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“Under the Pentastar” is a weekly recap of some of the major stories at Chrysler Group LLC. In this week’s extended edition we recap the introduction of the 2013 Dodge Dart at the North American International Auto Show, the appearance of a concept minivan and two Mopar-ized vehicles. We also look at Chrysler Group‘s first participation at the Consumer Electronics Show with a Uconnect demonstration trailer. We finish up with wise words from Chrysler Group LLC Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne at the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit.

Thanks again for checking out Chrysler Catchall!

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All-new 2013 Dodge Dart

All-new 2013 Dodge Dart

  • Most Offered in Compact-car Segment
  • Industry-first wireless charging
  • Industry-first Wi-Fi
  • Industry-first Electronic Vehicle Tracking System (EVTS)
  • Complete list of accessories at http://www.mopar.com

January 10, 2012 , Auburn Hills, Mich. – When the all-new 2013 Dodge Dart arrives in showrooms later this year, consumers will have a full menu of more than 150 Mopar® accessories and performance parts from which to choose. Read the rest of this entry »

  • New 2012 Dodge Charger Redline features three available Mopar® stage kits for factory-tuned performance
  • Stage One features aerodynamic exterior components and interior accents
  • Stage Two features bolt-on performance parts for improved power, handling and braking
  • Stage Three features new high-output version of the powerful aluminum-block Gen III 426 HEMI® V-8 crate engine, delivers 590 horsepower
  • Dodge Charger Redline will debut at 2012 North American International Auto Show
Mopar Introduces 2012 Dodge Charger Redline

Mopar Introduces 2012 Dodge Charger Redline

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The 2012 SRT8 Family

The 2012 SRT8 Family

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“Under the Pentastar” is a quick video recap of significant events at Chrysler Group LLC over the past week. The top stories for the week of September 9, 2011, include FIAT 500 by Gucci, officially unveiled to a crowd of notable trendsetters at the Gucci store on 5th Avenue in New York City; the 2012 Jeep Wrangler and Activision team up on a new game and a new Wrangler MW3 Special Edition model to hit showrooms in November; Dodge and Mopar announce a new Dodge Charger Pursuit vehicle for law enforcement; Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski qualify for the 2011 “Chase for the Sprint Cup.

The 2012 SRT8 Family

The 2012 SRT8 Family

August 10, 2011 , Auburn Hills, Mich. – Chrysler Group LLC’s newly formed Street and Racing Technology (SRT) Brand is hitting the road with its first-ever, “SRT High Performance Tour,” featuring four drivers, four vehicles – the 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8®, Dodge Challenger SRT8, Jeep® Grand Cherokee SRT8 and Chrysler 300 SRT8 – and visiting more than 40 clubs and events over the next four months.

2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392

2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392

An exclusive media preview and the first stop of the SRT High Performance Tour will take place in Auburn Hills, Mich., at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum on Friday, Aug. 12 at 2 p.m.

The preview will include a walk-around of the new 2012 SRT lineup with Ralph Gilles, President and CEO – SRT Brand, Chrysler Group LLC, and Joe Grace, Vehicle Line Executive A/B Segment & SRT, Chrysler Group LLC.

2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8

2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8

As always, click on any of the images in the post to see more photos of Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Photos. The SRT brand also released several videos where the SRT Brand CEO Ralph Gilles talks a little bit about his involvement and the history of the SRT moniker. You can check out these videos below. Thanks again for checking out Chrysler Catchall!

The new Dodge Durango ad spots have been released and I have to say, a few of them are actually quite funny. My favorite is The “Ultimate” Commercial where the Durango takes off with the Ford Explorer in tow. Check them out and let us know which ones are your favorite, either in the comment section on here or on YouTube.

Punch Line (Power/Efficiency)

In “Punch Line,” a fuel economist and a horsepower enthusiast are each touting the features of their new vehicles – one can go up to 500 miles on a single tank of gas and the other has a V-6 engine with best-in-class-towing and power. The punch line is that both are driving a new 2011 Dodge Durango, with the award-winning, powerful and fuel-efficient 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine.

