Ram Rebel TRX Idea: Fiat Chrysler Floats a Raptor Fighter

Ram Rebel TRX concept

It looks like the media interest heaped on Ford’s newly improved 2017 F-150 Raptor has created Fiat Chrysler Automobiles a small jealous.

The automaker unveiled a brash off-road truck notion at the Texas State Fair right now, testing the waters for a attainable production version. Consider of the Ram Rebel TRX as a Hellcat 1500.

From a distance, the pickup resembles a Ram Rebel or Energy Wagon, as the notion steals each of those models’ look cues. Draw closer, and it’s clear this pickup has put on some girth.

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To accommodate a set of massive 37-inch tires, FCA widened the Ram’s body by six inches. Wheel travel grows to 13 inches on each and every corner, an boost of 40 %. Underneath, heavy-duty axle elements and an upgraded suspension awaits punishment not only from uneven ground, but from the vehicle’s boosted engine energy.

Compared to its would-be rival, the Rebel TRX beats Ford by 125 horsepower, thanks to a 575 hp supercharged six.2-liter Hemi V8. If the description sounds familiar, you may well want to look beneath the hood of a Dodge Challenger (or Charger) Hellcat, where the very same displacement tends to make 707 hp.

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An eight-speed Torqueflight automatic with recalibrated shift points place the energy to the wheels. For these off-road jaunts — and FCA does envision this issue galloping across the desert at one hundred miles per hour — Ram’s 4×4 Performance Control Technique (and BorgWarner 44-45 transfer case) offers 4 driving modes, including “Baja.”

FCA describes the vehicle as an “engineering, design and style and customer-interest study for an extreme functionality half-ton pickup,” giving several hope that a Raptor-challenging production version could be just over the horizon. If fans show adequate enthusiasm for the Rebel TRX idea, the desert could get a lot louder.

[Images: © 2016 Matthew Guy/The Truth About Cars]

Auto Reviews – The Truth About Vehicles

Bad Bigland? Sales Tampering Probe Focuses on Fiat Chrysler Sales Guru

Alfa Romeo Giulia QV at LAAS2015 with Reid Bigland

Reid Bigland gained a lot of accolades throughout his rise up the corporate ladder at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, but the company’s U.S. sales head now finds himself in a distinct kind of spotlight — the center of the automaker’s sales tampering scandal.

Sources close to the situation claim that federal investigators have turned their concentrate to Bigland, whose signature is found on a lot of questionable documents, Bloomberg reports.

Bigland, who also serves as CEO of Maserati and Alfa Romeo (as well as FCA Canada), has a reputation as a dilemma solver, and his history of promotions shows the confidence placed in him by FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne.

A record U.S. sales streak touted by Bigland came to a squealing halt earlier this summer season, thanks to allegations of inflated sales figures. FCA changed the way it reports sales after the federal government launched two investigations, retroactively ending the streak.

The U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission allege that FCA artificially boosted finish-of-month sales, which have been rolled back at the start of the subsequent month. Investigators think that a strange code phrase delivered to dealers by phone gave dealers the go-ahead to enhance figures in any way necessary. Some strategies, like boosted incentives, are commonplace and legal, but that is not the focus here.

Sources tell Bloomberg that investigators are probing regardless of whether the automaker ordered dealers to create fake car purchases. Some sales documents had been allegedly filled out with the names of buddies and relatives of salespeople — some not even old adequate to own a vehicle.

According to the report, Bigland’s signature is found on suspect documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. For its portion, FCA has stated that is is cooperating with the probe. But until investigators figure out the legality of the documents, Bigland remains in the hot seat.

Vehicle Critiques – The Truth About Automobiles

‘Unnatural Acts Department’: Sales Fraud Investigators Uncover Fiat Chrysler Code Word

2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit, Image: FCA

Federal investigators probing Fiat Chrysler Automobiles for alleged sales tampering have uncovered a strange phrase that they think is a code word.

According to the Wall Street Journal, organization executives would occasionally contact up regional managers and dealers and utter a distinct phrase. Investigators believe this was a signal for dealers to go ahead and boost end-of-month sales in any way needed.

