AD #1535 – Top Designs at NAIAS, Chrysler Confirms New Minivan, Wild-Looking Jeep Spotted

January 15th, 2015 at 11:30am

Runtime: 8:05

- EyesOn Design Picks Best of 2015 NAIAS
- Driving Forces Behind Google’s Pod Car
- Chrysler Confirms New Minivan
- Customized Jeep Wrangler Pickup Spotted
- Detroit Auto Show Standouts

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36 Comments to “AD #1535 – Top Designs at NAIAS, Chrysler Confirms New Minivan, Wild-Looking Jeep Spotted”

  1. Tony Gray Says:

    I just can’t see how FCA is going to keep with the pledge to eliminate the Dodge Caravan. Dodge dealers are screaming already and if they lose that, well, they may just not be able to sustain their business model.

  2. C-Tech Says:

    I do believe autonomous cars are in the future mix of vehicles based on the amount of money invested in them, however they will not be taken seriously by consumers until Google brings in a stylist to make them attractive.

  3. Brett Says:

    Like the Jeep pickup conversion. Reminiscent of both the CJ-7 Scrambler and the Comanche in different ways.

  4. C-Tech Says:

    This is the unnecessary bet by FCA in dropping the Caravan from Dodge. You already lack a mid-size vehicle in the Dodge line-up and the Dart is not a category – killer. There is nothing below the Dart, you have to go to Fiat. The strategy is muddy at Dodge.

  5. C-Tech Says:

    The Jeep pick-up is spot-on, if it can be done at a reasonable price. Why can’t Sergio see that?

  6. Jon M Says:

    I think the biggest fans of the Google’s pod car will be PBS Kids, The Sprout Network, Nickelodeon, and 3 – 8 (or so) year old kids in general. But hey, if it’s autonomous, who’s to say we can’t let a six year old “take the wheel”? After all, they’ll know very well how to work all the entertainment features, and there is no concern for reaching the pedals or seeing out the window. If it turns out to be the next gotta-have-it tech device, I’m sure there will be plenty of parents willing to pony up to appease their nagging children to make a business case for it.

  7. Bradley Says:

    I Jeep Pickup like that would be great. I would prefer a “Sarah Connor” edition over Rubicon, Brute, etc.

  8. Brian Says:

    Dodge will get a three row crossover to replace the Caravan. It could work out well, just like the Traverse did for Chevrolet. Scaling back to one model of minivan is a good move for FCA.

  9. ukendoit Says:

    I was just catching up on the last 3 Autoline Dailys. It was mentioned that the new Volt is a 5 seater (and that wasn’t getting much press), but I heard elsewhere that the center seat in the back isn’t really an adult seat. the outer seats are nicely contoured and the center one has you sitting on a “hump”. Has anyone seen the back seat? Also, I thought the Volt shifter that nested out of the way into the dash when in P was innovative, but they got away from that on this redo… anyone know why?

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    1 I think they should keep the Caravan name, but does it really matter if they call it Caravan, Town and Country, (or Voyager)? Pretty much all Chrysler dealers have all Chrysler brands, except Fiat, so Dodge vs Chrysler doesn’t really matter, except that the Dodge name “fits” Challenger, and the Chrysler name fits the 300.

    The last few years, sales of Caravan and T & C have been about equal, at ~200,000-250,000 total.

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    They should just make the pickup as a two door, regular cab. They could do that very cheaply with the existing chassis length.

  12. RumNCoke Says:

    John – Nice job with the interviews at NAIAS.

    I think you should toss the ball cap and wear a cool 40′s snap brim fedora with a big ticket saying “Autoline” stuck in the band. :)

  13. Roger T Says:

    #6 – kids ages 3 to 13 would be neglect (being on their own), but I do see autonomous car fitting in a huge market to replace shoffeur moms and taxis.

  14. HtG Says:

    Please bring the autonomous features to market sooner rather than later. I want lane guidance and rear end collision preventers for the people around me who shave or read texts while on the highway. That was just yesterday. Yes they were all over the road. It’s getting sickening. It’s also going to help that ninny in the Volvo who entered my lane around a dangerous turn, seemingly because the concrete barrier on their left was so so scary. You know what’s scary, Mr/s. Volvo driver? When you nearly sideswipe me, only missing because I was waiting for you to mess up.

    Let’s be serious. Lots of people suck at driving. I suck at singing, so I don’t.

  15. Duke Says:

    Kinda reminds me or a ‘joke’ that, IIRC, Jay Leno said one night after the state passed a no-texting law.

    One text from some girl said (something to the effect)

    Now what am I going to do when I am driving?

  16. IM Buell Says:

    I love ya Gary, but the Raptor just a trim package?! REALLY??!?! I guess apples and cantaloupes are both fruits too. Yeah the bones are the same (probably beefed up a bit) and the skin may be similar BUT the powertrain and suspension is completely different. Heck the suspension isn’t legal (too expensive & advanced) for a lot of off road race truck categories. It would be great to have someone from Ford SVT team to give us the real low down on the new truck.

  17. HtG Says:

    15 At least she’s honest. Most driving is tedious to most people.

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    16, Ford has demonstrated that they can make power with those turbo V6′s, but I really don’t understand their using them in the Raptor, or the Ford GT. Would’t people buying those vehicles rather have a V8, probably a flat crank V8 in the GT?

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Maybe the V6 engines in the GT and Raptor will be of the uneven firing variety with 3 crankpins, like a Formula 1 engine. That might appeal to some people, especially in the GT.

  20. Brett Says:

    I am gratified to see people beginning to agree that we, as driving enthusiasts, are a small minority of the population. :)

    Autonomy will transform society the way the automobile did originally.