The Bad News (Seven-Passenger Seating)

Showcasing Durango’s roomy seven-passenger seating, the spot opens with seven race car drivers running toward the all-new Dodge Durango as the announcer says, “The good news is the new Dodge Durango is a performance SUV that can comfortably seat seven professional drivers. The bad news is, only one of those seven is in the driver’s seat.”

Rhymes With (Luxurious Interior)

Like many high-performance vehicles, the 2011 Dodge Durango has a lavish interior. This spot draws a comparison to a particular high-performance vehicle with a comparable lavish leather interior. (It rhymes with Merrari.)

Responsibility (Towing)

Demonstrating what it means to have best-in-class towing capacity and the ability to tow 7,400 pounds of power, in “Responsibility,” the Durango all at once tows a dirt bike, ATV, motorcycle, boat, jet ski and, even, a competitive SUV. “They say with great power comes great responsibility…The SUV is back.”

Ultimate (Towing: Dodge Durango vs. Competition)

In the world of sport and utility, performance is capability. And what you’re capable of towing is what differentiates the Durango from other crossovers and SUVs. This spot is an actual demonstration of the Durango’s best-in-class towing capability versus a competitive vehicle.

Sensitive (Rain Brake Support)

Towing precious cargo and hauling seven passengers brings a certain level of caution. Therefore it is important to communicate the exclusive features that make these tasks safer and more manageable. The Durango’s Rain Break Support system is one feature that validates safety and security as another important aspect of performance.

Figure 8 (50/50 Weight Distribution, Multi-Link Suspension)

Balance, agility and the ability to handle, are characteristics of the 2011 Dodge Durango that reinforce the “sport” in sport utility. This ad exhibits theDurango’s ability to handle and maneuver in tight spaces because of the unique weight distribution and sporty suspension system.

Gary (AWD Brake Traction Control)

Traveling over off-road terrain is necessary for any true SUV. In “Gary,” theDurango’s AWD Brake Traction Control feature is explained in a way that is easily understood, but still gives validation to the thinking behind the many underlying engineering complexities of this particular feature.

Radar (Adaptive Cruise Control)

What makes one SUV stand out from all others? Is it technology? Is it the ability for said technology to create a more active driving experience? Is it technology called Active Cruise Control that uses radar to anticipate the distance between the SUV and the driver ahead to automatically maintain a safe driving distance? Yes, and the new 2011 Dodge Durango has available Adaptive Cruise Control.

Again, love ’em or hate ’em, don’t be afraid to let us know how you feel about the videos in the comments here or on YouTube. Thanks again or checking out Chrysler Catchall!

August 4, 2011 , Auburn Hills, Mich. – American performance returning to center stage is the overall message of new television advertising for the new 2011 Dodge Durango. Numerous spots will begin airing this week all of which will emphasize that “The SUV is Back.”

“In all of our advertising campaigns, we look for creative solutions that entertain the audience, capture the essence of each of our individual brands, and showcase our competitive advantages. With bold and creative treatments characteristic of the Dodge brand, the new ads prove the point that Durango can go head-to-head with the competition and always come out the winner.”

-Olivier Francois
Lead Executive for Marketing, Chrysler Group LLC

“With its perfect blend of fuel efficiency and driving dynamics, spacious seating for seven, and best-in-class power and towing capacity, no other sport utility on the road compares with the all-new Dodge Durango. Durango customers are looking for the perfect balance of functional versatility and luxury at an outstanding value, a vehicle that is spacious and flexible enough to haul three rows of passengers and their gear, but powerful and agile enough to keep it fun. It is these capabilities and features that are the focus of the new ad campaign.”

Reid Bigland
President and CEO – Dodge Brand, Chrysler Group LLC

2011 Dodge Durango Commercial

2011 Dodge Durango Commercial

The first spot, titled “Long Lost Performance,” sets up the overall campaign message, that the new 2011 Dodge Durango re-establishes performance in the SUV segment and redefines that a SUV should also deliver the perfect blend of power and fuel efficiency.

