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Dodge - Grab Life by the Horns

Dodge Challenger Concept


Dodge 2006 Challenger Concept Flexes Some Muscle PRESS RELEASE January 8, 2006

Bold Concept is a Thoroughbred in 1970 "Pony Car" Tradition

In creating the new Dodge Challenger concept car the designers at Chrysler Group's West Coast Pacifica Studio knew they had a rich heritage to draw upon. They also knew they had an obligation to "get it right."

Tasked with the enviable assignment of developing a hot-looking performance coupe using Chrysler Group's advanced rear-wheel drive LX platform and its fabled HEMI® engine, the designers explored a variety of options, eventually gravitating to "something" for the Dodge brand - appropriate given that brand's bold performance image. The idea of reinventing the highly-collectible Challenger quickly came to mind.

Eager to begin, the designers drew up a "short list "of the essential attributes of a muscle car: distinctly American; mega horsepower; pure, minimal, signature lines; aggressive air-grabbing grille; and bold colors and graphics.

"Challenger draws upon the initial 1970 model as the icon of the series," said Tom Tremont, Vice President - Advanced Vehicle Design. "The 1970 model is the most sought after by collectors. But instead of merely recreating that car, the designers endeavored to build a Challenger most people see in their mind's eye - a vehicle without the imperfections like the old car's tucked-under wheels, long front overhang and imperfect fits. As with all pleasurable memories, you remember the good and screen out the bad. "We wanted the concept car to evoke all those sweet memories . . . everything you thought the Challenger was, and more."

"During the development of the concept car," says Micheal Castiglione, principal exterior designer, "we brought an actual 1970 Challenger into the studio. For me, that car symbolizes the most passionate era of automotive design."

Being key to the image, getting the right proportions was critical. The Challenger concept sits on a 116-inch wheelbase, six inches longer than the original. But its width is two inches greater, giving the concept car a squat, tougher, more purposeful persona.

The signature side view accent line - designers call it the "thrust" line - is higher up on the body, running horizontal through the fender and door and kicking up just forward of the rear wheel.

In section the upper and lower body surfaces intersect and fall away along this line, which has just a whisper of the original car's coved surfacing. "We wanted to stay pure," said Castiglione, "with simple, minimal line work, but with everything just right."

The five-spoke chrome wheels - 20-inch, front; 21-inch, rear - are set flush with the bodyside, giving the car the powerful muscular stance of a prizefighter eager to challenge the world. Wheel openings are drawn tightly against the tires, with the rearward edges trailing off. To emphasize the iconic muscularity, the designers added plan view "hip" to the rear quarters.

One of the key characteristics of the original car the designers wanted to retain was the exceptionally wide look of both the front and back ends. To achieve this the designers increased both the front and rear tracks to 64 and 65 inches respectively, wider than the LX, wider even than the 1970 model. To realize the long horizontal hood the designers deemed essential, the front overhang was also increased.

Both the hood and the deck lid of the Challenger concept vehicle are higher than the 1970 in order to lift and "present" the front and rear themes. The front end features the signature Dodge crossbar grille and four headlamps deeply recessed into the iconic car-wide horizontal cavity. Diagonally staggered in plan view, the outboard lamps are set forward, the "six-shooter" inboard lamps slightly rearward. At the rear, the car-wide cavity motif is repeated, encompassing a full-width neon-lit taillamp. Both the grille and the front and rear lamps are set into carbon-fiber surrounds. Like the original, slim rectangular side marker lamps define the ends of the car.

Bumpers are clean (no guards), body-color and flush with the body. "This is something we would have loved to do on the original Challenger," said Jeff Godshall, who was a young designer in the Dodge Exterior studio when the first Challenger was created, "but the technology just wasn't there. With the Challenger concept, however, the Pacifica Studio designers are able to realize what we wanted in our perfect world."

The hood reprises the original Challenger "performance hood" and its twin diagonal scoops, now with functional butterfly-valve intakes. Designed to showcase the modern techniques used in fabricating the car, what look like painted racing stripes are actually the exposed carbon fiber of the hood material.

The Challenger concept is a genuine four-passenger car. "You can sit up in the back seat," said Castiglione. Compared to the original, the greenhouse is longer, the windshield and backlite faster, and the side glass narrower. All glass is set flush with the body without moldings, another touch the original designers could only wish for. The car is a genuine two-door hardtop - no B-pillar - with the belt line ramping up assertively at the quarter window just forward of the wide C-pillar.

