mopar memos The latest news, rumours & Info!
mopar memos The latest news, rumours & Info!

Health problem forces Marchionne to retire; Manley appointed CEO


Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne is to be replaced permanently at the helm of the global carmaker as well as Ferrari after suffering serious complications from surgery. Marchionne will not return to his CEO roles at FCA or Ferrari.

In a statement issued Saturday, July 21, FCA announced “with profound sorrow that during the course of this week unexpected complications arose while Mr. Marchionne was recovering from surgery and that these have worsened significantly in recent hours.”


The Board resolved to accelerate the CEO transition process that has been proceeding over the past months and named Mike Manley as CEO. The Board will therefore propose to the next Shareholder Meeting, to be called in the coming days, that he be elected to the Board and serve as an executive director of the Company.


In the meantime, in order to provide for his full authority and operational continuity for the company, the Board has with immediate effect granted Mr. Manley all the powers of CEO. He will also assume responsibility for the NAFTA region.


Mr. Manley and his management team will proceed with the implementation of the 2018–2022 Business Plan as presented on June 1 of this year, a plan that will further assure FCA’s strong and independent future. [07/24/18]

New Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to debut in Denver

A new, wickedly quick, Mopar-powered National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Funny Car version of the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat has been let loose and is coming soon to a drag strip near you.


The new 2019 Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat NHRA Funny Car body will make its competition debut this weekend at the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar at Bandimere Speedway near Denver, July 20-22. The Mopar and Dodge//SRT brands showed the new body for the first time during a pre-race press conference.


Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Funny Car driver Matt Hagan will be the first to harness the new 10,000-plus horsepower beast. The two-time Funny Car World champion will debut his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat at the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar. Hagan’s DSR teammates, Jack Beckman, Ron Capps and Tommy Johnson Jr., will make the transition to the new Funny Car body during the 2018 season.


“Our job at Mopar is to put the best race car underneath our drivers and keep them winning. We know this new body, developed in collaboration with the Dodge//SRT brand and Don Schumacher Racing, will do just that,” said Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar), FCA. “The changes made to this new Funny Car body will improve on-track performance and help us carry on the Mopar brand’s long tradition of success at the dragstrip.”


“The Dodge//SRT brand is all about performance, and the introduction of the Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat NHRA Funny Car body showcases our commitment to performance and excellence at the dragstrip,” said Steve Beahm, Head of Passenger Car Brands – Dodge//SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA – North America. “We are looking forward to celebrating our brand’s first year as title sponsor of the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar by treating fans to the competition debut of the new Charger SRT Hellcat NHRA Funny Car.”


The new body features major design changes in three key areas: the front end, bodysides and burst panel placement.


At the front, the shape of the nose has been tweaked, and a new splitter, built of carbon fiber and Kevlar like the rest of the Funny Car body, has been added. The splitter substantially mimics the look and shape of the production vehicle’s splitter while generating greater downforce to help plant the Funny Car to the track.


The bodyside scallops have been redesigned to more closely identify with the production Hellcat while also enhancing on-track function and performance. The deeper character lines provide greater visual ties to the street version of the Hellcat, while also helping to mitigate the “body burn” common on all Funny Cars due to the close positioning of the exhaust headers.


The location of the burst panel on the hood has also been reworked. The panel is now centered over the top of the engine to more efficiently release energy and pressure in the event of engine issues, a common occurrence in race cars that are pushed to the razor’s edge of performance.


A production Charger SRT Hellcat was used as a template to create the unique vehicle graphics. Front end graphics recreate the distinctive Hellcat grille and badging, and decal markers also call out the air extractors and hood scoop of the production model.

Dodge//SRT is inviting enthusiasts and NHRA race fans to participate in the “Drag Strip Showdown,” a head-to-head competition in Dodge Challenger SRT Demon simulators where the top four drivers with the best race times will win a trip to the Dodge//SRT Bondurant Drag Racing School near Phoenix. Winners will be paired up and coached by either Mopar Dodge Top Fuel racer Leah Pritchett or Mopar Dodge Charger Funny Car driver Matt Hagan for a final competition that will take place at Bondurant in the actual 840-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Demon vehicle – the most powerful muscle car ever. 


The Dodge//SRT brand’s involvement in 2018 also marks a three-decade milestone: it follows 29 years of title support by current presenting sponsor Mopar, making this the 30th consecutive season of FCA US event title sponsorship at Bandimere, which is also celebrating its 60th anniversary.   [07/24/18]

Last Viper and last Demon sell at auction

Dan Snyder made the successful bid on the last Dodge Viper and last Challenger SRT Demon at the Barrett-Jackson Northeast Auction 2018 in Connecticut, after an auction lasting only one minute and 34 seconds. The United Way and American Heart Association received donations of $1 million and $100,000 respectively, from Snyder’s winning bid.


