Number of Cylinders: 8
Model: Other Pickups
Drive Type: rear
Number of Doors: 4
Middletown, Connecticut, United States
Ron Burgundy was put on this planet to do one thing: to read the news. If that ever falls through, though, the womanizing, scotch-drinking anchorman could have a great career just as a Dodge salesman. Bloomberg points out that sales of the 2014 Dodge Durango have rocketed up 59 percent in the first month of Chrysler's funny new ad campaign (which began in early October). But then again, the entire year has been strong for the big SUV, with year-over-year sales increases in the double and even triple digit percentages - including an increase of 117 percent in August.
Of course, the Durango has also received a wealth of new content and a freshened look for 2014 in addition to the Burgundy campaign, and that has to be helping close sales, too. Whether or not the spots themselves are leading to more sales may be a moot point, since they are definitely getting plenty of attention. Almost two months into the marketing tie-up between Dodge and the movie Anchorman 2, Dodge's YouTube videos have received well over seven million views. More than just YouTube shorts and television commercials, the Durango has even received late-night attention, including when Will Ferrell showed up in character as Ron Burgundy on Conan earlier this week.
In the interview, he calls the Durango a "terrible car" that "cracked in half," a joke that probably had Dodge ad execs squirming uncomfortably in their Barcaloungers. Scroll down to watch the Conan interview as well as some of our favorite Burgundy-pitched Durango ads. And there's still plenty of time to "touch" Ron to win a new Durango.
Dodge and Jeep are announcing recalls of a total of 895,000 Durango and Grand Cherokee models worldwide from the 2011 through 2014 model years. There's a possibility that the wiring in the sun visor can short circuit and cause a fire. It specifically affects vehicles built between January 5, 2010, and December 11, 2013, and there are approximately 651,000 of them in the US, 45,700 in Canada, 23,000 in Mexico and 175,000 outside of North America.
Screws that fasten the sunvisor to the headliner may pierce wires in the visor, if the part has been removed or serviced, potentially causing a fire risk. If the wires short circuit, they could overheat and potentially combust. The automakers report three injuries caused by this defect, and according to the investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "there may be a total of 52 unique fire incidents."
To fix the problem, Dodge and Jeep will inspect the vehicles for suspect wiring, and all of the models, whether damaged or not, will get a new sun visor spacer with a wire guide to stop the possibility of short circuits. According to the automakers' announcement, "this condition is not present in vehicles which have not had the headliner or vanity mirror serviced." They will notify affected owners, and repairs will begin in August.
We have good news, and we have bad news. First, the good: It's now possible to get a brand-new Dodge Viper roadster, which is nice, considering we're in the dead of summer and many of us like wind-in-the-hair motoring. Now, the bad: This is not a factory option from the automaker, instead coming courtesy of an aftermarket company called Prefix Performance, and that means it's going to cost you some serious coin.
Called Medusa, this drop-top Viper was created without the knowledge or consent of Dodge, but that's probably fine because Prefix works with the automaker already for the final preparation of the American supercar, including paint. According to the company, the current, fifth-gen Viper was built with a convertible version in mind, so no chassis strengthening is required. From the looks of the somewhat grainy photos available, the conversion appears of very high quality.
Want one? Well, that means you're going to need to procure a Viper - Prefix has 10 units ready for transformation as it stands - and that's going to cost at the very least $102,485. Then, you'll need to write a check for an additional $35,000 for Prefix to surgically remove the car's roof. Thing is, for that kind of cash, a prospective owner could buy, among other very nice options, a Viper hardtop and a loaded Miata, or a Corvette Stingray convertible and several pockets full of change. Or, perhaps a new Viper hardtop and a used, first-gen Viper convertible?