The U.S. Justice Division and Securities and Exchange Commission each launched separate investigations into the automaker in July, soon after hearing reports of inflated sales numbers.

FBI and SEC investigators reportedly visited nine workers in their houses and offices on July 11, whilst federal staff attorneys visited FCA’s U.S. headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan on the very same day, and raided or visited areas in Orlando, Dallas and California.

The WSJ report, drawn from sources familiar with the problem, claims that executives would inform managers and dealers that the “unnatural acts department” was open. The message would be delivered in a conference get in touch with or in a one-on-one particular phone conversation. As soon as given the green light, dealers could aggressively incentivize vehicles, or maybe go even further.

Investigators have focused on the practice of moving automobiles from a dealer’s inventory to its test fleet, and reporting that transaction as a sale. The sale would then be rolled back at the starting of the next month.

When it changed its sales reporting approaches in late July, ending a 75-month sales streak, FCA claimed, “It is admittedly also attainable that a dealer may register the sale in an work to meet a volume objective (without having a certain consumer supporting the transaction).”

Sketchy sales reporting is behind a racketeering lawsuit filed against FCA by an Illinois dealer group. Napleton Automotive Group claims the automaker paid them to inflate sales data at their dealerships. FCA has denied the practice.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

Auto Testimonials – The Truth About Automobiles

That Time Chrysler Purchased a Princess’s Dodge ‘Endorsement’


The seaside city-state of Monaco is no stranger to yachts, but in late 1973 an American barge powered by a smog-strangled V8 appeared on its shores.

Chrysler Corporation was on internet site to film a Tv industrial for the new full-size Dodge Monaco, a conservatively styled model with terrible timing. The model’s name evoked glamour and elegance, and the automaker hoped some of the glitz would rub off on the redesigned ’74 complete-sizer.

There was one more purpose for the location shoot. A extremely specific guest would appear in the ad — Princess Grace of Monaco (formerly American actress Grace Kelly). And the princess would assist sell the auto, whether she wanted to or not.

As a 1950s starlet, Kelly was the embodiment of glamour and style, starring in box workplace blockbusters like To Catch a Thief and Rear Window. Her fairytale marriage to Prince Rainier III in 1956 ended her acting career, but her new function as princess elevated her to virtually mythical status. Nevertheless glamorous, but now with a touch of magic — everything the 1974 Monaco was not.

Certainly, Princess Grace wasn’t ready to sling Chrysler C-bodies, but her consent wasn’t needed. The automaker had acquired the rights to the promotional film Monaco Now, directed by Francois Reichenbach. It had all the required action shots of pleased Monacans living the higher life, with the added bonus of a narration by Princess Grace.

So, Chrysler ran all the greatest components in its ad, kept the princess’s narration (she’s discussing the wonders of Monaco, not the automobile), then had a Monaco hardtop roll up to the Hotel Metropole to close out the industrial. What a (sort of) celebrity endorsement!

Sneaky, positive. Transparent? Absolutely. But hey, it is the ad enterprise. And the drinking-at-noon, lampshade-on-head era wasn’t over. When Chrysler Corp. turned the upscale Monaco Custom into the Royal Monaco for 1975, Princess Grace unwittingly promoted that model, too.

Chrysler lined up a number of real endorsements for its ’74 and ’75 ad campaigns, but marketing wasn’t the automaker’s most significant issue. The messy realm of politics and international diplomacy had a nasty surprise in shop for Chrysler and its overweight, Baroque beasts.

The OPEC oil crisis kicked off days following the ’74 models went on sale. Gas pumps across the U.S. dried up and fuel prices shot up. The 55 mile-per-hour speed limit, hastily enacted by the Nixon administration, put an finish to all-day 75 mph cruising in your V8-powered living room.

It was a terrible time to launch a automobile of such generous proportions, especially 1 with a 421 cubic-inch V8 as a base engine. Americans turned to six-cylinder compact and intermediate automobiles to climate the storm, causing the complete-size C-bodies to land with a thud.

