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AOL Car and Truck of the Year, new GM pickups, Dodge Caliber all done

We record Episode #262 of the Autoblog Podcast tonight, and you can drop us your questions via our Q&A module below. Check out our discussion topics or chime in to help determine what else the crew chats about this evening. Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven't already done so, and if you want to take it all in live, tune in to our UStream (audio only) channel at 10:00 PM Eastern tonight.

Dodge has been wise in reviving old nameplates to inject some excitement into its contemporary model lineup. Recent products like the Challenger and Charger – both named after classics from the brand's past – have drummed up a considerable amount of enthusiasm where names like Stratus and Intrepid could not. But don't expect that formula to be applied to everything Dodge puts out.

Dodge has been wise in reviving old nameplates to inject some excitement into its contemporary model lineup. Recent products like the Challenger and Charger – both named after classics from the brand's past – have drummed up a considerable amount of enthusiasm where names like Stratus and Intrepid could not. But don't expect that formula to be applied to everything Dodge puts out.

Chrysler had a real hit on its hands (at least initially) when it launched the Neon in 1994. And though it was plagued by early quality issues, it actually had a waiting list to buy one when it first came out. The Caliber, however, has been less of a market success.

Alfa Romeo Guilietta – Click above for high-res image gallery

2010 Dodge Caliber – click above for high-res image gallery

2010 Dodge Caliber interior – Click above for high-res image gallery

According to Chrysler, several owners of 2007 model year Dodge Calibers have reported problems with sticky accelerator pedals, causing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to launch a full-on investigation. (This sounds familiar, doesn't it?) And because of the recent high-profile Toyota recall surrounding this very same problem, it only makes sense that NHTSA would seriously consider any sort of similar issue.

If ever there was a model in the Chrysler line up that needs updating, it's the Sebring. While the car was a perfectly capable competitor when it debuted way back in 1995, subsequent generations have left it as nothing more than rental-fleet fodder. But if a report from Automotive News is to be believed, that may change significantly when the next iteration of the sedan debuts in 2013. According to AN, Fiat has its eyes on producing a new mid-sized four-door in Turin, Italy just for the Chrysler

Chrysler, now led by Sergio Marchionne and the rest of the management crew brought in by Italian automaker Fiat, has big plans in place that will replace just about every single vehicle the American automaker currently offers. Judging from the purported list of new vehicle launches secured by the Mopar fanatics at Allpar, it would seem that new Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles will be hitting the market all through 2010 and well into 2011.

Alfa Romeo Giulietta – Click above for high-res image gallery

2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee - click above for high-res image gallery

2010 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty – Click above for high-res image gallery

Dodge Caliber SRT4 - Click above for high-res image gallery

According to a post on Caliber Forums, Dodge's hatchback is finally getting some love from the Pentastar in the form of a revised interior. Since it first went on sale in 2006, one of the biggest complaints from owners and reviewers alike has been the expansive black plastic surfaces covering every square inch of the car's dash, center console, armrest and door panels. Having spent plenty of time in a multitude of Calibers over the years, we can say with confidence that its interior has a decide

We're looking forward to seeing Raser's plug-in 100 mpge HUMMER at the SAE World Congress next week. Raser's partner in that project, FEV, will also bring along a Dodge Caliber to Cobo Hall next week, one that has had a powertrain transplant and now runs off of electrons as well as gasoline in a range-extended electric vehicle (ReEV) set-up. The concept powertrain was intended as an internal R&D project "to evaluate different options for the engine/generator unit, and the associated calibra

After a five-day shutdown due to a mechanical glitch at Chrysler's Belvidere stamping plant, the facility will again be able to resume building the Dodge Caliber, Jeep Compass, and Jeep Patriot. In the short term, Chrysler will keep the assembly facility running smoothly by outsourcing stamping to other nearby plants. The shutdown came only weeks before the Belvidere plant permanently drops one shift, which will result in the indefinite layoff of 1,000 workers. With a tough economy in which auto

Having learned from the sales bank debacle of the past, Chrysler is now throttling back production to draw down inventory levels. Sales of the PM/MK platform cars – Dodge Caliber and Jeep ComPatriot twins – are down roughly 23 percent compared to last year. Part of that is due to a move away from fleet sales, but whatever the cause, the 3,400 workers at the Belvidere assembly plant will get a two week vacation starting Monday. It's a great time of year to take a trip, enjoy some of t

We just posted about this Dodge Caliber SRT-4 a couple of weeks ago and now we have some live shots to go along with the details. Jalopnik found pics of one sitting on a city street for all the world to see. Looks a lot like the photos we've seen already, but seeing one in the wild brings the reality of imminent production to a point. Chunky and mean, we can't forget that this little wagon is packing 300 hp. When we talked about the chats with the SRT team on CaliberForums.com, we were reminded

You remember Binky, right? The cute little mythical creature who has a potty mouth when it comes to the Dodge Caliber? He's now travelled overseas and, with his language sanitized, has gained a following. Over there, anyone test driving (they call it trialing) a Caliber gets a Binky. Dodge ordered 5,000 Binky dolls and has already given away 3,000. A spokesman for Dodge said they are getting lots of requests from kids. And, believe it or not, searching for Binky on eBay turns up nothing relevant

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