Chrysler doesn't really have anything in the way of all-new vehicles for the 2010 model year as it works out how to get Fiat derived cars onto American roads as soon as possible. That doesn't mean the engineers and designers in Auburn Hills have been sitting on their hands, however. They have attacked at least one major sore point by giving the Caliber a much-needed interior makeover. We haven't seen it in person yet, but at least in these photos it certainly looks much better than the one it replaces. We'll have to wait to get our hands on for final judgment.
The inside isn't the only thing that changes. Under the hood, European Caliber buyers will be able to opt for a new 2.2-liter diesel engine with 163 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. That version gets a combined mileage rating of 40.6 mpg (U.S.). Back here in the home country, we are still stuck with the much unloved 2.0- and 2.4-liter gasoline World engines.
Come on, Chrysler give Americans a chance at an affordable diesel – and not just in the (overpriced) Jeep Grand Cherokee. The Caliber will be on the Chrysler/Fiat stand in Frankfurt later this month – in the meantime, check out the press release after the jump and our high-res gallery below.
New Dodge Caliber - Bold Five-door Hatchback With All-new Interior and Refined Diesel Engine for International Markets
* All-new 2.2-liter Common-rail Diesel (CRD) engine delivers 16 percent more power and 3 percent more torque, while reducing fuel consumption by 5 percent and CO2 emissions by 3 percent
* All-new interior design features a cleaner, more refined design theme, highlighted by detailed chromed accents, soft-touch premium materials and additional storage spaces
* Sport Appearance package includes new 18-inch polished aluminum wheels
* Versatile interior featuring innovative Uconnect™ Navigation, MusicGate Power™ articulating liftgate speakers and Chill Zone™ cooled-beverage storage bin
Auburn Hills, Mich., Sep 1, 2009 - Dodge Caliber is a five-door C-segment hatchback that combines a sporty coupe-like profile with the strength, stance and functionality of an SUV. It features an all-new refined interior and Common-rail Diesel (CRD) engine to satisfy the needs of discerning international customers.
This all-new Euro V capable engine is paired to a six-speed manual transmission and produces 120 kW (163 hp DIN) and 320 N•m (236 lb.-ft.), delivering 16 percent more power, 3 percent more torque and 25 percent more towing capability (1500 kg) compared with the previous diesel engine. Forged steel connecting rods, aluminum head and pistons, and fourth-generation direct-injection system provide durability, weight reduction and performance. Passenger refinement also improves as dual balance shafts and sound-deadening materials reduce the diesel engine's vibration and harshness by 25 percent compared with the previous Dodge Caliber CRD.
Two World Engine offerings (2.0- and 2.4-liter) deliver power and refinement thanks to dual Variable-valve Timing (VVT) and an intake manifold design with flow control valves. Combined, these features produce more power, better fuel economy and a smoother, quieter operation than engines without them. The 2.0-liter World Engine replaces the 1.8-liter engine, delivering 4 percent more power (115 kW /156 hp DIN) and 13 percent more torque (190 N•m / 140 lb.-ft.). For even greater performance, the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine delivers 125 kW (170 hp DIN) and 220 N•m (162 lb.-ft.) of torque.
The new Dodge Caliber debuts at the 2009 International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, featuring an all-new refined interior with a more harmonious design aesthetic executed with premium materials and craftsmanship. An all-new designed instrument panel features a more integrated look and includes additional cubby space, center storage bin and larger climate controls. Bright satin silver accents add contrast to Dodge Caliber's interior design, while chromed accents brighten heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) vents, shift bezel, door handles and cluster rings. New door-trim panels and center console with armrest split-lid feature padded soft-touch materials for improved passenger comfort.
In addition, the Dodge Caliber offers an array of unique interior features in its segment, including Chill Zone™ cooled-beverage storage bin, Uconnect™ Navigation with voice commands, iPod® Control, rechargeable LED flashlight and an available MusicGate Power™ Sound Group, which includes two articulating speakers packaged in the liftgate that swing down for tailgating and other activities.
