Chrysler spins editions from existing lines while awaiting Fiat-based cars
Each of Chrysler brands issued separate announcements outlining the plans on Thursday. On emerging from bankruptcy in June under control of Italy's Fiat S.p.A, Chrysler reorganized itself into brands that serve as separate businesses.
The first Fiat-based vehicles are scheduled to begin arriving in Chrysler's lineup in 2011. In the meantime, the automaker will unveil the following at the Detroit auto show next week as it attempts to rebound from last year's 36 percent decline in U.S. sales:
Chrysler will introduce two special editions of its flagship 300 sedan: the 300 S6, powered by a 3.5 liter V-6, and the 300 S8, powered by a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8.
Chrysler says the vehicles will feature some touches that set them apart from the 300s seen in the past with a low key, athletic look. Full-chrome grilles, for example, will be replaced by blacked-out grilles.
Chrysler, under the leadership of brand boss Olivier Francois, is going for an upscale, more fashionable theme. Features include a “carbon weave” steering wheel “with red stitching and brushed silver spokes.” The vehicles will arrive in showrooms this spring.
Dodge will introduce some new names and packages for its Journey crossover. The Express package on the entry level Journey will come with available 5+2 seating. Other packages include the Hero, Heat, Crew and top-of-the-line Uptown, with a price of $29,995 including destination.
The 2010 Caliber compact will come with a redesigned interior. The existing Nitro, Avenger and Charger lines will also get tweaks and upgrades.
Jeep will introduce three new models.
The Liberty Renegade will be positioned between the Liberty Sport and Limited. The Renegade name first appeared on the inside door opening of the 1964 Jeep Wagoneer.
The Wrangler Islander option will feature a beach theme. Jeep last used the Islander name 20 years ago. The package will cost $1,120.
The Wrangler Mountain option package will feature 32-inch tires and special grill and bumper appliqués. The package will cost $1,820.
The Liberty Renegade and Wrangler Islander editions will arrive in showrooms in the first quarter. The Mountain edition will arrive in the second quarter.
You can reach Bradford Wernle at firstname.lastname@example.org.