Jeep Cherokee left teetering on border fence after failed crossing attempt [w/video]

November 1, 2012 at 9:02 pm

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The XJ Jeep Cherokee is a remarkably capable off-roader. With good approach and departure angles, decent suspension flex from the factory and stout running gear, it will get you where you need to go within reason.

Unfortunately for some would-be immigrants, even that talented machine doesn’t have the break-over angle necessary to drive over the border fence between the US and Mexico. Border Patrol agents came across this scene recently while on patrol, wherein a few innovative minds came up with a set of ramps to carry their XJ up and over the 14-foot-tall fence.

The Boarder Patrol has since seized the XJ, which means it will likely languish on a government lot until it goes to auction. While we imagine the vehicle’s occupants simply set out on foot after the high-center incident, next time they might have a bit more luck with a Wrangler. You can check out a video of the SUV on the fence below.

Continue reading Jeep Cherokee left teetering on border fence after failed crossing attempt [w/video]

Jeep Cherokee left teetering on border fence after failed crossing attempt [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 01 Nov 2012 14:41:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Fiat readying stripped-down 500 Cafe Racer concept for SEMA

October 30, 2012 at 5:15 am

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We don’t remember the last time we heard the phrase “cafe racer” applied to a car, but we’ll get to see just such a beast at this week’s SEMA show. Fiat is applying the cafe racer philosophy to a 500, which means chopping it, dropping it and stripping the lightweight machine down even further, “Taking it down to the essence of what you need to drive a car.”

You can watch the story in the video below. We’ll have lots of pictures of the real thing from Las Vegas in just a few days.

Continue reading Fiat readying stripped-down 500 Cafe Racer concept for SEMA

Fiat readying stripped-down 500 Cafe Racer concept for SEMA originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Oct 2012 09:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Fiat readying stripped-down 500 Cafe Racer concept for SEMA

October 30, 2012 at 5:15 am

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We don’t remember the last time we heard the phrase “cafe racer” applied to a car, but we’ll get to see just such a beast at this week’s SEMA show. Fiat is applying the cafe racer philosophy to a 500, which means chopping it, dropping it and stripping the lightweight machine down even further, “Taking it down to the essence of what you need to drive a car.”

You can watch the story in the video below. We’ll have lots of pictures of the real thing from Las Vegas in just a few days.

Continue reading Fiat readying stripped-down 500 Cafe Racer concept for SEMA

Fiat readying stripped-down 500 Cafe Racer concept for SEMA originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Oct 2012 09:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ventriloquist Jeff Dunham and Chrysler teaming up for SEMA project car

October 18, 2012 at 4:36 am

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Next in the lengthening line of comedian car enthusiasts is Jeff Dunham. A ventriloquist and Mopar fan normally spotted on video in the company of Achmed and Walter, for this video Dunham has put down the dummies and picked up a job: helping Chrysler and “a big shot with a t-shirt” put together a show car for SEMA.

Called Project Ultraviolet, it starts with a Dodge Challenger SRT8 purchased in downtown LA. The muscle car is being built to show off new technology and a brand new engine – declared “an amazing thing” in the video – that Chrysler will be unveiling in Las Vegas.

The first webisode detailing the genesis of the build is below. And since the crew is putting a new engine into Project Ultraviolet, we guess there’s no need to cringe at Dunham’s smoky, drift-happy mockery of the break-in period on that SRT8…

Continue reading Ventriloquist Jeff Dunham and Chrysler teaming up for SEMA project car

Ventriloquist Jeff Dunham and Chrysler teaming up for SEMA project car originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 17 Oct 2012 12:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Place Your Bets: Dodge Challenger SRT8 takes on… an MD500 helicopter?

October 17, 2012 at 11:42 am

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Helicopter race against car

Here at Autoblog, obsessively covering the automotive industry sometimes takes us places we’d never have expected. Today is one of those days.

In the video pasted below, you’ll see a very nice Dodge Challenger SRT8 – modified in some way if the quoted 490 horsepower figure is accurate – lining itself up on a long, straight stretch of tarmac. Pulling up alongside… or rather, setting itself down, is a McDonnel Douglass MD500 helicopter. Yep, we said helicopter.

So, is this a fair race? We have no idea. For starters, there’s no indication as to how long this runway may be, and we don’t know the various skills of the pilot or driver. Do we care? No, not really. The race results in a fun video, which you can watch below, and we suggest you keep your eyes peeled all the way through for a little surprise.

Continue reading Place Your Bets: Dodge Challenger SRT8 takes on… an MD500 helicopter?

Place Your Bets: Dodge Challenger SRT8 takes on… an MD500 helicopter? originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Oct 2012 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chrysler readying 200 8 Mile, 300 Motown special edition models [w/video]

October 16, 2012 at 3:07 am

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Screencap with Eminem driving Chrysler 200 from

It’s been a couple of years since Chrysler first kicked off its popular “Imported from Detroit” tagline, but the automaker’s hometown rally cry is about to make the move from advertising to special-edition models. According to The Detroit News, Chrysler will introduce the Chrysler 300 Motown and Chrysler 200 8 Mile special editions confirming our previous report, and these new models are only two of 66 new models expected out by 2014 that Chrysler previewed to its dealers recently.

