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Under The Pentastar

Under The Pentastar

“Under the Pentastar” is a weekly recap of some of the major stories at Chrysler Group LLC. This week, Chrysler Group presents four new television commercials as part of “It’s Halftime in America” campaign; in California it was a love fest for the Chrysler and Dodge brands at the Seventh annual Spring Festival of LXs; and Jeep® and Mopar® have created six new vehicles for the 46th annual Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah.

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Under The Pentastar

Under The Pentastar

“Under the Pentastar” is a weekly recap of some of the major stories at Chrysler Group LLC. In this week’s edition stories include a first look at the excitement around the 2012 Spring Festival of LXs in Southern California, a sneak peek a some of the Jeep/Mopar vehicles that’ll debut at next month’s Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah, and news of another big award for the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

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  • Celebrity race features talented collection of drivers from across the spectrum of Dodge Motorsports’ disciplines competing in identical Dodge Viper ACR-X spec cars
  • Event at Utah’s Miller Motorsports Park raises $18,000 for various charities
  • One-hour special race broadcast kicks off 11 straight weeks of 2011 Dodge Viper Cup series action on Versus

October 5, 2011 , Auburn Hills, Mich. – Dodge Motorsports is offering race fans an exciting change of pace during the prime Sunday mid-afternoon viewing slot.

Airing at 3 pm (EDT) Sunday, Oct. 9, on Versus is the first-ever “Dodge Viper Celebrity Challenge.” The unique one-race event was held April 13 at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah, and featured an impressive lineup of competitors from numerous forms of racing – all united under the Dodge Motorsports and Mopar® banners.

Leading the list of participating drivers was automotive legend and Penske Racing team owner Roger Penske, making a rare appearance behind the wheel. Penske hasn’t driven competitively since the mid-1960s following his being named the Sports Car Club of America Driver of the Year by Sports Illustrated. Joining their team owner in the “Dodge Viper Celebrity Challenge” were Penske Racing and NASCAR superstars Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski and Sam Hornish Jr.

Also participating were Robbie Gordon, driver and team owner of Speed Energy Racing; NHRA pro stock driver Allen Johnson; Hart and Huntington Racing team owner Carey Hart and his AMA Supercross rider Ivan Tedesco; Formula Drifter and TORC driver Samuel Hubinette; Viper factory driver Kuno Wittmer; Viper road-course racing driver/instructor Cindi Lux; monster truck pilot Mark Hall; and ARCA Series racer Maryeve Dufault.

Filling out the racing field were event host Ralph Gilles, President and CEO – SRT® and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC; Dodge Motorsports engineer Matt Bejnarowicz and Viper Cup series drivers Connie Bogan, Jeff Courtney, Jason Daskalos, Eric Galerne, Brad Gorrondona, Billy Gropp, Ted Hughes, Todd Nelson and Fred Roberts.

“This was truly a once in-a-lifetime collaboration for us at Dodge Motorsports and Mopar,” Gilles said. “Seeing the diverse driving talent on the track was incredible and showed the passion and dedication our group of drivers has for the Chrysler Group and our various racing efforts.”

The 24 participants for the “Dodge Viper Celebrity Challenge” were divided into 12 two-person teams. Single qualifying lap times by each of the two drivers were averaged together to determine the order for the standing start.

Teams then plotted their best driver rotation for the 50-minute timed race.

Once the green flag waved, the on-track competition was intense as 12 identically prepared, 640-horsepower Dodge Viper ACR-X spec cars began to speed around the 2.24-mile Miller Motorsports Park layout.

Halfway through the 50-minute race, each team conducted a mandatory timed pit stop and driver change.

“I can’t say enough about the generosity and mutual respect shown by each and every participant in the ‘Dodge Viper Celebrity Challenge,’ Gilles added. “I’m proud to share the same common thread of being racers at heart that can take the time out to not only come together and compete on the same stage, but also raise money for worthy charity causes.”

The following charitable donations were made by the top-three finishing teams:

  • Haiti Rescue Effort – $5,000
  • National Breast Cancer Coalition – $5,000
  • Shriners Hospital – $3,000
  • Tarrant Area Foodbank, Fort Worth, Texas – $3,000
  • Children’s Rare Disease Network – $1,000
  • National Breast Cancer Foundation – $1,000
  • The airing of the “Dodge Viper Celebrity Challenge” on Oct. 9 kicks off 11 straight weeks (through Dec. 18) of Dodge Viper Cup series coverage on Versus. All broadcasts begin on the subsequent Sundays at 3 p.m. Eastern.
Jeep 70th Anniversary Celebration in Moab, Utah

Jeep 70th Anniversary Celebration in Moab, Utah

June 6, 2011 , Auburn Hills, Mich. – In celebration of this milestone and to keep the Jeep® brand momentum alive, the full-line of Jeep 70th Anniversary Edition modelsGrand Cherokee, Liberty, Compass, Patriot, Wrangler/Wrangler Unlimited – were presented against the red rock and glistening waters of the Colorado River.

Jeep 70th Anniversary Celebration in Moab, Utah

Jeep 70th Anniversary Celebration in Moab, Utah

Showcasing the evolution and innovation of the legendary 4×4 leader, seven key historical models illustrated important milestones in the Jeep brand’s history – not in a museum, but in the rugged outdoors where they belong:

  • 1944 Willys-Overland “Jeep” MB
  • 1945 Willys-Overland Jeep CJ-2A
  • 1949 Willys-Overland Jeep Station Wagon
  • 1963 Jeep Wagoneer
  • 1984 Jeep Cherokee
  • 1987 Jeep Wrangler
  • 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Jeep 70th Anniversary Celebration in Moab, Utah

Jeep 70th Anniversary Celebration in Moab, Utah

In addition, five customized Jeep vehicles fresh from the 45th annual Moab Easter Jeep Safari provided a taste of new potential Jeep production and customization ideas in a true Jeep setting. The Jeep “image” vehicles included were the Wrangler Pork Chop, Wrangler Renegade, Compass Canyon, Cherokee Overland and the Grand Cherokee Off-Road Edition. More than 30 percent of the people who are in the market for a new vehicle are influenced by the vast selection and availability of aftermarket Mopar® accessories, which fit a variety of lifestyles.