Exterior details one might expect, like a racing-type gas cap, hood tie-down pins, louvered backlite and bold bodyside striping, didn't make the "cut," the designers feeling such assorted bits would detract from the purity of the monochromatic body form. But tucked reassuringly under the rear bumper are the "gotta have" twin-rectangle pipes of the dual exhausts.

In contrast to the bright Orange Pearl exterior, the interior is a no-nonsense, "let's-get-in-and-go" black relieved by satin silver accents and narrow orange bands on the seat backs. "Though the 1970 model was looked to for inspiration, we wanted to capture the memory of that car, but expressed in more contemporary surfaces, materials and textures," said Alan Barrington, principal interior designer. As with the original car, the instrumental panel pad sits high, intersected on the driver's side by a sculpted trapezoidal cluster containing three circular in-line analog gauge openings.

"We designed the in-your-face gauge holes to appear as if you are looking down into the engine cylinders with the head off," relates Barrington. These are flanked outboard by a larger circular "gauge" that is actually a computer, allowing the driver to determine top overall speed, quarter-mile time and speed, and top speed for each of the gears.

With its thick, easy-grip rim, circular hub and pierced silver spokes, the leather-wrapped steering wheel evokes the original car's "Tuff" wheel, as does the steering column "ribbing." The floor console, its center surface tipped toward the driver, is fitted with a proper "pistol grip" shifter shaped just right to master the quick, crisp shifts possible with the six-speed manual "tranny."

Inasmuch as the original Challenger was the first car to have injection-molded door trim panels (now common practice), the doors received special attention. "We imagined that the door panel was a billet of aluminum covered with a dark rubberized material," Barrington relates. "Then we cut into it to create a silver trapezoidal cove for the armrest."

Although the flat-section bucket seats of the original Challenger didn't offer much support for aggressive driving, the front seats in the Challenger concept car boast hefty bolsters much like those found on Dodge's famed SRT series cars. The trim covers' horizontal pleats or "fales" provide just a hint of that "70's" look. Rethought, reworked, reproportioned and redesigned, the Challenger concept car offers iconic a HEMI-powered performance coupe derived from a classic American muscle car.

Source: DaimlerChrysler Media Services

Viper GTS-R

Dodge Viper


Having recently proven itself in the American Le Mans Series with an undefeated season, Dodge Viper GTS-R proudly claims the title of thoroughbred racer. The Viper GTSR Concept Vehicle explores the idea of bringing that race-ready handling and performance to the street. The Viper GTS-R street racer is lower and lighter than ever, and every detail has been reworked for maximum functionality. Viper GTS-R's airflow is fully adjustable by the driver with an electronically controlled front splitter, a large rear air diffuser and a rear hoop spoiler with an electronically trimmable wing. To further blur the boundaries between racer and road car, Dodge engineers managed to tweak a little more power out of Viper's outrageous 8.0-liter V10. With dry-sump technology, it now produces 500 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque - up from 450 and 490, respectively. That's enough extra get-up-and-go-power to take the Dodge Viper GTSR Concept Vehicle from 0-60 in 3.75 seconds (est.), with a top speed coming in at over 200 miles per hour! Key Features:

  • Lightweight carbon fiber body
  • Modified space frame & suspension
  • Larger, racing tuned brakes
  • 19-inch front/20-inch rear tires
  • Chassis lowered 2 inches
  • Sill-to-roof height 1.5 inches lower
  • Lower hood with larger grille opening and integrated engine louvers
  • Larger, snake-eye-inspired headlights, designed for endurance racing
  • Electronically trimmed front splitter
  • Larger rear air diffuser Larger rear hoop spoiler with electronically trimmed rear wing
  • Larger doors for improved ingress/egress
  • Racing-inspired interior decor Built-in fire suppression system

Dodge Kahuna: Blending Function, Performance with Equal Parts of Cool



Where minivan function and convenience meets Next Wave cool, you'll find Dodge Kahuna.

That Next Wave of fun and function blew in like a warm Pacific breeze at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in the form of the all-new concept vehicle, Dodge Kahuna. It is intended for those looking for a free-spirited approach to a vehicle that meets many needs without bowing to convention.

The six-passenger Dodge Kahuna features an exterior design that conveys an athletic, capable image that is readily associated with the California coastal culture. But it is far from laid back. This is about pushing interior volume and flexibility to the max to allow its owners to work or play hard - all surrounded by an exterior that lends an element of sophistication and attention to detail. The retractable top allows the outside to become part of the interior as it folds back in accordion-like fashion.

A roof system that opens from the B-pillar to rear bumper allows for extreme function and enjoyment. In addition, all exterior windows are frameless, with all door glass having the capability to completely retract into the doors.

