Chrysler showed off 66 new models to its dealers earlier this week in Las Vegas, and the information leaks are quickly becoming more of a deluge. Not only will the company revamp most of its model lineup in the next two years, it will also add new models, like an SRT Viper Roadster, an all-electric Fiat 500, and finally bring some Alfa Romeos to our shores.
Yesterday, we learned all about the upcoming 2014 Chrysler 200, which hopes to steal customers away from the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord with a luxurious interior and 38 mpg from a four-cylinder paired with a nine-speed automatic. Today, the floodgates have opened, and most exciting is the addition of a second SRT Viper model: a convertible. Our sources tell us that SRT has a Viper Roadster ready to go, although our source wasn’t able to elaborate on when we would see the drop-top supercar. Expect to see the same 640-hp 8.4-liter V-10 engine from the coupe sending power rearward through a six-speed manual transmission.
Chrysler also showed off two Alfa Romeo models that are bound for our shores. The Detroit Free Press quoted one dealer as saying that the Alfas “blew me away” and “evoked passion.” One of those two cars is the all-new Giulia sedan, which will compete with the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. As we’ve reported, the Giulia suffered a big blow when Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne rejected the initial design and sent the program team back to the drawing board. Expect the Giulia to share its platform and powertrains – including the nine-speed automatic – with the 2014 Chrysler 200. If all goes according to plan, the Giulia should debut sometime in 2014.
None of the dealers present disclosed what the second Alfa Romeo model was, but our guess would be that it was a crossover based on the next-generation Jeep Patriot, which we’ve also reported as due in 2014. Why not the production version of the sexy 4C coupe? According to Automotive News, the 4C has mysteriously fallen off Alfa’s U.S. launch schedule. However, we have now learned that U.S.-market Alfas will be sold only through the 178 Fiat dealers peppered across the country.
Speaking of Fiat, dealers finally got a look at the next 500 variant set to be revealed: the 500 Electric. Between now and the end of next year, Fiat’s American lineup will double: by the close of 2013 buyers will be able to pick from the regular 500 hatch, 500C convertible, sportier 500 Turbo, hot 500 Abarth, larger 500L, eco-friendly 500 Electric, and the all-wheel drive 500X crossover.
On the Jeep front, we already knew the brand is reviving the Grand Wagoneer moniker for a follow up to the unloved Commander. Due next year as a 2014 model, the Grand Wagoneer will replace the Durango as Chrysler’s only three-row SUV. Like the Durango, it will ride on a stretched version of the Grand Cherokee’s platform, and built on the same Detroit assembly line.
The Grand Cherokee will receive a minor facelift for 2014 that includes revised from and rear fascias, an upgraded interior with Chrysler’s eight-inch touchscreen Uconnect system, the same eight-speed automatic from the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger, and a 3.0-liter diesel engine for the U.S. market. Based on the same CUSW platform as the Dodge Dart, the next-generation Liberty will wear a design “as distinctive as the Range Rover Evoque,” according to the Freep, and use the new nine-speed along with a 3.2-liter version of the Pentastar V-6 seen elsewhere in the Chrysler lineup.