Mopar Celebrates 80 Years With Debut of Mopar ’17 Dodge Challenger

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The vehicle offers a pair of hand-painted, custom, show car trim options. Only 80 models will be available in Pitch Black/Contusion Blue, with another 80 in Pitch Black/Billet Silver, in a nod to 80 years of the Mopar brand.

The Mopar ’17 Dodge Challenger also includes Mopar performance parts, accessories, an exclusive owner’s kit and a serialized badge.

“Since its birth in 1937, Mopar has evolved from the name of an antifreeze product to a global customer-care brand,” said Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar), FCA – Global. “The Mopar ’17 Dodge Challenger, our latest limited-edition vehicle, is a testament to this philosophy, showcasing how Mopar assists owners in personalizing all FCA US vehicles.”

The Mopar ’17 Dodge Challenger joins an exclusive club as the eighth limited-edition, Mopar-modified vehicle delivered straight from the factory. In 2010, the brand produced the first of an ongoing series of limited-edition vehicles, the Mopar ’10 Challenger. Other low-run, factory-produced Mopar rides would follow: the Mopar ’11 Charger, Mopar ’12 300, Mopar ’13 Dart, Mopar ’14 Challenger, Mopar ’15 Dodge Charger R/T and Mopar ’16 Ram Rebel.

Mopar ’17: Exterior
The Mopar ’17 Dodge Challenger begins turning heads through its exterior and a pair of two-tone custom paint options achieved with an assist from the Mopar Custom Shop. Contusion Blue and Billet Silver hues are pulled from the Dodge brand’s color palette, with the upper portion of the Mopar ’17 hand-painted Pitch Black at the Mopar Custom Shop to achieve the striking two-tone appearance.

The Contusion Blue color conveys a tone-on-tone look, providing a subtle, hiding-in-plain-sight feel at night and a brilliant appearance in daylight. Billet Silver offers a more high-impact, high-contrast exterior color. The inherent bodylines of the Dodge Challenger are used to transition from Pitch Black to Contusion Blue or Billet Silver, providing a seamless segue point.

A special Mopar 392 logo, also hand-painted on at the Mopar Custom Shop, gives an additional custom touch.

The upper exterior is unified with Pitch Black accents. The standard satin black of the Shaker Hood package by Mopar and Shaker Hood scoop surround is painted Pitch Black. The rear decklid spoiler also receives the Pitch Black treatment, and the Mopar Design badge on the spoiler is turned black-on-black.

20 x 9-inch aluminum wheels are embellished with semi-gloss accents and center caps feature the Dodge logo. Standard chrome exhaust tips are replaced with Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat black exhaust tips.

Mopar ’17: Performance
The six-speed manual transmission Mopar ’17 Dodge Challenger also makes a powerful performance statement that enhances the base Dodge Challenger R/T 392. The 6.4-liter, 392 HEMI® engine pumps out 485 horsepower and 475 lb.-ft. of torque and is augmented by the Shaker Hood package by Mopar, which provides performance gains with a hint of vintage styling. The scoop is embellished with Shaker badging.

A Mopar cold air intake also delivers a performance boost and is aided by an air catcher duct system via the headlamp. The upgrade, inspired by the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, feeds additional cold air into the vehicle. Mopar Shaker strut tower braces and caps are silver powder-coated and increase rigidity and handling of the Mopar ’17 Dodge Challenger. Four-piston Brembo brakes provide stopping power.

Mopar ’17: Interior/Exclusive Content
Heading inside, performance seats are the star, customized with Tungsten Mopar logos embroidered on the seatbacks. Tungsten stitching matching the Mopar logo borders the seats and continues throughout the vehicle, touching the door panels and additional interior areas.

Befitting its limited-edition origins, the Mopar ’17 Dodge Challenger is delivered with exclusive content that highlights the vehicle’s prestige and collectability. A special serialized Mopar ’17 80th Anniversary badge is included under the hood, announcing 1-80 of the Contusion Blue version and 1-80 of the Billet Silver option.

