NAIAS 2018 | Episode 4 : Fiat Chrysler {FCA]

Fiat Chrysler (FCA) followed the trend of the show focusing its announcements on trucks and SUV’s.  A new, tech-heavy Ram pick-up was introduced keeping pressure on Ford and GM for sales in this lucrative segment.  The Ram remains the only player in the segment with a coil spring, multi-link rear suspension.  The exterior has more sharply defined shapes and feature lines, although there are now some similarities with the Chevy Silverado.  Storage bins in the sides of the bed are carried over from the prior model.  The 12-inch touch screen (with split screen capability) in the center of the instrument panel is a unique feature in the segment.  The Ram also has plenty of in-cab storage with a notably large centre console.

The latest edition of the amazingly successful Jeep Wrangler, debuted at the Los Angeles show and was strongly featured on the FCA exhibit in various body styles.  The only missing version was the Scrambler or pick-up version that is expected to join the range later this year.  The carefully evolved design retains the familiar look, but with subtle changes.  This model, the “JL” is more user-friendly than its predecessors, yet somehow even more off-road capable and lighter too.  The 3.6L V6 is standard a 2.0L turbocharger 4 cylinder optional.  Jeep’s Ecodiesel with 442 lb-ft of torque will be available in 2019.

Also introduced at the show was a face-lifted version of the mid-sized Jeep Cherokee.  The controversial front end with its column of three stacked lights has been replaced by a more conventional look and the tail-lamps have been refreshed too.