• Jun 21, 2007

Click above to view more high-resolution images from the Chrysler proving grounds

It isn't just any day when you get to drive dozens of different vehicles that aren't even on sale yet. Chrysler made today just such a day at its Chelsea, MI proving grounds, as the Pentastar rolled out its entire 2008 lineup for automotive journalists to inspect and drive. We were able to drive everything except the 600-hp Viper for 2008 and the new Dodge and Chrysler minivans, which was a bit of a downer, but not nearly enough to spoil an otherwise fun day.

The driving route lined up for us included artificial road hazards, hairpin turns, and a few straightaways that demonstrated just how impressive the 6.1L Hemi SRT engine really is. Other than the aforementioned Viper and minivans, Chrysler left the keys in literally everything else, from the SRT 300C to the Sprinter van and Ram 3500 flat-bed. AutoblogGreen was also on hand to drive Chrysler's new two-mode hybrid system equipped with a Hemi engine in the Aspen SUV, and we'll tell you just how that went as soon as the embargoes are lifted (or as soon as someone else opens the floodgates.)

One of the most popular events of the day was an off-road course where we could see just how capable the Jeep lineup really is. Even the JT concept was on-hand for the rough housing, and the end result was some very dirty metal and a few dinged-up quarter-panels.

We'll be bringing you more posts from this event throughout the day today and tomorrow, but for now you can check out some high-res pics in the gallery below.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 15 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Man...if I could afford it...(and getting less than 20mpg) that Magnum SRT-8 would be mine

      the new front end is a huge improvement over last year


      was the 08 Dakota available? I've seen a few running around the Detroit area, the new front end is much better looking as well...I was never a fan of the wide headlights...
      • 7 Years Ago
      Any chance that they will finally put a V8 in the new Wrangler? It desperately needs one. The minivan V6 just doesn't cut it.

      Bruce
      • 7 Years Ago
      "The TJ was the last generation (2 doors). The current generation is the KJ, with the Unlimited being the one with the additional doors. As for the "2 doors too many" comment, it would help your credibility to display some prior knowledge of the brand before berating it."

      I think you mean the current model is a JK. I am sure that is what you meant right? You do have prior knowledge of the brand don't you?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Like the Focus, I'm the lone gun here. I like the Caliber and the Compass. I like traveling to the San Bernardino Mountains, Lake Tahoe, and Yosemite, but I don't need a 4x4 SUV. A small AWD hatchback does just fine. The interiors are cheap and the mileage isn't great; for the prices they're going for now, they're a bargain! If Dodge brings back a V-8 to the Dakota, or makes a V-8 AWD Avenger, I know people who might jump on it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      How did Daimler manage to sell these guys off?
        • 7 Years Ago
        they made sure to run them into the ground first so they could take the huge benefits of selling at a loss. Watch for Chrysler Corp. to rise like a Phoenix and make all you nay sayers choke on your words
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why do all the Dodge products have to look like freakin' trucks?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Why do all pontiacs have to have kidney grills, why do all fords have to have chrome grills, why do all chevy's have to have wide mouth bass grills


        every company has their unique character, big bold and "truck like" if you will, is theres, seems to be working better than "hey lets just copy last years design" of 5 years ago...
      • 7 Years Ago
      I spy an SRT-4...can't wait to read about that.
      • 7 Years Ago
      With all these beautiful cars why exactly do people buy Japanese cars? They need to be repaired just as often and Japanese cars are not very appealing.

      The Dodge Viper looks incredible. Coupe looks nicer then the convertible. I would buy the convertible with the coupe red and coupe rims. Why are they not on the convertible? Is the convertible FINALLY going to be electrical? Or do you still have to look stupid getting out of the car to put the roof up and down still?

      The Jeeps look nice. Why again is the "TJ" called a wrangler now, and with 2 doors too many? Why exactly did they make the Compass and then the Patriot? One or the other would have been fine. *Cough* Patriot *Cough*. Oh excuse me, where was I? *Cough* Keep the Patriot *Cough*.

      Chrysler, now that the Germans have gone home and taken the Crossfire. Please make the Dodge Razor, Daemon or Slingshot! Either one of the 3 will be fine! (Autoblog readers look them up!) And also produce the 2012 Chrysler Firepower with 2 Hemi engines in it. The Firepower will not replace the Viper since it has different engines and a different transmission. I mean not manual and not DSG/SMG/Paddle Shift. Think the transmission that is in every other American car, and this time it won't be a draw back...

      Minivan and SUV's. I will never buy one so need to ever look.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Dude I was being sarcastic! It would help your credibility to see I was writing a sarcastic comment on that product.

        Same as the New Dodge Charger. Why is it called a Charger? Why does it have 4 doors? WHY does it have an Automatic Transmission? WHY?

        The CJ, YJ, TJ, name tradition should have continued at least in Canada where it was not called the Wrangler. The KJ would have been a much better name. Instead of saying "I drive a Wrangler", it would be better to say "I drive a Jeep". Around the world any SUV is called a "Jeep".

        The concept compass was fine but 'Damn'ler simply made a Mitsubishi-Dodge Calibre into a Jeep and used the Compass concept name. The Patriot is much nicer.

        And the Compass is popular and that is what is wrong with the Compass. They should keep it around for 10 years with proper sales to show that Jeep did not make a mistake! Unfortunately the Jeep Commander is history after 2009 as is my understanding. Maybe releasing a full-size truck during an Oil spike was not that smart.
        • 7 Years Ago
        "Yeah, it's got two hemis."
        • 7 Years Ago
        Two DIFFERNT Hemi Engines, to be installed in the car. First the Base model would get the 5.7 Litre and the SRT model would get the 6.1 Litre, both with automatic transmission. All the while the Dodge Viper would get the 8+ Litre engine.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Was that a squared off Jeep Liberty in the background behind the Viper? yeeacchh... It'll take a while to get used to that! The minivan looks better than I thought it would.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Did this turn into a massive brawl between the competing publications, like in Anchorman? Did Jamie Kitman kill anyone with a trident? Were you wearing Sex Panther by Odeon?
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