Pilson Auto Group

Dodge Now requires New Demon Drivers to Sign Safety Waiver

Dodge models for sale

If you think you’re ready to handle the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, you might want to think again. To make sure drivers can manage the latest Dodge performance car, the automaker is asking people to sign a new waiver.

Everyone knows the Dodge Demon is a beast, but the new 2018 model puts pretty much every previous Dodge car to shame. It’s powered by an insane 840-hp engine, making it the fastest production car in the world. The 2018 SRT Demon can go from 0 to 62 mph in 2.3 seconds and is more of a street-legal drag racer than an everyday errand car.

To make sure drivers realize the huge amount of responsibility that comes with driving the Demon, Dodge will now require drivers to sign a three-page legal document before they can leave the dealership.

The waiver begins by reminding drivers that the Demon is the auto industry’s “first and only purpose-built street-legal production car.” You’d have to be pretty oblivious to miss the Demon’s factory-fitted Nitto NT05R drag radial tires but just in case, the automaker wants to make sure that drivers understand the special tires aren’t suitable for the highway because “the expected miles of wear from the racing compound is greatly reduced.”

Oh, and you’ll want to make sure it’s not raining on the day you decide to take your 2018 Dodge SRT Demon home. The waiver states that the special drag tires “are not recommended for driving in wet weather conditions.” Drivers are also advised not to attempt to take the Demon out for a ride in temperatures below 15 degrees Fahrenheit because “the Drag Tires can lose flexibility and that may lead to cracking and other tire damage.”

Most drivers will resist the urge to install a passenger seat into their new Demon by themselves, but just in case you weren’t sure: Dodge doesn’t recommend it “because the passenger will not be properly protected.” The document also advises against trying to seat passengers inside the vehicle if you don’t have extra passenger seating.

Finally, the waiver ominously cautions drivers that handling the Demon’s awesome power is totally up to them. “[You have] full responsibility and shall assume all risks related to the use of the features and applications in the vehicle and shall only use the features and applications when it is safe to do so,” the document says. “Failure to do so many result in an accident involving serious injury or death.”

Don’t worry–after a test drive and a thorough Q&A session with one of our knowledgeable staff members, you’ll be more than capable of mastering the Demon’s abilities safely.

For more information on the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon or our other Dodge Demons for sale, visit a Dodge dealership today.


Ram Trucks Mattoon, IL

Ram Announces Two New Models

The Ram Truck family is making room for two more.

 

In April, the automotive company announced it would introduce a Ram 1500 Sublime Sport and the Ram 1500 Rebel Blue Streak. Mike Manley, Head of Ram Brand for FCA Global, says the decision is meant to “excite customers who are looking for something unique” by providing dealers with a wider variety.

Room for two more: The Sublime Sport and Rebel Blue Streak

The 2017 Ram 1500 Sublime Sport comes in a show stopping Lime Green, and the vibrant color continues into the interior with special green stitching on the seats. The bright green boldly contrasts with the truck’s dark black wheels and accents, and the Sport performance hood, Black Ram head grille badge, Black tailgate badge and Black body-side badges drive home this vehicle’s prowess. This limited edition Ram 1500 sits on 22-inch Black aluminum wheels, a first time offering for the truck.

 

Only 3,000 of these Sublime Sport models will be produced, and they start at $45,740 plus a destination fee of $1,395.

 

On the other side of this announcement, the Ram 1500 Rebel Blue Streak comes, as you might guess, in a bright blue exterior color and also features the impressive lineup of dark black touches and trims. Optionally, buyers can purchase the truck in two-tone, which features Black lower paint.

 

Inside, buyers can either have Radar Red seats with black embroidery or opt to black it out, with all-Black leather seating. This Rebel Blue Streak is available in all Rebel configurations at no extra charge, starting out at $45,095 plus the $1,395 destination fee.

Find yours in Mattoon

Both of these models debuted at the 2017 New York Auto Show in April, too much applause. They’ve started appearing in dealerships, so if you’ve got your eye on one of these brand new offerings, be sure to stop in and see us at Pilson, your local Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram dealer in Mattoon.

 

Chrysler 300 for sale Mattoon, IL

Get a Chrysler 300s Near Mattoon, IL

We know and love the Chrysler 300 as the brand’s flagship sedan, but it’s been a staple in the Chrysler lineup since 1955. After a successful redesign in 2011, which included crafting a smoother appearance and equipping an improved 3.6-liter V6 engine, the 300 continued to grow in popularity. Now, Chrysler is kicking this car up another notch with the 300S, a sporty version of this longstanding sedan.