“Long Lost Performance” begins with the backdrop of an abandoned, dilapidated racetrack and an announcer lamenting that the era of automotive performance in the SUV segment is gone. Just as he hears two new Dodge Durangos approaching, he changes his tone and proudly proclaims that it “sounds like performance returning to the stage.” While many may have abandoned the “sacred” institution of performance, power, handling, agility and fun, the Dodge Durango has not. The spot closes with the voiceover, “American performance. Consider yourself redeemed.”

The first spot debuted during Major League Baseball’s All-Star game on July 12 and additional ads will roll out on national television beginning in August with each focusing on specific Durango product features and customer benefits. New ads will be featured on the brand’s website (www.dodge.com) and YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/dodge).

With the broad appeal of the Dodge Durango, the media schedule will cover a wide variety of programming including national television and cable channels.

The campaign includes a radio spot airing nationally on ESPN and follows regional billboards and print advertising first launched in the spring.

2011 Dodge Durango Commercial

2011 Dodge Durango Commercial

TELEVISION ADS

Punch Line (Power/Efficiency)

In “Punch Line,” a fuel economist and a horsepower enthusiast are each touting the features of their new vehicles – one can go up to 500 miles on a single tank of gas and the other has a V-6 engine with best-in-class-towing and power. The punch line is that both are driving a new 2011 Dodge Durango, with the award-winning, powerful and fuel-efficient 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine.

The Bad News (Seven-Passenger Seating)

Showcasing Durango’s roomy seven-passenger seating, the spot opens with seven race car drivers running toward the all-new Dodge Durango as the announcer says, “The good news is the new Dodge Durango is a performance SUV that can comfortably seat seven professional drivers. The bad news is, only one of those seven is in the driver’s seat.”

Rhymes With (Luxurious Interior)

Like many high-performance vehicles, the 2011 Dodge Durango has a lavish interior. This spot draws a comparison to a particular high-performance vehicle with a comparable lavish leather interior. (It rhymes with Merrari.)

Responsibility (Towing)

Demonstrating what it means to have best-in-class towing capacity and the ability to tow 7,400 pounds of power, in “Responsibility,” the Durango all at once tows a dirt bike, ATV, motorcycle, boat, jet ski and, even, a competitive SUV. “They say with great power comes great responsibility…The SUV is back.”

Ultimate (Towing: Dodge Durango vs. Competition)

In the world of sport and utility, performance is capability. And what you’re capable of towing is what differentiates the Durango from other crossovers and SUVs. This spot is an actual demonstration of the Durango’s best-in-class towing capability versus a competitive vehicle.

2011 Dodge Durango R/T Chicago Auto Show World Debut

2011 Dodge Durango R/T Chicago Auto Show World Debut

ONLINE SPOTS

Sensitive (Rain Brake Support)

Towing precious cargo and hauling seven passengers brings a certain level of caution. Therefore it is important to communicate the exclusive features that make these tasks safer and more manageable. The Durango’s Rain Break Support system is one feature that validates safety and security as another important aspect of performance.

Figure 8 (50/50 Weight Distribution, Multi-Link Suspension)

Balance, agility and the ability to handle, are characteristics of the 2011 Dodge Durango that reinforce the “sport” in sport utility. This ad exhibits the Durango’s ability to handle and maneuver in tight spaces because of the unique weight distribution and sporty suspension system.

Gary (AWD Brake Traction Control)

Traveling over off-road terrain is necessary for any true SUV. In “Gary,” the Durango’s AWD Brake Traction Control feature is explained in a way that is easily understood, but still gives validation to the thinking behind the many underlying engineering complexities of this particular feature.

Radar (Adaptive Cruise Control)

What makes one SUV stand out from all others? Is it technology? Is it the ability for said technology to create a more active driving experience? Is it technology called Active Cruise Control that uses radar to anticipate the distance between the SUV and the driver ahead to automatically maintain a safe driving distance? Yes, and the new 2011 Dodge Durango has available Adaptive Cruise Control.

