Dodge is a United States-based brand of automobiles, minivans, and sport utility vehicles, manufactured by Chrysler Group LLC, a multinational manufacturer in a global strategic alliance with Fiat, in more than 60 different countries and territories worldwide.
Founded as the Dodge Brothers Company in 1900 to supply parts and assemblies for Detroit's growing auto industry, Dodge began making its own complete vehicles in 1915. The brand was sold to Chrysler Corporation in 1928, passed through the short-lived DaimlerChrysler merger of 1998–2007 as part of the Chrysler Group, was a part of Chrysler LLC owned by Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity investment firm, and is now a part of the Chrysler Group LLC, which has an alliance with Fiat. Fiat has plans to evolve many Dodge, Chrysler, and Jeep existing platforms and products into Fiat-Chrysler co-developed vehicles.
Founding and early years
Dodge Brothers delivery trucks, Salt Lake City, 1920
After the founding of the Dodge Brothers Company by Horace and John Dodge in 1900, the Detroit-based company quickly found work producing precision engine and chassis components for the city’s burgeoning number of automobile firms. Chief among these customers were the established Olds Motor Vehicle Company and the then-new Ford Motor Company. Dodge Brothers enjoyed much success in this field, but the brothers' growing wish to build complete vehicles was exemplified by John Dodge's 1913 exclamation that he was "tired of being carried around in Henry Ford's vest pocket."
By 1914, Horace had found a solution by creating the new four-cylinder Dodge Model 30. Marketed as a slightly more upscale competitor to the ubiquitous Ford Model T, it pioneered or made standard many features later taken for granted: all-steel body construction (the vast majority of cars worldwide still used wood-framing under steel panels, though Stoneleigh and BSA used steel bodies as early as 1911); 12-volt electrical system (6-volt systems would remain the norm until the 1950s); 35 horsepower (versus the Model T's 20), and sliding-gear transmission (the best-selling Model T would retain an antiquated planetary design until its demise in 1927). As a result of this, and the brothers' well-earned reputation for quality through the parts they made for other successful vehicles, Dodge Brothers cars were ranked at second place for U.S. sales as early as 1916. That same year, Henry Ford decided to stop paying stock dividends to finance the construction of his new River Rouge complex. This led the Dodges to file suit to protect their annual stock earnings of approximately one million dollars, in turn, leading Ford to buy out his shareholders; the Dodges were paid some US$25 million.
Also in 1916, Dodge Brothers vehicles won acclaim for durability while in service with the U.S. Army's Pancho Villa Expedition into Mexico. One notable instance was in May when the 6th Infantry received a reported sighting of Julio Cardenas, one of Villa's most trusted subordinates. Lt. George S. Patton led ten soldiers and two civilian guides in three Dodge Model 30 touring cars to conduct a raid at a ranch house in San Miguelito, Sonora. During the ensuing firefight the party killed three men, of whom one was identified as Cardenas. Patton's men tied the bodies to the hoods of the Dodges, returning to headquarters in Dublan and an excited reception from US newspapermen.
Sun, 19 Oct 2014 09:00:00 EST
Ladies and gentlemen, let's get the most salient bit of information out of the way right off the bat: $63,995*. That's the amount of money Dodge dealers will be asking for (at the very least, naturally) for a 2015 Charger Hellcat (*plus $995 for destination on all pricing figures). That rather reasonable sum will bring home its buyer a 6.2-liter Hemi V8 engine boasting a supercharger to post such gaudy figures as 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, leading to a top speed of 204 miles per hour to go along with an NHRA-certified quarter-mile time of 11.0 seconds.
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 09:30:00 EST
With that out of the way, the rest of the 2015 Dodge Charger pricing information breaks down as follows: $27,995 will deliver a sedan with a 292-horsepower 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Moving up one step of the ladder nets the buyer an SXT model with the same engine, but a nicer chunk of technology and optional equipment for a $2,000 premium. All-wheel drive adds another $3,000. Hemi V8-powered R/T models now boast an eight-speed transmission bolted to the same well-loved 370-horsepower engine as before, for a base price of $32,995.
