While the big international autoshows usually get the future model concept cars, SEMA is the place where manufacturers roll out the restyled and hot rodded concepts that really speak to us. The Pentastar party has some big plans for the 2010 show that's coming up next week that we can't wait to check out.
The word is that The Mopar Underground group and the Mopar design team worked together to create 35 (!) customized Chryslers, Dodges, Fiats, Jeeps, and Ram Trucks to totally pack their 15,300-sq ft space. That's quite an ambitious rollout and the expansive display should be a show stopper. Some are bound to be a little more appealing to rodders than others, but we're genuinely interested to see everything Mopar has in the works to bring them back into the black financially and back into more Americans driveways.
"With five exhibits, the Mopar brand will have a major presence at SEMA," said Pietro Gorlier, President and Chief Executive Officer - Mopar, Chrysler Group's service, parts and customer-care brand. "Mopar will showcase cutting-edge technology, innovative accessories, authentic parts, and new customer-care initiatives. And our Moparized vehicles will be a must-see."
So what can you expect to see? We cherry picked our five favorites to show you in advance.
2011 RedLine Dodge Charger
The diehard enthusiasts at Mopar Underground wasted no time in taking the not-yet-in-market '11 Dodge Charger under their wing. "We let the designers of the production car and their friends at Mopar rip," said Gilles, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Dodge Car Brand and Senior Vice President of Product Design. "I wanted them to show us what they would do with this vehicle if it were their own dream car."
The RedLine Charger gets lower to the ground with a tuned suspension that drops it one inch. Under a unique aluminum hood the 5.7-liter HEMI sports Mopar Performance parts, including headers, exhaust system, and a cold-air intake to boost horsepower and torque. A Mopar strut tower brace stiffens up the front of the chassis for the better handling and driveability needed to take advantage of the additional horsepower.
The blacked-out feel is accomplished with a black roof, front lower and rear-end treatment and continues with carbon fiber mirror caps. The 22-inch staggered-width Super Alloy wheels, with Pirelli tires wrapped around (265/35/22 front, 295/30/22 rear), follow the blacked-out theme as do the unique carbon fiber lower air dam/splitter and rear spoiler, created by the Mopar Underground team specifically for the RedLine Charger. Headlamps and tail lamps also get the blacked-out treatment.
Recalling Dodge Charger's legendary heritage is a side scoop reminiscent of the scoop on the 1970 Dodge Charger R/T. The black side scoop is emblazoned with a red R/T logo, offering a nice tie-in to the RedLine Red paint employed on the RedLine Charger.
A trip inside the red-and-black interior reveals a driver-oriented theme, with custom RedLine all-aluminum driver and console bezels. The interior is highlighted with satin and bright chromed bezels that accent the refined details. Mopar Katzkin performance seats trimmed in Radar Red Nappa leather with bright red stitching offer another striking interior enhancement. A unique SRT(r) steering wheel featuring prototype paddle shift controls completes the interior.
2011 392ci SRT-8 Challenger
Stylistically, the Challenger will mostly retain the good looks we all know and love- with only minor revisions like a revised chin spoiler, revised gauge faces, and a three-spoke steering wheel- but as we blogged about a few weeks back, there's going to be much more muscle available under the hood of the '11 Challenger.
The merger of Chrysler and Fiat prompted many to worry over the fate of Mopar's muscle portfolio- but things seem to only be on the rise. The Challenger R/T with the 5.7-liter Hemi remains at 379 hp and 3.6-liter V-6 goes from 250 hp to 305 hp, but the big news is the SRT-8 will get some historic numbers on the engine badge. They'll likely call it a 6.4 liter, but to rodders out there it'll be a 392 Hemi- just like the renowned FirePower second-gen Hemi.
Power on the production 392 is slated to com in at 475, but in crate form the 392ci Mopar Performance crate engine packs 525hp- and we've seen some seriously impressive power numbers above and beyond that pulled from those engines with little effort. That just gets us excited about the potential in the next SRT-8 Challenger, and gives us hope for other Mopar Muscle since the 392 may proliferate across the SRT8 family.
2011 Challenger Drag Pak
The previous editions of the Challenger Drag Pak were good, packing the 6.1 Hemi in a Stock Eliminator ready 1/4 mile car that weighed in at 1,000 lbs less than the street version (3,200lb). The new version is great.
Rather than dip into their crate engine line and snatch up the obvious 392ci, the Dodge boys decided to use up those leftover Viper engines, orphaned after the announced (potentially temporary) demise of the famed super muscle car and drop them into the new Challenger Drag Pak cars. That's right, it's 512ci and 600hp/560lb-ft of torque for the lucky few racers (70 to be exact) that manage to get their hands on one.