2011 Dodge Durango RT

2011 Dodge Durango RT

TOP SAFETY PICK AWARD

Dodge Durango was named a “Top Safety Pick” for 2011 by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)1. The IIHS recognizes vehicles that perform “good” in front, side, rollover and rear crash test evaluations performed at its Vehicle Research Center in Virginia.

ABOUT DODGE DURANGO

With its four-wheel independent suspension and responsive steering and handling, Durango puts the “Sport” in Sport Utility. No other SUV on the road compares with the all-new Dodge Durango’s distinctive bold Dodge design that craftily houses a spacious three-row, seven-passenger functional, flexible and premium interior, covered in soft-touch materials. Durango features more than 30 storage areas, 28 seating configurations and a rear cargo area of nearly 85 cubic feet that fits a 6-foot couch with room for coffee table or a 10-foot ladder with the front passenger seat folded flat.

Durango also delivers the perfect blend of power and fuel efficiency. Its award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine delivers best-in-class 290 horsepower along with a best-in-class driving range of more than 550 miles on one tank of fuel – that means Durango owners could drive all the way from Chicago to Nashville; San Diego to San Francisco; or New York City to Boston and back again without needing to stop for fuel. The available HEMI® V-8 engine with Fuel Saver multi-displacement technology delivers a best-in-class 360 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque. Both engines deliver best-in-class V-6 and V-8 towing with standard trailer sway control on all models (V-8 – 7,400 lbs. and V-6 – 6,200 lbs.). Durango also features more than 45 safety and security features.

1The IIHS award applies to Durango models built after May 2011.

As always, click any of the images in the post to see more photos of Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Vehicles. Thanks again for checking out Chrysler Catchall!

  • Proven 392-cubic inch (6.4-liter) HEMI® V-8 engine offers 470 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque across a wide rpm range while delivering up to 23 miles per gallon
  • New two-mode adaptive damping suspension system offers selectable suspension tuning and automatically adapts to road and driver inputs for optimal vehicle control
  • New, exclusive SRT® heated steering wheel features mounted paddle shifters for hands on the wheel shifting both on road and at the race track
  • New 18-speaker Harman Kardon® audio system, with innovative GreenEdge® technology is available with 900 watts of power
  • Newly formed SRT brand led by President and CEO Ralph Gilles will continue to build benchmark high-performance vehicles for the Chrysler Group
2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392

2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392

July 15, 2011 , Auburn Hills, Mich. – For 2012, the Dodge Challenger SRT8® 392 adds even more high-tech performance features to solidify its place as the brand’s ultimate modern American rear-wheel-drive muscle coupe. This 470 horsepower machine promises a balanced performance approach with outstanding straight-line acceleration, world-class ride and handling, high-performance braking and the most up-to-date technologies that deliver more driver excitement and control. And it still gets up to 23 miles per gallon on the highway.

The 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 accelerates from 0-60 mph in the high 4-second range; runs the quarter mile in mid-12-second range with the automatic transmission (high 12-second range with the manual); goes from 0-100-0 mph in the low 15s, reaches a top speed of 182 mph with the manual transmission (175 mph with the automatic) and stops from 60-0 mph in just 117 feet.

2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392

2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392

Awe-inspiring powertrain

The 392-cubic inch (6.4-liter) HEMI® V-8 delivers 470 horsepower (351 kW) and 470 (637 N•m) lb.-ft. of torque. The torque band is extremely flat allowing for strong standing starts and improved straight-line performance throughout the rpm range. An advanced active intake manifold along with high-lift cam with phasing provides maximum low-end torque and high-end power while still delivering up to 23 miles per gallon on the highway with the standard manual transmission. Performance-tuned engine mounts improve idle stability and ride control at all speeds.

Standard Fuel Saver Technology (four cylinder mode) in automatic transmission equipped models allows the engine to operate economically on four cylinders or use the power of all eight cylinders when needed. The EPA fuel economy miles per gallon (mpg) (City/Hwy) ratings for the 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 are 14/22 for automatic transmission models and 14/23 for manual-transmission models.

