America: more 500, future SRT Dart/Jeep, and a RAM diesel?

RAM 1500. Is it coming a diesel version? Photo by

Some news are coming from America. The latest one is related to Fiat and its successful 500. After the good start of Abarth version with 160 hp, Fiat presents the 500 T version. They saw the lack of a mid size engine between the regular 500 with 105 hp and the Abarth one. That’s why the 500 T with 135 hp will become the option for those wanting more performance than ‘just’ 105 hp but can’t afford $22.000 dollars that costs the Abarth. The T version is expected to keep increasing sales as the car will cost $19.000 dollars $15.200 €, and offers a very nice engine with good especifications inside, though the car will not have Abarth logo. With this version, Fiat 500 family in America is now composed by the 500 Pop starting at $15.500 dollars ($12.350 €), the 500 Lounge, 500 Sport, 500C Pop, 500C Lounge, the 500 Abarth and finally the 500 T. Meanwhile the Electric version of the small car was confirmed to be on sale next year.

American Fiat 500 family. Though the Abarth version is the bestselling one, it’s just offers one body type

Another sporty to arrive, not yet though, is the Dodge Dart SRT version. According to Sergio Marchionne, what is only missing to complete the project is “how big is going to be the engine that will move the Dart to create the SRT version”. It means they are really considering a super powered version of the mid size sedan and maybe use a 4 cylinders turbo version with even more than the 235 hp that moves the Alfa Giulietta Quadrifoglio Verde. But as people from Autoblog Spain say, the SRT Dart could be moved by 300 hp and 2.0 MultiAir engine. The problem is that there is no 4 cylinder engine turbo available at the moment.

Dodge Dart GTS 210 Tribute, showed in Chicago Auto Show 2012. Photo by

On the other hand future plans of Chrysler group include the elimination of double products. It means the car company does not want to offer anymore two brand options for the same model. That is why they will remove from Chrysler’s range, the Town & Country which is the same car of Dodge Gran Caravan. Instead they will project a lighter minivan to be shared with Lancia and leave the popular Dodge alone. The same destiny for the Jeep Compass as it is practically the same Jeep Patriot. The C-SUV-segment from Jeep will be removed from dealers by the year 2014 to be replaced by a global compact SUV that might share platform with other products of Fiat-Chrysler Group, such as the next generation of Fiat Bravo, which could be replaced by a Cross Over. Regarding this news, it is weird Chrysler wants to get rid of the Town & Country as it was its best seller in 2011 with more than 102.000 units. The MPV is an excellent product that could be even more differenciated from the Dodge version with more luxury interiors. A smaller successor could be also an interesting thing but taking into account that Americans prefer big version of these kind of cars. In the case of the Compass, it has not been certainly a big success and that’s why they should work on a global compact Cross Over to fit expectations of American and European clients and to become a product to expand into other markets.

A render of a possible future compact Jeep. Illustration by

Finally, based on a spy photo, people from Automotive News comment the possible arrival of RAM pickup with diesel engine. They suggest the black speckled stain seen just above the exhaust (a common sign of Diesel engines) could be the proof that Dodge is working on a RAM diesel. Good news that should be analyzed carefully as Americans are not really used to this kind of engines and big trucks had been always associated with big petrol engines. Although diesel cars have become less unpopular in the last months, their market share is still low. In 2011 only 101.624 cars out of 12.7 million of total passenger cars sold in America, had the diesel technique, and none of them was a pickup.


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