Each customer will receive a special Mopar ’17 Owner’s Kit, packaged in a custom Mopar box that includes:

  • Mopar welcome letter
  • “Birth certificate” with vehicle specifications, date of manufacture and proprietary vehicle number
  • Hand-signed Mopar ’17 rendering from the FCA US LLC Product Design Office
  • Special Mopar ’17 booklet
  • Customized acrylic memorabilia showpiece
  • Mopar valve stem caps
  • Mopar-branded items, including a Mopar ’17 keychain and a Mopar 80th anniversary badge

The limited-edition vehicle will be available in both the U.S. and Canada, with a U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $55,790, excluding taxes and destination fees. The Mopar ’17 Dodge Challenger will begin arriving in select dealerships in early second quarter of 2017.

The Mopar ’17 Dodge Challenger will be displayed at the Chicago Auto Show. For more information, visit http://blog.mopar.com/.

About Dodge and SRT Brands
The Dodge brand is America’s mainstream performance brand. With the purification of the brand and consolidation with SRT, Dodge is focusing on its performance roots with every single model it offers. The Dodge and SRT brands offer a complete lineup of performance vehicles that stand out within their own segments. Dodge is the mainstream performance brand and SRT is positioned as the ultimate performance halo of the Dodge brand, together creating a complete and balanced performance brand with one vision and one voice.

From muscle cars to minivans, crossovers and full-size SUVs, the Dodge brand’s full lineup of 2017 models deliver best-in-class horsepower, class-exclusive technology, unmatched capability and a slew of cool features, such as LED headlamps, Dodge signature racetrack tail lamps, active exhaust, cold-air induction, 8.4-inch touchscreen Uconnect infotainment centers and 7-inch customizable gauge clusters, to name a few. For the 2017 model year, the Dodge brand lineup features the 25th anniversary Viper, Durango, Grand Caravan, Journey, Charger and Challenger, including the new Charger Daytona and Challenger T/A, as well as the 707-horsepower Challenger SRT Hellcat, the most powerful and fastest muscle car ever and the Charger SRT Hellcat, the quickest, fastest and most powerful sedan in the world.

Mopar-First Features
During the brand’s 80 years, Mopar has introduced numerous industry-first features including:

  • Vehicle-information apps: first to introduce smartphone vehicle-information applications, a new channel of communication with consumers
  • wiADVISOR: first to incorporate a tablet-based service lane tool
  • Electronic Vehicle Tracking System (EVTS): first to market with a new interactive vehicle tracking device that sends owner a text when vehicle is driven too fast or too far based on pre-set parameters
  • Wi-Fi: first to offer customers the ability to make their vehicle a wireless hot spot
  • Electronic owner manuals: first to introduce traditional owner manuals in a DVD and brief user-guide format

80 Years of Mopar
Mopar (a simple contraction of the words MOtor and PARts) was born on August 1, 1937, as the name of a line of antifreeze products. Mopar has since evolved over 80 years to serve as the total service, parts and customer-care brand of all FCA vehicles around the globe.

Mopar made its mark in the 1960s during the muscle-car era, with Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use, and expanded to include technical service and customer support. Today, the Mopar brand’s global reach distributes more than 500,000 parts and accessories in over 150 markets around the world. With more than 50 parts distribution centers and 25 customer contact centers globally, Mopar integrates service, parts and customer-care operations in order to enhance customer and dealer support worldwide.

For 80 years, Mopar has been the source for genuine parts and accessories for all FCA brands. Mopar parts are engineered together with the same teams that create factory-authorized specifications for FCA vehicles, offering a direct connection that no other aftermarket parts company can provide. Complete information on the Mopar brand is available at www.mopar.com.

SOURCE FCA US LLC

CHICAGO, Feb. 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ —

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/mopar-celebrates-80-years-with-debut-of-mopar-17-dodge-challenger-300405358.html

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Dodge Charger And Challenger Go Mango At New York

Thursday, March 24, 2016 at 7:11 pm | Posted by Take a trip down memory lane with Dodge’s Go Mango Challenger and Charger models, displayed at the New York Auto Show.

If you’re aching for Mopar’s “good ol’ days”, the American car manufacturer has prepared a surprise consisting of a new paint addition to the Charger and Challenger model line-up. Initially, Dodge announced that it will only make the color available for SRT 392 and SRT Hellcat models, but in the meantime the parent company decided to offer the option on “lesser” models as well – no need to stay exclusive if the demand is pretty high, right?

We’ve seen a tremendous response from our customers after we announced the return of Go Mango at the 11th annual Spring Festival in California. In fact, nearly half of all SRT and Hellcat orders are for Go Mango,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Car Brands – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA – North America.