The powers that be at Chrysler had no handle more than an oil embargo, and the ’73-74 crisis kicked off a steady decline for the automaker, which ended the decade teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. (The rushed-to-production 1976 Dodge Aspen/Plymouth Volare twins — and their associated recall costs — helped speed up the approach.)

Glamour and faux endorsements can only go so far in battling poor high quality and a poor balance sheet.

[Image: Classic Film/Flickr]

Automobile Critiques – The Truth About Automobiles

Fiat Chrysler Cracks Down on Information Violators After Ram/Jeep Theft Ring Bust

2016 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited 75th Anniversary edition

A Houston-location automobile-theft ring that employed laptops to enter, then steal, more than 100 Jeep and Ram cars exposed a critical internal safety breach at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Now that two arrests have been produced in the case, FCA is talking hard and threatening criminal proceedings against anyone who provides outsiders with crucial automobile information, Automotive News reports.

Earlier this year, Houston police noticed a trend in automobile thefts. Specific Ram and Jeep models disappeared from driveways and garages a lot more than any other model, and a private safety camera eventually captured a single thief utilizing a laptop to enter a Jeep Wrangler, disable its security program, then drive off.

Suspicion fell on hackers, but FCA’s safety head told us final month that the thefts are not the outcome of a goal-constructed gadget or device.

“Not just any person can do that — you want to have access to our systems in order to get the information required from every single car to marry a key fob,” Titus Melnyk, FCA’s senior manager of safety architecture, told TTAC, adding that the thefts have been the result of an individual “abusing their privileges.”

On Thursday, the automaker updated the terms of use for its internal DealerCONNECT software. FCA now threatens “civil and criminal proceedings” against these who supply outsiders with “key codes, radio codes and other anti-theft or security measures.”

Houston police say the thieves employed a laptop, OBD-II plug and application to make off with the autos, most of which had crossed the Mexican border by the time their owners noticed them missing.

A FCA spokesperson told the Houston Chronicle that thieves entered the automobile identification quantity of a target automobile into a FCA database to access the code for that vehicle’s important fob. Soon after programming the vehicle’s security program to accept a generic essential fob, the Jeep or Ram was theirs for the taking.

The automobile-theft ring is nonetheless active in the Houston area, according to police, and much more arrests are probably. Neither the police nor FCA have stated precisely how thieves accessed the automaker’s VIN database.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

Car Testimonials – The Truth About Vehicles

Poor News for Sergio: Brexit Catapults Fiat Chrysler Off Key Stock List


After Britain referendumed themselves right out of the European Union last week, there was a lot of speak about how the country’s automakers would fare in the wake of the Brexit.

But what about an Italian-American automaker? Right now, investment bank Goldman Sachs removed Fiat Chrysler Automobiles from their “conviction” acquire list, citing uncertainty more than the fate of the EU, Bloomberg reports.

The list names stocks that the bank’s investment braintrust anticipate to outperform. When a company gets on the list, investors can’t be far behind, hoping for a bigger-than-anticipated return on their investment.

Goldman Sachs stated it removed FCA from the list due to fear that Britain’s exit from the EU would decrease economic growth throughout the EU, hampering vehicle sales. This, regardless of the reality that FCA claimed the Brexit would have small effect on its operations, regardless of getting relocated its tax residency to the UK in 2014.

Ten days ago, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne downplayed worry about the looming referendum in a media scrum, saying a potential “Leave” vote was “not that disastrous” for his organization.

This morning, Marchionne spoke about the problem at a Fiat launch in Italy. “We don’t like the (outcome of) the vote, but a clear notion was expressed about the EU and so this ought to be revised,” he told an Italian wire service, adding that the vote should serve as a wake-up contact to the EU to spend far more consideration to person countries’ appeals for reform.

Marchionne essentially referred to as for absolutely everyone to keep calm and carry on.

Regardless of being removed from the list, it wasn’t all undesirable news for Marchionne nowadays. Goldman Sachs kept a “buy” rating on FCA’s stock.