Under the hood of the 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 cubic inch

Under the hood of the 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 cubic inch

A look under the hood reveals unique valve covers with painted silver ribs and the “392 HEMI” logo, which gives the engine a unique, clean and aggressive look.

The 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 features a standard Tremec TR-6060 six-speed manual transmission and a dual-disc high performance clutch – a proven performer that was first offered on the 2008 Dodge Viper SRT10®.

The optional five-speed automatic transmission features new, standard steering wheel mounted paddle shifters that join the center console mounted Auto Stick, allowing for a choice of spirited shifting on both the road and the race track. Both methods give the driver the ability to manually select specific gears on the transmission.

In “Drive,” the transmission controller will automatically shift the vehicle. The aggressiveness of the shifting is defined by the mode chosen – either “Normal” or “Sport.” Fully adaptive electronic control of all shifting makes the powertrain more responsive while minimizing harshness.

In “Manual,” the shift method is defined by the driver choosing to use either paddle shift or Auto Stick. The “Sport” mode adds a hold function to the calibration in all gears, allowing the driver full control of the shifting schedule.

2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392

2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392

Outstanding ride, handling and capability

The adaptive damping suspension (ADS) system is new for 2012 and tuned specifically for the Dodge Challenger SRT8 392.

In “Auto” mode, a wide range of on-road and driver inputs – such as vehicle speed, steering angle, steering speed, brake torque, throttle position and lateral/vertical accelerations – automatically tune the suspension for specific conditions. In “Sport” mode, the damping system rebound and compression is locked to the higher damping rate. Drivers can easily choose between settings to quickly change the shock damping and harshness characteristics from “Auto” for everyday commuting to “Sport” for more spirited driving situations.

The ADS system on the Challenger SRT8 392 features the fastest turn-in and most nimble handling characteristics of any SRT product. In the “Sport” setting, the system provides the highest damping rates allowing the driver to push the handling envelope like never before.

2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392

2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392

The performance SRT-tuned, fully-hydraulic steering system features a heavy-duty pump combined with a damped steering gear to give drivers more direct response and on-center feel.

Sitting a half-inch lower than non-SRT models, the 2012 Challenger SRT8 392 rides on either the standard five-spoke, 20 x 9-inch fully forged aluminum wheels or available seven-spoke, 20 x 9-inch lightweight forged aluminum wheels with satin black painted pockets. Standard Goodyear RSA All-Season tires or available Goodyear F1 Supercar Three-Season complement the performance design cues and deliver serious gripping performance and handling.

The handling result is .90g capability on the skid pad – the most of any production Challenger and on par with some of the world’s best-handling performance coupes.

Benchmark braking

The standard SRT performance brake package produces world-class stopping power of 60 to 0 mph in just 117 feet from 14.2 inch (front) and 13.8 inch (rear) vented/slotted rotors with four-piston Brembo fixed calipers painted red. The three-mode electronic stability control system with knockback mitigation also includes four-wheel ABS, all-speed traction control, electronic brake-force distribution, Brake Assist and Hill-start Assist (HSA).

2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392

2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392

The Ready Alert Braking system anticipates when the driver quickly releases the accelerator pedal and may initiate an emergency brake stop, after which the electronic stability control pump engages to set brake pads against rotors in order to decrease the time required for full brake application.

Improved brake cooling and fade performance comes courtesy of wind-tunnel designed brake cooling ducts that direct airflow to the vented rotors for consistent stopping power.

Aggressive and functional exterior

Exterior styling of the 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 remains unmistakably Dodge, with proportions that continue to evoke a bold, instantly recognizable performance coupe that has a wide, stable stance on the road.

The large front splitter and integrated front fender spats and body color rear decklid spoiler provide stable high-speed aerodynamics and overall balance while the front fascia chin spoiler also improves aerodynamics and is accented in black for a more aggressive look. The front grille features a bright grille surround.

For 2012, available exterior colors include: Bright Silver, Bright White, Header Orange, Pitch Black, Redline Red and Tungsten Metallic. Dual, full-body stripes are available in black, grey metallic, red and silver metallic.

