Earlier this week, the Chrysler Group released sketches of Moparized vehicles headed to Las Vegas for the Specialty Equipment Market Association.  They plan to display over 20 vehicles at the show, including those from Moparized Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Fiat and SRT.  Mopar is the company’s service, parts and customer-care brand.

“At Mopar, we always look forward to the SEMA season,” Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand, told media. “The show is an opportunity for us to inspire owners to customize their vehicles, and it’s the perfect place to showcase our vast portfolio of quality-tested performance parts and accessories.”

 

In celebration of Mopar’s 75th birthday, they will be introducing a few industry-firsts.  These include vehicle information apps, electronic owner manuals, in-car Wi-Fi, wireless charging for portable devices, Electronic Vehicle Tracking System with text notification, a drag-race package vehicle and WiTECH.

For more information about Mopar or to take a look at any Chrysler Group vehicle, contact Larson Dodge.

 

 

 

 

30 Sep 2012

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2013 Fiat 500 Abarth Fuori Serie - live at 2012 Paris Motor Show reveal

Customization programs are nothing new in the auto industry. For a fee, they offer a chance to work directly with the manufacturer to create a one-of-a-kind vehicle for the customer. These programs, however, are usually offered by makers of the most exotic, expensive and exclusive vehicles, like Ferrari, Rolls-Royce and Porsche. It’s not often that a manufacturer of, shall we say, a more humble stature, offers this type of vehicle personalization. Nevertheless, that’s exactly what Fiat is doing with its “Fuori Serie” program.

The Italian automaker’s new personalization program is being offered only for Abarth models, and is represented at the Paris Motor Show by the Fiat 500 Abarth Fuori Serie, a stunning reinterpretation of the Fiat Abarth 131 Mirafiori “Olio Fiat” livery that debuted at the 1976 Monte Carlo Rally. The matte yellow-and-blue colors of the livery are the most striking aspect of the car, but walking around it reveals other details like a hood that features a NACA duct on one side and louvered vent on the other, the highly polished wheels with yellow center caps that match the painted Brembo brake calipers, and lastly, the special “Fuori Serie” and “695″ badging. Along with colors and finishes, Fuori Serie vehicles also get a special 180-horsepower tune of Abarth’s 1.4-liter turbo that normally leaves the factory with 160 hp.

The 500 Abarth Fuori Serie is just one example of what a customer can create using Fiat’s new program, which starts by choosing one of two customization collections: Heritage or New Wave. The car you see here came from the Heritage collection, which draws its colors, materials and finishes from Fiat’s motorsports exploits. The New Wave collection, meanwhile, draws inspiration from the “modern world.” We’re not quite sure what that means, but hopefully Fiat will show up at the next international auto show with another Fuori Serie car to explain.

Continue reading 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth Fuori Serie puts customization program on display

2013 Fiat 500 Abarth Fuori Serie puts customization program on display originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 28 Sep 2012 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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29 Sep 2012

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2013 Fiat Panda 4x4 live at 2012 Paris Motor Show reveal

Fiat has already dropped all of the info for its new Panda 4×4 mini utility, but the Paris Motor Show allows us to finally see this prospective future Jeep in the flesh. Claimed to be the only four-wheel-drive offering in Europe’s A-segment, the 2013 Fiat Panda 4×4 promises to be a proficient off-roader in a very small package.

From the sounds of it, this latest Panda 4×4 is no softroader, with permanent four-wheel drive that maximizes off-road capabilities through a torque-on-demand system that features a pair of differentials. The Panda 4×4′s electronic locking differential can apply the brakes to wheels losing grip and transfer that power to other wheels for optimal traction. Power comes from either an 80-horsepower, 0.9-liter TwinAir Turbo engine or a 1.3-liter diesel.

While giving off the rugged vibe with all its black plastic cladding, the Panda 4×4 still has a cute exterior design that displays its kinship to the Fiat 500. Speaking of the 500, the Panda 4×4 rides on the same 90.6-inch wheelbase as Fiat’s iconic hatchback – despite having four doors – and it’s also longer, taller and wider than the standard Panda.

We doubt the U.S. will ever see the Panda or the Panda 4×4, but it could very well be the basis for a new sub-Compass model in the Jeep lineup, so it will likely pay to keep a close eye on Fiat’s cuddly little dirtmonger. Scroll down for the official press release with more details.