Vehicle Testimonials – The Truth About Automobiles

Fiat Chrysler Will Investigate Anton Yelchin’s Fatal Jeep Crash

2015 Jeep® Grand Cherokee Overland

Much less than two days after Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin died in a bizarre vehicle crash in his Los Angeles driveway, the maker of his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee says it will investigate the incident.

Yelchin, 27, was discovered crushed amongst his SUV and a brick gatepost two nights ago. The automobile, which was identified in neutral with the engine nonetheless running, apparently rolled backwards down the steep driveway and hit him.

Police reports identified his Grand Cherokee as 1 of the models recalled due to its confusing Monostable shift lever, with Reuters now reporting that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles promises to conduct a “thorough investigation.”

The Monostable shift level was employed in three models equipped with FCA’s eight-speed automatic transmission. In April, FCA voluntarily recalled 1.1 million automobiles to appropriate the concern, which triggered some drivers to feel their automobile was in “park” when it was in fact still in gear, or neutral.

As opposed to traditional automatic transmission shift levers, the Monostable shift knob returns to the same central spot right after gear adjustments. This provides little visual indication of what gear the car is in fact in.

In response to inquiries swirling about the circumstances that led to Yelchin’s death, the automaker issued a statement saying, “It is premature to speculate on its result in at this time.”

When the National Highway Transportation Security Administration investigated owner complaints last summer time, it logged 41 injuries connected to vehicles rolling away from their owners, but no deaths. At least 700 roll-away incidents are linked to the shifters. Models impacted are certain 2012-2014 Dodge Chargers and Chrysler 300s, and 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokees.

It is not known regardless of whether Yelchin’s automobile was serviced after the recall was issued.

Vehicle Critiques – The Truth About Cars

Walter P. Chrysler Museum to Reopen to Public

Dodge LaFemme, Walter P Chrysler Museum, Source: Ronnie Schreiber/The Truth About Cars

Just two days soon after Cadillac announced opening up what they hope will be an au courant coffee shop on the ground floor of its trendy reduce Manhattan digs, Fiat Chrysler announced it will reopen the Walter P. Chrysler Museum, on the grounds of Chrysler’s campus in slightly less trendy Auburn Hills, on June 4th.

The museum, which 1st opened in 1999 when Daimler owned Chrysler, has displays that cover the history of the present Chrysler brands along with the company’s former nameplates, beginning with a 1902 Rambler from the Jeffrey company (the progenitor to Nash) and American Motors.

 Walter P Chrysler Museum, Source: Ronnie Schreiber/The Truth About Cars

About 90,000 men and women visited the museum every year when it was open to the public, but FCA closed it to the at the end of 2012 due to cost concerns. The organization continued to preserve and use it by renting out the facility and employing it for in-residence events. Vehicles in the collection have also been loaned out to vehicle shows and other museums.

1915 Dodge Bros. Sedan Walter P Chrysler Museum, Source: Ronnie Schreiber/The Truth About Cars

The WPC museum will be open to the public two weekends a month (listed under) going forward, except for December, when it will only be open the weekend ahead of Christmas. Brandt Rosenbusch, manager of historical services for FCA US, stated interest from Chrysler personnel and getting in a position to discover sufficient volunteers to employees the facility had been important variables in opening the facility to the public once again.

Chrysler Airflow Prototype Walter P Chrysler Museum, Source: Ronnie Schreiber/The Truth About Cars

Chrysler’s corporate collection includes about 300 cars. Some are historic production automobiles and other folks considerable idea cars. The museum also owns an operational Chrysler Turbine automobile, which was more than a idea car but not fairly a production car. In addition to automobiles that are on permanent display, over five dozen other vehicles from Chrysler’s stash will be rotated through the museum displays.

Walter P Chrysler Museum, Source: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Installations showcasing Walter Chrysler, the company’s part in America’s “Arsenal of Democracy” in the course of Globe War II, and even an engine test cell with a dynamometer that was used to create Chrysler’s legendary Hemi engines in the 1950s and 1960s will be on show.

