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Dodge - Wikipedia

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At the same time, Dodge also introduced its first V8 engine — the Red Ram Hemi, a smaller version of the original design of the famed Hemi. The new bodies were smaller and based on the Plymouth. Forsales dropped, the stubby styling not going over well with the public. With steadily upgraded styling and ever-stronger engines every year throughDodge found a ready market for its products as America discovered the joys of freeway travel.

This situation improved when Dodge introduced a new line of Dodges called the Dart to do battle against Ford, Chevrolet and Plymouth. The result was that Dodge sales in the middle price class collapsed.

Ram Pickup

Special and regional models were sold as well, including the LaFemme a white and orchid-trimmed hardtop marketed toward women and the Texan, a gold-accented Dodge sold in the Lone Star State.

Both PowerFlite and TorqueFlite were controlled by mechanical push-buttons until Though it was not initially successful, the Dart range that succeeded the Lancer in would prove to be one of the division's top sellers for many years.

Chrysler did make an ill-advised move to downsize the Dodge and Plymouth full-size lines forwhich resulted in a loss of sales. However, they turned this around in by turning those former full-sizes into "new" mid-size models; Dodge revived the Coronet nameplate in this way and later added a sporty fastback version called the Charger that became both a sales leader and a winner on the NASCAR circuit.

Not only did this style dominate the racetrack for 4 full years, its aerodynamic improvements forever changed the face of NASCAR racing. Full-size models evolved gradually during this time. After Dodge dealers complained about not having a true full-size car in the fall ofthe Custom was hurried into production. The Custom used the Chrysler Newport body with the Dodge front end and interior. The continued intothe year a completely new full-size body was put into production, the Polara entered the medium price class and the Monaco was added as the top series.

The Polara and Monaco were changed mostly in appearance for the next ten years or so. Unique " fuselage " styling was employed for through and then was toned down again for the to models. The pinnacle of this effort was the introduction of the Challenger sports coupe and convertible Dodge's entry into the "pony car" class inwhich offered everything from mild economy engines up to the race-ready Hemi V8 in the same package.

In an effort to reach every segment of the market, Dodge even reached a hand across the Pacific to its partner, Mitsubishi Motorsand marketed their subcompact as the Colt to compete with the AMC GremlinChevrolet Vegaand Ford Pinto.

Chrysler would over the years come to rely heavily on their relationship with Mitsubishi.

Dodge Durango - Wikipedia

It was inexpensive, but with its slant-six engine or V8the Demon could not achieve the fuel economy of the four-cylinder Colt. The Demon sold in much fewer numbers than the Duster, so it is considered more collectible today, especially the V8 versions.

Times of crisis[ edit ] Dodge Diplomat sedan The oil crisis caused significant changes at Dodge, as well as Chrysler as a whole. Except for the Colt and Slant Six models of the Dart, Dodge's lineup was quickly seen as extremely inefficient. In fairness, this was true of most American automakers at the time, but Chrysler was also not in the best financial shape to do anything about it. Consequently, while General Motors and Ford were quick to begin downsizing their largest cars, Chrysler and Dodge moved more slowly out of necessity.

At the very least, Chrysler was able to use some of its other resources. Borrowing the recently introduced Chrysler Horizon from their European divisionDodge was able to get its new Omni subcompact on the market fairly quickly. At the same time, they increased the number of models imported from Japanese partner Mitsubishi starting in The Dart was replaced by a new Aspen forand Coronet and Charger were effectively replaced by the Diplomat forwhich was actually a fancier Aspen.

While the Aspen got accolades for styling and handling, build quality was problematic, sullying the car's reputation at the time when sales were desperately needed.

Meanwhile, the huge Monaco Royal Monaco beginning in when the mid-sized Coronet was renamed "Monaco" models hung around throughlosing sales every year, until finally being replaced by the St. Regis for following a one-year absence from the big car market. In a reversal of what happened forthe St. Regis was an upsized Coronet.

Everything came to a head in when Chrysler's new chairman, Lee Iacoccarequested and received federal loan guarantees from the United States Congress in an effort to save the company from having to file bankruptcy.

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This basic and durable front-wheel drive platform spawned a whole range of new models at Dodge during the s, including the groundbreaking Dodge Caravan. The Caravan not only helped save Chrysler as a serious high-volume American automaker, but also spawned an entirely new market segment that remains popular today: The Dodge Spirit sedan was well received in numerous markets worldwide.