A sedan with spirit

Looking at the lineup, the 300S is the only trim to feature a sport suspension. Those gunning for more luxury can get behind the wheel of the 300C or 300C Platinum, but if you’re looking for a vehicle with more punch and more guts, the 300S is the way to go.

“While the 3.6-liter V6 is rated at 292 horsepower in most trim levels, this engine is tweaked to deliver eight more horsepower and four more pound-feet of torque in the 300S,” writes reviewer Jim MacPherson for the Hartford Courant. “Performance, even with the added weight associated with the all-wheel drive upgrade, is quite good.”

MacPherson’s all-wheel drive option is only one side of the 300S coin; on the other, buyers can opt for the Hemi V8, but that rules out choosing all-wheel drive. Even in the V6, the reviewer’s 300S reached 60 mph in only 7.1 seconds, and he states that the “fuel economy soared above its EPA ratings on the open road,” where it was logging just over 30 mpg while on the highway.

The 300S is geared towards gripping the road and enjoying the drive, so the suspension caters more towards ensuring precise and enjoyable handling for the driver. And when it’s in the city, the 300S doesn’t take up any more room than it needs, making it easier than expected to navigate busy streets and crowded parking decks all while comfortably transporting four adults, five if someone takes the back middle seat.

“The Chrysler 300 is a rarity today, a full-size sedan with V8 power,” wraps MacPherson. “The Chrysler 300’s attractiveness is enhanced by its ability to compete with far more costly vehicles.”

Find your Chrysler today at Pilson!

At Pilson Chryler Dodge Jeep and Ram, we’re proud to play a role in helping buyers find the cars needed to fit their lifestyle and budget. While we don’t have any of these 300S models on the lot at the moment, we’re constantly getting new cars in—so don’t hesitate to drop by and say hello! To see what we’ve currently got in store, check out our inventory of new and used models.

 


Fiat Dealer Mattoon, IL

Fiat Chrysler to Sell Cars Online with Amazon

The days of driving down to the dealership may never go away, but recent partnerships, like Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Amazon, may make it less common.

The automaker recently joined forces with the online retailer to begin selling cars online with additional discounts. In its earliest stages, only Italian buyers will have the ability to use the service, and they choose from one of three models: the Fiat 500, the Fiat Panda and the Fiat 500L.

Fitting the Audience

According to Reuters, the Panda is Italy’s best selling car, and the 500 and 500L capture the young, adventurous audience that would be willing to test the waters of online car shopping. All in all, it’s lined up to be a good fit.

“The time has arrived to give consumers a new, more efficient and transparent way to choose a new vehicle,” said Gianluca Italia for Fiat Chrysler’s Italian division.

Italia says that existing promotions would be improved by up to 33 percent for online customers, making it affordable and convenient for buyers, a model that has led Amazon to great success. Reuters states that half of Italia’s surveyed buyers would be willing to purchase a Fiat online, but 97 percent of them still preferred to pick it up at a traditional dealer. Those buyers would be able to finalize their purchase and pick up their vehicle within two weeks from a dealer after beginning the process through Amazon, making it the best of both worlds.

If the partnership becomes a success in Italy, it’s possible that the FCA may begin rolling out similar practices here in North America. But until that time, those of us here at Pilson Fiat Chrysler Jeep Dodge and Ram look forward to personally greeting and facilitating the process for our buyers, and we invite you to visit our dealership to browse our wide selection of new and used vehicles, including the 2017 Fiat 500 with a pop hatch.

 

2018 Jeep Wrangler

5 Things About the 2018 Jeep Wrangler

In June, we brought you news on the upcoming 2018 Jeep Wrangler as reported by two car hunters working for automotive news site The Fast Lane Car. While there’s certainly many surprises in store as we learn more about the new model over the coming year, there are now five things that seem pretty set about the 2018 Jeep Wrangler at this point—and two things that might come true.

  1. The dawn of the diesel has arrived

Jeep will finally make a long-time wish come true for Wrangler fans by giving the 2018 Wrangler an EcoDiesel option. Jeep will outfit the new Wrangler with the option for a 3.0-liter turbo-four EcoDiesel, perfect for powering up rocky paths at a Jeep Jamboree.

  1. Lighter materials

The next generation Wrangler will feature high-strength steel, aluminum and plastic components. A trimmer Wrangler means a more efficient and economic Wrangler, a definite plus for those interested in pursuing the diesel option.

  1. Still that classic body-on-frame construction

Off-roaders need not fear if the thought of lighter materials conjured images of disaster on the trails. Jeep plans to use that iconic Wrangler rugged construction for the 2018 model, so no sweat.

