Tag - Chrysler
I’m looking out the passenger window, taking in the beautiful Southern California landscape. It’s going by rather quickly, as it happens, but that’s not unusual for today.
“That’s a hundred…”
We’re on an arrow-straight stretch of desert mountain road, climbing toward the next of what feel like endless rocky peaks. The last car we saw was an overburdened Civic, and we weren’t with them long. Everything’s brown and rocky; abrupt, but beautiful, at least in the eyes of a man who spent a good bit of his life in the desert southwest. I nod absently at his latest update.
We’re getting a bit short on straight road and the upcoming crest is obscuring my view of the scenery. My attention shifts back to the car and the journey at hand. We have a driver change coming up, then a lunch stop in–wait, what was that last bit he said?
“One hundred and tweennnnntyyy… that’s the limiter.”
I shrug slightly, taking in the sensation. Feels like seventy, I think, giving a half-nod of approval. “Not bad.”
Dates in fleet:8/28/2010 – 9/2/2010
MSRP and major options: $49,195. SRT Option Group II — electronic upgrades ($900), Kicker SRT sound system ($685)
J. BARUTH: With the LY-based 2011 model just around the corner, could our Deep Sea Blue SRT-8 be perhaps the very last LX-platform Chrysler 300 to find its way into a press fleet? It’s certainly one of the most expensive cars in history to wear the Chrysler nameplate, just knocking politely at the door labeled “Fifty Grand”. For that kind of money — less than five hundred dollars cheaper than a new BMW 535i — this had better be a very special car indeed. To find out, we crossed the country at, ahem, a brisk pace, winding up at Virginia International Raceway.
Ray Wert, the Jalop of Jalops over at www.jalopnik.com, recently wrote a piece about the HEMI brand and the upcoming 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee. For those who aren’t scrutinizing the JGC’s launch on the same level as us know-it-alls, let me catch you up. Essentially, the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee will no longer have a 5.7L HEMI engine. Instead, it will have a 5.7L OHV MDS V8 with Variable-valve Timing… and an engine cover emblazoned with enormous, embossed “HEMI” branding.
It’s okay if you’re confused, but it boils down to this: Jeep will no longer feature the HEMI branding within its vehicle lineup. The same engine will be branded as a HEMI in other Chrysler Group LLC products (as Jeep Brand Marketing Head Honcho Jim Morrison put it, they’ll be leaving it to “the Dodge and truck guys”), but not in a Jeep.
But why? Mr. Wert proposes that this is green-washing–an effort by Chrysler to minimize the enthusiast value of their vehicles in front of an ever-more-environmentally-focused media. It’s not a poor argument. Just look around at the rest of the industry. Ford’s twin-turbo, 350+ horsepower V6 monster is dubbed “EcoBoost,” for crying out loud. If that’s not green marketing, I don’t know what is. But in the context of Chrysler, I think Wert’s assessment, while not unreasonable, isn’t quite on the mark.
Earlier this week, the Chrysler Communications blog ran a piece that we all knew was coming, but few true enthusiasts wanted to see. The Dodge Viper SRT-10 Final Edition is here. It’s bittersweet, to be sure, the end of the line for the consummate American two-seater. Apologies to the boys and girls down in Bowling Green, but no other vehicle embodies the history of American sports car racing the way the Viper does–the biggest engine in the smallest car with the fewest frills. It’s a legacy that goes back to the days before closed circuits and seat belts.
And for the first time in nearly twenty years, the world will be without it.
We’re going to try something new here at S:S:L, and provide a feed of all the outlets covering the Chrysler Business Plan Media Event on twitter. Should be a good mix of perspective from Autoblog, Jalopnik, Detroit News, Edmunds, Automotive News and several others. Follow along and see what Chrysler has in store for the next 5 years.