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]

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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.

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‘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]

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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]

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

FCA

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.

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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.

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2017 Fiat 124 Spider Evaluation – Shhh, Don’t Say Its Name

2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth, Image: FCA

If you weren’t in on the secret, a lot of this morning’s presentation at the Park Hyatt Aviara would have made no sense. A series of 4 FCA personnel stood up to talk about the new 124 Spider, which was behind them to stage correct. On stage left was a pristine Euro-bumpered 124 Sport Spider from the late ’60. Every of them talked about “what’s changed on the vehicle.”

“It’s 5 inches longer, with all-new exterior sheetmetal,” 1 presenter mentioned. “It’s got an aluminum panel in the folding roof, and thicker rear glass,” yet another noted. “The suspension tuning is fully various,” stated yet an additional. I could see the confusion on the faces of some of the older auto journos from the newspapers. It is five inches longer than the original 124? It’s got thicker rear glass? The suspension is diverse? Properly, duh, appropriate? For a lot more than an hour, Fiat’s marketing and advertising, styling and engineering personnel talked about “what’s changed on the vehicle.”

There was the word that never ever escaped anybody’s lips, not a single time. Even when I raised my hand to ask “how the weight compares,” I couldn’t quite bring myself to say the word. But we can say it here on TTAC: Miata. The new Fiat 124 Spider is based on the ND-generation Mazda Miata, the auto that your humble author drove in Spain a year and a half ago and which has been fairly justifiably hailed as the finest modest roadster of this century. The 124 Spider is assembled proper next to the Miata in Japan, with a “J” VIN. The principal distinction: where the Miata has a 2.-liter Skyactiv typically-aspirated 4-cylinder, the 124 has the turbo 1.four-liter MultiAir four-banger from the Fiat 500 Abarth, constructed in Italy and shipped to Mazda’s assembly line.

Fiat would favor that we didn’t mention the Miata. But, as we’ll see, the 124 Spider need not worry any comparisons with its retailer-branded sibling. Fairly the contrary, in fact.

2017 Fiat 124 Spider and 1968 Fiat 124 Spider, Image: FCA

As fate would have it, two weeks ago I had the likelihood to put about 400 miles on a fully-loaded Miata as part of a piece I’m doing for R&ampT subsequent month. It was my very first likelihood to drive a 2.-liter, U.S.-spec ND Miata and I have to say that I was utterly stunned by just how close the tiny Mazda comes to perfection. Every thing about that Miata is in best balance. The chassis, the engine, and the handle weighting — all but not possible to improve upon.

What a relief, consequently, to see that Fiat didn’t even try to increase on it. Alternatively, they took that central, perfected character of the Miata and shattered it, producing three wonderful automobiles from one best one particular. I’ll clarify. You see, all Miatas are generally the identical. Certain, you can get a handful of distinct trim levels, but that’s all they are — diverse selection packages that sit quite lightly on a single vital character. If you don’t like the MX-5 Club, you will not like the Grand Touring, and vice versa.

2017 Fiat 124 Spider Lusso, Image: FCA

With the 124, on the other hand, the three accessible trim levels every represent a fundamental change in the car’s mission. Commence with Classica, the $ 25,990 base model. I started my morning by driving a grey six-speed manual Classica via about 40 miles of San Diego canyon roads. It is significantly quieter than the Miata, even best down, and it rides quite softly. The interior, even so, is primarily identical to what you get in a base Miata, proper down to the three metal-finish knobs that manage the climate manage. Grip from the 16-inch tire package is modest, and the suspension floats a bit when you encounter sharp dips or rises in the road.

I’m a veteran of a lot of miles and years in the original Fiat Spiders. This Classica is the truest to those comparatively modest roadsters, built as cheaply as possible by sullen union labor with cheap steel and massively aromatic vinyl. There was nothing luxurious or even exotic about the first 124 Spider. It’s greatest to think of it as an Italian take on the Karmann Ghia, throwing a spectacular physique on prosaic underpinnings and a twin-cam head on the very same engine that took much of Italy to operate each day.

