As I write this, much attention is focused on Chrysler, a company now entering Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings amidst an automobile industry that has collapsed. It’s quite a backdrop to consider as we evaluated the latest Dodge Ram pickup truck. Let’s get this out of the way first: the latest Dodge Ram is the best driving pickup I’ve ever driven, and its interior is the best I’ve ever seen from Chrysler.
As true of most manufacturers, Chrysler LLC is working on a full electric vehicle. Chrysler is going for the sport-minded set, though, teasing with a two-seat Dodge sports car, complementing Jeep Patriot EV and Chrysler Town & Country more practical-minded extended-range EV concepts.
Follow the jump for more photos and the full Dodge press release.
Along with looking at new-century powertrain options, Chrysler LLC showed off ideas for connecting drivers to their cars and houses in the future. This trick interior was found inside the stunning 200C concept. Though the primary purpose of vehicles remains getting us from point A to point B, we live in an increasingly connected world. The technology is available to have your smartphone replace these new-fangled smartkeys, find your car remotely, find out if your friends are in the areas, and even see traffic real-time by connecting to city intersection cameras. All manufacturers are working with partners to see how quickly and how well we remain seamlessly connected to our jobs, families, fun, and obligations as we move from home to car to work or school to car to destinations and everywhere between. Follow the jump to get an idea of the solutions Chrysler is looking for.
With two new and important full-size pickup trucks this fall, at a time of extreme economic uncertainty, what do we see happening to the market in general? And how does the F-150 stack up against the Ram? Since our correspondent Jim Hossack attended both Ford and Ram driving previews, we asked him for some comments. Here we go!
2009 Ford F-150 XLT What’s happening in the Full-Size Light Duty Pickup market? Contrary to mass media reports, the full-size light duty pickup market is not dead. In fact, after a few tough months, it is coming back – in terms of share of industry if not actual number of units sold. The auto industry is down by around 4 million units compared with 2007CY. Full-size pickup share of industry fell from 15.2 percent in August 2007 to as low as 8.6 percent on May 2008, [...]
Chrysler today announced plans to jumping into the electric car market with both feet by offering up three high-voltage prototypes to reporters and a promise to put about 100 electric vehicles on the road in 2009. We’ve been waiting to get a sense of what the company’s ENVI group is up to, and now we know. One of the three concept vehicles, the all-electric Dodge EV, is sure to generate some buzz (Is it a Tesla for the common people?) for its fierce looks and eco-friendly, refuel-it-from-the-wall-socket appeal. With that in mind, it could be easy to miss the hybrid-on-steroids potential of the Jeep and Chrysler EVs — a Jeep Wrangler and a Chrysler Town & Country fitted with battery and range-extending engine setup (similar in concept to GM’s Volt) that Chrysler claims will allow them run for 40 miles without touching a drop of gas. Read the full report from Chrysler [...]