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.
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 15:02:00 EST
This is a cool ad. Dodge, which is celebrating its centennial this year, recruited some of its peers to see what you should and shouldn't do in life. Of course, some are obvious - don't complain, learn from your mistakes and live for now.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:01:00 EST
Then again, some are less obvious. Some, actually, are downright awesome. Towards the end, each piece of advice is interspersed with clips of Dodge's redesigned Challenger smoking its tires. Really, this ad feels like it'd be worthy of a Super Bowl spot. This commercial's personal nature is really in keeping with some of the big game's most interesting ads, like the Imported From Detroit commercial, the Farmer ad and Maserati's surprise clip from this year's game.
Take a look below and let us know what you think.
If you want to go fast, there's certainly nothing wrong with the Dodge Challenger SRT8. With 470 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque for 2014, there's certainly not much to complain about. But what if you want something more aftermarket in flavor? There's no shortage of options, but while turning to the tuner world will make your car plenty fast, that extra power won't just shred rear tires, it'll torch your warranty, as well. That's where Dodge's Scat Pack comes in.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 14:01:00 EST
With three stages of mods for both the 5.7 and 6.4-liter Hemi V8s Challenger (as well as the 5.7-liter Charger and, soon, the four-pot Dart), the Scat Pack cars give drivers all the power, aggression and noise of a heavily modded aftermarket car while maintaining the piece of mind provided by the Dodge warranty.
Power gets bumped up to 485 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque with the 6.4-liter Scat Pack, while the 5.7-liter can provide up to 58 hp and 47 lb-ft of torque to add to the stock engine's 375 horsepower and 410 pound-feet. It's the latter engine that can really get some work done, with upgrades ranging from the mundane - intake and exhaust - to the racy, like the ported heads and high-flow headers.
It was the Ford Mustang that kicked off the retro-styled muscle car renaissance back in 2005, but it was the Dodge Challenger that served as the movement's poster child, with its unabashedly retro looks. Over the years, though, as the Mustang and the Chevrolet Camaro were freshened and upgraded, the look of the big Dodge has remained largely consistent since its 2008 debut. For 2015, the Challenger has received a big freshening, boasting strongly revised front and rear ends and (finally, finally, finally) a redesigned interior.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:00:00 EST
Let's talk about that new cabin first. It's basically been plucked directly from the redesigned Charger, and boasts the same seven-inch IP display. The center stack's miserable, last-gen display has been replaced by an expansive, 8.4-inch UConnect system. Material quality should see a solid boost with the new cabin, as well.
The exterior, meanwhile, sees a revised front fascia with LED halo lights, as well as new grille inserts. A functional shaker hood scoop is a must-have extra on the V8 models, while the back of the car is highlighted by a new set of LED taillights that don't use the "Racetrack" design of Dodge's other models.
With a new look inspired largely by the Dart compact, the 2015 Dodge Charger made its New York Auto Show debut today. Along with the interior and exterior changes, an eight-speed automatic becomes standard across the range.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 00:03:00 EST
What hasn't changed is the choice of engines under the Charger's long hood. A 3.7-liter V6 serves as the base mill, and can be had in both rear- and all-wheel-drive varieties, while the 5.7-liter V8 is an optional item and can be had in rear-drive only. Outputs are also carried over from last year, with 292 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque for the six-pot, while the Hemi V8 delivers 370 hp and 395 lb-ft of torque.
The new exterior treatment is a fairly large departure from the styling tone set by the Charger since its reintroduction to the US market in 2006. The blacked-out, crosshair grille and new headlamps are the biggest changes for 2015, though there are other, less immediately noticeable updates, such as the more rounded "Racetrack" taillamps that, like the front fascia, draw some inspiration from the Dart.
Meet the refreshed 2015 Dodge Charger; notice anything different? You would have to be pretty farsighted to miss the sedan's new Dart-like nose, and it's likely going to be quite polarizing to the car's fans. Gone are the previous furrowed, aggressive headlights in favor of a wider, friendlier look.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 00:02:00 EST
While the more rounded headlights and narrower grille are going to be the first thing most people notice, Dodge claims its designers have made changes to nearly every panel on the Charger. The hood dips down deeper at the front, and the doors show off a more angled version of the car's shoulder blister. LED running lights and taillights are standard on all models, and SXT and RT trims get LED foglights. Even though the front might not be as intimidating, Dodge has hung onto the sedan's muscular stance with angular contours making up the rest of the redesign.
Under the hood is the same engine range you've come to know over recent years. Both the 5.7-liter V8 and the 3.6-liter V6 return for 2015, with the Hemi making 370 horsepower and 395 pound-feet of torque, and the standard Pentestar outputting 292 hp and 260 lb-ft. All models are now equipped with Chrysler's TorqueFlight eight-speed automatic as standard. Fuel economy for V8 Chargers is predicted at 16 miles per gallon city and 25 mpg highway, compared to 15 mpg / 25 mpg last year with a five-speed automatic. All models also come with electric power steering, and the axles are cast from aluminum to save weight.
While it's not seeing the drastic facelift of its brother, the Charger, at the 2014 New York Auto Show, the 2015 Challenger is packing some upgrades of its own. It wears even more retro-inspired styling cues, and there are new 6.4-liter Scat Pack and Shaker trims.