The SRT 392 model that had hitherto been the top-performing Charger brings with it an asking price of $47,385 while bargain hunters can equip a Charger R/T Scat Pack machine with that same 485-horsepower 6.4-liter Hemi, albeit with somewhat less posh interior bits and pieces, the removal of the 392's adjustable suspension and hi-po wheel and tire package for $39,995.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is recalling a total of 747,817 vehicles in the US in two separate campaigns recently added to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration database.
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 11:16:00 EST
The first one covers about 434,581 units of the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Challenger, Durango, and Jeep Grand Cherokee from the 2011-2014 model years with electric hydraulic power steering, the 3.6-liter V6 engine and a 160 amp alternator, according to FCA. In the affected vehicles, it's possible for the alternator to fail without warning and possibly cause the car to stall. According to the documentation submitted to NHTSA, the automaker began investigating the problem in August 2014 and has found possible evidence of one crash caused by the failures but no known injuries.
Customers will begin receiving notification about the recall next month, and obviously the repairs will be done at no cost to them.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is hauling a multitude of modified models to the annual SEMA show in Las Vegas this November, and the company is releasing the first teasing sketches of many of them.
Tue, 07 Oct 2014 11:58:00 EST
Unfortunately, FCA isn't giving many solid details on any of the concepts other than saying the vehicles from Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and Fiat all benefit from tuning from its Mopar performance brand. The teaser photos include a sinister-looking Chrysler 200S, Fiat 500 Abarth with two-tone paint and a scorpion on the hood, a red and black 500L, seemingly two different takes on the Jeep Renegade, a green Dodge Challenger wearing the T/A badge, an orange and black Dart, a very neon Charger, just the outline of a red and black Viper, a Ram ProMaster in Mopar livery and a Ram pickup called the Outdoorsman.
Take a look through the gallery to see what you think of the sketches for these concepts, and scroll down for the full announcement from FCA.
Horsepower may steal a lot of headlines, but the always-more-complex torque figure is often a critical one for both the workingman and the motoring playboy. The measure of rotational force represents the twist that can liquefy one's tires or haul one's horse trailer. Good stuff.
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 17:40:00 EST
It follows then, that as with the horsepower-to-weight list that we assembled for you a few months ago, a list of cars that offer the most pound-feet with the fewest pounds to carry, is an interesting one to break down. Sure, there's a big difference in how the torque is applied from a turbocharged six-cylinder in a Swedish luxury sedan and a massive heavy-duty truck's turbo-diesel. But being the car/stat geeks that we are, we think it's kinda neat that those two vehicles rank near each other where torque and weight intersect.
As with the horsepower list, we've given you figures as pounds per every one pound-foot. Again broken down into broad price categories, we've got a mixed bag of 2014 and 2015 models here, too. Every effort has been made to select the most up-to-date prices and specs, and we've also to omitted some '14 cars that won't be re-upped after the ongoing yearly changeover.
The Dodge boys and their cousins from SRT have shoehorned the same 707-horsepower, 6.2-liter supercharged V8 into both the Dodge Challenger and Charger. The former being a two-door, it's lighter than the latter four-door sedan. So it would stand to reason that the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat would be the quicker of the two, right?
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 11:02:00 EST
Only that's not necessarily proving to be the case. On stock rubber, yes, the coupe beats the sedan: Dodge quotes a 0-60 time of 3.7 seconds for the Charger SRT Hellcat and 3.5 for the Challenger. Same gap across the quarter-mile: 11 seconds flat for the Charger versus 10.8 seconds for the Challenger. But according to recent reports, the story changes when you put both on drag radials.
While visiting Chrysler HQ in Auburn Hills, MI, TorqueNews.com caught wind of performance figures for the Charger Hellcat on drag tires: 0-60 in a mind-blowing 2.9 seconds and a quarter-mile in just 10.7. The latter figure just barely pips the Hellcat-powered Challenger's NHRA-certified figure of 10.8, making the Charger not only the fastest sedan on the market, but also the fastest muscle car. What isn't immediately clear, however, is whether the drag radials in question have any tread on them and are street-legal, or if they're pure slicks confined to a closed strip.
The Center for Auto Safety is officially petitioning the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to begin scrutinizing alleged problems with the totally integrated power module (TIPM) on about 24 Chrysler Group SUVs and minivans. The advocacy group claims that the part's failure can cause affected vehicles to stall or not start at all. NHTSA is still looking into the accusations and deciding whether a full investigation is actually warranted.