Inside, the "big wave" theme continues, as Kahuna blends Pacific Blue two-tone colors. In addition, a flowing wave design can be seen in the shaping of the instrument panel as well as its switches, door panel detailing and seat forms. There are three rows of flexible seating, two of which can be turned into tables if needed, and a Sto & Go® load floor, complements the full capability and flexibility of the system.

Under the hood there is nimble performance from a 2.4-liter turbocharged, 215 horsepower engine and a four-speed automatic transmission driving the front wheels. Suspension is independent in the front, with a beam axle and coil leaf springs from the company's award-winning minivan.

Dodge Kahuna Concept Key Specifications Length: 185.6 inches (4,714 mm) Wheelbase: 122 inches (3,099 mm) Overhang Front: 28.9 inches (734 mm) Rear: 34.7 inches (881 mm) Width: 77.8 inches (1,976 mm) Height: 67.0 inches (1,702 mm) Track Front: 65.3 inches (1,659 mm) Rear: 65.3 inches (1,659 mm) Tires Front: 255/SOR22-inch; wheel size: 22 inches; outer diameter, 32 inches Rear: 255/SOR22-inch; wheel size: 22 inches; outer diameter, 32 inches



Dodge engineers have accomplished what seemed to be the impossible by creating a truck that makes passengers a priority.

One gaze at this powerful concept vehicle from Dodge and you'll realize that it's different. Dodge MAXXcab turns the traditional upside down by providing plenty of comfort. You might even call it a Passenger Priority Pick-up. We do. After all, MAXXcab utilizes cab-forward design to provide uncommon interior spaciousness, and can accommodate kids with three built-in child safety seats.

With all the interior comforts we didn't forget about the cargo aspect. The 4.7-liter V8 engine has all the horsepower and torque that a Dodge enthusiast demands - 238 horsepower and 295 pound feet of torque, to be exact, meaning MAXXcab has the power to pull the heaviest of loads. Plus, to make loading and unloading easier, the MAXXcab features an elevator tailgate.

The Dodge MAXXcab concept vehicle provides a different approach to the traditional pickup, because at Dodge, different is what we're all about.

Key Features:

  • Cab Forward Design improves interior volume and creates a "SemiTruck" appearance
  • Integrated steps support the importance of passengers
  • Power child safety seat in the middle of the back row makes access easier
  • Overhead camera allows the driver to monitor the kids
  • Edu-tainment center includes Internet, a sketch pad and DVD player
  • Infotronic system includes a plug-n-play laptop computer, e-mail, Internet and voice recognition for phone, navigation, laptop functions and vehicle diagnostics
  • Butane Blue Pearl exterior with Navy leather seats and trim


Power Box

Dodge has expanded the landscape of hybrid vehicles with the Dodge PowerBox concept car. This SUV/Truck combination goes one step further than other hybrids by including an advanced powertrain more gentle on the environment than its brawny looks would make you believe.

The rugged sport-utility concept provides the performance of a powerful V8 engine, but achieves 60 percent better fuel efficiency than a comparable SUV, with near-zero emissions. It accomplishes this through a combination of a supercharged V6 engine that runs on clean compressed natural gas (CNG) and an electric motor that provides added power for acceleration and passing.

Compared with a conventional Dodge Durango, the PowerBox is projected to achieve 25 mpg resulting in a 60 percent increase in fuel economy without sacrificing horsepower. More astounding than the fuel economy might be how this big vehicle moves off the line: 0-60 in about 7 seconds. That's performance you would expect on a sports car not an SUV.


