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Chrysler reveals first look at 2005 Detroit show concepts

Chrysler will likely turn up at the 2005 Detroit show with more concepts up its sleeve, but for now it has revealed two design studies that could pave the way for the return of a Jeep pickup truck and a Viper-based Corvette fighter.

The Jeep Gladiator marks the resurrection of a Jeep pickup nameplate not heard from since the 1960s, and a body-style absent from the company’s lineup since the death of the ’80s-era Comanche. Designed by Mark Moushegian, the Gladiator is built on a unique platform but takes the simple style trail to strongly resemble the production Renegade. Senior vice president for design Trevor Creed says to expect “a lot in a short time” from Jeep’s corner of the DaimlerChrysler universe, and while DC officials deny the Gladiator is intended for production (natch), Creed’s statement, along with the development of a new platform and the Gladiator’s subdued familial cues, imply a production version might very well be on the cards.

The Gladiator draws power from a 163-hp version of the 2.8-liter common rail turbo-diesel I4 engine now available in the Liberty, with torque rated at a strong 295-lb-ft. Part-time four-wheel-drive is transferred to the wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox. Other trick features include a rear-seat access hatch on the driver’s side, a full passenger-side rear door, drop-down rear glass and an expandable cargo bed.

In normal configuration, the bed measures five-and-a-half feet long; with a simple manual process, the rear seat slides beneath the bed and the entire rear bulkhead slides forward along rails into the cab to grow the bed to eight feet. The Gladiator also features a canvas top similar to the Renegade’s, which may be folded back partially for a sun-roof effect, or removed completely.

The second concept, for now dubbed Firepower (Chrysler does not own the name and will need a new one prior to Detroit), is based on the V10 Viper’s architecture but uses the 6.1-liter, 425 hp, 420-lb-ft Hemi V8 that will see first light in the forthcoming 300C SRT-8. Again, officials say there are no production plans, but envision the car, which is reminiscent of Ford’s Shelby GR-1 concept, occupying the space between the Crossfire and (in theory) the ME412 in Chrysler’s performance portfolio.

Though the car is Viper-based—and Creed referenced Chevrolet’s Corvette as a key competitor (again, in theory)—the designers envision “Firepower” as more grand tourer than outright sports car; hence the softened suspension and five-speed automatic transmission. Brakes are 14-inch Brembos at all four corners, and the huge rubber measures 275/35 R19 up front, 335/30 R20 in back. Engineers estimate the car is capable of bolting from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds or less, and a 185 mph top speed.

Whether either car ever meets a production line, Chrysler has produced two concepts that would fill obvious holes in both Jeep’s and its own product lineup; don’t be surprised to see executives keeping careful watch on public reaction at Detroit in January.



A Hemi powered Viper with an automatic? /images/graemlins/down
 

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Focus!
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That's fucking gay; I hope they don't produce that car, it positively nutswings the GR-1 and won't be practical or attractive after the bean-counters and safety zealots get a hold of it.
 

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Don't like it much. I would rather see them put the money into a new viper.


I know Dodge(or DC) is looking for something between the SRT-4 and the SRT-10 vipers. For a long time Dodge hasn't had anything to compair to the Mustang/350Z/S2000 crowd. A entry level sports car (not including sport compacts.)

Maybe with the comming of the new charger (a srt-8 version maybe) would fit the bill. And yes that Charger NEEDS TO BE A FREAKING 2 DOOR!
 

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is the charger STILL a four door?

if so, thats a fucking disgrace. and prolly a HEMI to go with it...LMAO a HEMI 4 door charger....yeah fucking brilliant DC, fucking brilliant. way to listen to the public and what they want.....tools

why dont they put a shaker hood on it too.
 

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i agre with above statement, gotta work on saving the viper first the new coupe is a big letdown and sure as hell wont be leading the pack in total performance
 

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not sure if I'm the only one that feels this way, but it seems the lack of performance is what's $hity about this Firepower... the visual is pretty mean if you had something to back it up with.... it's Chrysler's C6 Vette IMO... if that thing had some nuts I would honestly like it... it's a buff guy with a little pecker otherwise.
 
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