Ram midsize pickup finally revealed—to dealers

Ram Revolution BEV side view

Ram head Mike Koval Jr. has shown the upcoming midsize Ram pickup, but only to dealers at a meeting in Las Vegas. Automotive News reported on a dealer’s views of the pickup, which he said exceeded his expectations—and was “spectacular.” The new battery-electric pickup matches the “aesthetic” of the Ram 1500 Revolution from January, pictured … Read more

Flashback Friday: the original Fabulous Hudson Hornet

Hudson Hornet logo

One of the less-likely NASCAR champions was a full-sized L-head straight-six car from a premium brand, brought out in the same year as the first, 180-bhp Chrysler Hemi. The Fabulous Hudson Hornet may not have had a V8, but it had three other things going for it: lighter weight, a stiff unibody, and a sunken floor and engine which gave it phenomenal handling when compared to most American stock cars of the day. The straight-six was nearly as big as the first Hemi—308 cubic inches (while that first Hemi was 331 cid)—but was hooked up to a manual transmission and had less weight to push around.  

STLA replacing Opel Grandland with BEV

Jeep Renegade and Opel Grandland twins

Stellantis is investing €130 million into upgrades to its Eisenach Assembly Plant in Germany to make an electric successor to the Opel Grandland crossover. It will launch in the second half of 2024, part of the push to make Opel’s lineup completely electric-powered by 2028. Europe is shifting to electric cars rapidly, as automakers shift … Read more

Flashback Friday: Chrysler Engineering makes Mercury, Saturn rockets a reality

Chrysler and the Saturn rockets from the Apollo missions

Chrysler’s role in creating the Moon rockets has long been ignored; it’s not even mentioned on multiple Wikipedia pages which ignore the prime contractor but mention Rockwell and Boeing. Yet Chrysler did not just have a hand in creating the Saturn V vehicles used in the Apollo missions; they were the prime contractor for these and for the Redstone missiles which came before. 

Chrysler started working with the combined Army-Air Force rocketry program from its earliest days, running the Warren, Michigan factory which produced the Redstone missiles. While the rocket engines and fuselages were produced by other companies, Chrysler coordinated them, put them together, designed and produced some of the electronic control and ground systems, and provided part of the ground support crews. The photo above, from the 1965 Chrysler Annual Report, clearly shows ground crew members wearing Chrysler shirts. 

Motales recently recovered the story of Chrysler’s role in rocketry, including their work in developing digital telemetry for the Apollo missions. From the Redstones to the final launch (of Skylab), Chrysler was America’s chosen leader in aerospace. The company only left the business when NASA rejected its space shuttle design. (See https://www.motales.com/chrysler-corp/aerospace-defense/rockets-by-chrysler.php for more)

Refreshed 2024 Wrangler JL on the way?

High Tide Jeep Wranglers

Someone claiming to be a salesman is claiming that a Jeep Wrangler refresh is coming soon.  The basic design is the same, but the 2024 Wrangler is rumored to offer power seats, ventilated seats, new gauge cluster and UConnect with a larger 10-inch touch-screen. (2024 Jeeps are not shown below.) The 392 is to continue, with … Read more

Mopars come last in Power Customer Service Index

2023 JD Power Satisfaction Survey™

Chrysler finished dead last in the 2023 J.D. Power Customer Service Index™, with Jeep, Ram, and Dodge separated from Chrysler’s last-place spot only by Hyundai, which came in second-to-last.  It was an odd result, given that Kia was close to average. Specifically, on a thousand-point scale, Chrysler scored 803, Jeep 821, Ram 823, and Dodge … Read more

Recall Wednesday: oddballs and Durango and Wrangler/Gladiator recalls

Satera Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

In this week’s list of recalls, we have two somewhat goofy ones and two from Mopar. In the goofy category we have Nissan’s “collapsing” ignition keys (2014-20 Rogue, 2017-22 Rogue Sport) which can stall the car; and we have Dodge Durangos (2021-23) whose rear spoiler may fly off while driving. Spoiler recall on Durangos might … Read more

Mopar BEVs to be the first to re-use waste heat?

BEV waste heat reuse patent

In gasoline-burning cars and trucks, waste heat from burning gasoline is tapped to heat up the cabin. But what about electric cars? They typically have to use electric heaters—or maybe not.

A new FCA US patent, filed three years back (November 2020) by Michigan’s Craig Lindquist and Changchun Li and Italy’s Attilio Crivellari, would re-use waste heat in electric cars, too—a technology which could be handy in PHEVs as well as BEVs.

STLA investing another $155 million in Indiana plants for EVs

Ram and Jeep Electric Drive Module

Stellantis, which includes FCA US, the former Chrysler, has decided to build its electric drive modules (EDM) at Kokomo, Indiana-area plants. The EDM is an all-in-one solution for electric vehicles; making them in Indiana will keep 265 jobs intact at three plants (Indiana Transmission, Kokomo Transmission, and Kokomo Casting). The gearbox cover will be cast … Read more

Recall Monday: gauge lights, cameras, and at Hyundai/Genesis, exploding seat belts

exploding seat belt pretensioner

Late 2022 Jeep Compasses, made from May 12, 2022 to August 8, were made with no way to make the gauge cluster bright enough during some lighting conditions. This is not so much a defect as a design issue; as a result, starting by the end of March, Jeep will start adding a light sensor module and wiring jumper, and replacing the windshield and headlamp switches, so the display backlighting will be able to handle ambient lighting.

The second Mopar recall of the week is lack of rear-view images in 2021-23 Ram Ram 1500 and 2500 pickups….

Report: Dodge, Ram appeal much more to men

2024 Ram 1500 REV

Recently, S&P released their Global Mobility vehicle registration data for 2022. Among other tidbits, as Automotive News revealed, Ram rated dead last in the percentage of female buyers in the US, at 17%. That’s well below the other main truck-only brand, GMC, at 29%. Dodge was the fifth lowest brand for percentage of cars purchased … Read more

Runnin’ Hyde teaser may foreshadow serious debut

Dodge Last Call teaser

Dodge is teasing a final 2023 “Last Call” special edition, with the first video teaser arriving today. The car will likely be more than a sticker-and-spoiler edition, given its reveal at the Dodge Last Call Powered by Roadkill Nights Vegas reveal at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. That would be quite a serious shindig for … Read more