The article states that the new 200 package will mark 10 years since Eminem’s 8 Mile movie first hit the big screen, and while there are sure to be many jokes about a special-edition car named after the city’s historic yet poverty-lined road, it is one of many “buzz packages” that Chrysler hopes will continue its upward sales trend. With filming already complete for the 300 Motown commercial, it is likely that this will be the next buzz car we will see from Chrysler, as it will coincide with the new Broadway show called Motown: The Musical opening next spring. The 300C John Varvatos and 300 Glacier are new additions for Chrysler as well and special edition packages are also planned for the Ram 1500 and Dodge Dart.

Scroll down to see Chrysler’s original “Imported from Detroit” ad with Eminem’s Lose Yourself which received plenty of buzz when it aired during Super Bowl XLV in 2011.

Continue reading Chrysler readying 200 8 Mile, 300 Motown special edition models [w/video]

Chrysler readying 200 8 Mile, 300 Motown special edition models [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 15 Oct 2012 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chrysler launches new Ram ads and gears up for Super Bowl XLV [w/videos]

October 10, 2012 at 4:05 am

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Perhaps no car company has made bigger splashes in the last two years at the Super Bowl than Chrysler, and the automaker’s marketing chief, Olivier Francois, said today that he plans to be all over the big game again in February.

Last year, the company made an ad featuring Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood. The spot achieved viral status quickly when pundits charged that Eastwood’s lines were politically motivated; meant to appeal to progressive voters/viewers favoring a second term for President Obama. In 2011, agency Wieden & Kennedy burst into the game with a now famous commercial featuring Eminem. Both ads have supported Chrysler’s “Imported from Detroit” marketing platform.

Francois briefed reporters Monday at the Detroit Opera House while he also debuted a new series of ads for the Ram brand.

The new spots for the updated Ram 1500 have a theme of “Heaven and Earth,” and speak to the lengths to which Ram will go to win over new buyers (read: Ford and Chevrolet truck owners). The brand, spun off from Dodge three years ago to its own franchise, continues using the deep, manly, seemingly tobacco-choked voice of actor Sam Elliott, who also appears in the ads.

We are going to see a lot of this campaign during the Major League Baseball playoffs and World Series. “With this truck launch we literally swing for the fences,” said Fred Diaz, the head of the Ram division as well as president of Chrysler’s Mexican operations. Get it?

Ram has been succeeding by focusing its messaging around the iconic Elliott, as well as making serious upgrades to the 2013 Ram 1500. Ram has also been spending resources targeting the Hispanic audience, whose pickup buying has been on the rise. Ram has seen its share of the light-duty pickup market surge 1.7 points to 17 percent among Hispanics in test markets. Ram has seen its overall share of the light and heavy pickup segment rise from 14.6 percent to 18.4 percent for the first nine months of 2012.

Chrysler did more to the mid-cycle refresh for the Ram than is usually done on a vehicle. But under Sergio Marchionne, Chrysler has made increasing share for the Ram a priority. “What started out as a minor freshening,” said Diaz, “turned into a major overhaul.” The 2013 Ram, which was already the pickup with the best road manners, got a new air suspension, and a new powertrain lineup including a V6 mated to an all-new eight-speed automatic transmission that returns a segment-best 25 miles per gallon on the highway; giving Ram bragging rights on fuel economy.

Have a look at four of the new Ram commercials below, where you’ll also find the official press release.

Continue reading Chrysler launches new Ram ads and gears up for Super Bowl XLV [w/videos]

Chrysler launches new Ram ads and gears up for Super Bowl XLV [w/videos] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 09 Oct 2012 14:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chrysler launches new Ram ads and gears up for Super Bowl XLV [w/videos]

October 10, 2012 at 4:05 am

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Perhaps no car company has made bigger splashes in the last two years at the Super Bowl than Chrysler, and the automaker’s marketing chief, Olivier Francois, said today that he plans to be all over the big game again in February.

Last year, the company made an ad featuring Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood. The spot achieved viral status quickly when pundits charged that Eastwood’s lines were politically motivated; meant to appeal to progressive voters/viewers favoring a second term for President Obama. In 2011, agency Wieden & Kennedy burst into the game with a now famous commercial featuring Eminem. Both ads have supported Chrysler’s “Imported from Detroit” marketing platform.

Francois briefed reporters Monday at the Detroit Opera House while he also debuted a new series of ads for the Ram brand.

The new spots for the updated Ram 1500 have a theme of “Heaven and Earth,” and speak to the lengths to which Ram will go to win over new buyers (read: Ford and Chevrolet truck owners). The brand, spun off from Dodge three years ago to its own franchise, continues using the deep, manly, seemingly tobacco-choked voice of actor Sam Elliott, who also appears in the ads.

We are going to see a lot of this campaign during the Major League Baseball playoffs and World Series. “With this truck launch we literally swing for the fences,” said Fred Diaz, the head of the Ram division as well as president of Chrysler’s Mexican operations. Get it?

