Category Archives: FCA

2019 Ram 1500

Spied: 2019 Ram 1500

It’s not too often we have a chance to encounter upcoming model, but that’s exactly what happened when we had the opprotunity to encounter this 2019 Ram 1500 quad cab tester in the wilds of Michigan.

Being an early stage mule, this particular tester does not shed a whole lot of light on the styling direction that the next generation Ram 1500 will embark on. However, a closer look does showcase glimpses of whats in store. For example the switch from the traditional 5-lug setup to an all new 6-lug arraignment for its wheels could suggest that the new Ram is gaining weight, and that in turn could lead to increased towing and payload capacities.

Extensive interior camoflauge thwarted our efforts to get a clear view of the IP and dashboard. But the appearance of a Chrysler Pacifica derived steering wheel, as well as a mysterious contraption on the front grille could indicate that some of the van’s technologies will carry over to the 2019 Ram 1500. These could include lane keep assist, collision detection software, as well as adaptive cruise control.

Performance hardware is unknown at this juncture, but look for the familiar 3.6 liter V6 and 3.0 liter diesel engine to make their respective returns. The 5.7 liter Hemi V8 however could be axed, and replaced with an all new engine that would embrace turbocharging. This would allow Ram to follow Ford’s lead in this area, while also improving fuel economy.

Look for the 2019 Ram 1500 to eventually make its debut either later this year, or early next year at a future auto show, most likely in Detroit at the North American International Auto Show, or the Chicago Auto Show.

 

2018 Dodge Demon Priced, Tears Up The Strip At $85k

When Dodge first unleashed the limited production 840 horsepower Dodge Demon at the New York Auto Show, the brand promised to deliver a drag strip experience at a price below $100,000. Admittably, we were a bit skeptical at first, but Dodge has followed through on its word, and delivered the goods.

In fact, Dodge delivered in spades, with the 2018 Dodge Demon featuring a base price of $84,995. This includes the $1700 gas guzzler tax, but not the $1,095 destination fee. Furthermore, many of its options are better deals than the bargain sales at many thrift stores, with each one only costing $1

This includes the Demon Crate as well as more basic additions such as the front passenger seat, rear passenger seat, as well as carpeting for the trunk to make the Demon more civilized (if you must…) Otherwise we recommend indulging yourself with the contents of the forementioned Demon Crate. They include the drag spec front wheels and tires, conical air filter, as well as the PCM and replacement instrument panel switch to unlock the full 840 horsepower wielded by the tricked out V8.

Dodge will also offer 15 diffrent paint colors, and even offer a full leather interior and premium audio system, though look for those two items to hurt the Demon’s performance somewhat.

Overall the grand total adds up to $86,094 when the Demon has its performance and basic occupant friendly options installed. This is a hefty price to pay for a Dodge Challenger at first glance, but considering all the drag spec gear it possesses straight from the factory, the prospect doesn’t seem so crazy. Especially since its the only factory ready drag car with a full factory warranty including a five year/60,000 mile warranty for the powertrain.

Dodge Unveils 840 Horsepower Drag Strip Slaying Demon

After keeping the world captivated with twelve long weeks of captivating teasers, Dodge has finally unleashed its drag strip slaying monster on the world, the 2018 Dodge Challenger Demon.

Dodge used its pre-autoshow conference to cement its image as a performance brand with swagger, and in an age where a renewed quest for horsepower is once again in full swing, the Demon represents a tactical nuclear strike on the muscle car segment.

It all starts with the engine which has been heavily upgraded in its bid for dragstrip superiority. While it does share its basic architecture with the standard 6.2 liter Hellcat engine, the Demon’s engine is an outright evolution that goes beyond simply being a Hellcat with more boost. While a bigger 2.7 liter supercharger does deliver 14.5 pounds of boost, other upgrades include dual two stage fuel pumps, numerous reinforced engine components, as well as a larger air box with three different sources of air flow (Air Grabber hood, driver side air catcher headlamp, and a special inlet near the wheel liner.

