2015 Dodge ChallengerThe onslaught of news from Fiat Chrysler's layout of five-year plans continued with Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis this morning, including the unexpected announcement that SRT was coming back into the fold.

After just a few years existing as an independent entity within the Fiat Chrysler universe, an unceremonious press release hit in conjunction with today's lineup of announcements, saying "the SRT family of vehicles will be consolidated under the Dodge brand." Group CEO Sergio Marchionne thanked SRT headman Ralph Gilles for his dedication to the high-performance wing, calling out is efforts in expanding the vehicle lineup and including more customized models. He did not reference disappointing SRT Viper sales today, but we sense there's a bit of subtext.

With the SRT reunion at Dodge, it's appropriate that some of the most exciting product announcements for the next five years have to do with upcoming performance products. First out of the gate will be a refresh for that flagging Viper in 2015, which comes as little surprise.

Dodge Dart will see a refresh in 2016, and will finally get the SRT treatment at the end of that year, as well. Details are still forthcoming, but we do know that the Dart SRT will have a turbocharged engine (shocking, we know) and that it will use an all-wheel-drive powertrain.

2016 will also see an all-new Dodge Journey, which is fairly expected. That Journey will be turned into something rip-roaring by SRT in 2017, which is something that we didn't see coming. 2017 is also the year that the Dodge Durango will get its mid-cycle refresh.

It's 2018 that is, by far, the biggest line item on the Dodge five-year plan, however. The brand will bring forth a B-segment sedan and hatchback that is yet unnanmed, while also debuting an all new Challenger and Charger, both in July. At the end of the year (December), Charger and Challenger will get SRT iterations. It's likely that both will get the supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V8, codenamed "Hellcat," at their hearts.

Wrapping up Dodge's big day, we're told that Avenger will be killed off this year, and, rather shockingly, that Grand Caravan, the original minivan, will follow it to the grave in 2016. With a target sales figure of 600k units for 2018 (roughly what the brand is doing now), we expect the minivan death is simply part of the larger plant to round out the performance cred of Dodge, overall.
Show full PR text
Chrysler Group Announces Leadership Changes
May 6, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - In conjunction with the outlined plans for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), Chrysler Group LLC today announced that the SRT family of vehicles will be consolidated under the Dodge brand. Tim Kuniskis will lead this effort as he continues his role as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Dodge Brand and head of the Company's Fleet Operations. Ralph Gilles continues as the Senior Vice President of Product Design and President and CEO of Motorsports. The move is effective immediately.

"I want to thank Ralph for his dedication to the SRT brand," said Sergio Marchionne, Chairman and CEO, Chrysler Group LLC. "Under Ralph's leadership, the SRT brand expanded its vehicle lineup to include more highly customized models and received numerous automotive awards and distinctions."

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Black Knight
      • 1 Year Ago
      At least this puts all the "Dodge is dead" talk to rest. Glad to see the Viper being a Dodge again, it should have been anyway. SRT never should have been it's own brand. I can't wait to see all the new and refreshed vehicles.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Glad they folded SRT back into Dodge. Most people say "Dodge Viper" anyway.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Kind of sad for me to see the name Caravan go away. Our family owned a Chrysler Dodge dealership for 32 years and one of my early jobs was to check in the new vehicles. I still remember our first Caravan coming in. It was a gray 2.2 4cyl SE with no sunscreen glass.
      • 1 Year Ago
      They will live to regret the day they killed off Grand Caravan without any meaningful minivan replacement. The Caravan and Grand Caravan have been the main product volume for Dodge even when just about everything else they had were lackluster both in sales and substance. If Toyota and Honda can make their minivans mainstream why can't Dodge keep what they already have? Chrysler minivans are overpriced and overbloated versions of the Grand Caravan which is why Toyota Sienna and the Honda Odyssey minivans eat their lunch at every turn. I guess this is good news for KIA Sedona.
      • 1 Year Ago
      I wish Dodge would make the Stealth again.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Based on yesterday's comments and today's announcement of a hatchback unnamed - I almost would like to see the rebirth of the Gremlin. Built with the intent of a "hot hatch" performance, with a valid manual shift, a couple of engines choices - maybe even a turbo diesel in the mix and offer AWD. What would today's Gremlin look like? And would they bring back those famous stripes and green color?
        • 1 Year Ago
        Fiat sells a hatchback version of the Dart in China. It seems likely (and inexpensive) that Dodge will release it here
      Grammar Police
      • 1 Year Ago
      An awd turbo charged dart is an instant buy for me. I'd love a rwd option too. Just for fun.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Best news of the year so far. As for the Caravan, shame. The minivan leader didn't catch the competition (God knows why) and it's sad. They had it all, but Dodge didn't catch the game and lost interest. Hope they reconsider this but I doubt it.
      • 6 Months Ago

      the dodge grand caravan will be built only in canada. dealers in the US will not be allowed to order or bring any into the US. If you want a grand caravan after 2016 you will have to go to canada and pay the price to bring it into the US. 

      • 1 Year Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      Grand Caravan is Crown Victoria for Ford and DTS for Cadillac. It may not be pretty, best in class, nor even up to modern quality, but they are volume kings and have huge loyal customer base. When they are gone, neither Ford nor Cadillac can recoup these customers.
      • 1 Year Ago
      SRT on it's own was (for all intents and purposes) a failed idea from the start. Glad it's back. Now if Dodge will do us a favour and start making things we actually want to buy. Viper was overpriced, Dart was underwhelming, Journey is two cliche' (that's what you have Jeep for...) and the Charger needs two LESS doors...price them right and don't have all the problems GM is having right now and then we'll talk. Thank God the Avenger is dead...it sucked anyway...
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