Going into December, many were predicting that the last gasoline-powered Chargers and Challengers would be built in Canada in 2023, to be replaced by US-made battery-electric vehicles.
Then two reliable sources told Stellpower that there were preliminary plans to bring new generations of large cars to Brampton; and that there was indeed an LB Challenger coming up, to be powered by a turbocharged, three-liter inline six-cylinder engine, sharing a great deal with the current 2.0 liter four-cylinder.
Production for the new GME T6, as the in-line six is designated—never mind the Tornado project nickname—will almost certainly be in Saltillo, Mexico, which is the home of all Hemi production now. The basic 5.7 Hemis will likely be slowly phased out over several years, but given higher fuel economy standards, the end may come faster. The Hellcat’s end has already been scheduled for 2023, and the 392 may or may not survive it. (This should not be a great surprise; the Mopar people never indicated that the Hellcat was a permanent addition.)
A new generation of eight-speed automatics might make it cheaper to integrate mild or even midlevel hybrid designs into the new cars, boosting fuel economy.
Whether Brampton remains the home of the large cars may well be contingent on a good deal with Canadian governments and, to a lesser extent, the union (Unifor). Industry advisors tell us that Canadian workers can make more money and still be cheaper overall than their American or even Mexican counterparts, due to the local factors reducing costs and boosting productivity. Besides, Canadians appear to be more sensitive to local production—and as Chrysler has been loyal to Canada, Canadians have been loyal to Chrysler.
Finally, Direct Connection is coming back with a vengeance—and despite a certain YouTube uncle’s predictions, won’t be dropping gasoline powered cars to only make electrics go faster.
If you prefer battery-electrics, either for the insane 0-60 acceleration or to avoid burning gasoline, Chrysler will be revealing their plans in January, and Dodge has already given some hints. It does appear that Chrysler plans to return to full relevance, but is taking the time to plan things out and do what makes sense, rather than just throwing ill-planned products at us. Also, if you’re more into Jeeps, the Grand Cherokee L added some very clever features, most notably a passenger-side panel for movies, maps, and such, which is privacy-screened from the driver (easily beating Tesla’s odd, now-revoked decision to let drivers play games while the vehicle was in motion—was that just a cry for attention?). Oh, and the Grand Cherokee 4xe will be shown soon, and Jeep released some preliminary specs on the powertrain.
If you wanted Ma Mopar to give you a Christmas present, check your tree; there are a few presents here.