"The Dodge Caliber is not your typical C-segment car. When we launched the Dodge Caliber only a few years ago, its bold style made a clear statement on the European roads, allowing owners to be active, stand out and do more," said Mike Accavitti, President and Chief Executive Officer - Dodge Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. "Now paired with an all-new turbo-diesel engine that offers better fuel consumption and performance and an improved interior full of value and customer-friendly features, the Dodge Caliber continues to offer our European clients unique Dodge attitude combined with one of the best value proposition in the segment."
The Dodge Caliber was the top-selling Chrysler Group LLC vehicle outside North America in 2008.
DODGE CALIBER AT A GLANCE
High value, bold styling in an efficient two-box design
* Dodge Caliber delivers high value, bold styling, comfort and the storage flexibility needed for active lifestyles
* All-new interior design offers versatility, comfort and convenience
* New organically-shaped instrument panel, door-trim panels and center console features chromed accents on HVAC vents, shift bezel, instrument panel, door spears and cluster rings
* Soft-touch padded door armrest and center console with split lid provide added storage space
* New automatic climate control system
* MusicGate Power™ Sound System includes a nine-speaker Boston Acoustics premium sound system with rear articulating speakers
* Chill Zone storage bin provides ability to chill beverages on a long trip
* LED illumination includes cup holder rings and removable and rechargeable LED cargo light
* Versatile seating provides quick and convenient cargo space with fold-flat, front-passenger seat and 60/40 split, fold-flat rear seats
* Reclining seatbacks provide additional rear seat comfort
All-new 2.2-liter Common-rail Diesel (CRD) engine offers greater refinement, more power and capability
* New 2.2-liter CRD engine features 16 percent more power (120 kW / 163 hp DIN) and 5 percent improvement in fuel consumption (5.8 L/100 km compared to 6.1 L/100 km)
* Improvement in CO2 emissions by 3 percent (154 g/km compared to 159 g/km)
* Towing increased by 25 percent allows for trailer mass as great as 1500kg (braked)
* Torque improvement by 3 percent (320 N•m / 236 lb.-ft.) compared to the previous generation Dodge Caliber diesel
* Dual balance shafts, optimized diesel calibration and sound-deadening materials reduce diesel vibration and improve refinement by 25 percent
* Forged steel connecting rods, aluminum head and pistons provide durability and reduction in weight
* Euro 5 emission compliance through advanced diesel technology:
o Cooled Exhaust-gas Recirculation (EGR) with switchable bypass
o Fourth-generation direct injection with common-rail pressurized at 1800 bar
o Intake module with integrated swirl control valves
o Water pump and piston cooling are switchable for improved thermal management
o Diesel-particulate Filter (DPF)
* Uconnect™ Navigation
* Uconnect Multimedia
* Uconnect Phone
* iPod® Control
* MusicGate Power™ with nine Boston Acoustics speakers includes subwoofer and two articulating speakers
* Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC)
C-segment size, versatility and flexibility of larger vehicles
* Dodge Caliber appeals to buyers looking for a C-segment hatchback that stands out from the crowd and gives them the flexibility to do more in terms of seating friends and storing gear
* Dodge Caliber is a five-door vehicle that combines a sporty coupe-like profile with the strength, stance and functionality of an SUV
* The Dodge Caliber's unconventional two-box design provides space-efficient packaging with great proportions, while offering high value
* Dodge Caliber's high H-point gives drivers a command-of-the-road seating position
Safety and security features include:
* Seat-mounted (thorax) side air bags
* First- and second-row side-curtain air bags
* Anti-lock Brake System (ABS)
* Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Brake Assist and all-speed traction control
* Driver and front-passenger active head restraints
* Uconnect Phone
* Uconnect Navigation with voice commands
* Tire-pressure Monitoring (TPM)