Dodge has big plans for the next generation Journey, and if a new report is to be believed, the changes will go much further than first anticipated.
A key change is a new platform. Unlike the current Journey which uses a platform that has roots with its older and dearly departed minivan siblings, the new one is expected to use the same capable set of bones that also underpins the recently launched Giulia sedan. Not only will the new platform allow the Journey to finally get in touch with its performance character, but it will also help the Journey shed pounds of flab. Rear wheel drive would be standard with all-wheel drive optional for buyers in snowier climates.
The report does not specify what will be under the hood, but it’s safe to assume that the base engine will be the same 2.0 liter turbocharged “Hurricane” four cylinder engine that will make its debut in the upcoming Jeep Wrangler. The 3.2 liter Pentastar V6 could make its appearance in higher grade trims but with FCA’s commitment to smaller engines, the odds of it making the cut are not good.
The new Journey has also reportedly had its fair share of challenges while in development. FCA announced two years ago that the revamped Journey would launch before the end of the 2016 model year. Since then the project has been delayed and the folks at Automotive News claim that the second generation Journey will not arrive until 2019.
Simply put this means that the current generation Journey will be around for two more model years, and will be over a decade old before it is axed for good. This advanced age will make it a tough sell against more capable CUV entries and also further highlight its outdated interior technology. Lastly, its decade on the marketplace would put it in the same league as some high end exotics including the Aston Martin Vantage coupe which surpassed the decade barrier awhile ago.
Confirming earlier leaks, Alfa Romeo has pulled the veil off of its sleek Giulia sedan a key model that could make or break Alfa Romeo’s fortunes in the U.S. while also allowing the brand to finally have a legitimate contender to the BMW 3-Series.
The exterior styling of the Giulia features a distinctive design that utilizes key retro oriented cues, while also emphasizing short over hangs, taut compact proportions, and the classic long hood and short rear deck layout. This bold suit of clothes not only makes it look more menacing than the 3-Series, but also allows it to surpass other rivals such as the recently unveiled Jaguar XE as well as the updated Mercedes Benz C-Class.
The Giulia also introduces an all new rear-wheel-drive oriented platform with the engine as well as other components arraigned between the axles to achieve true 50/50 weight distribution (a rare feat in automobiles especially sedans). The Giulia’s wheelbase is also purported to be the longest in its segment which does wonders for overall comfort as well as vehicular stability. While the Giula will arrive with standard rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive is available as an option though expect that option to be only found on base to mid-level models.
In addition, electronically-actuated adaptive dampers refine the driving dynamics even further which is especially important when the car is pushed out on the track. Handling was also dialed in with an all new double wishbone front suspension design that teams up with an FCA developed semi-virtual steering axis which is supposed to help maintain a perfect caster trail in corners though some driving time with the Giulia is needed to find out if it does indeed succeed in achieving this or not. Other innovations include an all new double-clutch torque-vectoring system that manages to deliver all of the power to each wheel without the interference of the electronic stability control, as well as being the first FCA offering to come equipped with a specially designed Integrated Brake System that blends the electronic stability control with a traditional servo brake unit for quicker responses as well as “world record stopping distances” though that too will have to wait until formal drives are performed.
Alfa Romeo did not shed any light on what exactly would be powering the lesser versions of the Giulia, but that did not stop them from boldly revealing the M3 slaying hardware that lurks underneath the hood of the Quadrifoglio edition. The flagship of the Giulia lineup will boast a “Ferrari inspired turbocharged V6 that’s capable of producing 510 horsepower. Not only does this figure completely trump the rival M3 by 73 horsepower, but it is also allows it to beat other rivals such as the C63 AMG. Extensive applications of carbon fiber help keep the Giulia’s weight down and allows the euro-spec version to achieve 6.6 lbs per horsepower which roughly translates to a 3,400 lb curb weight. FCA claims that the Giulia Quadrifoglio can make the sprint to 62 mph in a brisk 3.9 seconds (faster than the M3) and will incorporate a front splitter to help improve cornering grip and down-force at high speeds.
Additional details regarding the Giulia are still unknown, but expect FCA to reveal formal launch dates, interior photos, and final pricing in the near future possibly at an upcoming auto show.