Number of Cylinders: 8
Model: Other Pickups
Drive Type: rear
Number of Doors: 4
Middletown, Connecticut, United States
Introduced to the market in 2008 and updated in 2011, the Dodge Journey crossover has had all the freshness of a retirement village in recent years. Filling a potentially important niche for Dodge as an affordable, family-sized vehicle, the Journey has gotten one last mild refresh here in Chicago. Feast your mild-appearance-package-loving eyes on the 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad.
We can't be sure if the inspiration for the Crossroad appellation was the 2002 blockbuster film, Crossroads, starring Britney Spears, or the 1986 cult-classic, Crossroads, starring Ralph Macchio, but based on the CUV's newfound boyish charm, we're betting on the Karate Kid.
Dark finish 19-inch wheels, platinum chrome accents and a manly new front fascia tell the world that this isn't the Dodge Journey that they've long since forgotten about. In fairness, the Crossroad is easily the best-looking iteration of the Journey to date, and should be better to live with, too, considering its revised cabin, leather seats and standard Uconnect touchscreen infotainment system.
You've got to hand it to Dodge for having the gumption to put the original Viper into production in the first place. It was, after all, much more of an emotional decision than a practical one, and a move which saw the first production V10 engine placed in a road car - long before the advent of the Lamborghini Gallardo, Audi R8, Porsche Carrera GT or Lexus LFA, not to mention the other Ford, BMW and Volkswagen Group models that used such engines.
It's now been 22 years since the first Viper entered production and the Viper still rolls on several generations later, but we're sad to say that courageous decision has not always been met with overwhelming sales success. In fact parent Chrysler was forced to idle the Conner Avenue plant where the Viper is made back in April due to slow sales. And while production resumed again as planned on June 23, it apparently didn't do the trick.
As a result, Chrysler corporate communications chief Shawn Morgan revealed to Autoblog that the assembly line has been shut down again for another two weeks. The line was up and running for nearly two full work weeks from June 23 until the holiday weekend that started on Thursday, July 3. But instead of coming back online today as planned, it's been idled again for the weeks of July 7 and 14. That means it will be July 21, at the earliest, before the serpentine supercars start slithering down the assembly line at Conner Avenue again. Once it does, however, production is set to resume at the same pace it was before the shutdown.
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.