The Omni remained in the line through Dodge-branded Mitsubishi vehicles were phased out by except for the Dodge Stealth running throughthough Mitsubishi-made engines and electrical components were still widely used in American domestic Chrysler products.

InDodge moved their performance orientation forward substantially with the Viperwhich featured an aluminum V10 engine and composite sports roadster body. This was the first step in what was marketed as "The New Dodge", which was an aggressive advertising campaign with a litany of new models, with television ads narrated by Edward Herrmann that pointed out the innovations in the vehicles and challenged their competitors.

Later that year, was the introduction of new Intrepid sedan, totally different from its boxy Dynasty predecessor and, inthe new second generation Dodge Ram pickup was introduced with bold styling that departed radically from the boxy designs of trucks made by the Big Three for two decades prior.

The Intrepid used what Chrysler called " cab forward " styling, with the wheels pushed out to the corners of the chassis for maximum passenger space. They followed up on this idea in a smaller scale with the Neon and Stratus. The Neon featured a clever marketing campaign and good performance. Rationalizing Chrysler's broad lineup was a priority, and Dodge's sister brand Plymouth was withdrawn from the market.

With this move, Dodge became DaimlerChrysler's low-price division as well as its performance division.

  • Dodge Durango

The Intrepid, Stratus, and Neon updates of the to timeframe were largely complete before Daimler's presence, and Dodge's first experience of any platform sharing with the German side of the company was the Magnum station wagonintroduced as a replacement for the Intrepid. Featuring Chrysler's first mainstream rear-wheel drive platform since the s and a revival of the Hemi V8 engine. The Charger was launched in on the same platform. Further cost savings were explored in the form of an extensive platform-sharing arrangement with Mitsubishi, which spawned the Caliber subcompact as a replacement for the Neon, and the Avenger sedan.

The rear-drive chassis was then used in early to build a new Challengerwith styling reminiscent of the original Challenger. Like its predecessor, the new Challenger coupe was available with a powerful V8 engine base models featured a V6. Soon after, the housing bubble began to collapse the American market, and on May 1,Chrysler and GM filed for bankruptcy on the same day.

They fully paid back the loan with interest to the U. Government on May 24,a full five years early. The combined company will be based in London. It was the first new Dodge model produced under FCA. On May 6,FCA announced a major restructuring, in which Dodge would focus solely on performance vehicles and will be positioned between Chrysler which is moving downmarket into mainstream vehicles and a relaunched Alfa Romeo making its return to North America after a year absence in the FCA lineup.

As part of the restructuring, Dodge will discontinue the Dodge Grand Caravan after 32 years and Dodge Avenger without replacements, while launching a sporty subcompact below the Dart in Additionally, while the Ram Trucks division will remain separate although the Dodge Durango will remain in production as a Dodgethe SRT division was merged back into Dodge. Over the decades, Dodge has become well known for its passenger car output, along with its many truck models, but after almost a century of manufacturing these vehicles, a decision was made to spin off Dodge's trucks into a separate Ram brand, based on the popularity of their top-selling truck, the Dodge Ram.

Ram trucks will always and forever be Dodges. We need to continue to market as Ram so Dodge can have a different brand identity: That will not fit the campaign for truck buyers. The two should have distinct themes.

For the first few years, these were based largely on the existing passenger cars, but eventually gained their own chassis and body designs as the market matured.

Light- and medium-duty models were offered first, then a heavy-duty range was added during the s and s. The Warren Truck Assembly plant in Michigan, just north of Detroit, was opened inand Dodge trucks have been made there ever since.

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Following World War II and the successful application of four-wheel drive to the truck line, Dodge introduced a civilian version that it called the Power Wagon. At first based almost exactly on the military-type design, variants of the standard truck line were eventually given 4WD and the same "Power Wagon" name. Dodge was among the first to introduce car-like features to its trucks, adding the plush Adventurer package during the s and offering sedan-like space in its Club Cab bodies of the s.

Declining sales and increased competition during the s eventually forced the company to drop its medium- and heavy-duty models, an arena the company has only recently begun to reenter. Dodge introduced what they called the "Adult Toys" line to boost its truck sales in the late s, starting off with the limited edition Lil' Red Express pickup featuring, a c.

