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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles already previewed its 2014 SEMA show lineup with some slick renders. Now, the automaker has finally showed us the actual cars, and among the group there are definitely some that stand out more than others.
Dodge is really showing off its muscle at this year's show with four concepts that all pump up the power of the brand's models. Perhaps most interesting among them is the Challenger T/A Concept (pictured above) in striking Sublime Green and matte black. It's meant to resemble the classic Trans Am racer from the '70s. Under the hood is a 6.4-liter V8, and to fit the vintage style there's a pistol-grip gearshift inside.
The Charger R/T also gets some attention with the Mopar concept that shows off what FCA's aftermarket performance arm can do. Mods include an updated body kit, cold-air intake for the 5.7-liter V8 and a coil-over suspension kit. Beyond that, the Dart R/T Concept looks a lot meaner with a black hood with duct work that leads straight to the air intake. The rest of the compact sedan is dolled up in O-So-Orange paint and is fitted with upgrades to improve handling like a coil-over suspension and big brake kit from the Mopar catalog.
Hot on the heels of Ford's earnings announcement for the year that was, Chrysler today reported a 2012 net income of $1.7 billion, up substantially from the comparatively minuscule $183 million profit earned in 2011 when it repaid its US government loans.
Chrysler's good year ended with an excellent fourth quarter that saw net income rise 68 percent from $225 million in 2011 to $378 million. Where are all those extra earnings coming from? Market share, which Chrysler saw increase to 11.4% last year on sales of 1.65 million vehicles. In fact, the Auburn Hills, MI-based automaker out-paced the industry's market growth of 13 percent last year with sales up 21 percent for the year.
The company also revealed an updated product plan for its Chrysler Group and Fiat brands that looks all the way out to 2016. It's an updated version of the plan introduced in 2009 shortly after Fiat took control of the American automaker, and includes such new additions as an Alfa Romeo model, likely the 4C, to be introduced in the US this year, as well five more Alfa models by 2016. Likewise, Fiat will be growing by an additional seven models in the coming few years.
Some combinations seem natural immediately like chocolate and peanut butter, but others take a little more consideration before they begin make sense. That is exactly the situation with the new partnership between Ram and heavy equipment-maker Case to build a one-of-a-kind Ram 3500 with a matching, customized Case 580 Super N Wide Track Backhoe. The unique combo is currently on display at the CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2014 show in Las Vegas, NV, and afterwards will go on tour for the rest of the year at Ram- and Case-sponsored events.
While it is undoubtedly odd to see a modified backhoe, it almost gets cool when you se the interior. Both vehicles the same two-tone gold and black paint scheme, and the backhoe's cab has been refinished to match the truck with shades of brown leather, Laramie badges and chrome trim. If you have to be in a backhoe, this one looks like the one to choose. Plus, this might be the first backhoe ever with chrome wheels.
The truck that the backhoe is attached to a Ram 3500 Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab 4x4 with a 6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel with 850 foot-pounds of torque, plus an improved transfer case and heavy-duty transmission. Like its matching heavy equipment friend, the truck is also supposed to offer a mix of luxury and working ability. Scroll down for the full press release on this very curious combo.