Mon, 14 Apr 2014 15:30:00 EST
If you thought the Challenger looked retro before, Dodge is taking things even farther with inspiration for the refresh coming from the iconic 1971 model. Up front, it has a new split grille, a larger power bulge in the hood and projector fog lights. At the rear, the classic inspiration continues with split LED taillights with Gloss Black trim, and a rear valance panel redesigned to make the 2015 model look wider and lower.
The '71 motif is carried inside as well with a high-sill center console and aluminum gauge bezels. There's still more than a touch of modernity, with an available 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system and 7-inch customizable display between the retro-inspired speedometer and tachometer. For better safety, the Challenger is also now available with forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross path detection. Stability control and electric power steering are standard across all models too.
Dodge is just days away from unveiling refreshed versions of the Charger and Challenger at the 2014 New York Auto Show, models promising updated styling and new powertrain options. Depending on how you look at it, the company is either so confident in its forthcoming 2015 models that it's offering an interesting Double-Up lease deal on the current vehicles, or it's so eager to clear out existing stock that it's resorting to novel lease deals. In any case, what they present is an interesting scenario, one which allows buyers to get the existing model right now, and then trade up to the facelifted 2015 models in one year.
Tue, 08 Apr 2014 18:30:00 EST
Starting April 17, when the refreshed cars debut through the end of August, buyers can lease a 2014 Charger or Challenger for one year and exchange it for a three-year lease on a 2015 model next year, with no additional money down and the same monthly payment. Customers can even switch vehicles when the new lease starts. If drivers want to buy the '15, they get $1,000 off the purchase price. To be eligible, both leases must use the same dealership and be financed through Chrysler Capital. The Double-Up deal excludes the SRT versions of both cars and Charger SE models.
To offset the flood of one-year-old models coming back to dealerships, Dodge has struck a deal with rental car agency Enterprise, which has agreed to buy them all. "One-year leases are highly unusual in the industry," said company spokesperson Ralph Kisiel, and the fleet sale deal is what makes it possible.
If you've noticed that there have been more recalls than usual this year, you may be on to something. According to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the US market is on pace to break a record for recalls. In 2013, 22 million cars were recalled. We're only a third of the way through 2014, though, and we've already halved that figure, with 11 million units recalled. That's wild.
Mon, 07 Apr 2014 14:28:00 EST
Considering the past few months, it shouldn't be a surprise that General Motors is leading the charge, with six million of the 11 million units recalled coming from one of the General's four brands. Between truck recalls, CUV recalls and the ignition switch recall, 2014 hasn't been a great year for GM.
Other recall leaders include Nissan (one million Sentra and Altima sedans), Honda (900,000 Odyssey minivans), Toyota (over one million units in a few recalls), Volkswagen (150,000 Passat sedans), Chrysler (644,000 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs) and most recently, Ford (434,000 units, the bulk of which were early Ford Escape CUVs). So while it's been a bad year for GM so far, its competitors aren't doing too well, either.
The 2014 New York Auto Show will be a big one for Dodge, as the brand has announced that refreshed versions of the 2015 Challenger and 2015 Charger will debut at the show. This is a particularly big deal for the two-door Challenger which, visually, has remained unchanged since is burst back onto the scene in 2008 and helped reignite the muscle car wars.
Sat, 05 Apr 2014 10:57:00 EST
As a sort of hint, this announcement was accompanied by the picture you see above - the Super Bee logo in the Challenger's new instrument cluster. According to Dodge, the New York debut of a new "powertrain combination" - possibly with the high-output Hellcat V8 - will leave enthusiasts "abuzz."
As for the Charger, Dodge is promising a full redesign that should be a significant departure from the blunt, angry looks of the current model. At this point, there's no indication that the Challenger's new powertrain could be fitted to the Charger, although considering how mechanically similar these two vehicles have been, it doesn't seem outside the realm of possibility.
Dodge revived the Scat Pack name back in November at the 2013 SEMA show. At the time, though, we were short of details on forthcoming upgrade packages, which were destined to add some oomph to the Challenger, Charger and Dart. We're still waiting to hear about the upgrades to the Dart's 2.4-liter four-pot, but Dodge has gone ahead and released the details on the upgrades to the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 in the Challenger and Charger R/T.
As we detailed in our original post, three different Scat Packs will be available that will allow customers to upgrade their cars without voiding the warranties. Starting with the $2,195 Stage 1 kit, owners will net an extra 18 horsepower and 18 pound-feet of torque thanks to a Mopar-branded cold-air intake, exhaust and ECU ref lash. Stage 1 is also the only package that could be installed outside of a Chrysler-authorized service center without voiding the warranty (a mechanically competent owner could even do it at home, we're told by Dodge). Stage 2 builds on the entry level Scat Pack, and adds performance camshaft kit, which boosts output over the stock 5.7 by up to 30 hp for $1,895. As with the Stage 1, the ECU is tweaked.
For those that want to go whole hog, they can add the Stage 3 for $4,995. The top-tier gets quite serious, adding CNC-ported cylinder heads, as well as high-flow headers and cats. Output over stock is 58 hp and 47 lb-ft of torque. Each kit comes with a pair of badges, just in case owners want a bit of visual flair.