Dodge Looking to Reposition Itself with Refreshes and New Models

Now that the Ram truck line has been spun into its own distinct division, Chrysler plans to reposition its Dodge brand. While the Ram brand will retain its iconic ram’s head logo, Dodge’s logo will get a facelift. The new script logo will make its debut later this year when the automaker rolls out its next generation Durango and revamped Charger models.

Although Ram pickups will continue to feature the signature cross-hair grille, there has been reportedly been discussion about replacing the grille on Dodge vehicles. In recent spy photos, both the new Charger and Durango have retained it.

Dodge will still have the broadest and most diverse model lineup of any Chrysler brand, even without the Ram truck line.

The Dodge line includes minivans, mid-sized sedans, crossovers, sports models and there is talk that a new subcompact may be added within the next few years.

The 2011 Avenger sedan is getting a major overhaul and Chrysler-Fiat SEO Sergio Marchionne has said that every aspect of the vehicle will be improved upon staring with its new Pentastar V-6 engine and six-speed, dual-clutch gearbox. A new mid-sized sedan built on Fiat’s Compact Wide platform will take its place in the Dodge lineup in 2014.

The Dodge Caliber got an interior refresh for this model-year and no additional changes will be made until the model is replaced by a new Fiat-based compact in mid-2012.

For 2012, the Dodge Challenger will get some minor interior tweaks and the new Pentastar V-6 will replace the current 5-7-liter, V-6. The current 6.1-liter V-8 will be replaced by a 6.4-liter V8 but Dodge will retain the Hemi V-8. Chrysler plans to keep the Challenger in its lineup at least until 2014.

Challenger coupe will get a minor refreshing along with a new engine lineup and will also come with the option of an eight-speed automatic transmission. Chrysler has indicated that the Challenger will also remain in the Dodge lineup through 2014.

Dodge plans to launch its restyled, re-engineered Charger early next spring. Judging from spy photos, the revamped Charger will offer retro design elements, including an A-pillar back, inspired by the classic 1969 version. Buyers can choose between the Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6, 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 and 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 engines.

Dodge has already ended production of the Viper but may have a replacement model in its lineup as early as 2012.

The Nitro crossover will be refreshed in 2011 but Dodge has said that it is unclear whether it will remain in the lineup beyond model-year 2012.

The Journey crossover has been one of the rare bright spots for Chrysler in recent years. For 2011, the vehicle will be upgraded to the new Pentastar V-6 engine. Dodge also plans to launch a full-sized, seven-passenger crossover in the fourth quarter.  The new model will share the Jeep Grand Cherokee’s unibody platform.

The 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan will also be reskinned and will receive some interior upgrades as well as the Pentastar V-6 engine. A more extensive refreshing is expected in 2014.

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