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Looking to play up its aging three-row crossover, Dodge will introduce a new model for its Journey franchise at next week's Chicago Auto Show. The 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad will be a new trim level positioned between the SXT and Limited, and it will be distinguished from other Journey models thanks to a handful of styling add-ons.
Plucking a page right out of the appearance playbook of the Ford Explorer Sport, the Journey Crossroad gets a meaner, more SUV-like demeanor. The Journey has often straddled the line between tall wagon and crossover, but this new trim goes a long way toward skewing its visuals toward the utility vehicle end of the spectrum. That's thanks largely to the Platinum chrome exterior trim on its roof rails and side sills, unique fascias, smoked headlights and taillights and, of course, those black 19-inch wheels. Inside, the Journey Crossroad will get a similar treatment, with darker, Liquid Graphite accents throughout the cabin, and the model will also come standard with leather seats (which Dodge says are a new design), and Chrysler's giant 8.4-inch Uconnect screen.
The 2014 Journey Crossroad goes on sale this spring with a starting price of $24,995 (*not including $995 for destination) for the four-cylinder, front-wheel-drive model, but Dodge says that the model will also be offered with more power and capability from the optional 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and all-wheel-drive. Scroll down for the full press release, and check back next week for our live coverage from Chicago.
Chrysler's 6.2-liter supercharged Hellcat V8 was an absolute sensation from the very moment it was announced, and honestly, how could it not have been? Packing 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, its numbers immediately put every other production muscle car (and many supercars) to shame. Plus, we soon learned that would be wrapped in a package retailing for around $60,000 - a pittance compared to other vehicles offering similar grunt. However, the Hellcat almost never got the chance to rumble under the hood of the Challenger and Charger.
The Hellcat was initially proposed back in 2011, back when Fiat was deciding its future strategy for Chrysler Group, according to Automotive News. At the time, the company was just emerging from its bankruptcy doldrums, and an ultra-high-performance V8 wasn't exactly a must-have item. The program didn't move forward. However, SRT engineers kept fighting, according to AN, and four months later, they received the green light to pull the project off the shelf and continue developing the Hellcat. The muscle car world is certainly better for that decision.
The work of those engineers focused on taking Chrysler's standard 6.2-liter V8 and making it reliably handle all of the extra power from the supercharger. "It came down to micron levels of changes in the crank to be able to withstand the pressures of the engine," said Chris Cowland, director of advanced and SRT powertrain, to Automotive News. The changes amounted to switching out about 91 percent of the parts to make the Hellcat, including some quite minuscule alterations. For example, the washer holding the supercharger pulley is embedded with industrial diamonds to keep it from slipping.
As the aftermarket and performance arm of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Mopar has a duty to extract everything from the company's models that it can, and there's no better place to show all of its work off than the annual SEMA Show.
Dodge really gets in on the act this year with several customs to show off different parts of the brand's performance heritage. Perhaps the most interesting among them is the track-prepped Viper ACR Concept (pictured above). It wears a custom body kit to produce even more downforce, thanks in no small part to a monstrous wing at the back. To shed weight, most of the interior is stripped out, as well. Next up, the Challenger T/A Concept takes inspiration from '70s Trans-Am racing in a livery of Sublime Green and matte black paint. The center scoop in the hood keeps the 6.4-liter V8 fed with cool air, and the special's 20-by-9.5-inch matte black wheels keep it planted in the corners.
Also getting the once-over from Mopar is the Charger R/T. It wears the division's body kit, and under the hood, a cold-air intake keeps the 5.7-liter V8 breathing. The suspension is retooled to hold the road better with a coil-over kit, upgraded sway bars and strut tower braces for the front and rear. The company is also showing off a snazzy blue Charger with a mean look. The final Dodge getting work from Mopar is the Dart R/T Concept with bright, O-So-Orange paint and a matte black hood with a scoop hooked directly to the air intake. The performance-oriented design is finished off with a coil-over suspension and big brake kit, as well.