Ram has been succeeding by focusing its messaging around the iconic Elliott, as well as making serious upgrades to the 2013 Ram 1500. Ram has also been spending resources targeting the Hispanic audience, whose pickup buying has been on the rise. Ram has seen its share of the light-duty pickup market surge 1.7 points to 17 percent among Hispanics in test markets. Ram has seen its overall share of the light and heavy pickup segment rise from 14.6 percent to 18.4 percent for the first nine months of 2012.

Chrysler did more to the mid-cycle refresh for the Ram than is usually done on a vehicle. But under Sergio Marchionne, Chrysler has made increasing share for the Ram a priority. “What started out as a minor freshening,” said Diaz, “turned into a major overhaul.” The 2013 Ram, which was already the pickup with the best road manners, got a new air suspension, and a new powertrain lineup including a V6 mated to an all-new eight-speed automatic transmission that returns a segment-best 25 miles per gallon on the highway; giving Ram bragging rights on fuel economy.

Have a look at four of the new Ram commercials below, where you’ll also find the official press release.

Continue reading Chrysler launches new Ram ads and gears up for Super Bowl XLV [w/videos]

Chrysler launches new Ram ads and gears up for Super Bowl XLV [w/videos] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 09 Oct 2012 14:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chrysler launches new Ram ads and gears up for Super Bowl XLV [w/videos]

October 10, 2012 at 4:05 am

Filed under: , , , , ,

Perhaps no car company has made bigger splashes in the last two years at the Super Bowl than Chrysler, and the automaker’s marketing chief, Olivier Francois, said today that he plans to be all over the big game again in February.

Last year, the company made an ad featuring Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood. The spot achieved viral status quickly when pundits charged that Eastwood’s lines were politically motivated; meant to appeal to progressive voters/viewers favoring a second term for President Obama. In 2011, agency Wieden & Kennedy burst into the game with a now famous commercial featuring Eminem. Both ads have supported Chrysler’s “Imported from Detroit” marketing platform.

Francois briefed reporters Monday at the Detroit Opera House while he also debuted a new series of ads for the Ram brand.

The new spots for the updated Ram 1500 have a theme of “Heaven and Earth,” and speak to the lengths to which Ram will go to win over new buyers (read: Ford and Chevrolet truck owners). The brand, spun off from Dodge three years ago to its own franchise, continues using the deep, manly, seemingly tobacco-choked voice of actor Sam Elliott, who also appears in the ads.

We are going to see a lot of this campaign during the Major League Baseball playoffs and World Series. “With this truck launch we literally swing for the fences,” said Fred Diaz, the head of the Ram division as well as president of Chrysler’s Mexican operations. Get it?

Ram has been succeeding by focusing its messaging around the iconic Elliott, as well as making serious upgrades to the 2013 Ram 1500. Ram has also been spending resources targeting the Hispanic audience, whose pickup buying has been on the rise. Ram has seen its share of the light-duty pickup market surge 1.7 points to 17 percent among Hispanics in test markets. Ram has seen its overall share of the light and heavy pickup segment rise from 14.6 percent to 18.4 percent for the first nine months of 2012.

Chrysler did more to the mid-cycle refresh for the Ram than is usually done on a vehicle. But under Sergio Marchionne, Chrysler has made increasing share for the Ram a priority. “What started out as a minor freshening,” said Diaz, “turned into a major overhaul.” The 2013 Ram, which was already the pickup with the best road manners, got a new air suspension, and a new powertrain lineup including a V6 mated to an all-new eight-speed automatic transmission that returns a segment-best 25 miles per gallon on the highway; giving Ram bragging rights on fuel economy.

Have a look at four of the new Ram commercials below, where you’ll also find the official press release.

Continue reading Chrysler launches new Ram ads and gears up for Super Bowl XLV [w/videos]

Chrysler launches new Ram ads and gears up for Super Bowl XLV [w/videos] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 09 Oct 2012 14:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Icon Derelict DeSoto cools its heels in Jay Leno’s Garage

September 19, 2012 at 5:40 am

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Icon Derelict DeSoto on Jay Leno's Garage

Of all the shops turning out cool hardware these days, few get us as excited as Icon. And while their off-road beasts are heart-stopping in their execution and attention to detail, it’s the company’s Derelict line that really gets us grinning. Icon founder Jay Ward swung by Jay Leno’s Garage to show off his latest creation: a 1952 Chrysler/DeSoto wagon with modern bones underneath. Ward started with a Chrysler Town and Country wagon before swapping over a DeSoto front clip for a little more style. The old Hemi V8 was then ditched for a 2010 6.1-liter fuel-injected lump, though Icon kept the original valve covers in order to keep the engine bay looking as period as possible.

As with all Derelicts, there’s little on the underside of the ’52 that hasn’t been re-engineered by the Icon team. The car uses a complete modern running gear and a set of six-piston Wilwood brakes bring the family hauler down from speed. Check it out on the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage below.

Continue reading Icon Derelict DeSoto cools its heels in Jay Leno’s Garage

Icon Derelict DeSoto cools its heels in Jay Leno’s Garage originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 18 Sep 2012 19:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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