Sun, 28 Sep 2014 14:00:00 EST
The CAS petition claims at least 70 TIPM failures, but according to NHTSA, six of the complaints are for models that don't have the modules. In 34 of the reported cases, the vehicles refused to start, and in 17 of them the engine stalled. There were also two allegations of smoke and one of a fire. However, none of these affected airbag deployment or resulted in a crash.
This petition isn't the first TIPM-related problem for Chrysler Group. A recent report in the New York Times alleged that it found 240 complaints potentially related to the issue on NHTSA's website alone. In September, the automaker also recalled 230,760 examples worldwide (188,723 in the US) of the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango replace the fuel pump relay circuit inside of the TIPM-7 with one external to the unit. The original part could allegedly cause the models to stall without warning. Even earlier, the company also recalled about 80,000 examples of the Jeep Wrangler and Dodge Nitro in 2007 to have the module reprogrammed.
$60,000 doesn't strike us as a lot to pay for a muscle car with 707 horsepower on tap. $825,000... now that's a different story. But, according to the official SRT blog, that's how much one generous and eager buyer paid for the privilege of getting his (or her) hands on the very first new Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.
Fri, 26 Sep 2014 14:14:00 EST
Decked out in Stryker Red paint that's usually reserved for the Viper, the supercharged Challenger bearing the VIN 0001 went up for auction at the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino in Las Vegas on Saturday under the auspices of Barrett-Jackson. By the time bidding ended, the gavel dropped at $825,000 - nearly 14 times the sticker price - 100 percent of which will benefit Opportunity Vehicle, a charity that aids the intellectually handicapped in the Las Vegas Area.
This weekend will see the world's collector car crowds descend on Las Vegas, NV for one of the biggest shows on Barrett-Jackson's popular auction circuit. There are hundreds of vehicles up for bidding, ranging from a brand-new Lamborghini Aventador to a spattering of Art Deco classics and a huge swath of classic muscle cars.
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 17:44:00 EST
While it's virtually impossible to assemble an inarguable list of the best cars coming during the three-day, 700-plus vehicle auction, we've sifted through the listings for this year's show - it was a tough assignment, we promise - and assembled a list of what we think will be some of the most interesting lots. We'll admit, it's a bit heavy on American iron, but if you browse BJ's listings, you'll come to a similar conclusion. Still, scroll down for our list of what we think will be the most interesting vehicles at the upcoming auction.
Chrysler has announced a recall covering 349,442 vehicles due to ignition switches that can either become stuck or move without warning. All of the affected vehicles are from the 2008 model year, and were built before May 12, 2008.
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 11:33:00 EST
The automaker has learned that ignition keys on some vehicles "may not fully return to the 'ON' position after rotation to the 'START' position during engine-startup," the company said in a statement. Additionally, "an ignition key may not fully return to the 'ON' position after rotation to the 'START' position and may inadvertently move through the 'ON' position to 'ACCESSORY' or 'OFF.'"
Chrysler says it is unaware of any related injuries, and notes that while reduced braking, engine or steering power is possible in such instances, the airbags are not affected. The later stands in contrast to General Motors' recent rash of high-profile recalls, and it's an important distinction that Chrysler (understandably) felt necessary to call out in bold print in its press release.
With its crazy 707 horsepower on tap and roughly $60,000 starting price, the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat has been one of the most talked about cars of the summer, maybe even the year. However, there's always been one lingering question about the behemoth that Dodge has waited to answer until now - its fuel economy. The EPA ratings for the muscle car are finally out, and the numbers are actually pretty impressive for a vehicle with this much power.
A 2015 Challenger Hellcat with the eight-speed automatic is rated at 22 miles per gallon highway, 13 mpg city and 16 mpg combined. Opting for the six-speed manual drops those figures to 21 mpg highway, 13 mpg city and 16 mpg combined.
"As the fastest muscle car ever, the Challenger Hellcat can run 10-second ETs [elapsed times] at the track, and then get 22 miles per gallon on the drive home. With a starting price of $59,995, there's nothing else that even comes close," said Dodge and SRT President Tim Kuniskis in the company's release.