The end result of all this mad engineering is 840 horsepower on 100-octane gasoline (808 on standard grade gas), and while the former figure is a bit short of the rumored 1,000 plus horsepower that was pitched prior to its debut. It is still a sizable boost in power from the already ridiculous 707 horsepower wielded by the standard Hellcat Challenger. It also curb stomps other high horsepower offerings including the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, the Shelby GT350 Mustang, as well as the supercar-esque Corvette Z06. An eight speed automatic transmission is the sole transmission offering here, but it has also been beefed up for Demon duty, and helps the demonic Challenger burn its way to a 2.3 second 0 to 60 time as well as an equally impressive 9.65 second quarter mile time. This time was officially confirmed by the National Hot Rod Association, which subsequently banned the Demon from official competition, due to safety reasons.

An extensive crash diet also defines the Demon, and it is highlighted by two absent pieces of equipment, the passenger seats. You heard that right, in a bid to shed maximum weight, Demon engineers took out both the front passenger seat and the rear bench seat which truly makes it a driver-centric experience. It also reminds us of the Lamborghini Egoista concept in this regard, with that particular concept also embracing a one seat only layout when it was unveiled a few years ago.

Unlike that one-off Italian, Dodge will let buyers outfit the production Demon with both seats (if they must), for a reasonable sum, with FCA head of passenger cars Tim Kuniskis jokingly claiming that each seat would cost $1 on the options list. The interior otherwise retains much of the basic elements that define the standard Challenger Hellcat, albeit an environment that lacks sound deadening, various interior trim pieces, as well as the removal of all but two of the speakers for the stereo system. We are fine with this latter item since the engine should be the full focus of attention anyway, versus whatever is playing on the local pop music station.

Meanwhile all that power going to the sticky Nitto drag slick tires also highlights an additional trait of the Demon. When the throttle is punched, the front end lifts up which in turn helps put more weight on the rear to help the tires hook up quicker, and make better use of the ample 770 lb-ft of torque. This allowed the Demon to secure a Guinness World Record for the longest wheelie at an impressive 2.95 feet.

Dodge plans to build an initial run of 3,300 Demons with 3,000 going to U.S. buyers while the remaining 300 will go to customers in Canada. Pricing has not been released, but Dodge claims that it is trying to keep the Demon under the $100,000 ceiling. With this bold move, we look forward to seeing if either Ford or Chevrolet will unveil a responding salvo to the Demon in the near future in a bid to further amp up the horsepower arms race.

Jeep Unveils Track Slaying Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

With the current parade of teasers that have been unveiled for the Dodge Demon, interest and intrigue surrounding FCA and its SRT lineup is at an all time high. While we still have to wait until April 16th to see the Demon in person, Jeep has decided to cut to the chase by unveiling its first ever Hellcat powered offering, the 2018 Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.

 

 

The standard SRT Grand Cherokee is already a potent beast out on the street, but the Trackhawk can be considered a welcome evolution of this formula. Curious observers that are trying to spot a Trackhawk out in the wild will have to look very closely at the finer details to spot it. Jeep designers retained the bulk of the standard SRT’s exterior styling with the fender flares and bumpers carrying over mostly unchanged.

 

 

However, a trademark cue is the lack of fog lamps, which were pitched so that more cold air could make its way to the engine, especially on the drivers side. The Trackhawk also gets model exclusive supercharged badging, as well as “Trackhawk” badges scattered throughout. The interior also gets minor updates with black chrome and carbon fiber trim adorning the cabin. Occupants are also coddled by  standard heated and cooled Nappa leather/suede seats which can be upgraded to full leather thrones as part of a leather package. Meanwhile, a separate metal package adds real metal accents to the cabin which in turn increases its performance oriented theme.

 

 

The star of the show lurks under the hood with all Trackhawks featuring the same 6.2 liter supercharged V8 that also sees duty in its sinister cousins the Dodge Charger and Challenger Hellcat models. Horsepower still checks in at a lofty 707 horsepower, but torque does drop a bit to 645 lb-ft versus 650 for the Hellcat twins. We don’t think many people will be bothered by that minor detail when they sign on the dotted line. Especially, since the Trackhawk can still lunge its way to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and post a scorching 11.6 second quarter mile time.

