For Sale By:Dealer
Warranty: Vehicle does NOT have an existing warranty
Exterior Color: Red
Interior Color: Black
Number of Cylinders: 8
Marietta, Georgia, United States
When people look back at today's automotive industry, what do you think they'll remember us for? The emergence of hybrids? Ever more expensive and exotic supercars? The dawn of the self-driving car? All likely scenarios, but so is the blurring of lines between one bodystyle and another, giving rise to hardtop convertible coupes and crossovers of every shape and size. But one bodystyle the North American auto industry has stayed largely away from in the past couple of decades is a car nose and chassis with a pickup bed.
It's a bodystyle immortalized by the Chevrolet El Camino, but with few exceptions, we haven't seen too many of these automotive platypuses in recent years on our turf. Subaru tried with the Baja and the low-volume Honda Ridgeline soldiers along largely unchanged, but the genre's biggest adherents are still Down Under, where ute versions of the Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon live. With a few other examples scattered to the four corners of the earth, that's really about it. But if these spy shots are anything to go by, it looks like Fiat Chrysler Automobiles could be working to bring it back.
Spied undergoing testing in Michigan, what we appear to be looking at is a heavily disguised Fiat Strada being prepared - like the Fiat Ducato-based Ram ProMaster and the smaller Doblo-based ProMaster City - for Stateside duty as a Ram product. The Strada, for those unfamiliar, is a product of Fiat Automóveis in Brazil and is based on the Palio economy car. The nameplate has been around South America since 1996 and was originally designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro (long before Volkswagen monopolized his talents), and takes a more rugged approach in the form of the Strada Adventure.
Get ready, world: The 707-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat has officially been unleashed. But rather than just have the big coupes quietly arrive at dealers, Dodge has released this video, showing Hellcats loading up onto car carriers at Fiat-Chrysler's Brampton, Ontario plant. And yes, that is Mötley Crüe's "Kickstart My Heart" playing in the background. Of course.
This really is worth all the fanfare, though, considering Dodge will sell its ridiculously powerful, supercharged machine for just $59,995. And if the Challenger isn't quite up your alley, just remember, there's an equally powerful, 204-mph, four-door Charger Hellcat on the way...
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.