Continue reading 2013 Fiat Panda 4×4 is ‘go anywhere’ in a small package

2013 Fiat Panda 4×4 is ‘go anywhere’ in a small package originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 27 Sep 2012 20:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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28 Sep 2012

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Cell phone image of woman on hood of driving car

A 29-year-old man was arrested last week after driving along Interstate 85 near Buford, Georgia with his girlfriend on the hood of his Jeep Cherokee. Jonathon Lozano Salas and his girlfriend reportedly got into an argument on September 18, and while it isn’t clear how the woman ended up on the hood of Salas’ Jeep, the 911 calls started pouring in once he drove onto the interstate.

Fortunately, a group of Good Samaritan motorists acted fast before the woman could be hurt or, more likely, killed. In the cell phone picture above, you can see the woman’s silhouette through the windshield and her head just peeking over the roof, and according to one witness, Salas was driving on I-85 at about 80 miles per hour. One of the concerned drivers followed the Jeep for at least nine miles while on the phone with 911 and eventually several other motorists formed a rolling roadblock to get Salas to safely slow down before police arrived.

The incident, which police called an outrageous case of domestic abuse, happened about 30 miles north of Atlanta, and Salas was arrested and faces charges of felony aggravated assault, reckless conduct and simple battery.

Since the video can’t be embedded, be sure to head over to WSBTV to check out the news report.

Good Samaritan motorists box in man driving with girlfriend on hood, end ordeal safely originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 26 Sep 2012 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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26 Sep 2012

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2013 SRT Viper - blue with white stripes - front three-quarter view

Back in May, we were the first to reveal that Chrysler was going to be requiring that its dealers meet certain special criteria to sell the 2013 SRT Viper. Now, USA Today is reporting that no more than 6.5 percent of Chrysler’s U.S. dealerships will earn the right to sell the new Viper. Of the 2,300 dealerships, “only about 100 to 150″ will satisfy the qualifications SRT has deemed necessary to satisfy the “different kind of a customer” and “different approach” that the Viper requires. That’s far fewer outlets than the one-fifth of Chrysler’s dealer body that was rumored back in July.

Those fortunate enough to make the cut will receive full-circle training in how to deal with all aspects of the $99,390 SRT Viper and $122,390 Viper GTS, and a report in Automotive News indicates that they’ll have to pay for it: a “high-performance agreement” to sell the 640-horsepower coupe will cost $20,000, but a further $5,000 is needed for tools, training, preferential ordering and peripherals that apply to the brand and every vehicle in the SRT stable.

Any dealer can opt in at the $5,000 level, and if they have met customer satisfaction standards, they are eligible for the special treatment when it comes to ordering. Any dealer can also work on any SRT vehicle, excluding the Viper. Only the select few, though, will get the chance to spend that $20,000. What it will take to be among the chosen hasn’t been divulged, with SRT CEO Ralph Gilles saying only that “the first unofficial requirement… [is] a love affair with the cars.”

Only about 5% of Chrysler dealers will sell SRT Viper originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 24 Sep 2012 11:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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26 Sep 2012

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2015 SRT Barracuda rendering by Jon Sibal - chopped front 3/4 viewAlmost as soon as Chrysler showed us the new Dodge Challenger, Mopar fans began wondering when the Pentastar brand would put together a Barracuda. Some financially sound fans even created their own retro ‘Cudas, some to much praise. But if Car and Driver is to be believed, those visions of a modern, rejuvenated ‘Cuda are not nearly modern enough.

The magazine commissioned artist Jon Sibul to combine all the rumors it has collected into a speculative vision of what the look of a 2015 SRT Barracuda might be.

Instead of making a retro-modern version of the beloved, iconic Barracuda shape, it looks like the artist chose to imagine a far different approach for the speculated Pony Car. The original’s long hood and short deck are replaced by a short hood and short deck. The split grille tries to evoke earlier ‘Cudas, but we think it might actually be more appropriate as a Pontiac than a Plymouth (err..SRT, you know what we mean).

C/D says its sources point to a 2015 SRT Barracuda replacing the current Challenger, but with a smaller vehicle that’s more of a sports car than muscle car. Engine choices could be as varied as a turbocharged Targershark inline-four, a 3.6-liter V6 and one of two Hemis: either the 5.7 or 6.4-liter.

Overall size is expected to be closer to the Ford Mustang than the Charger, with a weight loss of as much as 300 pounds.