Unique “392 HEMI” badges flank both fenders touting the historically significant V-8 engine that remains true to its high-performance roots and powers the highest rated Challenger in terms of horsepower and torque ratings. From the rear, the 4-inch rectangular exhaust tips deliver the 392’s performance exhaust note while adding the styling cue of a serious muscle car.

2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392

2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392

Race-inspired and high-performance interior

The race-inspired interior begins with a new, leather wrapped, heated, SRT-exclusive steering wheel that features a unique satin chrome rim section with a flattened bottom surface that showcases the SRT logo. The optional automatic transmission includes paddle shift controls on both sides of the new contoured palm rests. All audio and Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) controls are accessible from the horizontal spokes on the steering wheel.

The trapezoidal instrument panel features a four-bomb gauge cluster with chromed accent rings and unique SRT graphics. Inside the cluster, the SRT-exclusive Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) with performance pages provides the driver with trip information, multimedia information from the Media Center radio, along with instant feedback on 0-60 mph time, 60-0 mph braking, G-forces, one-eighth mile and quarter-mile times.

Power lumbar-equipped front seats are standard. The driver’s seat features seatback tilt with memory and an easy to reach release handle, while the front-passenger seat adds tilt and slide with memory, which makes it even easier for passengers to get in and out of the back seat.

Interior color combinations include Dark Slate Gray, and new for 2012 Radar Red/Dark Slate Gray, which adds color to the seats, door bolsters and rear seat armrest.

6.4L HEMI V-8 engine cutaway for Dodge Challenger SRT8 392

6.4L HEMI V-8 engine cutaway for Dodge Challenger SRT8 392

Safety and security

The 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 features more than 35 advanced safety and security features, including standard Keyless Enter-N-Go and three-mode electronic stability control (ESC) with segment-exclusive Ready Alert Braking and Rain Brake Support safety features to improve overall vehicle handling and performance.

In addition, standard front-row reactive head restraints, standard full-length side-curtain air bags, driver’s knee bag and standard front seat-mounted side-thorax air bags offer enhanced occupant protection to passengers in the event of a collision.

Connectivity and Infotainment

For maximum convenience and to keep passengers connected, a wide array of connectivity, infotainment and mobile multimedia options are available on the 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8.

The innovative Uconnect® Media Center 430, 430N and 730N radios integrate a 6.5-inch touchscreen display, with a hard drive where more than 150 hours of music and photos can be stored. Uconnect Media Center radios also offer two navigation options, including: segment-leading Garmin® Navigation guidance and mapping (Uconnect Media Center 430N), or premium GPS Navigation with SIRIUS Traffic (Uconnect Media Center 730N). Both navigation solutions feature SIRIUS Travel Link, providing real-time weather, fuel prices and more while on the go.

Harman Kardon® Logic 7 Surround Sound System

Harman Kardon® Logic 7 Surround Sound System

New for 2012, the Dodge Challenger SRT8 features an available 900-watt, 18-speaker premium SRT performance audio surround-sound system from Harman Kardon. The system offers world premier innovation, featuring a 32-volt TPS (Tracking Power Supply) 12-channel Class D amplifier that delivers outstanding acoustics and brings multi-dimensional, quality sound for all interior occupants.

The new system uses GreenEdge® speaker and amplifier technology to offer superior sound quality and high Sound Pressure Level outputs with minimum energy consumption. GreenEdge amplifiers alone outperform traditional amplifier efficiency by up to 55 percent, representing a net efficiency of more than 90 percent in some cases. The speakers are tuned for maximum efficiency and perfectly matched to the amplifier output.

The system’s 18 GreenEdge high-efficiency speakers include:

SRT Track Experience

Owners of any Chrysler Group SRT vehicle receive one day of professional driving instruction from the Richard Petty Driving Experience as part of the SRT Track Experience, designed to maximize their driving knowledge and skills on the street or track. Sessions are held throughout the year at selected tracks.