  1. The pickup is coming

Perhaps one of the most exciting announcements surrounding the 2018 Wrangler is that Jeep will introduce a four-door pickup version alongside its two- and four-door models. The 2018 model year is set to be the year that keeps on giving to its Wrangler fans.

  1. It’s set to arrive late next year

With the Wrangler name already being an all-star model for the FCA and the buzz surrounding the 2018 model building, the new Wrangler is set to sell like hotcakes for a decent price, with some sites guessing it could hit the market for as low as $25,000. Considering the versatility of the Jeep brand, it looks like the 2018 Wrangler will be a good choice all around.

Bonus: The Future of Wrangler

Although plans are still rocky and somewhat unconfirmed, it’s likely that Jeep will produce a hybrid Wrangler after the year 2020. Potentially coming sooner is a 4-cylinder “Hurricane” turbocharged gas Wrangler that could put out somewhere in the ballpark of 300 horsepower. These ideas are still on the drawing board, but it’s just further proof that the Wrangler name doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon.

And while the end of next year might still be a ways away, we’d love to have you stop in and see us at Pilson Fiat Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram the next time you’re in Mattoon. Come in and take a spin in one of our 2016 Jeep Wranglers, like a Rubicon or Willys Wheeler model. It’s time to take your next car off-road and onto the next level.


Ram Trucks Mattoon, IL

Ram Rebel TRX Concept

The truck world is well known for its ongoing rivalries and competitions, and Ram and Ford are adding yet another flame to the fire.

Earlier this year, details about Ford’s 2017 F-150 Raptor started making themselves known as the model revs up to hit showroom floors, so Ram fired back by unveiling the Ram Rebel TRX (a audible play on words with t-rex, although Ram officials say the coincidence is unintentional), an aggressive and striking concept truck that turned heads and stole some of Ford’s thunder at the Texas State Fair in October. The TRX boasts a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 Hemi engine with a paddle-shifted eight-speed automatic transmission, and its styling is definitely in the vein of the beast with which it shares a name.

“The Rebel TRX concept can devour the roughest terrain at more than 100 mph and never look back,” says Mike Manley, head of Ram Brand at FCA Global. And when it comes to devouring, it’s worth remembering that the Tyrannosaurus rex in Jurassic Park more than took care of the raptors. But we digress.

Looking at the F-150 Raptor, the 2017 model will feature a twin-turbocharged V6 with a 10-speed automatic transmission that produces 450 horsepower and 510 foot-pounds of torque. Compared to the Rebel TRX’s 575 horsepower and comparable 500 foot-pounds of torque, the Raptor comes close, but doesn’t quite outdo the TRX.

“This project was a moonshot,” says Mike Gillam, design manager for Ram speaking on the TRX. “I like to think it’s what the Rebel should have been.”

For now, it’s uncertain when or if the TRX will ever proceed to production. For now, the specialty truck’s jacked up and dominating presence is definitely worth the entire head turning it’s been receiving since its debut at the Texas State Fair.

Is this a Ram you would be interested in? Let us know what you’re interested in, and those of us at Pilson Fiat Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram will get you set up in the next vehicle to fit your lifestyle. We have many new models to choose from while you wait!

 

new Chrysler Pacifica Mattoon

A Ride in the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Touring

Back in September, we discussed a bit of head-to-head competition between the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica and the Toyota Sienna (psst—the Pacifica won, hands down). Now, we’d like to give you a more in-depth look at what it’s like behind the wheel of the Touring trim level, an experience the writers at AutoWeek claimed just might be the minivan, perfected.

A fun minivan—really.

Starting in the mid-$30,000s, the 2017 Pacifica Touring provides the functionality, versatility and styling that modern families want out of a minivan. Chalked up on the pros side of his experience, AutoWeek Associate Editor Jay Ramey claims the Pacifica Touring provides “more space, comfort and driving fun than you’d ever believe in a minivan.” The cons? Minivans are still working against a social stigma, but the Touring’s sleek profile is actively working to change a few minds.

The design of the 2017 Pacifica leaves behind the choppier, harder edges seen on previous model years and instead opts for smoother and simpler details. Buyers can choose from nine different exterior colors, and 20” aluminum wheels and sculpted automatic LED headlamps bring a touch of elegance to the Pacifica. Additional touches on the Touring trim include Passive Entry Doors and Power Sliding Side Doors.

“For starters, it looks fantastic for a minivan,” said Wes Raynal, an editor for AutoWeek. “I seriously dig the exterior shape. It looks wider and in some ways bolder.”