  21. HtG Says:

    20 Oh man, am I aware of it. I’ve started looking at today’s cars as the equivalent of horse drawn carriages relative to what’s going to be on the roads in 5-10 years. We’re exiting the mechanical era and transitioning to the cyber car era. What I’m not sure of, is whether I’ll be an enthusiast or mere bewondered respecter of intelligent vehicles.

  22. HtG Says:

    21 It’s not just cars. The modern world is going to become intelligent and connected. Prolly carcos will maintain their hubristic stance, like they’re leading the way, but really it’s about intelligent sensors with processing abilities and connections to servers and databases that are already being built. This is why smart guys like Mark Fields uses the term ‘partners’ to describe suppliers of chip based functionality. People should take care not to keel over anytime soon, just to witness the changes.

    Steps down from soap box

  23. HtG Says:

    I’d even consider attaching a gadget to my neanderthal Civic, which would locally broadcast my position, speed, and throttle/brake use so that cyber cars can incorporate me into their environmental mapping. Maybe even to warn pedestrians and cyclists with an ‘awareness app.’ It’s a safety matter for me. What if your insurance company made you such an offer?

  24. cwolf Says:

    I can’t remember how long ago, but Jeep use to make a 2 dr. p/u of perfect size for me. I had considered buying one from a neighbor; The 6 cyl. had plenty of juice and it road halfway decent. I didn’t bite because it was already showing rust on the lowers. The guy was over weight, as well,so the bench seat under the driver was no longer flat and supportive. Let’s just say it was like riding a camel….between the humps!

  25. Brett Says:

    #23
    And then you/I/we can be taxed per mile of road that we travel. :)

  26. HtG Says:

    not a gas tax!

  27. HtG Says:

    Gasbuddy says the current national average for gas is 2.083. My local Costco is down to 2.21

    There will be blood

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    24, Comanche, last made in the early 90′s. A friend had one, and put a lot of miles on it. Its old AMC 6 was thirsty, but pretty reliable, for the time.

  29. XA351GT Says:

    Do that jeep in a 2 door model and you’ll have the J10 again. Not a bad thing. I wish manufacturers would give the buyers a choice of 2 or 4 door models in trucks. It seems they are doing the same thing now to trucks that they did with cars . Make a 4 door only version and say it’s because no one buys them. Well if you don’t offer one your correct no will buy one. We have seen a resurgence in 2 door cars so someone must want them. Many of us don’t need 4 doors on a truck or want them.

  30. cwolf Says:

    That’s the one,Kit! It was a gas hog, but I was told his son drove the thing for another 5-6 years and put a ton of miles on it.

    You have a pretty good memory,so maybe you can help me out identifying another 4 cyl. gas hog, but was totally bullet proof. It was a suv made in the 60′s and a bit smaller than the older Ford Escape, but I think the cap was removable. It was a 3 speed 4wd and very low geared. The maker was either a farm implement or semi company. I think the name started with “Hi- something.” My relative beat the crap out of it for 20 years!

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    29 It’s the same with wagons. If no one sells them, no one will buy them. The only “affordable” car height wagon sold in the US is the Jetta, soon Golf, Sportwagon. MB and BMW each sell a wagon, but they are pricey, and both have mandatory AWD. Those of us who like actual car height wagons don’t want AWD.

  32. cwolf Says:

    Kit, could I have been thinking of an old International? Damn mental block will keep me up all nite!

  33. cwolf Says:

    It was an International “Scout!” Rode hard as hell and hit 55-60 mph on a good day. Now I’ll rest just fine.

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    33, Yep, Scout. A neighbor had one, but I never knew much about it.

  35. BobD Says:

    29 – If you visit the American Expedition Vehicles website, you will see that they originally made a 2-door Jeep “pickup” called the Brute. It now appears they only make the 4-door version. You can also google image on “American Expedition Vehicles Brute” to see photos of both versions.

    On GM and others going away from Regular cabs, the Design manager for the new Colorado/Canyon indicated that the take rate for Regular cabs for the prior trucks was very low (5%?) and they could not justify the costs and testing for such a low volume.

  36. kevin m Says:

    I AGREE WITH PRETTY MUCH WHAT EVERYBODY IS SAYING ABOUT THE DODGE CARAVAN I WORKED AT DODGE STAND ALONE DEALER FOR FIVE YEARS . MOSTLY EVERTHING THAT WAS BREAD BUTTER TO THE COMPANY WAS THE 1 RAM FRIST AND THE CARAVAN 2 THE CARS UNLESS THEY WERE HIGHLY POWERED WERE PRETTY MUCH OFF THE RADIOR , (SAD BUT TURE) NOW THAT RAM IS APART FROM DODGE AND IF OR WHEN IF THEY DECIDE TO PULL THE TRIGGER ON THE CARAVAN ? AND IF DODGE IS ONLY GOING TO BE A PROFORMACE BRAND WHO IS GOING TO OVER $30,000 TO $50,000 DOLLARS FOR A NEW CHALANGER OR CHARGER ? NOT MANY WHO CAN AFFFORD IT ? SO SIMPLY PUT IF YOU KILL THE CARAVAN WHICH WAS AN OIL MONEY MACHINE AND SOME PEOPLE WHO ARE MIDDLE OR LOWER CLASS WHO CAN;T AFFFORD A CHRYSLER TOWN AND COUNTRY PEOPLE WHO ARE LESS FORTUNATE WILL NEVER WALK INTO A DODGE SHOWROOM AGAIN . THAT MIGHT HURT THE BRAND IN THE LONG RUN?