American Motors AMX Walter P Chrysler Museum, Source: Ronnie Schreiber/The Truth About Cars

This is the second business museum that FCA has reopened. Last year, the Alfa Romeo Museum close to Milan in northern Italy was reopened on the occasion of the introduction of the all new Giulia sedan. Of Fiat Chrysler’s brands, only Alfa and Maserati will not have displays at the Chrysler museum (Ferrari is technically no longer beneath the FCA umbrella right after it’s public stock providing).

Chrysler Airflow Walter P Chrysler Museum, Source: Ronnie Schreiber/The Truth About Cars

I’ve visited the museum a number of occasions. If you think that Los Angeles’ Petersen Automotive Museum or the Henry Ford Museum’s Driving America exhibit are worth visits, the Walter P. Chrysler museum surely is worth your time if you locate your self in the Detroit area when it is open. Really, it’s worth scheduling a trip to the Motor City just to see the WPC museum on its own. Although you’re right here, you can check out Driving America, the Piquette Ave. Model T factory and the Automotive Hall of Fame.

Boss Chrysler's Garage Walter P Chrysler Museum, Source: Ronnie Schreiber/The Truth About Cars

There are 3 stories to the Auburn Hills facility, with a dramatic multi-level rotating tower that displays historic idea automobiles in the atrium. The two principal floors are arranged chronologically, with exhibits devoted to Walter Chrysler and the 1st half century of his company’s history on the ground floor. Upstairs is exactly where you will discover the Turbine auto (a private preferred), Virgil Exner’s Chrysler SS concept automobile, the 1st Hemi and the 300 “alphabet” cars, along with exhibits on design and style, marketing, and engineering. That final topic is one particular of particular pride for Chrysler, which utilised the tagline Additional Care in Engineering for considerably of the 20th century.

Alphabet cars Walter P Chrysler Museum, Source: Ronnie Schreiber/The Truth About Cars

The basement is named “Boss Chrysler’s Garage” and features historic Jeeps, muscle automobiles from the ’60s and ’70s, AMC products and a couple of odds and ends like a Dodge LaFemme and the original prototype for the Chrysler Airflow cars.

Chrysler Dyno Hemi Walter P Chrysler Museum, Source: Ronnie Schreiber/The Truth About Cars

The museum is situated at 1 Chrysler Drive on the eastern edge of Fiat Chrysler’s North American headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Hours will be Saturday and Sunday, ten a.m. to 4 p.m., except for the weekend of August 20, the date of the Woodward Dream Cruise, when the museum will be also be open on Friday the 19th and have extended hours till six p.m to accommodate the several MOPAR fans who come in for the Cruise.

hudson hornet Walter P Chrysler Museum, Source: Ronnie Schreiber/The Truth About Cars

Admission will be $ ten for adults $ eight for seniors 62 years of age and older $ six for kids 6-17 cost-free for those 5 years old and under.

Atrium Concept Car Tower Walter P Chrysler Museum, Source: Ronnie Schreiber/The Truth About Cars

Even though the museum was closed to the public, you did have one chance to get in if you weren’t a Chrysler employee or an attendee of one particular of its special events. That was when the Chrysler Employee Motorsports Association, a automobile club for existing and former workers, held its annual vehicle show in the museum’s parking lot, and you could tour the museum for a charitable donation. That tradition will continue when the CEMA will hold the 27th edition of its automobile show at the museum on June 11.

Arsenal of Democracy Walter P Chrysler Museum, Source: Ronnie Schreiber/The Truth About Cars

As talked about, the facility would not be opened to the public have been it not for volunteers, who provide staffing and docent solutions. If you’d like to volunteer at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum, you can email [email protected] or contact (248) 944-0439.

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[Photos: Ronnie Schreiber, Fiat Chrysler]

Ronnie Schreiber edits Vehicles In Depth, a realistic point of view on automobiles &amp car culture and the original 3D automobile website. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. Thanks for reading – RJS

The Truth About Automobiles » Auto Evaluations

Is Sergio Cooking Up a Chrysler 300 Constructed on the Pacifica Platform?

2015 Chrysler 300S

Is Chrysler’s LX platform doomed to meet the exact same fate as the beloved Panther?