392’s Storied History

The original 392 HEMI engine was introduced in the new 1957 model year Chrysler and Imperial products. It replaced the 354 cubic-inch version of the original HEMI launched in 1951.Compared with the 354 engine, the 392 was completely revised and improved, with larger valves and ports, a beefier block and crankshaft and improved bearings. In short, the 392 HEMI, often affectionately referred to simply as the “92,” was perfect for drag racing.

More than a few racers at that time immediately enhanced the performance of the newest HEMI by bolting on six or eight carburetors, installing new camshafts, etc., and went racing.

Racing legend Don ‘Big Daddy” Garlits ran a 392 in his infamous Swamp Rat I dragster at record speeds of faster than 180 mph on nitro with no supercharger. Garlits also used a 392 HEMI to officially break the 200-mph barrier when his Swamp Rat went 201.34 mph at Atco, N.J., in 1964.

But the 392’s success went beyond the drag strip. It also set records at the Bonneville Salt Flats and in boat racing. Drag racing boats were no different than their land-based counterparts in the use of the 392. Famous HEMI engine builder Keith Black was better known on the water than on the land, until he teamed up with Tommy Greer and hired Don “The Snake” Prudhomme to dominate Top Fuel in California in the early 1960s using a 392 HEMI.

After 1958, the 392 HEMI was gone as a production engine, but it still remains a legend. Collectors are now preserving many historic 392-powered race cars and hot rods and proudly displaying them on show car circuits.

In 2007, Mopar – Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand – helped celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original 392 by launching a modern, crate engine version of the 392 HEMI.

About Dodge

Dodge is a full line of cars, crossovers, minivans and SUVs that are agile, daring, sensible and inventive. The brand is on a tear for the 2011 model year, redefining itself with six all-new or significantly redesigned new vehicles, actively participating in new events and sponsorships and developing relationships with its long-loyal enthusiast base, as well as reaching out to customers who want cars that leave them wanting more.

The Dodge brand has one of the youngest dealer showrooms in the industry with a vast array of new and updated products. The Dodge product line includes the all-new Dodge Durango and Dodge Charger, significantly revamped Grand Caravan, Journey, Avenger and Challenger, and the Dodge Caliber and Dodge Nitro.

The 2011 Mopar Ram Runner catching some air

The 2011 Mopar Ram Runner Catching Some Air

Turn Your Ram Truck into a Desert Racer

May 26, 2011 , Auburn Hills, Mich. – Ram Truck owners may now transform their truck into a Mopar®-powered desert racer.

Just a little more than one year after Mopar debuted its Ram Runner image vehicle to much acclaim at the 2010 Moab Jeep® Safari, the brand today announced details of its new Ram Runner kit for off-road enthusiasts.

2011 Mopar Ram Runner

2011 Mopar Ram Runner

“At Mopar, our image vehicles showcase potential directions that we may take and the new Ram Runner kit is a good example. We saw the reception that Ram Runner received last year and quickly moved to offer kits that will allow off-road enthusiasts to transform their stock Ram 1500 into a desert racer.”

-Pietro Gorlier
President and CEO, Mopar

The Mopar Ram Runner Kit, developed with successful Baja off-road racer Kent Kroeker, includes the following: Pre-Runner Stage II Lift Kit, off-road front bumper, off-road front and rear fenders, off-road rear-tire carrier, sport performance hood and cat-back exhaust. Each element of the kit may also be purchased separately. The street-legal kit may be installed by do-it-yourselfers or in a Ram dealership.

The Mopar Ram Runner Kit is equal to or better than its competitors on a number of fronts. The heavy-duty suspension system can handle practically any abuse the off-road dishes out. Front upper and lower control arms, which are three inches longer than production arms, provide added width and allow greater wheel travel over rough dirt trails.

Front lower control arms are constructed of 4130 chrome moly steel in order to withstand off-road punishment. Upper control arms include rebuildable high-angle ball joints. Both inner and outer tie rods are substantially strengthened and contribute to the rugged, off-road steering characteristics and capabilities. Outer tie rods, constructed of forged steel, measure 1-inch in diameter. Inner tie rods also are nearly 20 percent beefier, increasing from 0.62 inches to .75 inches.