While the engine might be unchanged, the Trackhawk does offer one distinct difference when compared to its brethren, all-wheel drive. An eight speed automatic transmission helps channel all of the engine’s muscle to all four wheels, with Jeep engineers beefing up the single speed transfer case and adding an electronic limited slip differential. The transfer case also features a wider chain as well as forged sprockets that allow it to cope with the extra power demands wrought on it by the engine. Power is split 40/60 in its base setting, but the bias gradually increases in the more aggressive driving modes. Track mode serves as the pinnacle, and splits the power 30/70 while a snow belt friendly Snow mode delivers a perfect 50/50 split.

All of this raw power is good, but it wouldn’t  mean too much if the Trackhawk lacked the handling manners to make full use of it. Thankfully, Jeep engineers answered the call, and gave the Trackhawk a high performance suspension with adaptive Bilstein shocks. The stiffer suspension lowers the Trackhawk by 1-inch when compared to other Grand Cherokee models, which helps improve its overall stance, as well as mitigating excess body roll.

20-inch wheels shod in either all-season or optional three season rubber are standard equipment, but buyers can opt for optional forged wheels. Jeep claims that this latter option helps cut 12 pounds of excess weight, which is a plus when the Trackhawk is being pushed hard at the track. Braking is achieved by Brembo brakes with six piston calipers and 15.75 inch rotors up front, and 13.73 in the rear with four piston calipers providing the stopping power. Jeep claims that the front brakes are the largest set that it has ever fit onto one of its vehicles.

Jeep has not released official pricing for the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, but with the standard SRT Grand Cherokee priced in the $60,000 range, look for the Trackhawk to command a price tag closer to $70,000-80,000  when it thunders its way into dealer show rooms. In the meantime, stay tuned to Autoinfoquest.com for our live coverage of the 2017 New York Auto Show, as well as our live look at the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.

Dodge Demon Teases Intake Cooling Technology [Video]

The Dodge Demon has been the subject of an elaborate string of teaser videos with FCA unleashing a new one every Thursday for the past few weeks. This latest video highlights the unique intake cooling technology that aims to help give the Demon some extra kick when it thunders its way down the drag strip.

FCA claims that the Dodge Demon will be the first production model to feature a liquid- to-air chiller for the charge air cooling system. But what is a liquid-to-air chiller? And how does such a system exactly work? you might be asking.

Well it’s actually deceptively simple when you take a closer look at it. Unlike other air cooling systems which either use ambient air or coolant to help reduce the air induction temperature, the Demon’s system actually uses the interior’s A/C system to help cool the air even further. This novel feature is only active in Drag Mode, and FCA claims that it cools inducted air by 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

While this technology may sound a bit wonky, this technology will please drag racers looking to take their Demon’s out onto the strip. That’s because heat is the enemy of performance in any engine, and cold dense air is a crucial element in achieving maximum performance. This is especially true of forced induction engines like the Demon’s which generate even more heat from the supercharger, on top of the heat already generated by the engine.

This all sounds golden but there are two flaws in this otherwise perfect technology. The first is that air conditioning systems (as well as other accessories) often draw power away from the engine, an unwelcome trait for many racers. Also, the system inadvertently creates a safety hazard out on the drag strip, with many tracks barring this method of power increase due to the small puddles of water that the resulting condensation creates on the track.

If these two attributes don’t bother you (and its safe to assume it won’t matter for many Demon buyers) then stay tuned for the final teaser video which will be revealed next week, as well as to Autoinfoquest.com for our live coverage of the Demon’s New York debut on April 11th. In the meantime you can check out the current teaser video in all of its glory below.

Dodge Demon Teases Exhaust Note [Video]

Dodge is at it again, and has unleashed a new teaser video that puts the spotlight on the soundtrack that highlights the Demon’s exhaust system, while also revealing yet another cryptic code.

Dubbed “No Pills,” the video highlights the novel solution that Dodge engineers created to control the immense levels of torque generated by the Demon’s souped up engine (a make it or break it factor out on the dragstrip.)