Replacing the aging Chrysler 300’s rear-wheel-drive architecture with that of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan is 1 notion festering in the mind of Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, judging by recent comments published by Automotive News.

Marchionne was speaking at FCA’s Windsor, Ontario assembly plant, where Pacifica production not too long ago replaced that of the retired Town &amp Nation. He was asked about the excess capacity that could happen once Dodge Caravan production ceases subsequent year, and what vehicle might fill it.

The FCA boss was non-committal, saying it was “premature to make other allocations” to the Windsor plant. The excess space could be taken up by Pacifica production if demand is higher, he stated, but noted that there was a mystery model they could bring — beneath the correct situations.

“Let’s fill that up, and then we’ll look at this,” stated Marchionne. “There is a product that is available that we can make right here. We’ll have to wait for the allocation of capital to be in the appropriate cycle for us to get it.”

In speaking about the Pacifica, Marchionne pointed out that the model’s platform could be flexible adequate to use for a next-generation Chrysler 300.

Say what?

The Brampton, Ontario-constructed Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger/Challenger ride atop the venerable LX platform from the old DaimlerChrysler days. The Pacifica’s Fiat-sourced platform is front-wheel drive, with provisions for all-wheel drive.

Final year, FCA pushed a redesign of its complete-size sedans off into the future, focusing instead on shuffling Jeep and Ram production to maximize output of its hottest promoting brands. Small auto production holds no interest for Marchionne — whilst in Windsor, he reaffirmed his commitment to outsource production of the slow-promoting Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart to another automaker.

With Jeep and Ram production lastly figured out, and little automobiles on their way out, that narrows down the choice of what automobile class could come to Windsor. Marchionne wants the Pacifica to compete with crossovers, so it is unlikely that a Chrysler-badged utility model would ever join it at the plant.

That leaves the 300, which has noticed its sales drop for the past 4 years — a trend observed across the as soon as-popular complete-size sedan field.

Will FCA kill the 300’s rear-drive architecture? If it does, exactly where does that leave Brampton Assembly?

Marchionne played coy with the possibility of a front-drive complete-sizer.

“It’s capable,” he stated of the Pacifica’s platform, “but that’s not a commitment.”

The Truth About Cars » Vehicle Reviews

Plant Shutdown Extended as Chrysler 200 Continues to be Unpopular

2016 Chrysler 200S and 2016 Chrysler 200C, Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles North America

The midsize sedan that can’t catch a break is continuing to darken a plant where workers can’t catch a shift.

The Sterling Heights, Michigan assembly plant that produces the Chrysler 200 will remain closed for another 3 weeks, Automotive News reports, extending the temporary closure to a total of nine weeks.

Slow sales and a steep inventory glut are to blame for the shutdown, which was needed for supply and demand to regain equilibrium.

The Chrysler 200 has lately been a sales disaster for Fiat Chrysler Corporation. Whilst its Jeep and Ram brands are selling as quickly as they can be cranked out, FCA reported a 59 % year-over-year sales decrease in February, following a 63 percent plunge in January.

With public interest like this, it is no wonder FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne plans to farm out the production of its modest automobiles to one more automaker, assuming a single can be identified. In the meantime, the 200 and Dodge Dart compact will be left to wither on the vine — a approach, it appears, that buyers are currently helping expedite.

The past two years have been great for automakers who pitch a well-known solution, but the 200 and Dart failed to ignite a flame in the getting public, trailing their domestic and foreign counterparts by a mile. Though buyers are increasingly turning to crossovers and away from traditional sedans, other automakers haven’t abandoned the category for a cause: they’re nonetheless promoting adequate of them.

Presently, the 200 lingers at the 24th spot on the U.S. ideal-selling automobile list, and is the 68th most popular model all round. To put that in point of view, the Ford Fusion is in sixth location on the vehicle sales list and Chevrolet Malibu is in eighth.

The Dart, it should be noted, comes in at 26th on the auto sales list.

The Sterling Heights plant employs two,100 United Auto Workers members, all of whom will be getting reduced pay until production restarts.

[Pictures: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles North America]

The Truth About Automobiles » Car Evaluations