However, there is an old saying; "Speed costs money, how fast do you want to go?" The cost of going very quickly in the 1/4 mile in a 2011 Drag Pak Challenger has gone up accordingly; $85,512. That wouldn't be so shocking, except for the fact that the previous 6.1 Hemi cars were priced at a bargain basement $39,999. That's over double the price.
For the money, the Drag Pak includes;
Identification plate with unique serial number sequence
Primed and painted body, color options available
512 cid V-10 engine
Unique engine calibration
2-speed automatic transmission with shift assembly and built-in roll control
Special body-in-white modified for drag racing
No windshield wiper assembly
No HVAC system (includes block off plates)
No rear seats
No power-steering system
No underbody heat shields
Complete fuel cell assembly
Race headers with collectors
Modified tunnel for transmission clearance and one-piece drive shaft
Raised floor above differential for solid-axle conversion clearance
Polycarbonate door windows
Smart-glass door window system
Solid engine mounts
Mopar solid rear axle
Lightweight seats to accommodate 6-point harness
Special modified K-member with drop-out crossmember
Lightweight drag-race only front brake assembly
Manual rack-and-pinion steering
Front chin spoiler
Lightweight cooling module with electric fan
Lightweight instrument panel assembly
Special cable-operated decklid release
Special cable-operated throttle pedal and linkage
Race-style wheels and tires
The optional full Competition Package with an eight-point roll cage, six-point safety harness and a mesh window net adds $7,950 to the price, and if you want the Mopar Body Logo Wrap it'll be another $950. Don't care for the body-in-white look? A select few colors are available, but getting them will add $6,800. It gets pricey quick.
Mopar '10 Challenger
There likely aren't any of the 500 limited edition Mopar '10 Challengers left for purchase, but we expect to see one at SEMA as the perfect way to show off Mopar goodies.
The Mopar '10 Dodge Challenger R/T includes a Mopar Cold Air Intake System that pills air from the hood scoop through a new Mopar hood venting system. Handling is improved by the addition of Mopar's front and rear strut tower braces. Add in 20-inch black forged wheels and it's a sharp looking package.
The full '10 Mopar package includes;
Vented T/A Style Hood with Graphic
20-inch Forged Wheels with Gloss Black Finish
Mopar Logo Fuel Door and Fascia Badge
Black Chrome Grille Surround
Body Stripe Graphics
Rear Quarter Glass Window Graphic
Black Chrome Hood Pins
Mopar '10 Logo Car Cover
Katzkin Leather Seating with matching highlight stitching and embroidered Mopar '10 logo
Custom Leather Steering Wheel with unique shape, matching highlight stitching and Mopar logo
Mopar Shift Handles (T-handle for automatic, Pistol grip for manual)
Serialized Dash Plaque with vehicle name
Front and Rear Strut Tower Braces (including billet caps for front shocks)
Cold Air Intake System with sock
Under hood venting and water management system for T/A hood
2010 Fiat 500 (European version)
This little guy is an extreme version of the popular European version of the Fiat 500, which has won 60 international awards, including the 2008 European Car of the Year and the 2009 World Car Design of the Year.
Do you care? We think so. After all, commuter cars are the lifeblood of a car company, so the better they are, the more money a company ahs to play with hero cars like the Challenger.
The concept car features a number of unique parts created by the Mopar Underground team, including a front airdam/lip, lower sill, spoiler, rear valance and brake ducts. The 2010 Fiat 500 features a lower ride height on 18-inch Alcoa wheels and flared wheel arches reminiscent of the Fiat 500 models that raced in Europe back in the day.
We do like the way the Fiat sits atop its Pirelli tires with a mean, wheels-out-and-down stance that is accentuated by a Dark Thunderbolt Gray exterior. The black roof, black hood, headlamp and fascia graphics tie the headlamps together. The chin spoiler of the 500 hooks up with a flare that surrounds the front wheel. A lower side sill, also in black, adorns the sides. Not bad looking for a tiny car.
The interior is driver-focused, with a red seat and red door insert on the driver's side, with piano-black accents on the instrument panel. The remainder of the interior is outfitted in a subdued black.
Mopar bolt-ons include a Mopar custom exhaust system that provides horsepower and torque gains and a Mopar strut tower brace that reduces body flex in the front end and improves drivability and handling.
Two additional Fiat 500 vehicles will be on display in the Mopar Alley, outfitted with a full complement of Mopar parts and accessories. The all-new Fiat 500 will be available for ordering in the U.S. later this year in the Sport, Pop, and Lounge models, followed by the all-new Fiat 500C (cabrio) in the spring of 2011.