Dodge Razor

Dodge Concept - Razor

Cutting Edge Design

The Dodge RazorTM concept car embodies the purest of sports coupe design: aspirational, emotional and inspirational. Through efficient design, Dodge Razor cuts right to what is vital for enhanced driving pleasure. A sprint to 60 miles per hour in less than six seconds, top speed greater than 140 miles per hour, a six-speed manual transmission, rear-wheel drive and an engine displacement of 2.4 liters. These specifications can only mean one thing -- less weight, more fun.
"Dodge Razor has a simple shape with every line offering an abundance of emotion and purpose," said Akino Tsuchiya, who developed the exterior with Kevin Verduyn. "Razor's dramatic proportions scream 'I'm bold, I'm powerful, I'm Dodge'. The in-your-face 'Orange Slice' body color reflects the same attitude." Adds Verduyn: "Working off an all-new platform, we could create extreme proportions. The long hood, high sills, wide body, narrow greenhouse and low center of gravity all indicate secure, protective performance."
True to minimalist form, Dodge Razor's only ornamentations are the chrome bumpers, the racing-style billet-aluminum gas cap, the classic door handles and mirrors and the jewel-like lamp design. "This project really is about the power of purpose and purity," said Verduyn.
The same holds true for the interior. It offers the necessities for driving, nothing more. No power windows or mirrors, no radio or leather power seats, no frills whatsoever. Dodge Razor offers its two occupants lightweight, competition-style seats, four-point racing harnesses, storage behind their seats and the pure joy of driving.
The Dodge Razor's instrument cluster has an integrated tachometer/speedometer with analog reading of the revs and a digital read-out of the speed. Easy-to-read gauges for temperature/oil pressure and fuel/battery flank this compact unit. The interior is finished in body color and extruded aluminum. "We feel passionate about keeping it simple and honest," said interior designer John Sodano. "Razor has a focused driver's interior, enhancing the experience of raw power as only a sports car can."
Searching for a name that reflected the car's energy and attitude, the Chrysler Group approached Razor USA to form a licensing partnership with the trendsetting and youthful RazorTM brand. "We are proud to join forces with the Chrysler Group on a car that complements Razor's lineup of youthful, high-tech products," said Carlton Calvin, president of Razor USA LLC. "The Razor philosophy is about revolutionizing classic products with beautiful design and technological innovation and we are thrilled to see a similar philosophy reflected in the Dodge Razor."

Dodge Hornet

Dodge Hornet

February 21, 2006

Internationally Sized, Amped With American Attitude - 2006 Dodge Hornet Concept Set to Create a Buzz

Rallye-ready and eager to go, the new Dodge Hornet concept vehicle is designed to bring to the B-segment market a unique blending of European sensibility regarding engine size and overall footprint with an American flair for aggressive attitude and flexible interior space.

"We wanted the Hornet to be dynamic, nimble, fun to drive, and have an adaptable space-efficient interior," said Mark Moushegian, Principal Exterior Designer. "At the same time we set out to create a vehicle with a uniquely American character to expand the image and presence of the Dodge brand in Europe and international markets, especially in the entry-level market."

"We went for a rallye-inspired look-robust, capable, and most definitely not 'cutesy.' We wanted a distinct 'edge' to the design. We especially wanted to push the envelope of interior volume. That's why the Hornet is almost as wide as a C-segment vehicle," Moushegian continued. Consequently the Hornet's chunky, wheels-to-the-corner silhouette imparts the fun of assertive motoring to even the most mundane of errands.

With its wide stance, the Hornet is solidly planted on the road. Up front, the signature Dodge crossbar grille is set above an exposed engine intercooler flanked by front brake air ducts and fog lamps. The raised plateau on the hood features a recessed scoop on the driver's side to funnel air to the engine air box. Under the hood is a 1.6L 16-valve OHC supercharged I/C four-cylinder engine putting out 127 kW (170 hp)/224 N m (165 lb.-ft.) of torque @ 4000 rpm.

The muscular side view is dominated by the large 19-inch diameter open-section aluminum wheels designed to show off the "mechanicals," including the gold-colored brake calipers. The arching wheel flares and notched sill are complemented by curving body surfaces that "spear out" into the full front and rear opposed half-doors which, in section, are quite shallow so as to maximize the interior space. The framed doors open to reveal the absence of a B-pillar, while the three-window side glass terminates in a dynamic wedge-shaped quarter window.

Inspired by the look of fashion sunglasses, all the glass in the vehicle, including the oversize sunroof, is rendered in a deep "Blue View" tint which contrasts vividly with the car's Liquid Silver exterior.

"The idea is that the car would be available in a limited number of colors," Moushegian said. "The customer selects the contrasting glass color of his or her choice as an accent." Inspired by the legendary Dodge Viper, dual "skunk stripes" in Beryllium Gray boldly traverse the hood, roof, overhanging rear defuser wing and the liftgate, including the "sky view" sun roof which offers a panoramic outlook overhead for both front and rear passengers.

Set in matte metallic gray tiered bezels and grouped under clear covers, all exterior lamps share a common "mechanical" style vocabulary that features prominent circular elements plus "triple orange slice" front and rear turn signals. Similar repeater lamps are set into the side mirrors which also incorporate auxiliary rallye lamps. The circular theme is reprised by three-inch diameter dual exhaust tips propelled through the rear chin spoiler.

"Like the exterior, the interior is geared around young rallye enthusiasts," said John Sodano, Principal Interior Designer. "Our intention was to maximize the interior volume by pushing all interior surfaces to the perimeter of the vehicle as much as possible. I studied images of space capsule interiors, since they are designed for high efficiency in a limited space. I wanted the Hornet inside to have a functional, 'engineered' look, but with pleasing surfaces and materials."