The stellar unity of the Miata is missing from the Classica. It doesn’t deal with very as nicely as I’d like and the MultiAir, like most modern day turbo motors, would rather you skip the final thousand revs in favor of a quick-shift method that rides the meat of the torque curve. The net impact is to undermine that jinba ittai just a bit. It doesn’t feel as special as the auto from which it’s derived. As an actual, practical day-to-day driver, nevertheless, it is miles ahead. The NVH improvements reduce driver fatigue, and the turbo engine tends to make maintaining up with traffic effortless. I would recommend the Classica more than the Miata for anybody who does not have an active racing license.

2017 Fiat 124 Spider Interior, Image: FCA

That goes double, even triple, for the Lusso, which adds leather upholstery and the capability to add a wide variety of optional extras for just beneath twenty-nine grand. The Lusso that I drove had an automatic transmission. LJK Setright famously mentioned that the turbo engine and the torque-converter automatic transmission have been perfect partners, due to the fact “one will be at operate when the other is not.” I suspect that the vast majority of Spiders in this nation will be automatic Lussos — and you know what? It is an absolutely brilliant car. I was prepared to despise it, but 30 miles behind the wheel was enough to make me a believer. The Aisin-sourced automatic is direct and beautifully programmed, keeping the turbo on the boil and catapulting the Lusso forward with actual authority. With the prime up, I located myself going really rapidly without having really planning to.

I’ve by no means had any affection at all for auto-transmission Miatas, but the 124 Lusso is basically a wonderful car. It’s quiet, it’s comfortable, and it is definitely no hassle to drive. The nearest competitor with the very same virtues would have to be the Mercedes SLK250, which expenses practically twice as a lot. It is not the 124 that I’d choose for myself, but there’s extremely little to criticize about it. Incidentally, the 1st one particular hundred and twenty-four Spiders to be delivered to this nation will be particular electric-blue Lussos with a Prima Edizione equipment package. They’ll be $ 35,995 and I’d imagine that they are all spoken for currently.

2017 Fiat 124 Spider, Image: © 2016 Jack Baruth/The Truth About Cars

As good as the Classica and Lusso are, I’d still personally take a Miata Club or Grand Touring for my personal garage. The 124 Abarth, on the other hand … oh man. Just appear at it. That flat-black hood and trunk, the Brembo calipers, the scorpion badging. It’s aggressive in a way that no factory Miata has ever been. Fiat set up an autocross course at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego especially to show the Abarth off. They stated that we could have “unlimited runs.” Following my ninth run, it was recommended to me that I take a break. Like, a long break.

Without having that suggestion, I’d have driven that course for yet another hour. Possibly two. The Abarth is just brilliant. The MultiAir is uncorked a bit by a quad-pipe exhaust that supposedly raises horsepower to 164. There’s an Abarth-branded aftermarket exhaust accessible as well that makes the Fiat sound like a miniature Ferrari 488. I suggest it. Attempt to forgive me for saying “1.6 liter” during the cooldown lap in the video, by the way!

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The six-speed manual transmission, sourced from the NC-generation Miata, has shorter, sharper throws than the new-gen box in the ND. It’s completely self-confidence inspiring. The chassis, as properly, is beyond reproach, allowing the tail to be thrown and caught in third gear with reckless abandon. The front end has all the grip that’s missing in the Classica and the stiffer suspension removes each the float and the mild fore-and-aft pitch that affects the Classica, the Lusso, and the Miata itself.

The Classica departs from the Miata formula to add every day usability the Lusso leaves it to give grand-touring comfort. The Abarth is like a tuner Miata low, angry, fast to respond. Speaking of tuning: there are shops that are acquiring 230 horsepower out of the 500 Abarth for a couple grand. The Abarth starts at $ 30,540. Anticipate to see them in Friday-evening street-race lots across the nation next year, snorting and popping and hissing below exaggerated boost pressure. There’s anything amusing about the reality that the Miata is ultimately offered in a variant that will command the respect of young males all they had to do was place a snail on the thing and roll hardware-shop paint on the hood. I totally adore it.

