Drive Type: RWD
Columbia Station, Ohio, United States
The Dodge Dart, Cadillac XTS and Lincoln MKS all failed to earn a "Recommended" rating from Consumer Reports. When it came to the compact Dart, the organization's testers thought the vehicle offered a quiet cabin, solid-feeling chassis and nimble suspension, but the new model ultimately fell short of the coveted rating due to powertrain issues. The institute's reviewers found the base 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine to be underpowered and noted "drivability issues" when the available turbocharged 1.4-liter four was paired with the optional dual-clutch transmission (some of our editors disliked it paired with the six-speed manual). CR also dinged the latter powerplant for sounding "raspy." For what it's worth, we think the forced-induction engine offers an excellent and playful exhaust note, but that's just us.
As for the XTS, CR lauded the car for its luxurious cabin, but the vehicle's experience was dulled by its finicky CUE infotainment interface. Overall, the big Cadillac scored much higher than its cross-town rival from Lincoln. While testers found the American luxury sedan to offer a quiet ride and quality fit and finish, they felt the MKS delivered a "cramped driving position, ungainly handling, uncomposed ride, and limited visibility." Ouch. At the end of the day, both cars fell short of rivals from Japan, Germany and Korea. Check out the full press release below with more details, along with CR's musings on the Chevrolet Spark and Lexus ES.
In 2011, Chrysler announced a $72-million investment in its Toledo Machining Plant to modernize production of the eight- and nine-speed torque-converters for automatic transmissions made there. That upgrade work won't be finished until Q3 of this year, but Chrysler has already announced a further $19.6-million investment to increase production capacity for the nine-speeders.
The extra units will be necessary because the nine-speed transmission they'll be mated to is going into three popular models: it will debut on the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, then go into the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart. The company predicted that this year alone it would sell 200,000 units equipped with the nine-speed tranny, and it is spending some $374 million in addition to the investment in Toledo to upgrade production capacity for it.
The work attached to this new investment won't begin until Q3 of 2014, and it will be finished by the end of that year. There's a press release below with all the details.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is showing off a completely redesigned Dodge Charger Funny Car at this year's SEMA Show in Las Vegas and it's ready to blow through the NHRA timing lights next year. Initially, the shape might look like any of the other entrants in its class burning through the quarter mile, but this is the first comprehensive rethink for the racecar's aerodynamics since 2006, says Dodge.
Draped in classy red and black Mopar livery, the 2015 Dodge Charger R/T NHRA Funny Car tries to share the front and rear styling with its roadgoing counterpart, plus the scallops along the side, but this racer is all about crossing the finish line first.
The major goals for the redesign included making the body stronger and lighter without sacrificing aerodynamics, and that has been done with materials like Kevlar and carbon fiber. However, engineers have accomplished even more. By moving the cockpit further back, they've increased engine clearance and improved driver visibility.