Extreme flexibility also is central to the sporty interior. The space-saving foam seats are exceptionally slim but comfortable, with the striking satin-silver finished aluminum framing deliberately exposed. Seat bolsters are covered in a smooth, black urethane-coated fabric while a black, fine-woven textured Pique cloth is used on the cushion and back inserts. Belts are integral with the seats.

Good-looking as they are, the seats' real beauty lies in their adaptability. Both the passenger front bucket seat and the 40-60 three-passenger rear seats fold forward and collapse to the floor to provide a flat load bed. To facilitate this, the headrests fold forward to stow between the seat back and cushion. The cabin floor is covered with an attractive and durable honeycomb-texture rubber.

In addition, the rear seats also flip rearward to stow in back, flush with the liftgate sill. This position provides for the highest possible vertical storage behind the front seats. When upright, the rear seats track rearwards to provide an additional 225 mm of legroom for rear seat passengers. Accessible to passengers regardless of the fore-aft seat position, overlong grab bars are mounted high on each rear quarter and also serve as clothes hangar racks.

The crisp black and slate gray interior is designed for both style and utility, with surfaces having a disciplined, space-saving planar look. The driver's door trim panel, for example, contains a first aid kit, open storage bin, and a closed case with carrying handle that can be removed from the car. The passenger door boasts both open and closed bins plus a longer open bin with bungee cords to retain stowed items. All bins are removable and can be easily rearranged to suit each customer's requirements. Moreover, the designers envision the Hornet as a vehicle that can be easily customized through the purchase of add-on exterior and interior parts and accessories, allowing owners to personalize their cars to express individual needs and desires.

Both front doors also have a hinged storage pocket just above the remote handle. The driver's side rear door contains a handy beverage cooler while the door opposite boasts a fold-out table module. On all doors, cloth-covered armrests with integral pull cups are underlined by narrow satin silver moldings while side air bags are concealed in the Pique cloth bolsters.

Designed to accommodate both left- and right-hand drive, the modular instrument panel features twin horizontal Pique cloth wrapover pads divided by a satin silver center stack topped by a fixed navigation screen with non-glare glass. The pads front shallow open storage trays directly ahead of the driver and front seat passenger, with storage for smaller items provided in divided bins below. The center stack also accommodates large, easy-to-use entertainment and heating, ventilating and air-conditioning system controls whose circular elements mimic the exterior lamp detailing, "because," explains Sodano," we sought to create a common style architecture for the exterior and interior." Ten spherical speakers in varying sizes are supplied in the cabin, two on each front door and three on each quarter panel.

The three-circle, six-gauge delta-shaped instrument binnacle with attached hood moves with the steering column while the steering wheel itself features a textured, molded rubber rim and three "tuning fork" spokes that echo the exterior wheels. A freestanding cantilevered center armrest "floats" over the front floor console, pivoting downward to permit unfettered access to the six-speed manual shift lever during aggressive driving.

Tough, brash and eager to be off, the Dodge Hornet concept vehicle brings to the competitive entry-level B-segment market an ideal combination of American fun and European function.

Source: DaimlerChrysler Media Services.

Dodge Rampage

Dodge Rampage

2006 Dodge Rampage Concept Vehicle - The Only Things It Can't Load More of Are Style and Versatility

February 9, 2006

Bold, powerful and supremely versatile, the new Dodge Rampage concept vehicle is a fresh look at how many families actually use the popular pickup trucks.

"It's the truck for the non-traditional buyer," said Scott Krugger, principal exterior designer. "This is a truck for the person who wants the functional aspects of a truck yet doesn't want a traditional vehicle. The Rampage has the capability of a pickup without sacrificing occupant space."

Combining the width of a Dodge Ram with the overall length of a Dodge Dakota, the Rampage features a host of people and cargo-carrying innovations made possible by a combination of unitized body construction, front-wheel drive, and unique independent rear wheel suspension. And, as with any Dodge concept, the appearance is striking.

In order to achieve their twin objectives of a family-size passenger cabin and exceptional pickup utility, the designers dramatically reconfigured the proportions of the truck. The largest portion of the Rampage is devoted to the spacious passenger cabin, followed by the five-foot cargo box, and last, the engine compartment (which still accommodates a 5.7-liter MDS HEMI® under the abbreviated hood). To visually reinforce the fact that the majority of the vehicle is dedicated to passengers and cargo, a slim appliqué of brushed aluminum runs along the cowl, up and over the roof rails and around the top of the cargo box, a shimmering silver ribbon that contrasts dramatically with the Liquid Carbon exterior.