This intriguing hue was first introduced as an option, in the 1970 Dodge Challenger, and offered again (albeit in limited numbers) on some Charger R/T Daytona and Dart models in 2006 and 2016, respectively.

Dodge adds the new color to its list of revived heritage paint schemes, which includes the “Plum Crazy” purple, “B5 Blue” and “Sublime” green.

PHOTO GALLERY

 

2016 Dodge Durango Shines With New Appearance Packages

Published: 02/12/2016  – by , Correspondent

AUBURN HILLS, Michigan — The 2016 Dodge Durango SUV gets a bit of extra metallic bling with two new appearance packages on display this week at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show.

Called Brass Monkey and Anodized Platinum, the packages, priced at an additional $995 and $1,095, respectively, can be ordered now and will begin arriving at Dodge dealers in the second quarter of this year.

The Brass Monkey package, available on the Durango Limited model, features 20-inch Burnished Bronze aluminum wheels, similar to those offered on 2015 Charger and Challenger SRT models.

Other unique Brass Monkey touches include a Gloss Black grille and exterior badge, as well as a monochromatic exterior treatment.

The Anodized Platinum appearance package, which can be ordered on the higher-level Durango Citadel, takes the heavy-metal theme up a notch with 20-inch Satin Carbon aluminum wheels and Platinum grille, exterior mirror caps, fog lamp bezels, exterior badge, door handles and lower sills.

FCA seems to be on a metallic binge. As previously reported by Edmunds, special Alloy Editions of the 2016 Chrysler 200S and Chrysler 300S are also making an appearance at this year’s Chicago auto show.

Competitors to the 2016 Dodge Durango in the large SUV segment include the Buick Enclave, Ford Explorer, Nissan Pathfinder and Toyota Highlander.

Edmunds says: Shoppers looking to spice up a new 2016 Durango will want to contact their Dodge dealer about the Brass Monkey and Anodized Platinum packages.

Hellcat Charger, Challenger Becoming More Available Around the US

By Patrick Rall 2015-11-13 13:55

2016 hellcat charger

As the 2016 model year units of the Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger reach dealerships around the United States, we are seeing more and more Hellcat versions sitting unsold on lots – meaning that if you have been waiting for your chance to own one of the 707hp beasts, some careful shopping will almost certainly net you a new supercharged muscle car.

Throughout most of the 2015 calendar year, it was nearly impossible to get a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat or a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat unless you placed an order well in advance or were willing to pay a massive markup over MSRP. The Hellcat cars were so in demand that the company had to cancel hundreds of orders which they just couldn’t get around to building and while some shopping could turn up an unreserved Hellcat Challenger or Charger, available cars were very few and very far between.
Later in the year, the shortage of the heavy duty 8-speed automatic transmission meant that many of the units being sent to dealers had the 6-speed manual transmission, but finding one with an automatic was literally impossible.

Fortunately, that is changing with the arrival of the 2016 model year Hellcat Challenger and Charger, with cars on dealership showroom floors around the country with both the manual and automatic transmissions. This means that those folks who didn’t preorder a Hellcat Challenger or Charger will have an easier time finding a dealership with an available car on their lot – although buyers can still expect to pay a premium price for the most powerful American production cars of all time.

2016 Hellcat Challenger and Charger Popping Up
I am a long time Mopar fan and I belong to a long list of Mopar fan pages on Facebook. Over the past year, I would occasionally see car salesmen posting about available Hellcat cars, but those cars were almost always equipped with the manual transmission and they were sparsely scattered across the USA.

However, over the past month or so, I have seen a massive influx of available Hellcat Challenger and Chargers being posted on the various Facebook pages. Most notably, I have seen car salesmen posting Hellcat Challengers with the 8-speed automatic transmission which are available for sale, which was nearly impossible to find earlier this year. Also, with the Hellcat Charger rolling out late in 2015 when the Hellcat Challenger had already eaten up the stock of both Hellcat Hemi engines and the heavy duty 8-speed automatic transmission, the Hellcat Charger was nearly impossible to find earlier this year.

This means that for the first time, someone who didn’t want to preorder a 2015 Dodge Challenger or Charger can now hunt around and buy a new Dodge with the supercharged Hellcat engine and the 8-speed automatic transmission. The Hellcat Challenger with the manual transmission continues to be available as well, but the Hellcat cars in the highest demand are now available around the country.

