C to support its sporting nature. Things like a reworked suspension with stiffer springs, larger half shafts and CV joints, quicker steering and larger brake rotors, a three-setting ESC and optional 17-inch alloys all add to the fun. The cabin throws plenty of black leather around, along with one-piece seats that get racing harness pass-throughs.

If the engine note isn’t enough to satisfy your aural requests, the 500C Abarth is the first convertible in the world to get a Beats by Dr. Dre audio system, boasting six speakers and a subwoofer. Buyers can also take advantage of the Abarth Driving Experience free of charge, taught by instructors at – of all things – the Richard Petty Driving Experience.

Sit tight, we’ll have live pictures of the new performance ragtop live from the 2012 LA Motor Show for you shortly.

Continue reading 2013 Fiat 500C Abarth rocks you like a hurricane

2013 Fiat 500C Abarth rocks you like a hurricane originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 28 Nov 2012 00:06:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2013 Fiat 500c Abarth takes its top off with a quickness

November 30, 2012 at 8:59 pm

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2013 Fiat 500c Abarth

What a pleasant little piece of plug-and-play. Putting the Fiat 500c’s retractable roof on the hot 500 Abarth was pretty much a no-brainer, and hey, we certainly aren’t complaining. Folding the soft top back on the little hatchback will only allow us to better hear that awesome exhaust note while we’re burying the throttle. And come on, who doesn’t like a little wind-in-your-hair action?

Again, the 500c Abarth package is pretty much a copy/paste job, so dynamically, the car isn’t all that different. Under the hood is the same 1.4-liter MultiAir turbocharged inline-four, good for 160 horsepower and up to 170 pound-feet of torque (assuming you pressed the Sport button on the dash – something you really, really ought to do). A five-speed manual transmission is the only ‘box available. And don’t you dare complain about that.

New enhancements for the 2013 500c Abarth include an available Beats Audio system, and buyers will be able to attend a no-cost Abarth Driving Experience, where professional racers will show customers how to make the best use of their cars under full-throttle track applications. Pricing hasn’t been announced just yet, but we expect to have that closer to the car’s on sale date early next year. Hit the jump for the full deets, and check out the scorpion-stung cabriolet in our attached galleries.

Continue reading 2013 Fiat 500c Abarth takes its top off with a quickness

2013 Fiat 500c Abarth takes its top off with a quickness originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 28 Nov 2012 19:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2013 Fiat 500c Abarth takes its top off with a quickness

November 30, 2012 at 8:59 pm

Filed under: , , , ,

2013 Fiat 500c Abarth

What a pleasant little piece of plug-and-play. Putting the Fiat 500c’s retractable roof on the hot 500 Abarth was pretty much a no-brainer, and hey, we certainly aren’t complaining. Folding the soft top back on the little hatchback will only allow us to better hear that awesome exhaust note while we’re burying the throttle. And come on, who doesn’t like a little wind-in-your-hair action?

Again, the 500c Abarth package is pretty much a copy/paste job, so dynamically, the car isn’t all that different. Under the hood is the same 1.4-liter MultiAir turbocharged inline-four, good for 160 horsepower and up to 170 pound-feet of torque (assuming you pressed the Sport button on the dash – something you really, really ought to do). A five-speed manual transmission is the only ‘box available. And don’t you dare complain about that.

New enhancements for the 2013 500c Abarth include an available Beats Audio system, and buyers will be able to attend a no-cost Abarth Driving Experience, where professional racers will show customers how to make the best use of their cars under full-throttle track applications. Pricing hasn’t been announced just yet, but we expect to have that closer to the car’s on sale date early next year. Hit the jump for the full deets, and check out the scorpion-stung cabriolet in our attached galleries.

Continue reading 2013 Fiat 500c Abarth takes its top off with a quickness

2013 Fiat 500c Abarth takes its top off with a quickness originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 28 Nov 2012 19:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2013 Dodge Charger pays homage to its past with limited-edition Daytona package

November 29, 2012 at 5:15 am

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2013 Dodge Charger Daytona

The original Dodge Charger Daytona was a bullet-nosed, winged menace on racetracks and is an amazingly collectible classic car today, and Dodge is hoping to bring back some of that nostalgia with the 2013 Dodge Charger Daytona. Limited to just 2,500 units, this new Daytona adds a little more styling and exclusivity than the similarly named package brought to the sedan from the 2006 through 2009 model years. We saw our first glimpse of this new package earlier in the week, but now we get to see the car in all of its blue glory at the LA Auto Show.

Starting at $32,990 for the Charger R/T and $36,495 for the R/T Road & Track (yes, that name is more than a little redundant) models, the 2013 Charger Daytona will be instantly recognizable with its exclusive 20-inch wheels, black hood and roof graphics, a satin black grille and decklid spoiler. The Daytona will only be offered in four colors – Daytona Blue, Bright White, Billet Silver and Pitch Black – but all will get a Daytona Blue engine cover.

Inside, the Daytona gets unique embroidering, stitching and piping with the cabin wrapped in Nappa leather on the R/T Road & Track and cloth on the R/T. Dark brushed aluminum trim, bright Mopar pedals, a 552-watt Beats Audio System and an individually numbered dash plaque finishes off the interior. On the performance front, the car adds a high-speed engine controller, 3.06 rear axle ratio, paddle shifters and performance steering and suspension setups.

Scroll down for the official press release.

Continue reading 2013 Dodge Charger pays homage to its past with limited-edition Daytona package

2013 Dodge Charger pays homage to its past with limited-edition Daytona package originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 28 Nov 2012 14:08:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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