Jeep 70th Anniversary Celebration in Moab, Utah

Jeep 70th Anniversary Celebration in Moab, Utah

This international media event produced outstanding photography and b-roll that features Jeep brand vehicles with the breathtaking landscape in Moab. To see more photos from the event as well as photos of Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Vehicles, click on any of the images in the post. Thanks again for checking out Chrysler Catchall!

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!
Ram Power Wagons in Moab, Utah

Ram Power Wagons in Moab, Utah

For those of you not in the know, the Jeep and Ram brands like to take their vehicles out to test their real world off road capabilities. This year was no different. Again this year the Jeep and Ram brands took their vehicles out west to run them through the paces. Here’s what David Elshoff from Chrysler Group LLC had to say about it.

Ram Power Wagon

Ram Power Wagon

“For the second year in a row, Ram brought a fleet of Power Wagon’s to Southern Utah to join 3,000 Jeep owners for the annual Easter Jeep Safari, hosted by the Red Rock 4-Wheelers.

With America’s top off-road media behind the wheel, the Power Wagons tackled tough trails like Hell’s Revenge and Poison Spider Mesa, as well as obstacles like the 10-story tall Hell’s Gate.

Ram Power Wagon

Ram Power Wagon

Power Wagon is availalbe with an off-roader’s wish list of standard equipment, including front and rear locking differentials, electronic disconnecting front sway bar, 33-inch offroad tires, complete underbody protection — and though it wasn’t needed for this outing — a custom 12,000-pound warn winch.

In 2010, the Ram Power Wagon was named Four Wheeler magazine’s Pickup Truck of the year and Heavy Duty Pickup Truck of Texas.”

Ram Power Wagons

Ram Power Wagons

To see more photos of the Jeeps and Rams in Moab, as well as photos of other Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram vehicles, click any of the images in the post. Also, check out the video below. Thanks again for checking out Chrysler Catchall!

Under the Pentastar is a quick video recap of significant events at Chrysler Group LLC over the past week. This week, “UTP” is a special 2011 NY Auto Show edition featuring the introduction of the Fiat 500 Cabrio, three special edition Chrysler 300‘s and the Jeep® Grand Cherokee SRT 8.

I’ve also included a couple of video clips taken out at the Moab Jeep Easter Safari in Moab Utah, where you can see the Mopar Ram Runner and the Jeep Blue Crush in action! Thanks again for checking out Chrysler Catchall!

2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee 70th Anniversary Edition

2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee 70th Anniversary Edition

March 30, 2011 , Denver – The Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP) association today named the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee its 2011 SUV of the year. Comfort on-road, toughness off-road, and impressive quality throughout were all attributes cited by voting journalists.

“It takes a very exceptional vehicle indeed to master both the plains and mountains of the Rocky Mountain West and I’m thrilled that the journalists of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press have voted the new and innovative Jeep Grand Cherokee our 2011 SUV of the year.”

-Roman Mica
President of RMAP

The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee was selected from among 26 eligible crossovers and SUVs evaluated by RMAP members in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee 70th Anniversary Edition

2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee 70th Anniversary Edition

“The climate, terrain and active lifestyle of Colorado creates the perfect environment for the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee to showcase its go-anywhere capability. We are delighted that these prominent Rocky Mountain automotive journalists have recognized the capability, comfort, craftsmanship and refinement of our new premium Jeep SUV.”

Mike Manley, President and CEO
Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC.

Rocky Mountain Automotive Press is a Denver-based association of automotive journalists, automaker-communications representatives and other motor-industry professionals. This is the fifth year RMAP has presented its Rocky Mountain Vehicle of Year Awards. The awards recognize the top cars, pickups, and SUVs.

The new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee provides consumers premium on-road performance, while maintaining legendary Jeep four-wheel-drive capability – courtesy of a torque-on-demand two-speed transfer case, a choice of three 4×4 systems, a new Jeep Selec-Terrain™ system with five terrain settings, and a new Quadra-Lift™ air suspension system. In addition, Grand Cherokee offers improved fuel economy (up to 23 mpg), a world-class interior cabin, and more than 45 safety and security features.

2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee 70th Anniversary Edition

2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee 70th Anniversary Edition

The 2011 SUV of the Year from the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press is the most recent award in a long list of honors given to the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Other accolades include:

  • 2011 Official Winter Vehicle of New England
  • MotorWeek Drivers’ Choice Award for Best Large Utility
  • Consumers Digest “Best Buy”
  • Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) “Top Safety Pick”
  • Four Wheeler magazine’s “Four Wheeler of the Year”
  • Detroit News “Truck of the Year”
  • AutoWeek “Best of the Best 2011 Truck award”
  • Urban Truck of the Year
  • Internet Truck of the Year
  • Popular Mechanics “Automotive Excellence Award for Off-Road Ability”
  • Texas Auto Writers Association “SUV of Texas”
  • Texas Auto Writers Association “Full-size SUV of Texas”
  • Ruedas ESPN “Best SUV”

That’s quite the list of awards! Jeep has truly built a legendary vehicle! In this post I’ve also included photos of the 70th Anniversary Edition 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Click any of the images in the post to see more photos of Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Vehicles. Thanks for checking out Chrysler Catchall!

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