For example, there is currently a 2016 Charger SRT Hellcat in Plum Crazy purple on eBay with a buy it now price of $76,135. The listing includes a photoshopped image of the window sticker with that price displayed, along with a base price of $65,945 and $5,190 worth of options and fees. This should equal $71,135, but the dealership has obviously marked the car up by $5,000 – which is a very average markup for these uber popular muscle cars right now. The location of this vehicle isn’t listed, but in searching the phone number listed in the account, this Plum Crazy Hellcat Charger is in the possession of the AutoServ Dealer Group in Tilton, New Hampshire.

So, if you have been waiting to buy a 2016 Dodge Challenger or Charger with the Hellcat Hemi engine, now is a great time to begin shopping around your local dealerships, as the 707hp muscle cars are more available now than they have ever been in the past.

FCA 2016 Full-Line Preview: More Power, More Choices, More Fun!

August 31, 2015 | By

FCA FL Lead

Flying across country from Los Angeles to Detroit only to turn around and fly home again the next day may not sound like fun, but if there was ever a good reason to do it, the FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) 2016 full-line preview is it. Once a year FCA gathers all its vehicle brands at its Chelsea Proving Grounds in Chelsea, Michigan, and invites virtually every journalist in the country to spend a day in a giant adult playground. From sports cars to trucks to EVs to off-roaders, anything and everything is available to drive on the track, on the street (inside the compound), and off road.

2015 Dodge Charger PursuitIt’s the Mecca of automotive events, and we love attending because we can drive as much as we want. We can interview executives, see what’s new from Mopar, and run amok on the autocross course. FCA gets it. It understands we want seat time in everything from the Charger Pursuit sedan to the Ram ProMaster City van.

And although we admit we’ve already driven about 80 percent of the lineup, we hadn’t driven the vehicles on the track or an autocross. When we do real-world evaluations on public roads, we refrain from being stupid. If you want to drive fast with reckless abandon, do it on a closed course. We learned this a long time ago. The FCA full-line preview event allows journalists to push the vehicles to their full capabilities without endangering lives.

Our usual plan of attack is to rush to the autocross course, but this time we knew we’d be departing later in the afternoon than other journalists, so we pushed that to the end with the hopes that the course would be uncrowded so we could do multiple laps without having to surrender the vehicle to a throng of impatient next-in-liners. This time, we studiously reviewed the offerings, calculated the popularity-to-drive-time ratios, prioritized our wish lists, and developed an in-depth strategy to get it all done. Of course, we didn’t follow any of that. We did a LeMans start, and ran for the closest vehicle just to get into something. Okay, I lied again. What we really did is wander over to the awesome display of historic Jeeps, alongside new Jeep models with Mopar modifications.

Classic jeepOf all the FCA brands, Jeep’s history might be the most diverse. It’s always stood for capability and freedom, from being able to handle any off-road situation, to being the principal transportation for the U.S. Army for years. Eight decades of the past combined to create the Jeep brand today, and with eight models ranging from the capable and affordable Renegade to the outrageous SRT Grand Cherokee, there truly is something for everyone.

trail badgesJeep fanatics are proud of their vehicles’ ability to tackle any terrain. And like anyone who accomplishes daring feats, they want the world to know. Jeep gets this, and has created badges to sell to Jeepsters if they make it through some of the toughest terrains, such as the Poison Spider, Pritchett Canyon and Steel Bender trails in Moab, Utah. Jeeps are also marked with badges that tell the owners how they are rated: Safari, Sure and Trail ratings are just an example of what Jeep does to cater to its owner base. And a loyal owner base it is. For 2014, Jeep brand set its third consecutive all-time global sales record of over one million vehicles. Impressive.

Jeep Compass Latitude High Altitude 4×4

2016 Jeep® CompassTake a Jeep — any Jeep — off road, and you’ll be a convert as well. We jumped in the 2016 Jeep Compass Latitude High Altitude 4×4, loaded up the seats, and headed for Lyman Trail, the off-road section of the proving grounds. All off-road trails around the world are rated with numbers: 1 is easy, 10 is extremely difficult. We followed the preset course designed to best show off the Jeep’s talents, and we experienced trail areas that probably averaged around 4 or 5. The Compass easily climbed rocks, forded deep water, made quick work of fallen trees, and braked itself down steep downhills. Excellent approach, breakover, and departure angles make this Trail Rated Jeep a winner off road. It features a quiet cabin and good performance on-road, also, with the 2.4-liter 172-horsepower I4 engine. For a base price of $25,595, it would be hard to beat for a new Jeep enthusiast.