To help keep things under control, Dodge engineers have equipped the Demon with an all new torque reverse launch system that allows the engine to build up boost without scorching the tires or the brakes. When paired with the sticky Nitto drag radials, and the suspension tweaks Dodge has made, it should produce some mean quarter mile times at the drag strip.

The magic here is how the system works, and it is pretty straightforward when in use. Essentially a bypass valve on the supercharger closes, “prefilling” the blower with boost as a result. To help keep the torque and revs balanced, the onboard computer can regulate fuel flow as well as the spark at each indvidual cylinder.

 

The system kicks in when Launch Mode is initiated, and the engine is turning at least 1,000 RPM. The goal here is to reach peak boost quicker, while also delivering power more efficiently to the ground at the same time, a winning combination in drag racing.

A side effect though is that it also gives the Demon a very distinctive exhaust note, with Dodge freely admitting that it may make it seem like the Demon is broken, even though it really isn’t. For those who are curious, Dodge has even released a ringtone version of the noise which can be easily mistaken for a blown phone speaker.

Rounding out the festivities is a new license code (3.9 + 221 = 405) that is just a cryptic as the first one that was released. Other teasers have floated the numbers 757 and 815 repeatedly, and we suspect the former figure is the torque while the 815 could be the new horsepower rating (a 108 horse gain if proven true.

 

 

Durango SRT

Dodge Unveils Firebreathing Durango SRT [Video]

With the Chicago Auto Show fast approaching, Dodge has formally unveiled the 2018 Durango SRT which brings track ready performance to the venerable family hauler.

While the Durango SRT is not the Hellcat powered monster that prior rumors suggested (we have to wait until the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk appears) it still does its best to look the part. This is thanks to model exclusive elements including a new hood with air duct and heat extractors, a tweaked lower bumper with a wider air dam, as well as LED daytime running lights.

Fender flares also accent the package, and lead out to a rear diffuser that is topped off with twin four-inch exhaust tips. This certainly helps amp up the Durango’s presence on the street, and makes up for the standard model’s lack of attitude.

The interior of the Durango SRT also embraces performance, and real carbon fiber trim accents make their way to the Durango for the first time ever. Supple Laguna leather upholstry also comes along for the ride, and the supportive leather thrones feature silver accent stitching, as well as heated and cooled capability.

Rounding out the transformation from mundane to macho is a flat bottomed steering wheel, as well as SRT badging scattered throughout the cabin. Expect these touches to be a hit with the kids lucky enough to be shuttled off to school in this beast.

The Durango SRT certainly looks the part, but a proper SRT product is more than just looking good. It’s what lurks under the hood that counts, and the Durango SRT does not disappoint in that regard. As mentioned earlier, the Hellcat is absent here, but the SUV bucks the trend towards downsizing, and fully embraces the familiar 6.4 liter V8 thats also found in the Charger and Challenger.

Good for a healthy 475 horsepower, the beefy V8 allows the Durango SRT to make the sprint to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds (on par with a BMW M5) as well as cover the quarter mile in 12.9 seconds.

The SRT retains the eight speed automatic that sees duty in lesser Durangos, but it has been tweaked for performance driving, and is complimented by huge Brembo brakes, a firmer suspension, as well as large Pirelli Scorpion tires.

Seven diffrent driving modes are avalible here, with Track mode sending up to 70 percent of the engines power to the rear wheels, and also promises to dramatically reduce shift times for the forementioned eight speed automatic transmission.

Dodge has not formally revealed when the Durango SRT will go on sale, or how much it will cost. But look for it to command a healthy premium over other Durango models when it eventually thunders its way onto dealer lots. In the meantime you can see the Durango SRT do its best burnout in the video below.

2018 Dodge Demon Goes To Extremes In Weight Savings Program

The hype surrounding the 2018 Dodge Demon has been growing ever since Dodge began its meticulous teasing campaign a few weeks ago. This latest bit of news is not a new video, but rather new information that reveals just how far SRT engineers went in their bid to shave precious pounds from the Demon’s flanks.