Up front, the Rampage exhibits a fresh interpretation of the Dodge truck style architecture - a new look for a new truck. The signature Dodge six-sided crossbar grille is set flush within a curving plane that encompasses rectangular wraparound headlamps. Featuring LED lighting, all exterior lamps rely on light-piping and both clear and frosted acrylic to achieve a cleaner look.

The body side is dominated by "double-muscle" flared fenders with the widest part of the body centered over the 22-inch brushed aluminum wheels. The framed doors feature a continuous fore-aft glass plane while the reverse-angle "pillar" on the rear door and distinctive triangular window give a sporty coupe-like profile.

To draw attention to the generous occupant space, a U-shaped chamfered element runs above the sill and travels up the body along the leading and trailing edges of the door sets. Accented with brushed aluminum, this detail is subtly repeated on the exterior door handles.

Access to the interior is exceptional. When either door is opened, the sill pivots down to expose a handy step assist. While the front door is hinged conventionally, the rear door slides open to reveal an imaginative and supremely practical interior, entry to which is enhanced by the absence of the customary B-pillar.

"The interior of the Rampage is durable, functional and efficient," said Irina Zavatski, Principal Interior Designer. "Everything is there for a reason."

Structural elements are exposed. The contoured center stack, for example, "floats" above the surface of the instrument panel. Composed of satin silver finished "framing," the center stack can be pulled rearward and rotated toward either driver or passenger to access the navigation, HVAC and entertainment functions. The free-standing instrument cluster has a similar look and moves with the adjustable steering column while the steering wheel spokes harmonize with both cluster and center stack.

Overhead a "ladder-type" front-to-rear console with storage and entertainment units incorporates distinctive mood lighting along its edges. Flanking the console are fore-aft "skylights," bringing welcoming daylight to rear seat passengers as well as those up front.

"The seating is designed to be athletic, comfortable, yet rugged," said Chris Welch, designer of the seats, which are contoured around specially-fabricated folding framing finished in satin silver. To facilitate ingress/egress to the rear compartment, milled silver handles are integrated into the outboard sides of the front seat backs. The dark charcoal seats are trimmed in a smooth polyurethane-coated material and a three-dimensional open texture "spacer knit" fabric which is also used as a non-glare covering on the instrument panel. Contrasting red-orange fabric on the seat inserts echoes similar accents on the instrument panel, steering wheel and door armrests.

With all seats in use, the Rampage is able to carry five passengers, but that's just the beginning of its functionality. The right front seat and the 60/40 rear seats can be folded into the floor, marking the first use of Dodge's popular and innovative Stow 'n Go ™ Seating and Storage System in a pickup truck and the first Stow 'n Go front passenger seat ever.

The stowing process is facilitated by headrests that flip down into the seat backs, a solution that also allows taller-than-normal seat backs for greater support. To enhance the available interior volume with seats dropped into the floor, the armrests on the front and rear passenger doors also fold out of the way, maximizing the cabin's cargo-carrying capacity. As with all Stow 'n Go seating, with the seats upright, the bins beneath become handy storage areas for sundry items.

Since the interior is designed to accommodate both people and cargo, a durable marine-type rubberized material is used for the cabin flooring.

Behind the rear seats the backlite retracts into a midgate which in turn folds down into the forward part of the cargo bed. With the both midgate and one or more of the passenger seats in a stored position, lengthier items can be carried without having to lower the tailgate.

After the midgate, the five-foot box offers many utility options, including retractable cargo hooks and built-in formations arranged to secure 2"x4" boards. The three-position tailgate can be deployed upright, folded down 98 degrees, or dropped further to an angle of 117 degrees. In this position a stored-in-the-tailgate slide-out ramp can be extended to the ground to permit easy loading of wheeled cargo like motocross bikes, ATVs, etc.

And the unexpected features don't stop there. Rampage delivers exceptional cargo carrying capacity above and below the dual-bed floor. Acting as a second tailgate, the rear bumper fascia also drops down to reveal an enclosed storage space extending (with the seats up) far enough forward to provide room enough to accommodate a stack of 4'x8' plywood sheets.

"This is 'clean storage,'" says Krugger, "something most pickups today don't have."

Combined with the Stow 'n Go seating in the cabin, these cargo box features give the owner - and his or her family - unrivaled flexibility sure to be appreciated, whether going to the store to buy materials for a weekend project or taking the family off on an outdoors outing. Another thoughtful touch: In order to keep the rear of the vehicle free of bothersome heat and fumes when accessing the dual cargo beds, the engine exhaust exits via specially-trimmed vents forward of the rear wheels.