Ram ProMaster City Van

2016 Ram ProMaster City Tradesman SLTAnother vehicle we were curious about and hadn’t driven back home was the 2016 Ram ProMaster City van. Our ride was the SLT Cargo model, which we fully expected to be loud, rough, tinny and, well, a cargo van. We took it for a lap around the “street” course, and found it to be quiet, good handling, lots of room, and enough power from the 178-horsepower 2.4-liter Tigershark four-cylinder engine to take care of a lot of small-business needs. The ProMaster City is rebadged from the Fiat Doblo van found in Europe. Sharing global vehicles is a great way for companies to save money, yet deliver vehicles that suit the needs of customers regardless of the continent. The van we tested based at $25,655, and featured a nine-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel disc brakes, and a highway fuel-economy number of 29 mpg. The options included a trailer tow group, lights and wheel group, back up camera group, and cargo partition that eliminated any booming or echoing noise from the driver cabin area. Two points we would like to see improved: the screen is small compared to the big Uconnect 8.4-inch ones in other FCA vehicles, and the steering could be a bit tighter. We believe as this van evolves with more focus on North American tastes, those small critiques will be addressed. But the ProMaster City van can stand head to head with any of the cargo vans from Nissan, Ford and Chevrolet.

Chrysler Town & Country Minivan

2016 Chrysler Town & CountrySpeaking of vans, as you know from our long-term Kia Sedona coverage, we love vans. But it’s impossible to speak about minivans without mentioning Dodge and Chrysler, since this is where it all started 30 years ago. The 2016 Chrysler Town & Country and the Dodge Grand Caravan are the only two minivans left of the family, with the departure of the smaller Dodge Caravan and defunct Plymouth Voyager. The T&C offers six different models to choose from, starting with the entry-level LX all the way up to the fully loaded Platinum trim. The model we drove was the S, which is the middle grade. Pricing has not been announced yet, but the 2015 version stickered at a base of $33,695. We don’t expect to see a big jump for 2016. This van offers a lot of nice features, including a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine, impressive safety features, and good looks. Our van included the Driver’s Convenience Group, which added heated steering wheel and seats, Uconnect Voice Command, Keyless Enter ’n Go, security alarm, and remote start. You have to love the Stow ’n Go seats, and the tons of storage areas inside. The instrument panel is easy to read, but the location of the shift lever up high on the console has never made us happy. If you’re looking for a unique van, for 2016 Chrysler has introduced the Anniversary Edition of the T&C that celebrates 90 years of the Chrysler brand. It’s based off the Touring-L model (one step above the S trim), and comes with an Anniversary Edition logo on the radio splash screen and floormats. Even though the competition is waning, the FCA minivans continue to be the top sellers, and probably will be for the foreseeable future.

Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack

2016 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat PackWe went off-road, we drove a cargo hauler, and then a minvan; to say we’re mixing it up is an understatement. So to continue the theme of non-continuity, we waited our turn to get into the Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack, with and without Mopar enhancements. The R/T Scat Pack was a 2016, but the Mopar was a 2015 model. Changes for 2016 R/T don’t affect the performance and handling, such as the return of the Plum Crazy exterior shade, a deep purple that’s a throwback to the original Challenger models. While we like purple, we’re okay with any color Challenger. Since the Challenger was reintroduced in 2007, we’ve been in love with the styling, probably because we are enamored with the original Challenger. Both models look as if they mean business no matter what angle you’re looking at, and they have the performance to back up the design. The Challenger deserves more than a street drive, so we took them both around the road course, which is more fun than a person can expect to have. The track has plenty of sweeping corners to toss around the R/T, which handles so well that it’s easy to keep pushing it harder. This Challenger is balanced, predictable, and so much fun to drive.

