Chrysler fired its biggest salvo yet in the CUV wars by officially unveiling the Dodge Journey in front of a throng of mildly interested in journalists. Truly, if you've seen one CUV, you've seen them all, and the Dodge Journey is all kinds of derivative. Coming from the automaker that brought us the Viper, Charger, Magnum and Challenger Concept in recent years, the Journey's design comes off as eminently safe. Perhaps Dodge is playing to the middle with this one, hoping to boost sales by appealing to the masses. What will sell the Journey are some of its clever interior storage solutions, including two bins in the floor directly behind the front seats, and more storage underneath the front passenger seat cushion. While the Journey could seat seven in a pinch thanks to its optional third row, it's obvious after having seen it in person that those venturing aft must be small and limber. What won't help the Journey is its powertrain lineup, which includes a 2.4L World Engine four-cylinder with unimpressive fuel economy, a 2.7L flex-fuel V6, and a 3.5L V6 that produces a meager 235 HP. The latter mill is mated to a six-speed automatic, but is still noticeably underpowered compared to other 3.5L V6 engines offered by its competitors while not delivering an appreciable gain in fuel economy to make up for it.
Europeans, however, can also choose 2.0L turbo diesel producing 140 HP and 229 ft-lbs. of torque, which is then mated to a trick dual-clutch six-speed automatic. Sigh... the grass sure is greener over here in Frankfurt, at least for Dodge Journey customers.
All-new Dodge Journey makes its World Premiere in Frankfurt
- An all-new "right-sized" crossover for the Dodge brand worldwide
- Journey blends the practicality of a minivan, the capability of an SUV and the overall efficiency of a passenger car
- Dodge shifts its global expansion into overdrive
Frankfurt, Germany – Dodge is putting more muscle behind the brand's expansion in volume markets outside North America with the world premiere of the all-new Dodge Journey at the 2007 International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt.
Dodge designers and engineers have answered the needs of the global passenger car market, as well as the needs of individual drivers, and delivered the all-new Dodge Journey: a global vehicle that meets life's changing demands by offering a unique combination of versatility and flexibility in a sporty, sexy package. This all-new vehicle takes the practicality of a minivan, the capability of a sport-utility vehicle and the overall efficiency of a passenger car and blends all the best attributes of each into an all-new "right-sized" crossover for the Dodge brand.
The Dodge Journey is built on the company's global D-segment platform and is designed to give customers the flexibility to do more in terms of seating people or storing gear. Journey is unmistakably Dodge, with powerful, muscular exterior styling cues and available 19-inch wheels and tyres. Journey also delivers a stylish, comfortable interior with unique features such as available integrated child booster seats and MyGIG™ cutting-edge multimedia infotainment system with optional navigation.
Clever, flexible seating and storage combinations include standard five-passenger seating with spacious cargo room, and available 5+2 seating for times when additional passengers are along on the journey. Spacious storage bins, hidden in the floor and under the front passenger seat cushion, combined with a variety of fuel-efficient and powerful petrol and diesel powertrain options, make Journey flexible, functional and fun-to-drive.
Safety also is at the top of mind for customers, and the Dodge Journey delivers with standard multi-stage front driver and passenger air bags, front-seat-mounted side air bags, three-row side-curtain air bags, standard four-wheel disc anti-lock brakes (ABS), standard Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), standard Electronic Roll Mitigation and an available ParkView™ Rear Backup Camera.
The all-new Dodge Journey will be available in global volume markets outside North America, in both left-hand and right-hand drive, starting in mid-2008.
For more information on the all-new Dodge Journey, please refer to the Dodge Journey press kit or visit the special website: www.dodgejourney.com
Dodge Expansion Goes Galactic
Dodge has shifted its global expansion into overdrive, and one could even say it has gone "galactic" with the debut of another new Dodge brand vehicle on the silver screen: the Fantasticar. In the film "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer" from 20th Century Fox, the vehicle of choice for the Fantastic Four superheroes is the one-of-a-kind Fantasticar, which can reach speeds of up to 885 km/h (550 mph) and an altitude of over 9,100 metres (30,000 feet). The Fantasticar also can separate into three sections. Each one has deployable wings and can maintain the same speed and performance as the entire craft... and yes, it has a HEMI®. A model of the Fantsticar is on display at the Frankfurt Motor Show outside of the Dodge stand.
With a U.S. market share of 6 per cent, Dodge is the best-selling brand for Chrysler and the fifth-largest nameplate in the U.S. automotive market. In 2006, Dodge sold more than 1.3 million (1,345,517) vehicles in the global market. The Dodge global portfolio includes a range of cars, trucks, minivans and sport-utility vehicles.
The expansion of the Dodge brand in markets outside North America has helped to raise its year-over-year international sales 160 per cent to 29,859 units sold in 2007 through July. Dodge Viper first teased the brand, and the Dodge Caliber spearheaded the brand's expansion in 2006. They are followed by the Dodge Nitro and Avenger in 2007 and high-performance Caliber SRT4 in 2008.
By adding the Dodge brand to its international portfolio, Chrysler aims to achieve 1.4 per cent market share in Western Europe by 2009 – more than doubling the Chrysler share compared to 2005. With continued strong sales, Dodge could account for approximately 30 per cent of Chrysler total sales outside North America by the end of 2009.