Business

Stellantis sees Chrysler, not Pugeot, as its future in the U.S., bids adieu to SRT

The Chrysler brand will stay put, for now.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Which do you want first? The good news or the bad news? The good news is that the Chrysler brand will live on despite FCA's merger with PSA Groupe to form a new overarching parent company, Stellantis. The bad news is that the SRT standalone brand won't. Stellantis chief executive officer Carlos Tavares announced the changes during a roundtable this week.

It's not all bad news for SRT. The SRT brand will continue to live on as an identity within the company, attached to different brands as a marker of their performance models. This makes sense; it's the way most other automakers have done business. Maserati has Trofeo. Ford has ST. Hyundai has N.

Maserati Ghibli Trofeo The Maserati Ghibli Trofeo delivers the highest level of performance of any Ghibli on the market today. Photo courtesy of Maserati

A statement from the company indicated that the SRT team isn't going way. Its members have all been folded into the Stellantis global engineering operation. SRT's team had been partially responsible for the development of the Ram 1500 TRX, Dodge Dunrago SRT, Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, and other high-performance models within the company's lineup so this move isn't too far out of their wheelhouse.

Evolving emissions regulations is something Tavares is keeping in mind as the company works to piece together the future of Dodge while keeping its performance-focused customer base in mind.

Tavares also said that plans to bring Pugeot to America have been put on ice following the merger. In 2017, PSA Groupe had announced that the company was slated to return to the U.S. by 2023.

The Stellantis family photo includes 13 different vehicle brands with Fiat, Chrysler, and Pugeot standing out to Tavares as pillars with long history and defined futures.

Unlike other automakers that are making promises for an all-electric or electrified future, Stellantis is ready to take an approach similar to Toyota - offer buyers the opportunity to get an electric model if they choose, but leave them with the option.

Trending News

 
 

The Grand Cherokee is now available with three rows.

Stellantis

The Grand Cherokee has always been the Jeep that could haul the family to the mall as easily as it could traverse serious off-road terrain. The design was starting to age, however, after ten years on the market without a major redesign. Jeep fixed that for the 2022 model year, and after a week behind the wheel, there are three things we think you should know about the new SUV.

It Comes in Two Formats

The three-row Jeep Grand Cherokee L debuted in 2021 as the first Grand Cherokee with more than two rows of seating. The standard Grand Cherokee followed it with many of the same features and upscale finishes, but in a more familiar two-row SUV format. The move to a two-body-style lineup for the Grand Cherokee does not mean there's less choice. The standard two-row model is offered in a staggering number of configurations, including a 4xe plug-in hybrid variant.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee The new Grand Cherokee ups the luxury considerably. Stellantis

It's Luxurious

Top Grand Cherokee trims have long been plusher and more luxurious than most people expect from a Jeep, and the new model takes things further down that road. Top trims feature luxurious materials such as quilted leathers and real wood trim, along with desirable and innovative electronics features. An optional passenger-side touchscreen offers climate controls and other functions to front-seat passengers, and Stellantis' UConnect infotainment software is among the easiest to use and most intuitive interfaces in the auto business.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee The Grand Cherokee can take its passengers far off the beaten path.Stellantis

It's Available with Three Strong Powertrains

The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee comes standard with a 3.6-liter V6. A 5.7-liter Hemi V8 is available, and Jeep's excellent 4xe plug-in hybrid can be added to certain trims. The Wrangler was the first vehicle to use the system, which provides instant torque and excellent all-electric driving range. When the battery is depleted below a certain level, the vehicle then switches to operate as a normal hybrid.

Trending News

 
 

What was your best car-related experience this year?

Chris Teague

This year has been a lot of things, but it hasn't been boring. Even if we focus only on the car world, there's plenty to talk about, from microchip-related new vehicle shortages to the wave of new electric vehicles hitting the market. That leaves us with a question for all of you: What was the best or most memorable car moment for you in 2021? I'll get the conversation started.

Porsche Cayenne GTS My SoCal Cayenne śaw snow for the first time in its nearly 200k-mile life last week.Chris Teague

I'd spent a good portion of 2021 wanting a new-old car to drive when I wasn't testing a new vehicle. That's harder than you'd think for someone who thinks, talks, and writes about cars all day, because there are so many interesting, risky, and downright funky options out there in every price range. The added headache for me was that I'd chosen to shop for a "fun" car in one of the most volatile car markets ever seen. Even the extremely high-mileage "untouchable" European cars I wanted to buy were commanding ridiculous prices.

After a solid few months of waffling between various rattletrap Mercedes-AMG, BMW M, and Audi S/RS cars, I landed on an option that had escaped me before: The Porsche Cayenne. First-generation Cayennes are a real bargain now, but the 955/957 (Porsche's internal code for the SUVs) can experience major problems that occur with or without regular maintenance and care. I was determined to buy one, and wasn't overly concerned about mileage, as long as I could count the number of owners on one hand. There was a beautiful 2009 Cayenne GTS with 90,000 miles but nine owners, a gorgeous 2004 Cayenne Turbo with a concerning engine tick, and many more just like them. Finally, I decided to risky-click a 196,000-mile Cayenne GTS in Southern California. It had one owner and one dealer-owner for a month or two prior to sale, its condition looked decent in photos, and I was able to negotiate a reasonable enough price that shipping it from San Diego to Maine wasn't a huge problem.

Porsche Cayenne GTS The pics look great, but hands-on tells another story.Chris Teague

I had two traveling Euro mechanics check the car out, and both confirmed that it was well-worn but mechanically sound, so I jumped. Ten days later, on a snowy, icy, dark Maine afternoon, the Cayenne arrived. Cosmetically, there were a few things the dealer and mechanics failed to mention, but overall, it looked good. The SUV passed Maine safety and emissions testing without problem, got a new set of Michelins, and I was on my way.

Porsche Cayenne GTS I'm in danger, but thankfully this should be a reasonable fix.Chris Teague

A few days of driving revealed what I was really in for. A check engine light revealed a camshaft position sensor error and the Cayenne displayed a nasty vibration at idle. A new sensor and motor mounts, and I'm on my way. I'll update you as more things break or miraculously work, but I want to hear your memories from 2021.

Email me at chris@automotivemap.com, and I will compile the best and most interesting stories for a story on New Year's Day. May you all have a wonderful 2022.

Trending News