Report: Chrysler extending production of current Dodge Avenger, Jeep Wrangler, Grand Caravan

Filed under: Minivan/Van, Sedan, SUV, Plants/Manufacturing, Dodge, Jeep

2013 Dodge Avenger - front three-quarter view

Are you hesitant to pull the trigger on a brand new Dodge Avenger in hopes that a new one will be coming? Well, don’t hold your breath. According to The Detroit News, Chrysler will be extending production of the current Avenger sedan through the end of 2015.

Originally, we heard that the company would kill the Avenger to better focus its midsize sedan efforts on the Chrysler 200 replacement. But then new reports stated there would indeed be an Avenger successor, and that we could see it as early as next January. This Detroit News report cites supplier sources confirming the extension of Avenger production, though Chrysler has not released an official statement on the matter.

These same suppliers say that the current Jeep Wrangler will live on through mid-2018 – that’s right, another five years. The Detroit News reports that a replacement for the iconic, go-anywhere Jeep was due in mid-2016.

Lastly, the report mentions that the Dodge Grand Caravan minivan will remain in production through late 2017, though its Chrysler Town & Country counterpart will be replaced by an all-new vehicle for the 2016 model year. This only further backs reports that the Grand Caravan will be killed from the Chrysler Group portfolio, with the T&C remaining the only minivan in production at the company’s Windsor facility.

Chrysler extending production of current Dodge Avenger, Jeep Wrangler, Grand Caravan originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 24 Jul 2013 15:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Jaguar to ditch current nameplates for alphanumeric badges?

Filed under: Jaguar

2012 Jaguar XJ

2012 Jaguar XJ – Click above for high-res image gallery

An automaker can’t make it in the fringe anymore. Everything’s going either upmarket or mainstream, and Jaguar has opted primarily for the latter. The company that not so long ago offered essentially one sedan and one two-door is rapidly expanding to a full lineup. So what’s the next step? According to the rumormeisters over at Autocar, it’s ditching its current model naming strategy.

According to the UK publication, Jaguar is preparing to jettison nameplates like XJ and XF in favor of a more conventional alphanumeric system like those employed by its German and Japanese rivals. The thinking is that while the faithful know Coventry’s naming system, it’s not immediately evident to newcomers and outsiders where one model sits in the line-up vis-a-vis the next. Besides, it won’t be the first time Jag has slapped alphanumeric badges like XJ8 on the flanks of its cars.

One model could possibly hold out, though, as the C-X75 heads down the road to production. Filling the shoes of the iconic XJ220, the company is reportedly toying with the idea of naming the new supercar XJ330. The original was named for the 220 mph top speed it was aimed to reach (but never did), and the new model is targeted to hit a more realistic 205 mph – or 330 km/h on the metric scale.

Jaguar to ditch current nameplates for alphanumeric badges? originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 01 Jun 2011 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Besturn B30 looks remarkably current for a 30-year-old VW Jetta

Filed under: Budget, Sedan, China, Volkswagen, Shanghai Motor Show

2012 Besturn B30

From the outside, China’s upcoming Besturn B30 looks like an appropriately modern, cheap, and cheerful econocar. Under the modern skin, though, lurks the skeleton of the second-generation Volkswagen Jetta. That’s right, China’s newest widely-affordable small sedan is little more than a rebodied 30-year-old German sedan.

It may seem totally insane a little strange to try and market a new car based on wheezy old VW architecture, but if cost cutting is your goal, it starts to make a little sense. Money saved on new technology can be put to use giving the car a sleek wrapper, while still keeping the MSRP in the basement.

The second-generation Jetta is apparently extremely popular in China, which means Besturn could have made an extremely shrewd move by updating the car’s looks and leaving its mechanicals alone. Thanks to its yestertech origins, the B30 benefits from an enormous base of spare parts and mechanical know-how even before its debut this week at the Shanghai Motor Show.

[Source: ChinaCarTimes]

Besturn B30 looks remarkably current for a 30-year-old VW Jetta originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 17 Apr 2011 19:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Current generation BMW M3 to be last naturally aspirated M car

Filed under: Convertible, Coupe, Sedan, Performance, Government/Legal, BMW

BMW M3 Competition Package

BMW M3 Competition Package – Click above for high-res image gallery

The writing’s been on the wall for some time, but the fate of naturally aspirated M cars from BMW is all but sealed: forced induction is the future and the next M3 will come equipped with a turbocharged engine.

With next year’s new emissions standards looming on the horizon, every automaker is looking to improve its fleet-wide fuel economy, and that means performance vehicles will be some of the first to undergo an EPA-mandated makeover.

For BMW, that means turbocharging and start-stop systems, two technologies that will boost the fuel economy of the all-new M5 by up to 25 percent when it goes on sale next spring.

Looking over BMW’s current crop of M products, one vehicle stands alone in the induction department, and a source within BMW has told us that the E90/E92 M3’s V8 will be the last naturally aspirated engine fitted to an M vehicle. While nearly every automaker has made tremendous strides to nearly eliminate turbo lag, the linear, low-end grunt of a turbo can’t compare to the high-revving thrills of an NA powerplant. But the future is here and the future is forced induction.

Gallery: BMW M3 Competition Package

Current generation BMW M3 to be last naturally aspirated M car originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 04 Apr 2011 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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How EPA’s new fuel economy label would grade current cars

Filed under: Government/Legal


EPA Fuel Economy Sample Grades – Click above to view entire list

Twenty years ago, the federal government made it mandatory for most food products to carry nutrition information based on a 2,000 calorie diet in the 1990 Nutrition Labeling and Information Act. In doing so, the feds simultaneously ensured that graphic designers the world over would run into the headache of squeezing the now-familiar Nutrition Facts chart onto food packages and that the public at large would have at least some clue as to what they were shoving down their pie-hole. Now the EPA and the DOT are in the process of pulling a similar maneuver for vehicle fuel economy.

Needless to say, this has made us a little curious as to how the current fleet of vehicles being sold here in the states would fare in the new rating system. Fortunately, the EPA has answered that very question. Buried deep in the 242-page explanation of the label is a table that breaks down a handful of vehicles by grade. At the very top of the list, earning an A+ are EVs, followed quickly by plug-in hybrids. A little bit lower on the list in the A- category are cars like the Ford Fusion Hybrid, Honda Civic Hybrid and the Toyota Prius.

As you might expect, larger vehicles and those with gargantuan engines fall lower down the grading scale. The lowest example on the list? That would be the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti at a lowly D.

Gallery: EPA Fuel Economy Sample Grades

[Source: EPA]

How EPA’s new fuel economy label would grade current cars originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 01 Sep 2010 14:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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