New and previously unseen models from the Dodge, Jeep, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Fiat and Abarth ranges were reportedly displayed at a dealer meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, earlier this week.
Some dealers have informed Automotive News that one of the most popular new models on show was the Dodge Barracuda convertible.
The new convertible revives the Barracuda name that has, so far, only been used by the now-defunct Plymouth brand on its Mustang and Camaro competitor. It’s believed that the new Barracuda convertible is related to the next-generation Dodge Charger, which was also shown at the event and is said to closely resemble the 1999 concept car (above and below).
Both vehicles are said to be based on a version of the rear- and all-wheel drive platform that’s being used underneath the Alfa Romeo Giulia sedan, which was unveiled earlier this year.
The next-generation Jeep Wrangler also made an appearance at the event and is, according to one source, “pretty true to its current form”. Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has already confirmed that, in the interest of saving weight and improving fuel economy, the new Wrangler will feature aluminium components and panels, but would not employ full aluminium construction.
Also on show was the much rumoured Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. Attendees were told that the new high-performance SUV will have a 0-60mph (0-97km/h) time of 3.5 seconds thanks its 6.2-litre supercharged Hellcat V8 engine. In the Charger sedan and Challenger coupe, this engine develops 527kW of power and 881Nm of torque.
All up, US dealers were promised up to 30 new or revised products within the next two years. If that comes to pass, it will contradict earlier reports that Fiat Chrysler was in the process of delaying update cycles and new vehicle programmes as it concentrated resources and manpower on the revival of Alfa Romeo as a true luxury rival to BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi.