Catching up with FCA's veteran design chief.
Stop what you're doing and imagine what a 707-horsepower Chrysler Pacifica minivan would be like.
From the Autoblog booth at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show, Jessi Combs interviews FCA Global Head of Design Ralph Gilles. Topics include Dodge sports car styling and hidden easter eggs on FCA designs.
Chrysler brand chief Al Gardner told Edmunds that the number one complaint among Chrysler 300 buyers concerning the second-generation 2011-2014 model was that Chrysler downsized the grille. Owners clamored for a return to the attention-getting face of the car launched in 2005.
"We figured we'd take the best of both worlds." – Ralph Gilles.
Unless you've been living in an off-the-grid cabin in the woods for the last couple of weeks or abstain entirely from social media activities, you've probably seen someone you know dump a bucket of ice and water over their own head recently. While the origins of the so-called Ice Bucket Challenge are shrouded in a history typical of Internet memes, its effectiveness in raising money and awareness for the ALS Association has been astonishing.
Since it hit the market with a bang, the SRT Viper has mainly soldiered on making nothing more than a whimper. Demand for the reborn, V10-powered rocket has struggled, although SRT boss Ralph Gilles remains committed to the slinky serpent, according to a report from Wards.
When I was out in the desert with my new, old buddy Ralph Gilles, we started shooting the breeze about matte paint jobs. Photo-ninja Drew Phillips had driven out to shoot the SRT Viper TA event, and had grabbed the keys to our matte gray Hyundai Veloster Turbo for the journey. Pointing to the Veloster, Gilles asked what we thought about matte paint in general, to which Drew promptly responded, "I think it's a fad." Nice work, Drew.
As comedian and car guy Adam Carolla walks around to the back of the SRT Viper right before it's started up, Ralph Gilles, President and CEO of SRT, says, "It's got side exhausts there big guy."
Nobody has ever accused the all-new 2013 SRT Viper of being slow, but even with the rebounding economy the high-performance coupe seems to be suffering from slow sales out of the gate. According to Automotive News, the Viper has sold 426 units since it went on sale in February with an additional 565 unsold units sitting around in dealer inventory, which shows that SRT was a little too optimistic in its initial sales expectations for the Viper.
Dodge isn't going anywhere. Despite some rumor and speculation over the future of the crosshair grille and the cars that wear it, Dodge brand boss, Tim Kuniskis, sat down with TheDetroitBureau.com, explaining that the marque isn't going anywhere. His sentiments echo those of SRT boss Ralph Gilles, who told a group of enthusiasts in July that "Dodge is here to stay!"
What's a gearhead to do? This weekend marks two big automotive events on the American calendar - the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and the Woodward Dream Cruise. You can follow along right here at Autoblog for all the action from Pebble Beach, while Woodward is a trickier proposition. It's not so much news or new models at Woodward, but the atmosphere. Capturing it via text and photos isn't the easiest thing to do.
This is why we love Ralph Gilles. While in Italy hanging out with a group of Viper Club members in Europe, the SRT boss took the time to respond to a question directed at him on Instagram in regards to the future of Dodge.
In one of the most interesting roundtable discussions we've seen in quite some time, the boys from Motor Trend, along with pro racing driver Randy Pobst, sat down with SRT head honcho Ralph Gilles to discuss the 2014 Viper. And the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, naturally. As you may remember, Motor Trend has filmed two videos pitting the latest Viper from SRT against the standard-bearing ZR1, with the Viper losing the first battle but barely eking out a victory with the upgraded TA model in the second
Almost a year to the day after SRT president and CEO Ralph Gilles first introduced – and kissed the fender of – the 2013 SRT Viper at the 2012 New York Auto Show, the high-performance coupe has begun shipping to dealers. The first production cars started rolling off the line at Chrysler's Conner Avenue Assembly plant in Detroit back in January (a facility Gilles lovingly compares to Santa's workshop), but The Detroit News is reporting that the cars just started heading to customers a
Our man Steven J. Ewing recently spent some time in a 2013 Dodge Charger SRT8 Super Bee, and while he found a lot to love – particularly underhood – he didn't care for the sedan's retro-steeped visuals, preferring the standard SRT's look instead. Perhaps he'll dig this throwback look instead. Over the weekend, Chrysler unveiled this handsome 2013 Dodge Charger SRT8 392 Appearance Package at the eighth annual Spring Festival of LXs, a gathering of Charger, Challenger and Chrysler 300
Following the forced-hand introduction of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, there has definitely been a mix of responses revolving around everything from its design to the return of the legendary nameplate. As evidence of this, just check out the 1,000+ comments in our article last week and some of the many opinions that were voiced. Following this not-too-warm reception, Ward's Auto had a chance to talk to Chrysler designer chief – and SRT president – Ralph Gilles, who shed a little more ligh