Later came the more widely available Warlock. As part of a general decline in the commercial vehicle field during the s, Dodge eliminated their LCF Series heavy-duty trucks inalong with the Bighorn and medium-duty D-Series trucks, and affiliated S Series school buses were dropped in On the other hand, Dodge produced several thousand pickups for the United States Military under the CUCV program from the late s into the early s. Two things helped to revitalize Dodge's fortunes during this time.

One was the introduction of Cummins ' powerful and reliable B Series turbo- diesel engine as an option for This innovation raised Dodge's profile among consumers who needed power for towing or large loads. The second was a class-exclusive V8 engine option for the mid-sized Dakota pickup. Dodge introduced the Ram's all-new "big-rig" styling treatment for Besides its instantly polarizing looks, exposure was also gained by usage of the new truck on the hit TV show Walker, Texas Ranger starring Chuck Norris.

The new Ram also featured a totally new interior with a console box big enough to hold a laptop computer, and ventilation and radio controls that were designed to be easily used even with gloves on. A V10 engine derived from that used in the Viper sports car was also new, and the previously offered Cummins turbodiesel remained available.

The smaller Dakota was redesigned for using the big rig styling, thus giving Dodge trucks a definitive "face" that set them apart from the competition. The Ram was redesigned again forand the Dakota inand was basically an evolution of the original, but adding the Hemi V8 engine to the list of available options, due to the revival of the legendary Chrysler Hemi V8 engine. New medium duty chassis cab models were introduced for with standard Cummins turbodiesel power as a way of gradually getting Dodge back into the business truck market again.

Ram Pickup - Wikipedia

For a time during the s, Dodge imported a line of small pickups from Mitsubishi, known as the D50, or later the Ram 50 and were carried on as a stopgap until the Dakota's sales eventually made the imported trucks irrelevant. Reversing the role, Mitsubishi has more recently purchased Dakota pickups from Dodge and restyled them into their own Raider line for sale in North America. Vans[ edit ] Dodge had offered panel delivery models for many years since its founding, but their first purpose-built van model arrived for with the compact A Series.

As the market evolved, Dodge realized that a bigger and stronger van line would be needed in the future, and thus the B Series was introduced forand offered both car-like comfort in its Sportsman passenger line or expansive room for gear and materials in its Tradesman cargo line.

A chassis cab version was also offered for use with bigger cargo boxes or flatbeds. The Ram model designation was dropped and these models folded back into the range fordue to the introduction and sales success of the Dodge Dakota pickup. Additionally, the instrument cluster was slightly revised; the ammeter was replaced by a voltmeter while maintaining the 3-pod arrangement of the speedometer and gauges. Also inDodge reintroduced the Club Cab, equipped with fold-out jump seats for the models.

Entry was made through the passenger or driver's doors, as there were no rear doors for this configuration. Part of this was due to the dated cab and chassis design which had been in production sincethere was no powerful diesel option untiland there was no big-block gas V8 option.

Additionally, the interior had been given few updates since Additionally, Dodge introduced a new overdrive automatic transmission for reduced fuel consumption. This light-duty transmission was designated the A, and was offered with the 3. The A automatic saw continued use for some 5. The grille was redesigned for but kept the large rectangular headlamps and crossbar appearance.

The engines were substantially upgraded for 3. These newly-revised engines were marketed under the "Magnum" name.

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A heavy-duty automatic transmission with overdrive called the A was offered with the 5. As part of Chrysler's overhaul of corporate transmission nomenclature, the A and A were redesignated 42RH and 46RH, respectively, in The initial "4" signified a 4-speed transmission, the second digit identified the transmission's relative torque capacity, the letter "R" in the third position denoted a rear-wheel-drive transmission, and the final letter "H" signified hydraulic shift control.

The Cummins was coupled with a heavier-duty version of the A automatic or a 5-speed manual transmission and is available on and pickups and pickup-based chassis-cab trucks.

This diesel engine option was different from the optional diesels in Ford and GM trucks. The Cummins features direct injection, whereas the Ford and GM diesels feature indirect injection ; this also means that the Cummins does not have to rely on glowplugs. Additionally, the Cummins is turbochargedwhile the 6.