Snyder, CEO of the digital media company inLighten and founder of Dan Snyder Motorsports, added the two historic cars to his collection of more than 70 cars, including 30 Vipers.


"From the first time I saw the Viper concept over 25 years ago, I knew I had to own one.,” Snyder explained. “After my first drive, I was addicted.  When the Demon came to life, it was a natural extension of this passion, with the two delivering the best on track and strip – a perfect pair."


Dan Snyder Motorsports was recently a part of the privateer effort to bring the Gen 5 Viper to the Nurburgring, which set a record time of 7:01.03, a best for American cars, manual transmission cars, and the only privateer record-holder.


For editor Richard Kratz’s take on the “last” Demon, go to here.   [07/24/18]

Hagan gets second consecutive NHRA Funny Car win

Mopar Dodge//SRT driver Matt Hagan completed a wire-to-wire weekend at New England Dragway on July 8, racing from the pole in dominant fashion to claim his second consecutive win at the NHRA New England Nationals, and his second win in a row of the season.


Hagan’s triumphant ride in Epping, New Hampshire, was the third consecutive and fifth of 2018 for a Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Mopar Dodge//SRT Funny Car driver, and the seventh of the season for a Mopar Dodge in the NHRA Nitro classes. The win was Hagan’s third of the season and 29th of his career. He is currently second in the standings after making up nearly 100 points on the leader.


Sandvik Coromant Mopar Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car driver Hagan, winner at the most recent NHRA stop in Norwalk, Ohio, qualified No. 1 and began his march to the event win by taking out Terry Haddock with a 4.066-second elapsed time at 316.15 mph that was the quickest of all competitors in round one. Next, in a fight with DSR Dodge teammate Tommy Johnson Jr., Hagan’s 4.237/245.90 was more than good enough for the win after Johnson encountered problems early.

Ron Capps


The defending 2017 Epping winner drew a second teammate, Ron Capps, in another all-Mopar Dodge matchup in the semifinals. Hagan was first off the starting line and first to the finish with a .062 reaction time paired with a 4.114/311.05 pass to advance to his 52nd final round and fifth of the season. The two-time NHRA Funny Car World Champion remained on point in the final against Tim Wilkerson, recording a superb .042 reaction time in the money round and passing the finish line with a winning 4.156/292.01.

Leah Pritchett


After earning her ninth career No. 1 qualifier spot, Mopar Dodge Top Fuel driver Leah Pritchett never trailed against No. 16 qualifier Audrey Worm on her way to the round win. Pritchett faced veteran Doug Kalitta in the quarterfinals and motored down the groove to the tune of 3.88/316.30, second quickest of the round, to advance to the semis with lane choice over Antron Brown.


Pritchett trailed slightly out of the gate but briefly nudged the nose of her Mopar Dodge into the lead before Brown was able to chase down her 3.945/304.80 pass for a holeshot win. With her run to the semifinals, Pritchett moved up one spot to fourth in the Top Fuel point standings.


Ron Capps may not have triumphed at Epping, but the Mopar-powered NAPA Dodge Charger R/T driver’s strong weekend jumped him from sixth to fourth in the point standings. Capps also helped himself and the entire Funny Car field by taking down points leader Courtney Force in the first round with a straight-down-the-track 4.083/306.19.


Despite seeing the parachutes of his Funny Car pop out early, Capps was still able to send home another John Force Racing driver, Robert Hight, in the quarterfinals. The two-time Epping winner recorded a solid 4.122/311.20 in the semifinals but could not stop red-hot teammate and event winner Hagan.


U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster driver Tony Schumacher used a little help from Mopar HEMI power to put down the second-quickest run of the opening round in taking out newcomer Jim Maroney. In round two, “The Sarge,” left first with a .070 reaction and led from start to finish against Richie Crampton. Schumacher moved first again in the semifinals with a quicker .056 reaction time to Steve Torrence’s slower .068, but Torrence soon surged ahead for the round win. Schumacher climbed up one spot in the standings after his weekend at Epping, and now sits second.

Jack Beckman’s strongest qualifying performance since the NHRA Gainesville event in March placed his Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car in the No. 2 position heading into eliminations. The 2012 Funny Car World Champion posted the second-quickest run of the opening round to send home Jeff Diehl and join his three DSR Mopar teammates in advancing out of round one.


In the quarterfinals, Beckman was within striking distance of Tim Wilkerson but was unable to beat his foe to the finish, falling short by about four feet. He leaves Epping third in the Funny Car standings.


Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T driver Tommy Johnson Jr., a Funny Car runner-up twice at Epping, qualified in the top half of the field and defeated Cruz Pedregon in round one. Johnson trailed slightly at the start but closed the gap and pulled away for the round win with a 4.131/297.94 mark. Johnson’s hopes to advance ended quickly in the quarterfinals against teammate Hagan after he smoked the tires early.  [07/24/18]

Picillo, Gove earn Dodge Top Finisher Awards at New Hampshire race

Justin Picillo earned the Dodge Top Finisher Award in the NHRA Stock Eliminator class at the NHRA New England Nationals, driving his FS/D 2010 Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak to the fourth round of eliminations. The Warwick, Rhode Island, native clocked a 9.799/129.62 run in round three to beat No. 1 qualifier Jim Marshall, who broke out, before losing to Randi Lyn Shipp.


Super Stock Dodge Top Finisher honors at Epping were claimed by Scott Gove, from Dennysville, Maine. Gove seized the No. 1 starting spot with a 7.922 ET that was 1.078 under index in his 1993 Dodge Daytona, but his day ended in the second round against Anthony Bongiovanni, despite a strong 7.864/173.29 run.


The Dodge Top Finisher award, now in its second year, awards $500 to the Stock Eliminator and Super Stock drivers who advance the furthest behind the wheel of a Mopar-powered Dodge, Chrysler, or Plymouth race car. The honor is awarded in both Sportsman categories at all 24 NHRA national events. [07/24/18]

Roadkill Nights set for August 11 in Michigan

Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge organizers promise the event will be even bigger when it opens on Aug. 11. The event held at the M1 Concourse in Pontiac, Mich., will feature more thrill ride experiences in the 707-horsepower Dodge Challenger and Charger SRT Hellcat models, additional celebrity showdown races, and its largest purse ever at $40,000.


Roadkill Nights features two drag racing classes: Big Tire and Small Tire. The $40,000 purse will include $10,000 awarded to the celebrity showdown race winner’s charity of choice. Both drag racing classes will have the same payout structure with $15,000 as the total purse per class: Winner - $5,000; runner-up - $1,500; semifinalists - $750; quarterfinalists - $500; fastest Dodge-powered vehicle - $5,000.


The drag racing will include a celebrity showdown with Motor Trend’s Roadkill co-hosts David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan. Chris Jacobs of Velocity’s Barrett-Jackson Live will emcee the activities, while Brian Lohnes of Motor Trend’s Put Up or Shut Up will emcee the drag races. Additional industry celebrity attendees include Richard Rawlings of Discovery’s Fast n’ Loud Steve Magnante of Velocity’s Barrett-Jackson Live, Cristy Lee of Barrett-Jackson Live and All Girls Garage, and Bill Goldberg and Matt D’Andria from the automotive podcast CarCast with Adam Carolla.

There also will be more celebrities participating in showdown races and the addition of freestyle motocross exhibitions. Leah Pritchett in her Dodge/Mopar Top Fuel Dragster and Matt Hagan in his Dodge Charger Funny Car will once again light ‘em up on Woodard Avenue.  [07/24/18]

FCA consolidates automatic emergency braking components on 2019 Rams

Camera, radar for AEB integrated in 2019 Ram 1500. 


Model-year 2019 brings a more efficient approach to the delivery of Automatic Emergency Braking from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US.


Among the new safety innovations for next year’s models are: Sensor-fusion components that enable Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) consolidated behind the rearview mirror – an innovation that debuted on the all-new 2019 Ram 1500; AEB applications in the new Ram 1500 and the refreshed 2019 Jeep® Cherokee may bring a vehicle to full stop if imminent frontal collision is detected at higher speeds; LED technology standard equipment on 2019 Jeep Cherokee; Select models now feature amber turn signals for greater visibility; and Tire-fill alert system added to Jeep Cherokee.   [07/24/18]


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mopar memos The latest news, rumours & Info!

mopar memos The latest news, rumours & Info!

mopar memos The latest news, rumours & Info!

mopar memos The latest news, rumours & Info!

mopar memos The latest news, rumours & Info!

mopar memos The latest news, rumours & Info!

mopar memos The latest news, rumours & Info!
mopar memos The latest news, rumours & Info!
mopar memos The latest news, rumours & Info!

mopar memos The latest news, rumours & Info!
mopar memos The latest news, rumours & Info!
mopar memos The latest news, rumours & Info!

mopar memos The latest news, rumours & Info!
mopar memos The latest news, rumours & Info!

mopar memos The latest news, rumours & Info!