A new range of Fiat-Chrysler vehicles coming through the end of the decade includes a focus on both revisiting some historic names and trying to modernize some current icons.
FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne showed the company’s dealers Tuesday in Las Vegas a flood of new products that are intended to keep sales momentum up, but also address some of the fuel economy shortfalls and muddled brand focus.
According to Automotive News, dealers were thrilled by the next-generation Dodge Charger and upcoming Dodge Barracuda convertible, both of which share a rear-wheel drive platform with the new Alfa Romeo Giulia sedan. One dealer told The Wall Street Journal that the new Charger looked like a four-door Corvette. The Charger is expected to sport a new design, reminiscent of the 1999 Charger R/T concept, shown above.
The next-generation Jeep Wrangler, however, will not depart too much from the current model’s classic-inspired lines when it gets redesigned for 2018. It will, however, boast the promise of 30 MPG highway, though it’s unknown how Jeep will pull off that kind of wizardry while keeping its off-road skills intact. FCA dealers saw the new Jeep Grand Wagoneer, but a Wrangler-derived pickup was absent.
The same report said that an Alfa Romeo SUV, new Maserati models and a Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Track Hawk powered by FCA’s 6.2-liter Hellcat V8 engine were also shown to dealers who were told that the latter would have a 0-60mph (96km/h) time of 3.5 sec.
Marchionne apparently told dealers there are 30 new or refreshed products coming to FCA showrooms in the next two years. Next year should bring the Alfa Romeo Giulia as well as the Mazda-based Fiat 124 Spider (shown to dealers in Abarth trim), and the redesigned Chrysler Town & Country with a plug-in hybrid option – a minivan first – should be shown at a 2016 auto show.
FCA is preparing another product onslaught with new versions of some of the most popular and iconic vehicles it makes, and only time will tell if they can continue to grow sales – and if the economy can hold out.