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SRT Absorbed into Dodge Brand; Viper Program Continues


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The last brand realignment at Chrysler was a confusing one. SRT emerged as a standalone brand with a single car, the new Viper, in addition to its assortment of hi-po specials for Jeep, Chrysler, and Dodge. Meanwhile, a lot of volume-product overlap remained at Dodge and Chrysler. But evolution is good, and the forces inside Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have detailed new changes as part of the organization's five-year plan. The big news is this: Dodge becomes a performance brand, and SRT is part of it, supplying the mightiest version of every Dodge vehicle.

First up, the Viper returns to the Dodge brand. Expect a refresh, but not a new engine—it'll retain its signature V10. We're also getting a Dart SRT fitted with a high-output turbo and all-wheel drive. The Challenger and Charger SRT models are finally getting those Hellcat engines we've been promised, and they're sticking to the current rear-drive setup.

New stuff arrives in the form of a D-segment crossover, likely called the Journey and possibly derived from the Jeep Cherokee, utilizing the aforementioned AWD turbo powertrain and Fiat-sourced underpinnings. An as yet unnamed B-segment sedan and hatch join the lineup, too. No SRT version of the latter is indicated, but we can't imagine a scenario in which an ultra-hot hatch doesn't eventually make the team.

The shift to a performance orientation means some Dodge nameplates have to die, so the bell tolls for the redundant Avenger sedan and Grand Caravan minivan in 2016. If you want a midsize sedan or a minivan after that, visit your Chrysler dealer for a 200 or a Town & Country.

Lastly, Dodge's announcement acknowledges that the current Dart isn't a perfect fit for this revised brand approach. Expect a 2016 mid-cycle refresh that focuses more on performance, with a stouter drivetrain and improved handling.

Say goodbye to Chrysler SRT models

The Chrysler 300 SRT will die in 2015.

Get one while you can. The Chrysler 300 SRT is an endangered species, due to die in 2015, and there's not going to be a replacement. You see, in the new constellation of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Dodge wears the horsepower pants. Chrysler-branded SRT products are a casualty of the new world order. Even the Viper is going back to the arms of its mother brand, Dodge—both here and in international markets.

Our source at Chrysler was also keen to tell us the Grand Cherokee SRT will soldier on for a little while. Jeep says it's due for a refresh in Q4 of 2015, and an entirely new model should drop in 2017. The SRT version might survive through the refresh, but it probably won't make it through 2017. And when it comes to SUVs, Dodge is

So what does all that mean. SRT will go back to being just a trim/package for Dodge vehicles and won't be a separate brand and they're killing off the Avenger and the Grand Caravan by 2018. Also there won't be any Chrysler 300 SRT variants after 2015

This also means the SRT Viper GTS-R will now be a Dodge Viper GTS-R like before

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Trying to make SRT a separate brand seemed dopey from the start. Same goes for splitting Ram off as its own brand, no point to it, IMHO. Always thought the 300 SRT8s were cool, so too bad those are going bye bye, though I suspect they mainly cannibalized sales from the Charger SRT8s.

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In my opinion, Chrysler has lacked a corporate ID for some time. Chevy has had the bow tie, blue or gold; Ford has the blue oval; those brands by Chrysler have had more logos/badges/whatever than necessary. Whatever happened to the Pentastar?

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In my opinion, Chrysler has lacked a corporate ID for some time. Chevy has had the bow tie, blue or gold; Ford has the blue oval; those brands by Chrysler have had more logos/badges/whatever than necessary. Whatever happened to the Pentastar?

The Pentastar? It's now standard or available under the hood of everything but the Dart ;)

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At one time I was a Chrysler only house. My 1999 Concorde was a well made car and fantastic highway cruiser. At one time we had two PT's which while they had some issues were great for kids at college!

I am still not sold on Fiat ownership. It may be better than some unknown alternative.....but it's not the Chrysler I was loyal to.

I hope someday they will return to the company I knew.

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Bring back the Fratzog! :D

I like that idea.

I don't like the idea of getting rid of the Caravan. That's almost pure profit and the only American-made minivan left, and there are a lot of families that can't spend the extra for a T&C. I think they'll experience a rather dramatic sales drop pretty quickly. 300,000-something units/year (or more) is nothing to sneeze at.

Charlie Larkin

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I like that idea.

I don't like the idea of getting rid of the Caravan. That's almost pure profit and the only American-made minivan left, and there are a lot of families that can't spend the extra for a T&C. I think they'll experience a rather dramatic sales drop pretty quickly. 300,000-something units/year (or more) is nothing to sneeze at.

Charlie Larkin

I imagine that since Plymouth is long gone, and Dodge is going the way of performance, there will have to be "entry-level" versions of the 200 and T&C. It's not like most people were buying the stripped out "rental fleet" American Value Package Caravans anyway, the prices on those vans climbs pretty fast once you start optioning them with the stuff families actually need, and moderately optioned - think infotainment package for the backseat hooligans - you crashed right into the bottom end of the T&C sales anyways. Our Grand Caravan was about $28k when we bought it, and we didn't put everything in it, or start at the highest trim level, the "cheapest" T&C starts at $30...that's a reasonable distance to bridge with a "down market" Chrysler. It's also still thousands less than the STARTING price of a Honda Odyssey or a Toyota Sienna, and those are pretty much your only three choices if you want a minivan in 2014. Everyone else is trying to stuff families into Small SUVs which fails miserably if you happen to have more than 2 car seats and 2 adults...5 occupants - yeah you ain't fitting them all into a Kia Sportage - TRUST ME.

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I don't know, but it seems the Dodge Sprinter is not in the current line up due to it being a Mercedes Benz design. The Fiat Ducato is the base for the Promaster. A smaller version will be offered based on the Doblo and called a Promaster City. This one is about the size of a Nissan NV200 or a Ford transit Connect. It is built in Turkey. A side note...it's also sold by Vauxhall and Opel as the Combo. GM, Fiat, and Ram...what an unholy menage a trois.

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