The current generation Hellcat already pushes the very envelope of sanity, but the Demon aims to completely tear it to pieces. For starters, engineers removed all but the drivers seat which helps remove 113 pounds thanks to the omission of the fore-mentioned seats as well as their associated components. Its safe to assume that Dodge will offer the seats as optional equipment, though we expect it to be limited to the front passenger seat only.

The absence of rear passengers also causes the stereo system to be limited to two front door mounted speakers while the carpet, trunk trim, spare tire cover, as well as the rear parking sensors have been pitched in the name of weight shedding. Lastly, 18 pounds of NVH material has been removed, which means the engine will be the center of your auditory attention when in full song, and make you wonder why the stereo is even along for the ride in the first place?

Manual tilt and telescoping steering gear saves four pounds, and the Demon will come equipped with lighter 18 x 11-inch aluminium wheels with open lug nuts, as well as lighter six piston brakes and a hollowed out sway bar. The grand total is 232 lbs of weight savings, but with Dodge claiming that the figure is 217 lbs, it appears that 17 pounds were added in other areas of the car. Dodge is keeping quiet on where exactly the extra weight went, but look for the answer to eventually be known before the Demon’s New York debut, possibly via a future teaser video.

 

 

Latest Dodge Demon Teaser Highlights Wider Body, Hides Possible Easter Egg [Video]

The road to New York features plenty of twists and turns, and Dodge has released an all new teaser video for its upcoming performance machine, the 2017 Dodge Demon.

Like the other two teaser videos, this one focuses on a key theme. and highlights the tires that this special Challenger will wear. Earlier sightings of prototypes hinted at wider tires being installed, and we now know that the Demon will come equipped with “Demon branded” Nitto NT05R  315/40R18 slicks front and rear. FCA claims that the Demon will be the first ever factory car to be equipped with drag radials, an impressive feat indeed.

The addition of these potent tires, as well as the bigger rims for them, required engineers to make several key revisions to the Challenger. Wider fender flares add 3.5 inches of width, and FCA claims that the end result is a wide-body Challenger that has a more “intimidating, purposeful stance.”

Prior teasers have revealed that the Demon will be several hundred pounds lighter than the current Hellcat and feature a bigger hood scoop as well as other exterior styling tweaks to make it standout from the rest of the muscle car stable.

In addition, the teaser also shows off a curious license plate (Michigan #2576@35) which appears to reveal a clue. However, it is unknown what it is, and theories abound on what the plate could be broadcasting to viewers that watch the video.

Look for more details to gradually be revealed ahead of the Demon’s  April debut at the 2017 New York Auto Show. In the meantime, you can check out the lastest teaser video below.

2018 Dodge Demon Sheds Weight In New Teaser [Video]

The mad scientists at SRT are continuing their carefully orchestrated hype campaign, and have unleashed a new teaser video for the 2018 Dodge Demon ahead of its debut at the New York Auto Show.

Following up on last weeks “Caged”  teaser video, this new video dubbed “Reduction” focuses on the weight loss plan that SRT engineers have in store for the Demon.

Dodge claims that the Demon will be 200 lbs lighter than the Hellcat it replaces. While the end result is still a hefty 4500 lbs, look for thisDodge Demon weight shedding to help improve the Demon’s handling manners as well as acceleration times.

The video also seems to confirm that the Dodge Demon will be rear-wheel drive versus all-wheel drive due to the lack of a front diffrential. If that’s the case, we suspect its omission is due to it not being able to handle the Demon’s high horsepower versus being an obstacle to overall weight savings.

For those that prefer to skip the teasers, Instagram user @illegal_machine shared a few photos that could very well be a Demon in the flesh.

While it looks like a mid-stage cobbled together prototype, it does have several Demon cues including the wider hood, bigger scoop, Demon logo, as well as smaller wheels that coincide with both teaser videos.

In the meantime you can check out the latest teaser video as well the alleged pictures below.

 

Lordy. @sinister_z07 just posted this. Could it be? #Demon

A photo posted by Ill Mac (@illegal_machine) on