Check out the complete renderings at over at C/D and let us know in Comments what you think of them.

Further speculation about radical new SRT Barracuda originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 25 Sep 2012 13:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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26 Sep 2012

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Canadian Auto Workers union boss Ken Lewenza - headshot with gesture

According to the Detroit Free Press, Ford’s Canadian employees have ratified their union contract, making Chrysler the only automaker to not have worked out an agreement with its Canadian workforce. Employees from Ford of Canada voted 82 percent in favor of a new national contract following a weekend’s worth of voting.

There are 21,000 Canadian Auto Workers union members, 4,500 of which are from Ford. While General Motors workers are set to ratify a new contract on Wednesday, Chrysler has made no such progress with its staffers.

CAW President Ken Lewenza (shown above) says that a Chrysler deal could come soon, “If they meet pattern, we could wrap up tomorrow,” suggesting that Chrysler could follow the lead of Ford and GM’s deals. However, the Fiat-owned automaker has reportedly made stronger demands for concessions than that of GM or Ford.

According to the report, the agreement with Ford includes the addition of 635 jobs over the life of the contract, to be filled mostly with previously laid-off employees. 583 workers were laid off from the Windsor plant, while another 280 were released from St. Thomas.

Plans to keep producing engines such as the Windsor-built 5.4-liter V8 engine and the 6.8-liter V8 have helped bolster the deal. Meanwhile, Ford is set to announce that its EcoBoost engine will be built in China because the nation’s government has rules requiring domestic production.

CAW and Ford ratify agreement, Chrysler still pending originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 24 Sep 2012 15:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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25 Sep 2012

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Chrysler Jefferson North Plant

Production resumes today at Chrysler’s Jefferson North plant in Detroit just one day after a tragedy on the line in which a worker slit the throat of another and then later killed himself.

Police said on Thursday that an ongoing dispute between two employees at the plant resulted in one stabbing the other at 7:50 AM, and then fleeing. He was found later Thursday on Belle Isle, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The names of the men were not confirmed by authorities, but co-workers and neighbors identified the man who killed his co-worker as Jeff Hunt and the slain co-worker as Keith Readus, sources have reported.

The Jefferson North plant produces the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango.

Read more here on the incident.

Production resumes at Chrysler plant after murder-suicide originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 21 Sep 2012 14:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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21 Sep 2012

The Dodge Dart Aero hasn’t been officially released, nor have fuel economy details from Dodge.  Yet, the FuelEconomy.gov website shows the 2013 Dodge Dart Aero manual as being rated 41 MPG on the highway, and the automatic version rated at 40 MPG on the highway.  This is with the turbocharged 1.4-liter paired to a six-speed transmission.

Being the most fuel efficient part of the brand-new Dart lineup isn’t the Aero’s only claim to fame; the Aero is also the most powerful as the 184 lb ft of torque and 160 horsepower will tell you.  This way, you don’t have to sacrifice any power to drive an extremely fuel efficient vehicle, and it’s still as fun to drive as any other car.

The Dodge Dart was recently released and is the perfect choice for young and stylish urban citizens or commuters.  The technology, features and dynamic styling of the Dart make for a one-of-a-kind vehicle that has tons to offer.

For more information about the Dart or to take a look at any Dodge vehicle, contact Larson Dodge.

 

21 Sep 2012

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Fiat Ducato van - red - front three-quarter view

Chrysler has been busy at the trademark office. Allpar.com reports the manufacturer has laid claim to a stack of new names, including Detroit Motor Works, Wrangler Freedom Edition, 8 Mile, Crossroad and Chrysler 100, as well as Ram ProMaster and the Ram ProMaster City. The automaker has made no secret of the fact that it wants to build a new small car, and that the machine will almost certainly ride under the Chrysler 100 banner. Dealers reportedly got a closer look at the vehicle at a recent gathering in Las Vegas.

Likewise, the two ProMaster names are little surprise, as Fiat intends to give the Ford Transit and Transit connect some competition with its own European-style Ducato vans. Now it looks as if those will come with Promaster badges.

But, names like Detroit Motor Works, 8 Mile and Crossroad all leave the door open for some speculation. Allpar.com also reports Chrysler has laid claim to Active Air, which it speculates may be applied to the company’s variable valve timing systems.

Chrysler trademarks 8 Mile, ProMaster originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 20 Sep 2012 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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21 Sep 2012