2016 Dodge Challenger 392 HEMI® Scat Pack ShakerThe R/T Scat Pack makes 485 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque from its 6.4-liter HEMI V8, which means power whenever you want it. The Scat Pack is a good mix of performance and appearance upgrades, like Brembo brakes, high-performance suspension, dual exhaust, and performance 20-inch tires. Other features include exterior fender badging, premium audio system, unique performance cloth seats, and Uconnect’s 8.4-inch screen. Pricing for 2016 on the R/T Scat Pack is a base of $38,990 including destination. Since the R/T makes 18 mpg combined (it’s a high-performance car, not a hybrid, folks), there’s a gas-guzzler tax of $1,000, but if you get the optional ($1,400) TorqueFlite 8-speed transmission (which ours had), the tax goes away. For 40 large, good luck finding another vehicle that looks this good with this much performance for such a great price.

Dodge Challenger R/T Shaker with Mopar Scat Pack 3 Kit

2016 Dodge Challenger 392 HEMI® Scat Pack Shaker (left) and Charger R/T Road & Track (right)Just when you think it can’t get any better than the R/T, along comes Mopar with its Scat Pack 3 Kit. Adding Mopar performance parts to your vehicle is a great way to show what a little tweaking and tuning can do for an already impressive ride. You should all be familiar with Mopar by now since it’s been the parts, service, and customer care part of this company since 1937. The vehicle starts as a Challenger R/T Shaker, with the Shaker referring to the functional hood styling, and features cold air induction and other pieces that mark it as a Shaker model. The base price is $30,990 with destination. Now let’s just say you want to bump up the fun a notch or two. Mopar already sold the Scat Pack 1, and now offers the Scat Pack 2 and 3 performance upgrade kits. Kit 2 will give you up to 56 more horsepower and 30 lb-ft of torque from the 5.7-liter HEMI V8. Other mods include a Mopar Performance camshaft, valve springs, tie bars and miscellaneous engine items. All this and more for an only extra $1,895.

The Mopar Scat Pack 3 Performance kit is specifically tailored for the competitive enthusiast looking for extreme performance and ultimate bragging rights.The Scat Pack 3 Kit, which was on our tester, kicks it up one more step for those enthusiasts looking for amazing performance without going to a Hellcat. For an additional $4,495, you get CNC-ported cylinder heads, hi-flow manifolds, hi-flow catalysts, and with other assorted items including exterior badging. Power now jumps up 75 horses and 44 lb-ft of torque. As tested, this brings this model to $46,865 including destination. Still a great value, and to top it off, none of these modifications will void your original manufacturer warranty. Just another reason Mopar mods make a lot of sense.

As much fun as the regular Challenger is, this Mopar Performance kit takes it to a whole other level, and that level is in the clouds. It’s all about stellar handling, amazing grip, and power on demand. Around the road course, we had the best time, and we haven’t even mentioned the exhaust note, which will embarrass any other vehicle on the road. That’s the sound of American power, and there’s nothing else like it. Period.

Mopar Drag Pak

Drag PakMopar Performance proves that Dodge gets it. And if the kits don’t prove it, the Drag Pak will. This is what Mopar was born for: creating a race version for the Challenger. It’s as close to being factory sponsored as possible. The Drag Pak for the Challenger can be had with either the first-ever supercharged 354-cubic-inch Generation III HEMI engine or a non-turboed 426-cubic-inch Gen III HEMI.

Not street legal, the Drag Pak is for those who compete in drag series, and it comes with race-calibrated features, all designed for the stress that drag engines are put through in a short time. At $99,426 for the naturally aspirated version and $109,354 for the supercharged model, when you factor in that this vehicle is ready to hit the track immediately, it may be the least expensive way to go racing right now. And no, we didn’t get to drive it, and yes, we’d love to have the chance!

2016 Fiat 500 Abarth

2016 Fiat 500 AbarthAs we planned earlier in the day, we waved to busloads of journalists heading to the airport before we hopped the shuttle to the autocross course. Sure enough, it was wide open, which meant our grin was also. Sitting there waiting for us was the 2016 Fiat 500 Abarth, a vehicle that truly understands the meaning of bang for the buck. Not much has been added for 2016: new exterior colors, Uconnect 5.0 with a 5-inch touchscreen radio, and a specially tuned six-speed automatic. The 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo puts out 160 horsepower and 183 lb-ft of torque — more than enough to squirt this lightweight rocket around the course. The steering is responsive, body roll is minimal, and it grips the road like a owl on a field mouse. Because the track was empty, we went around again and again and again, pausing only to laugh and shake our heads at how much fun this little car is, especially when you see that it gets 34-mpg highway and starts at a little over $22,000. There’s no question the Abarth has spent a lot of time hanging around its big brother Viper.

