Such a Tease

Dodge teases 2021 edition of its Charger, Durango police pursuit vehicles

Photo courtesy of FCA US LCC

The 2021 Dodge Durango Pursuit and Dodge Charger Pursuit are coming soon to a street near you. The company, a division of Fiat Chrysler (which will soon merge with Groupe PSA and become known as Stellantis), teased an image of the models on their @DodgeLaw Instagram page last week.

Though the image shown by Dodge is just a low-quality render, there's already a few clues given what is publicly known about the company's model lineup.

For starters, the Dodge Durango Pursuit and Dodge Charger Pursuit will likely continue to look pretty much the same as they do now. Traditionally, changes to the PPV lineup follow major changes to the traditional passenger car models and there's been no large scale exterior changes to the Durango and Charger in nearly a decade.

That's not to say that the Durango and Charger couldn't stand a generational change. That move is likely a few years down the road as the Fiat Chrysler-Groupe PSA merger sees platforms and production synergized.

The biggest modification to the Dodge cars and SUVs lineup over the last few years is the introduction of the widebody design option (that's not something that is likely to translate over to PPVs) and expanded use of the the company's most powerful engines. Could the PPVs be going Hellcat or Redeye? It's an interesting theory.

A 710-horsepower 2020 Durango SRT Hellcat was introduced alongside the 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye and 807-horsepower 2020 Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock.

For the 2020 model year, the Dodge Charger PPV comes standard with a 7-inch infotainment touch screen with a 12.1-inch version available that integrates law enforcement systems. FCA recently introduced UConnect 5, a fresh take on the infotainment operating system that is built on the Android platform. It's likely that this system will make its way to police vehicles sooner rather than later.

The 2021 models are set to be revealed soon and will go on sale this September.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The Twisted NAS-E California Series is a new all-electric 4x4.

Photo courtesy of Twisted

Earlier this year, a luxury 4x4 retailer in Austin, Texas showed off the Twisted NA-V8, a vehicle based on a classic Defender that comes in five different body styles. Now a limited run of 30 Twisted NAS-E all-electric 4x4 is bowing.

The NAS-E is born of the classic Land Rover Defender 90 body with a soft top and features an electric powertrain, a luxurious interior, and impressive off-roading capability. Each model is compliant with all North American EV Regulations and California CARB regulations.

Twisted NAS-E and NAS-E Plus

Photo courtesy of Twisted

"As the world moves steadily toward mass electrification, the Californian market has been missing a uniquely stylish electric 4x4 option that can stand out at the beach, off-road and at stoplights with a level of exclusivity and prestige that can only come from the timeless British Defender form," said Bruce Riggs, COO, Twisted North America. "With color schemes reflecting the natural beauty of California, a removable soft top shape to fully live the elements, advanced electric powertrain engineering exclusive to Twisted, zero-emission power, practical battery range and luxuriously modern interior touches, the Twisted NAS-E is the ultimate expression of the American coastal lifestyle."

The model is the first hero vehicle of the Twisted Legacy collection. It will be sold in two trim levels: NAS-E and NAS-E Plus. The difference mainly comes down to the power allocation. The NAS-E will be powered by a Remy Borg-Warner motor delivering more than 280 pound-feet of torque and 214 brake horsepower. The NAS-E Plus sees its output upped to 309 pound-feet of torque and 320 brake horsepower.

Twisted NAS-E Malibu Photo courtesy of Twisted

Twisted says that the model has a 200-mile range from its 60 kilowatt-hour battery pack.

The SUVs have custom-valved dampers, six-piston front brakes, four-piston rear brakes, hard-use RS29 brake pads, and a traction control system. Four-wheel drive is standard. There are Sport, Eco, and Off-Road drive modes.

The model will be offered in three color options: Malibu, Yosemite, and Tahoe. They will make up the California Series of the models, a limited time 30-vehicle offering.

Twisted NAS-E Tahoe Photo courtesy of Twisted

The NAS-E comes with a good list of features: cream leather seats featuring Alston Alcantara inserts, a three-seat bench across the front row with detachable headrests, 4x tip ups located in the load area, Twisted Sport Wheels finished in silver, a Twisted Stage One front end, NAS roll cage, Bimini hood, an infotainment system, EV management system touch screen, raptored 'spray down' unique flooring, eight-channel audio system, rearview camera with wideview angle, GPS tracker, immobilizer, and air conditioning.

The NAS-E Plus builds on that to include a NAS brush bar, NAS side steps, roll-bar spotlights, NAS-E body stripe decal, and black side sills.

Twisted offers the model with a comprehensive 24-month/20,000-mile warranty. Extensions are available.

Twisted NAS-E Malibu Photo courtesy of Twisted

The Twisted NAS-E starts at $185,000 while the NAS-E Plus comes in at $210,000. Each has a lead time of approximately nine months and requires a fully refundable deposit to reserve. Limited test drives will be available early October 2020.

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Jim Hackett, President and CEO, Ford Motor Company delivers the keynote address to media and guests at the 2018 CEO.

Photo by Sam VarnHagen, courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company has announced that President and CEO Jim Hackett, 65, will retire. Chief Operating Officer Jim Farley, 58, will take over that role, effective October 1. Hackett will continue to serve as a special advisor to the company through March 2021.

Ford's Executive Chairman Bill Ford, who is the great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford as well as tire magnate Harvey Firestone, joined Farley and Hackett at a press conference on Tuesday morning to share the news.

Hackett took over the role of CEO on May 22, 2017, succeeding Mark Fields. While Fields concentrated much of his Public energy on visions of the tomorrow of 50 years from now, Hackett marked his tenure with moves designed to help Ford's bottom line today while planning for the future.

"My goal when I took on the CEO role was to prepare Ford to win in the future," Hackett said. "The hardest thing for a proud, long-lived company to do is change to meet the challenges of the world it's entering rather than the world it has known. I'm very proud of how far we have come in creating a modern Ford and I am very optimistic about the future.

"I have worked side-by-side with Jim Farley for the past three years and have the greatest confidence in him as a person and a leader," Hackett said. "He has been instrumental in crafting our new product portfolio and redesigning our businesses around the world. He is also a change agent with a deep understanding of how to lead Ford in this new era defined by smart vehicles in a smart world."

During his tenure, Ford has discontinued most of its cars while bringing SUVs and trucks to the forefront. Hackett oversaw the launch of the new Escape and Explorer in the U.S. as well as the debut of the next-generation of Ford F-150, a new-for-the-U.S. Ranger, the company's best-selling model, and fresh lineup infusions in the form of the Mustang Mach-E all-electric crossover, the Bronco family of products, and a bevy of Mustang variants.

His time at the top will also be remembered for efforts to streamline the business practices of a company that could fairly be described as bloated with bureaucracy. While plants were shuttered to modernize production and jobs were lost as Ford moved to a more direct and modern way of conducting business, Hackett also approved changing Ford's marketing and advertising to a new agency model, changing out to BBDO as creative lead over W+P, which had served the company for 75 years.

Hackett also formed a partnership with Volkswagen Group to develop and distribute electric vehicle technology - a costly venture for companies to undertake on their own. He is also credited with encouraging the development of smart mobility solutions and sustainability practices.

However, Wall Street investors have not been kind to the company during Hackett’s tenure, even as the company allocated $11 billion toward restructuring in an effort to be better prepared for the future. The company is expected to turn a $4-5 billion profit in the second half of 2020 according to Ford CFO Dhivya Suryadevara. In contrast, Tesla, a company that turned its first annual profit ($104 million) in 2019 and has notable quality control, reliability, and human resources issues, has seen its stock soar in recent years.

Prior to his tenure at Ford, Hackett was vice chairman of Steelcase, the global leader in the office furniture industry.

This story is developing and will be updated as new details are available.

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