SRT is dead. The Dodge Grand Caravan is dead. There's a plug-in hybrid minivan with 75 mpg. Alfa Romeo is back for real this time. And so much more we had trouble keeping up. This is the wrap-up of FCA's 12-hour long presentation of its five-year business plan today, brand-by-brand.
The first thing we found out was that the Jeep brand gets two new models in addition to the forthcoming Renegade. For clarification's sake, the Renegade is a B-segment truck. FCA is (finally) killing the Compass and Patriot for a new C-segment SUV coming in 2016.
The Cherokee remains in the D-segment and the Grand Cherokee is unchanged, but a new, luxury SUV — the long-awaited Grand Wagoneer — debuts in 2018. Jeep CEO Mike Manley says it'll be the most premium Jeep ever built.
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The Wrangler gets an overhaul for 2017. We were told in the past a refresh would be coming in 2015. (Maybe a slight refresh before a full redesign?) No word on if a diesel Wrangler is part of the lineup, but we know Manley wants one. For more, read here.
Bad news for Hertz and Avis: The Dodge Avenger is finally dead. Even more bad news for families and dads wanting to hold on to that tiny sliver of bachelorhood: The Grand Caravan is also dead for Dodge. Good news for everyone else: Dodge is finally becoming the performance brand it should be, since it will be absorbing the SRT brand as its own.
The most exciting new product from the Dodge portfolio is the Dart SRT, coming in 2016 with turbo and AWD. On the surface, it looks like Dodge is beelining the WRX faithful. But for now, we'll take this as a about damn time! and that there's hope for Dodge yet, since we were predicting its demise not too long ago.
Since SRT as a standalone brand is dead, that means the Viper is now the Dodge Viper again. The oddest, but potentially awesome, Dodge plan? There's a Journey SRT coming in 2017, as well as a total redesign the same year. The Challenger and Charger will soldier on for a few more years until a total overhaul in 2018. And Dodge will jump back into the B-segment in 2018 with an unnamed model. Dodge's full plan is here.
As widely predicted, the much-hyped new minivan goes to Chrysler in the form of an all-new Town & Country, which also gets a plug-in hybrid version. You might not want a PHEV minivan, but a Toyota Prius V or Ford C-Max buyer might — especially when they see that the T&C PHEV gets 75 mpg. Damn.
If you've talked to a Chrysler PR rep in the last five years, they'll be quick to point out they're not a luxury brand — even though their advertising suggests otherwise. That confusion will go away as the brand positions itself as a mainstream brand alongside Honda, Toyota, Ford and Chevy. A new 100 compact sedan comes in 2016 to go against the Civic and Corolla.
A D-sized CUV (that also gets a PHEV option) comes in 2017 and the 300 finally gets a full update that we'll see this year at the L.A. auto show if it doesn't leak beforehand. More Chrysler details are here.
Listen, I still have issues with the 500 being the smallest car in FCA and the 300 being the biggest, but whatevs. In the States, the U.S. keeps the 500 and 500L, but we'll also be getting the Fiat 500X crossover and a "specialty" vehicle in 2015.
The specialty vehicle is more than likely the roadster co-developed from the Alfa Romeo-Mazda partnership. There was allegedly dispute over whether Alfa Romeo or Fiat would get the car, but it appears that Miata may not be the only answer anymore when it arrives.
Fiat is also spreading out other new models in other markets, including a new Punto for Latin America and a new Panda for Europe. You can read the entire plan here.
We had to read the tea leaves for Alfa Romeo's role in FCA over the next few years, but here's our best guesstimates. One, we know for sure that a 4C Spider is confirmed for production. Second, we're thinking a Quadrifoglio-inspired 4C is in the works, since the presentation had some cloverleafs sprinkled throughout the slides.
What we're most excited about is a clear return to form for Alfa, as it announces its switching to an entirely RWD- and AWD-based lineup. The plan calls for eight all-new vehicles altogether — including a new midsize we should see next year. Alfa also reveals it's got a skunk works crew working day and night with new experimentation.
If that skunk works thing sounds familiar, it is. Our friend Juan Barnett wondered aloud if the plans — and budget — for SRT are now being sunk into Alfa Romeo to make it the performance brand of the lineup. Can't say we're not wondering the same thing. If you want to try to figure out what exactly Alfa's doing, read here.
Maserati's lineup includes the all-new "Zac Estrada" and...
...wait, sorry. I read that slide wrong. (But thanks for the shout-out, Maserati!) Maserati has a clear focus on performance, starting with an upgraded GranTurismo getting a 560hp V8. A new SUV, the Levante, also gets the 560hp V8, and the now-confirmed Alfieri coupe and cabrio get 520hp options. There's more on Maserati in the full plan here.
FCA gets deeper in the people-mover/transport segment with the addition of the Fiat Doblo-based Ram ProMaster City, which'll go head-to-head with the Ford Transit Connect and the Nissan NV200.
No other big changes for the Ram brand, except some expected refreshes for the 1500 and the heavy-duty trucks. But Fiat Industrial is introducingthe little Strada pickup this year in some markets outside the U.S. Testing the waters? More on Ram here.
Ferrari's plans are a bit ambitious, as it plans to launch a new model every year between now and 2018. Each model will have a four-year lifespan and each model will have a modified version with a four-year lifespan after the original run. Ferrari also plans to target "high-end customers" (shocker!) with a "selective launch of special series."
We didn't know anyone was speculating this, but Sergio Marchionne saw fit to include in giant, bold letters that "FERRARI IS NOT FOR SALE" at the end of the presentation. So there you have it: Ferrari is not for sale. Read more here.
Who the hell even knows? There was barely any mention of the brand at all during the presentation, but the most we could make of its future is that it's now an "Italy-driven brand." Lancia wasn't mentioned until closer to the end of the entire presentation, but if you can make sense of what they want to do with it, read here.
Odds and ends
FCA is consolidating its number of platforms from eight to five: Mini, B-Wide, Compact Wide, Large, and Body-on-Frame. FCA execs also say they hope to sell 800,000 vehicles worldwide. Last year, they sold 350,000 vehicles. And Ralph Gilles' job is safe, even though SRT has been demoted.
Did we miss anything?