A_Pantone_VersionAs you can see, our time in Chelsea, Michigan, was well spent. Did we get to drive everything we wanted? Pretty much. The Charger Pursuit car was popular, and while we missed it this time, we drove it last time. And it’s been a while since we’ve been in the Dart, but we’ll schedule that for a test drive soon. We left the event more than satisfied that FCA is doing a great job creating products that reflect its respective brands, and that have the features, styling, and performance that customers want. To read more about the Ram ProMaster City, check out these reviews here and here. For a review of the Town & Country, follow this link. Interested in more about the Abarth? Check it out here.

Photography © Team Killeen and courtesy FCA.

Charger has size, muscle and sophistication

2015 Dodge Charger

The Dodge Charger combines the utility of a family vehicle with the adrenaline rush of a muscle car, said Patrick Beck, a sales consultant at Sorg Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram in Goshen. SBT Photo/DEB SEMMLER

Posted: Sunday, August 2, 2015 6:00 am

The 2015 Dodge Charger proves you don’t have to give up excitement just because you need the size and comfort of a full-size sedan.

To the contrary, the Charger aims to satisfy by providing occupants with a large cabin that’s loaded with high-end materials and the latest in infotainment and safety features while also providing performance options that are unparalleled in its class.

“The Charger blends the practicality of a family vehicle with the styling and performance of a muscle car,” said Patrick Beck, a sales consultant at Sorg Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram in Goshen. “And thanks to the availability of all-wheel drive, it’s a muscle car that doesn’t have to spend the winter parked in the garage.”

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For 2015, the Charger gains sleek new exterior styling, a more refined interior, upgraded electronic and safety features and a standard eight-speed automatic transmission. And thanks to the availability of four different engines, it can be built almost any way you want it.

The SE and SXT come with a 292-horsepower, 3.6L Pentastar V-6 that’s capable of achieving up to 31 mpg on the highway and can be paired with all-wheel drive. The other options are aimed at muscle-car enthusiasts — a 370-horsepower, 5.7L V-8 Hemi with cylinder shut-down technology, a 485-horsepower, 6.4L V-8 Hemi and a track ready 707-horsepower, 6.2L supercharged Hemi V-8 called the Hellcat.

With top scores for crash safety, the Charger comes equipped with anti-lock disc brakes with ready-alert braking and rain-brake support, stability and traction control, hill start assist and a full array of air bags. Advanced safety features are available.

With a starting price of about $28,000, the SE comes standard with automatic headlamps, full power accessories, 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry with push-button start, dual-zone climate control, a six-way power driver seat, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with cruise and infotainment controls and more.

The SXT adds 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, heated mirrors, remote start, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, an eight-way power driver seat, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, an 8.4-inch touch screen and more.

Standard and available equipment on the V-8 power R/T and SRT models includes leather upholstery, upgraded audio system with navigation, a sunroof, heated and cooled 12-way power front seats, heated rear seats, driver memory functions, a power and heated steering wheel, automatic high beam control, rain sensing windshield wipers, power adjustable pedals, a rear-view camera with park assist, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, blind-spot monitoring with rear-cross traffic detection and more.

Sorg Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram, located at 1811 Elkhart Road, Goshen, is open 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday and Thursday; 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; and 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

2015 Dodge Charger

Standard vehicle price

Starting at $27,995 for a Charger SE RWD; $29,995 for a Charger SXT RWD; $33,595 for a Charger R/T; $47,995 for a Charger SRT 392 and $63,995 for a Charger SRT Hellcat. AWD can be added to SE and SXT models for $3,000

Type

Rear-wheel drive/ all-wheel drive, five-passenger sedan

Mileage

19 mpg (city)/31 mpg (highway) for the 3.6L V-6; 16 mpg (city)/ 25 mpg (highway) for the 5.7L Hemi V-8; 15 mpg (city)/25 mpg (highway) for the 6.2L Hemi V-8; 13 mpg (city)/22 mpg (highway) for the 6.4L supercharged Hemi V-8

Length

198.4 inches

Width

75 inches

Height

58.2 inches

Cargo capacity

16.5 cubic feet

Fuel capacity

18.5 gallons

Curb weight

3,934- 4,575 pounds

Towing

Up to 1,000 pounds

Dealer website

www.sorgdodge.net