2011 Mopar Ram Runner

2011 Mopar Ram Runner

At the rear, a 5-link coil spring rear suspension is utilized and helps provide a 30-degree departure angle.

The Pre-Runner Stage II kit offers a boost in suspension travel, 14 inches both front and rear, which is superior to the suspension travel on the Ford Raptor. The Ram Runner kit, which includes Fox 3-inch internal bypass shocks, offers performance on par with that of an off-road Baja race truck and outperforms the 2.5-inch shocks of the competition.

Ground clearance is approximately 13 inches at the center of the front cross-member and 16 inches at the rocker panels.

Body parts included in the Mopar Ram Runner Kit, created with Trophy Truck inspiration, feature a tough-yet-stylish look built to handle the rigors of the off-road while turning heads on the street. The front bumper is constructed of steel with an integrated aluminum skid plate. With a 41-degree approach angle, ample clearance is assured over the deepest off-road obstacles.

Front and rear fiberglass fenders are lightweight, tough and durable with wider wheel wells that allow for tremendous suspension articulation with zero tire-to-body interference. The three-inch wider track also provides an imposing, aggressive look.

The stamped aluminum, dual-scooped sport performance hood adds even more to the forceful appearance of the Ram Runner kit. The spare-tire carrier is located in the bed of the pickup and enables easier access and provides the ability to transport a larger spare tire, contributing to the overall appearance and “Baja truck feel”.

Ram Truck and Mopar are joint sponsors of The Off-Road Championship (TORC) Series in 2011. Both brands will share sponsorship of the Traxxas Racing team fielded by Mike and Mark Jenkins along with the Menzies Motorsports team owned by Steve Menzies. Ram will be the official vehicle of the TORC Series and the Mopar Ram Runner will serve as the official pace truck. The Mopar graphic that appears on the Mopar Ram Runner pace truck will also be made available to consumers.

2011 Mopar Ram Runner

2011 Mopar Ram Runner

Here’s more information on the Mopar Ram Runner kit, which is available for owners of 2009 to 2011 model-year Ram 1500 models:

MOPAR RAM RUNNER KIT (Each part of kit may be purchased separately)

  • Pre-Runner Stage II Lift Kit: 5-link coil-spring rear suspension, 4130 chrome moly lower control arms, upper control arms, rebuildable high-angle ball joints and forged steel, high-angle tie rods. Fourteen inches of suspension travel in front and rear, 3-inch internal bypass Fox shocks. (MSRP: $13,270, Part No. P5155662)
  • Off-Road Front Bumper: Steel construction with integrated aluminum skid plate, high approach angle of 41 degrees provides greater clearance over off-road obstacles. (MSRP: $1,250, Part No. P5155663)
  • Off-Road Rear Tire Carrier: Rear placement allows for easier access and ability to carry larger tires needed for the off-road. (MSRP: $1,010, Part No. P5155664)
  • Off-Road Front Fenders: Tough, durable fenders feature wider wheel wells allowing for tremendous suspension articulation, zero tire-to-body interference, and provide an imposing, aggressive look. (MSRP: $1,020, Part No. P5155665)
  • Off-Road Rear Fenders (6’4″ bed): Tough, durable fenders feature wider wheel wells allowing for tremendous suspension articulation, zero tire-to-body interference, and provide an imposing, aggressive appearance. (MSRP: $1,020, Part No. P5155665)
  • Sport Performance Hood: Stamped aluminum, dual-scooped hood with molded bezels adds to the forceful appearance of the Ram Runner Kit. (MSRP: $978, Part No. 82211065AD)
  • 5.7L Cat-back Exhaust: Dual exhaust with chromed tips for bumper with cut-outs. (MSRP: $1,135, Part No. P5155280)
Mopar also shot some footage of the 2011 Mopar Ram Runner in action during the 2011 Moab Easter Jeep Safari last month. You can check out that video below! To see more photos of Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Vehicles, simply click on any of the images in the post.  Thanks again for checking out Chrysler Catchall!

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