Posts from ‘Future Cars’
Note: Presented here is a Consumer Guide blog post originally seen in May of 2012. At the time, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) was developing a fastback compact sedan for the Chrysler brand based mechanically on the Dodge Dart. Poor Dart sales, and a general shift in consumer interest to crossover vehicles prompted FCA to kill the compact Chrysler project midstream. The Chrysler 200, which also shared Dart elements, was also killed around this time. The text of the Future Car report below is presented unaltered and as it was published back in 2012.
Auto industry observers have suggested that Hyundai has confused new-car shoppers by implementing a two-midsize-crossover strategy. Not because the Korean maker is selling two vehicles in roughly the same market space, but because of how the vehicles are named.
Illustrations by Frank Peiler
Since the turn of the century, U.S. car sellers have been shedding brands faster than the cable TV networks have been creating reality shows.
After a nearly 30-year absence, Fiat returned to the U.S. market for 2012. Though the brand’s relaunch has been marred by disappointing sales and dealer unrest, Fiat now has three distinct model lines available to shoppers.
Hornet is the likely name of a forthcoming subcompact hatchback that would give Dodge a direct competitor to the Chevrolet Sonic, Honda Fit, and other fuel-efficient pint-sized cars.
Expected in 2018 as an early ’19 model, the Hornet would be positioned in Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) showrooms between the Fiat 500 and 500L, and comfortably below the compact Dart, the Dodge brand’s smallest and least expensive current offering.
Enmeshed in the news that Ford is moving to reenter the small/midsize-pickup segment in the U.S. with an updated version of the Ranger is word that an off-road-ready SUV built on the same architecture would likely follow.
With the average transaction price of an F-150 now hovering around $45,000, Ford again sees space below its big pickups for a smaller, more affordable market entry.
Likely to be called Ranger, the new midsize pickup would provide Ford dealers with a lower-cost alternative to the best-selling F-150 that would compete directly with the redesigned Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon.
by Don Sikora II
Electric cars haven’t proven sales superstars thus far, but many still believe electrification will play an important role in the automobile’s future. At Detroit’s North American International Auto Show in January 2015, Chevrolet unveiled a concept version of its next entry in the all-electric sweepstakes: the Bolt EV Concept.
by Don Sikora II
In 2014, Jeep sold more than 1 million vehicles worldwide, a new record for the brand. And Jeep’s parent company has even greater ambitions for the future: A Fiat-Chrysler five-year product plan unveiled in May 2014 predicts sales increasing to 1.9 million Jeeps in 2018. The plan also indicates a return to the 7-passenger 3-row SUV market in the form of a revived Grand Wagoneer model. The range-topping 2019 Grand Wagoneer would reprise a legendary name from Jeep’s past, and move the brand further upmarket to take on luxury-brand SUVs in every way—price included.
by Don Sikora II
Toyota’s Scion and Lexus divisions both offer models aimed directly at enthusiast buyers, but the Toyota brand itself has been devoid of a truly sporty offering for quite some time. However, it appears as though Toyota will be adding a real sports car to its lineup in the near future, and will possibly be reviving one of its most-storied model names—Supra—in the process.