Claremore, Oklahoma, United States
There are lots of ways to celebrate an important birthday, and all of them are well deserved. You can throw a big party, buy yourself something nice, or - if you're the altruistic type - do something for others in need. The latter is how Chrysler has opted to mark the 30th anniversary of its Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country.
Together with hunger-advocacy organization Canstruction, the Chrysler Foundation has built a full-scale replica of the Grand Caravan out of 30,000 food cans in the square at the corner of Yonge and Dundas in Toronto, a ways down the highway from where the real vans are built in Windsor. The sculpture was built over the course of 10 hours by 30 volunteers and was displayed earlier this week.
Now the installation is being taken down, and the cans of food are being donated to the Daily Bread Food Bank, which will assemble them into 2,000 food baskets to be distributed to those in need through its network of 200 food banks across the Canadian metropolis. Check out a neat time-lapse video of the build and the press release below.
The 2014 New York Auto Show will be a big one for Dodge, as the brand has announced that refreshed versions of the 2015 Challenger and 2015 Charger will debut at the show. This is a particularly big deal for the two-door Challenger which, visually, has remained unchanged since is burst back onto the scene in 2008 and helped reignite the muscle car wars.
As a sort of hint, this announcement was accompanied by the picture you see above - the Super Bee logo in the Challenger's new instrument cluster. According to Dodge, the New York debut of a new "powertrain combination" - possibly with the high-output Hellcat V8 - will leave enthusiasts "abuzz."
As for the Charger, Dodge is promising a full redesign that should be a significant departure from the blunt, angry looks of the current model. At this point, there's no indication that the Challenger's new powertrain could be fitted to the Charger, although considering how mechanically similar these two vehicles have been, it doesn't seem outside the realm of possibility.
Dodge has revealed what it calls Scat Package Stage Kits that enhance the performance of the Charger and the Challenger equipped with the 5.7-liter V8, and the Dart equipped with the turbocharged 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine. The Scat Packs use Mopar performance parts that also can be bought separately. Most of the upgrades increase engine output, but Dodge somehow manages to not specifically mention the power gains associated with each Scat Pack.
The three Scat Packs offered for the V8-powered cars focus on higher power ratings, and each stage comes complete with a unique engine-management calibration to optimize output. Stage one comes with a cold-air intake and a cat-back exhaust; stage two adds a performance camshaft; and stage three really gives you the goods, adding ported polished cylinder heads and performance headers.
For the Dart, the Scat Packs focus on engine, transmission, chassis and brake upgrades. Stage one will net you a cold-air intake, a short-throw shifter and slotted rotors with performance brake pads; stage two adds a cat-back exhaust system and an engine-management calibration to increase output by taking advantage of premium-octane gasoline; and stage three adds 13-inch vented brake discs up front clamped by four-piston calipers, suspension with adjustable springs and struts and performance front and rear antiroll bars.