While Chrysler pats itself on the back for making its first profit in the last quarter ever since it emerged from bankruptcy in 2009, it is hard at work on its upcoming vehicles. Chrysler is intent on shifting the focus from pickups and SUVs. In fact, corporate planners want to retain aspects of performance and off-road capability.
Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne recently told analysts and reporters that the company will revive the lauded Super Bee badge for a variant of the Dodge Charger. He also confirmed that the Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited will drop the 3.8-liter V6s and will instead offer the more efficient Pentastar V6 engine range.
Marchionne asserted that the Pentastar V6 will boost the efficiency of the Wrangler lineup by 10% more, when combined with a new automatic transmission that will only be a five-speeder. There will be other upgrades to the powertrain, including an eight-speed automatic for the Chrysler 300 and Charger, as well as a nine-speed job for front- and all-wheel-drive platforms in 2013.
This eight-speed automatic was originally supplied by ZF Group but Chrysler then came in to build it. In addition, Chrysler is working on an all-new dual-clutch automated manual transmission that was initially meant for the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger.
However, Chrysler declined to provide a timetable for the introduction of the fuel-saving transmission in the U.S. Before Chrysler entered bankruptcy, it was focused on a venture to make dual-clutch automated manuals with Getrag at a refurbished Chrysler transmission plant in Kokomo, Indiana.
However, this deal was later dropped. In the next several weeks, Chrysler's managing partner Fiat Automotive will allow a deal to refinance its government bailout loans that will lead to Fiat owning 46% of Chrysler.
The last action in Fiat’s plan to get a controlling 51% interest in Chrysler is linked to the company building a vehicle in the U.S. that offers combined fuel economy of at least 40 mpg. Chrysler’s latest timeline indicates that as Fiat wants control of Chrysler in 2011, the new 40-mpg vehicle (which will likely be based on the Fiat 500 architecture) will be launched by the end of 2011.
Dodge’s all-new 2011 edition of the Charger is its latest top-of-the line car, with a modern four-door fastback coupe design, outstanding capabilities, refined workmanship, cutting-edge telematics and an exemplary overall charm. It is a prime option among executive sedans for its incredible combination of precision and value.
According to Ralph Giles, President and CEO of Chrysler Group LLC’s Dodge Brand, the 2011 Charger personifies the brand’s effort to renew the playing landscape by providing a real American car with world-class performance, technology, efficiency and construction in an extraordinary design. It has great appeal especially for people who make drivability a primary consideration. The car’s modernised four-door fastback coupe design features the signature Dodge style, a standard-setting performance, precise responsiveness, leading-edge automotive technology, space-age materials and superb construction -- all combined to define the Charger’s eminent status at a surprising value.
FOUR-DOOR FASTBACK COUPE DESIGN WITH RENOWNED DODGE PERFORMANCE ABILITIES
The efficiently streamlined 2011 Dodge Charger’s body style pays homage to an ancestor – the classic late ‘60s second-generation Charger, which would be readily recognisable and emotionally evocative for generations of Dodge performance car fans.
From the front, the Dodge Charger looks fierce and seems to have its executive sedan rivals on target with its "split crosshair" signature grille. This is a new and more elaborate grille design featuring chrome linings around a black satin inset. Behind this is a split hexagon patterned grate on which is mounted the new "Dodge" nameplate.
The specific design details adapted and updated from the 1968 to 1970 Dodge Charger coupes include the dual scallops on the aluminium bonnet that contribute to its stylised, performance-oriented look. Another adapted element is the use of prominent side scallops that emphasise an A-line through the doors – reminiscent of its high-performance predecessors. The trademark ‘coke bottle’ door and side form are seen horizontally from front to back, and congruently make the front and rear fenders more robust and aggressive-looking.
The sides of the Dodge Charger flare out perceptibly, such that there is a 6-inch offset between the shoulder lines and roof rails, which give the car an impression of a lowered racing-oriented stance similar to the late ‘60s Charger coupes. The surfaces around the wheels are also shaped for performance and have an 8 mm tighter tire-to-body fitment compared to the preceding model. This enhances the car aerodynamically and gives it a more sportive and powerful look.
The Charger R/T features a rear spoiler that further increases streamlining and adds even more attitude to its image. This is also an option on the Charger SE.
From the rear, the definitive tail lights bring attention to the wide stance of this executive fastback. These lights are made up of 164 illuminating LEDs arranged in a trademark "racetrack" pattern, which is enough to lend identity to the new Dodge Charger, even from a distance.