"Bold, powerful and superbly capable in creative new ways, the Dodge Rampage concept vehicle offers a new vision for the American pickup truck and the active lifestyle people who drive them," said Trevor Creed, Senior Vice President – Design, Chrysler Group.

Source: DaimlerChrysler Media Services.




Dodge Super 8 HEMIThe new Dodge Super 8 Hemi concept car is a melting pot of classic Dodge design with Dodge trucks and sport utility vehicles. It combines the best of both worlds to form the newest execution of Passenger Priority design in the guise of a sedan. But where other sedans sit lower to the ground, the Super8 Hemi stands tall to enhance visibility, comfort, space and ease of entry and exit for both driver and passengers.

Underneath the hood sits the real story of this concept car with roots in the 40s and 50s: the famed Hemi engine that made its name on the early NASCAR tracks. This iteration is a 5.7-liter V8 engine with hemispherical combustion chambers and two spark plugs per cylinder that produces a whopping 353 horsepower and 395 pound-feet of torque with a calculated top speed of 154 mph. Horsepower is delivered to the rear wheels via a four-speed automatic transmission with AutoStick(r) that brings the concept car from zero to 60 in only 5.7 seconds.

As with all concept cars, the Super8 Hemi doesn't fall short on futuristic gadgets:

  1. A 6.4-inch screen is incorporated in the instrument panel
  2. Two 8.4 touch screens are located on articulating arms mounted on front-seat backrests for rear-seat passengers
  3. Infotronic Speech Recognition and Text-to-Speech telematics technology for onboard devices that maintain an instant link between personal space and cyber space
  4. Internet-based off-board navigation system with email access
  5. Home Connection System allows you to activate or disable home appliances, security systems, and entertainment systems from your car through an Internet-based remote interface
  6. A rear-seat entertainment system includes location-based online trivia games, playable either with other passengers, or with a player in another vehicle by way of GPS location technology
  7. Nationwide, digital quality, satellite-based audio via Satellite Radio in the continental U.S. Passengers can choose between 100 unique channels, 50 of which are commercial free


Chrysler Firepower Concept

Chrysler Firepower ConceptAuburn Hills, Mich. - Precision and passion are key elementsin Chrysler Group vehicles. The Firepower grand tourer concept car, making its debut at the 2005 North American International Auto Show, exudes Chrysler brand attributes of elegance and performance with high customer value.

"As designers, we challenged ourselves," said Trevor Creed, Senior Vice President - Chrysler Group Design. "How could we best encompass such strong Chrysler models as the Crossfire, which began the brand's move toward a higher level of performance and elegance, while looking to the most extreme expression of engineering and design such as last year's prototype, the ME Four-Twelve? Firepower uniquely bridges these two worlds."

Painstakingly crafted, the elegant and powerful Firepower concept is an example of automotive design and engineering within the reach of Chrysler brand customers. The exterior and interior design, flush with fine materials and meticulous details, are matched with performance provided by a 6.1-liter HEMI® V8 and a Dodge Viper-based chassis. The SRT-developed engine is exclusive to the Chrysler Group's high-performance products. Firepower uses a rear-wheel drive chassis with suspension and brakes fitting of a thoroughbred performance vehicle. A world-class 5-speed automatic transmission with AutoStick® melds luxury and sport. Chrysler Group estimates 0-60 mph performance at less than 4.5 seconds and estimates a top speed of 175 mph.

Firepower uses massive billet aluminum wheels measuring 19x12 inches in the front and 20x12 inches in the rear. Tires are 275/35R19 in the front and 335/30R20 in the back.

The exterior is covered in Hydro Silver Pearl, with dark carbon fiber and polished aluminum accents. In addition to embodying Chrysler grand tourer spirit in the exterior design, Computational Fluid Dynamics modeling was used to shape the body with aerodynamics in mind. Design for proper engine cooling as well as down force in the rear are achieved through this modeling.

The interior is befitting of the Chrysler brand image of beauty and elegance. The interior color combination consists of Ocean Deep Blue as a primary hue, with Oyster leather and Behr maple accents. Finely trimmed leather-covered sport seats, automatic climate control and a premium audio system provide a tasteful and purposeful interior environment. All touch surfaces - steering wheel, control knobs, and shifter - are finished with fine materials for a luxury feel. The instrument panel was designed to display vital information through precisely-detailed gauges, completing the look and feel of refinement. "The Firepower concept embodies the Chrysler brand philosophy," said Creed. "It provides luxury, refinement and sophistication blended elegantly with passion and performance."