2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth, Image: FCA

The best way to recognize the 124 Spider is this: it’s a 4-wheeled Bimota. Some of you will recognize Bimota as the Italian motorcycle manufacturer that wraps Italian chassis and styling about verified Japanese engines. In the ’80s, when Suzuki and Yamaha have been putting killer powerhouse inline-fours in rather dodgy perimeter frames, the Bimotas were unstoppable. The issue with them was that all of the Italian stuff, especially the wiring, was topic to variable high quality control.

This Fiat should provide the identical bulletproof engineering and assembly top quality that makes Miatas such fantastic extended-term ownership propositions, but it also has Italian styling and a powertrain that just speaks with far more authority than the relatively anodyne Skyactiv 2.-liter in the Mazda-branded car. There’s no value penalty, and the weight penalty of about 100 pounds is nicely worth it for anyone who values peace and quiet on the freeway. I will not say that it’s a greater vehicle than the Miata I do not feel it is. But it hits some really distinct marks in a way that its sibling can not.

Casual roadster fans will love the automatic Lusso. The Classica is arguably better value than the base MX-5. And that Abarth? It is enough to make you neglect that word that we weren’t supposed to say in today’s media briefing.

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Fiat Merger Won’t Come about Under Marchionne’s Watch

Sergio Marchionne. Photo courtesy Toledo Blade.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles chief Sergio Marchionne told Bloomberg on Monday that his business most likely wouldn’t merge with one more automaker ahead of his tenure is up in 2018.

The chief executive publicly courted General Motors in 2015 to merge two of the Huge 3. GM CEO Mary Barra publicly refuted that partnership, and Marchionne seems to have gotten the hint.

“I met Mary Barra significantly less than a month ago in Washington,” Marchionne told Bloomberg. “I do not believe I will have another coffee with her. It will not happen again in the future.”

Marchionne stated any merger would have to be completed following he leaves — in 2018.

Till then, the automaker plans on hitting its identical ambitious sales targets, Marchionne told Bloomberg, such as 7 million sales by 2018 — two million a lot more than numerous estimate the carmaker will really sell.

According to the report, Marchionne stated he shrugged gives from other automakers that weren’t as promising as a Fiat-GM alliance, but we’re not here to speak about the past anymore, you guys.

Instead, Marchionne and FCA will go at it alone and continue its ambitious $ 52 billion investment strategy that started by spinning off Ferrari. Sales of FCA shares dropped sharply Monday as Ferrari started trading on its personal, separate from FCA.


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Fiat Chrysler Recalling Practically 500,000 SUVs for Recall Fix

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit-002

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced this week that they would be recalling almost 500,000 SUVs — such as much more than 350,000 in the U.S. — for a vanity mirror wire that could potentially overheat and increase risk for a fire.

The affected SUVs are model year 2011-2012 Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Durangos created prior to Sept. two, 2012. Those automobiles have been the topic of an earlier recall that, if carried out improperly, could leave those cars more susceptible to a short circuit.

FCA said it was unaware of any injuries.

This year, FCA agreed to a fine and consent order with the National Highway Site visitors Security Administration, which placed an independent monitor to oversee how the company conducts recalls. Earlier this year, NHTSA announced that former Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater would monitor FCA’s future recalls.


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LA 2015: Ohhai Fiata 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Leaked A Day Early

fiat-124-spider-leak

AutoGuide has an early image of the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider in full pixelated glory ahead of its reveal Wednesday at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The two-seater sports vehicle, which shares a equivalent skeleton as the Mazda MX-5 Miata, will reportedly sport a Fiat engine underneath its lengthy hood — almost certainly borrowed from the Fiat 500 Abarth. That 1.four-liter turbocharged mill produces 160 horsepower, which is only five far more than the Miata.

If the Fiata does get the Multi-air treatment, items could get fascinating. For starters, the Fiat 500 Abarth uses nearly straight pipes out its rear finish, which makes the auto sound like an angsty 60-pound bee gasping for air. Top-down, cold begins could be magnificent in the 124 Spider. Second, power delivery in a boosted mill could be all types of lumpy enjoyable next to the Mazda’s naturally aspirated 4.

We’ll have to wait until Wednesday for official information from Fiat, like what may possibly be in retailer for a 124 Abarth model.

The vehicle is slated to go on sale sometime next year.


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