Source: DaimlerChrysler MediaServices



Jeep Hurricane

Jeep HurricaneAuburn Hills, Mich. - Show-stopping concepts and extreme expressions of the Chrysler Group brands aren't new: Dodge had its Tomahawk and Chrysler, the ME Four-Twelve. But when the Jeep® Hurricane blew onto the 2005 North American International Auto Show stage, it raised the bar for the Jeep brand.

"Jeep Hurricane is simply the most maneuverable, most capable and most powerful 4x4 ever built," said Trevor Creed, Senior Vice President - Chrysler Group Design. "It pays homage to the extreme enthusiasts' Jeep vehicles in form and off-road capability, but is a unique interpretation of Jeep design. Simply stated, it is the extreme example for the Jeep brand."

Hurricane represents the continued success of bold concept vehicles for the brands as a means of demonstrating Chrysler Group's creative and mechanical expertise. For example, powerful powertrain performance is an understatement considering the Hurricane is not just HEMI®-equipped, but HEMI squared. There are two 5.7-liter HEMI engines in the vehicle: one in the front and one in the back. Both engines deliver 335 horsepower and 370 lb-ft of torque - a total of 670 hp and 740 lb-ft of torque.

Can you have responsible excess? To test the theory, we equipped both HEMI engines in the Jeep Hurricane with the Chrysler Group Multi-Displacement System (MDS). Depending on the driver's needs, the Hurricane can be powered by 4-, 8-, 12- or 16-cylinders. All of that translates into buckets of torque for climbing obstacles other 4x4 vehicles can't even comprehend. In addition, it has the power and traction to move from 0-60 in less than five seconds.

The power is delivered through a central transfer case and split axles with a mechanically controlled four-wheel torque distribution system. The front and rear suspension is short/long arm independent with 20 inches of suspension travel, controlled by coilover shocks with remote reservoirs.

The vehicle has 14.3 inches of ground clearance, and incredible approach/departure angles of 64.0 /86.7 degrees. These are nearly vertical angles - combined with 37-inch tall tires, so the Hurricane won't meet much that it can't climb. The Jeep Hurricane is the only vehicle on the auto-show circuit that provides its own turnable feature. The vehicle features a turn radius of absolutely zero, thanks to skid steer capability and toe steer: the ability to turn both front and rear tires inward. In addition, the vehicle features two modes of automated four-wheel steering. The first is traditional with the rear tires turning in the opposite direction of the front to reduce the turning circle. The second mode is an innovation targeted to off-road drivers: the vehicle can turn all four wheels in the same direction for nimble crab steering. This allows the vehicle to move sideways without changing the direction the vehicle is pointing.

"Out in the wilderness, changing direction in minimal space can mean the difference between an afternoon of adventure and a distress call back to the trailhead," Creed said. "The multi-mode four-wheel steering system on Jeep Hurricane is designed to offer enthusiasts the next level of performance and unexpected maneuverability."

The one-piece body is shaped of structural carbon fiber, and forms the chassis that would be offered through a traditional frame. The suspension and powertrain are mounted directly to the body. An aluminum spine runs under the body to both connect the underside and to function as a complete skid plate system.

The design is lightweight with high strength, and it boasts functional appearance. Jeep Hurricane is an honest, minimalist approach to its design augmented with the Jeep signature seven-slot grille, two seats and no doors. On the inside, occupants will be surrounded by exposed carbon fiber and polished aluminum with Black Thunder and Tiluminum accents.

Jeep® Hurricane Specifications:

Weight (estimated): 3,850 lbs. (1,746 kg)
Length: 151.8 inches (3,856 mm)
Wheelbase: 108.1 inches (2,746 mm)
Front Overhang: 25.0 inches (635 mm)
Rear Overhang: 18.7 inches (475mm)
Width: 80.0 inches (2,033 mm)
Height: 68.2 inches (1,732 mm)
Track, Frt/Rr: 67.5/67.5 inches (1,715/1,715 mm)
Engine: two 5.7-liter HEMI® engines
Transfer Case: Custom multi-mode with 1:1, 2:1 and 4:1 ratios
Transmission: 5-Speed automatic
Front and Rear Suspension: Long-travel, short/long arm independent
Ground Clearance: 14.3 inches (363 mm)
Break-Over Angle: 31.5 degrees
Approach/Depart Angle: 64.0/86.7 degrees
Tire Size: 305/70R20
Wheel Size: 20x10 inches

Source: DaimlerChrysler MediaServices

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