On the road 

Once inside and settled into the 2017 Pacifica’s all-inclusive interior that provides impressive storage space and stowable seating for eight, the Touring provides quick, responsive steering to handle the impressive power provided by the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine that, when paired with its nine-speed automatic transmission, produces an impressive amount of power not commonly experienced behind the wheel of a minivan.

Ramey reported minimal to practically nonexistent levels of jostling inside the cabin when going over hills and down bumpy roads, with his review stating that the Touring was more than capable when it came to handling sharp turns, with the van’s punchiness but balance making it similar to riding in a much smaller vehicle. 

The Touring is rated at 18 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, and the trim level’s second tier, the Touring L, features premium leather-trimmed seats, a power liftgate, heated first-row seats and three-zone automatic temperature control, ensuring a pleasant ride for all passengers and gear. Above that, the Touring L Plus brings Uconnect Theater technology, a 13-speaker Alpine audio system, a Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen with driver information digital cluster display and heated first- and second-row seating.

Your Pacifica, your way

With the base level Pacifica and five available trim levels above that, in addition to a groundbreaking hybrid option, the 2017 Pacifica was made to fit every family’s needs, no matter what they may be. Through an infusion of intuitive design and a reimagining of what it is that a minivan needs to offer, the all-new Pacifica delivers in both performance and versatility to make what Chrysler calls the “world’s most capable vehicle.” 

Interested? View our 2017 Pacifica stock online, or come in and see us at Pilson Fiat Chrysler Jeep Dodge and Ram!


New Jeep Wagoneer

Mean and Possibly Green: Jeep Grand Wagoneer Hybrid

The Jeep Grand Wagoneer was the first luxury SUV on the market, reigning until its ultimate demise in 1991 as Chrysler pushed for more fuel-efficient cars. Many credit the Grand Wagoneer as paving the way for brands like Range Rover to enter the industry, and fans and collectors have mourned the Grand Wagoneer’s absence.

However, “woody” fans can fear no more; Jeep announced in 2015 that the Grand Wagoneer would make a comeback for the 2019 model year, with the iconic vehicle being rejuvenated for a release in late 2018. Since that announcement, discussions about the car and glimpses of its early stages have been ongoing, and more news has come forth.

Hybrid Luxury

According to Car and Driver, Jeep brand chief Mike Manley stressed that “some level of electrification will be a ‘required’ part of the lineup” whenever the Grand Wagoneer finally arrives, alluding to the use of a plug-in hybrid powertrain.

Auto writer Joseph Capparella points out that incorporating a hybrid into the Grand Wagoneer lineup will be a smart move, considering that other luxury SUVs on the market, such as the Volvo XC90, BMW X5 and Porsche Cayenne, all offer one.

“It’s possible that the Jeep hybrids could use elements of the Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid’s drivetrain, too,” writes Capparella. “Some changes will be necessary, however, considering that the Pacifica rides on a front-wheel-drive platform and the Jeeps will be rear-drive based, with four-wheel drive a necessity.”

Refreshed and ready to go

Other speculation suggests that the Grand Wagoneer will use architecture similar to the next Grand Cherokee, which would arrive for the same model year. Of course, the Grand Wagoneer would be much longer than the Grand Cherokee, as it would offer an additional row of seating to really pack in the family. Capparella additionally expects to see standard four-wheel drive and the option for a V8 engine, not to mention a resurrection of the classic wood-paneled touches. Others are even more adventurous, with writers hoping for diesel or Hellcat-powered versions as well.

“Only 10 years ago, the thought of Jeep competing with Range Rover would have seemed far-fetched,” says the speculator. “The brand’s recent growth spurt, however, has already taken it into newly upscale territory, and the Wagoneer now seems like a logical next step.”

That next step could push into six figure prices, according to Manley, but rest assured the first generation Grand Wagoneer will be more affordable as the vehicle works to reestablish its place on dealership floors. And based on the leaked spy shots of an aggressively styled Grand Wagoneer, those of us at Pilson Chrysler Jeep Dodge and Ram have no worries about the SUV reclaiming its spot.

The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT: America’s Fastest and Most Powerful

The future of the Dodge Durango, a popular luxury SUV that can seat up to 7, has been long debated leading up to the 2017 Chicago Auto Show. Many believed that the Durango would receive a Hellcat treatment based on early spy pictures, but now the truth has been confirmed: get prepared for the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT, a pumped up SUV that performs like no other.

Definitely more “sports” than just “utility”

The Durango SRT is still the three-row SUV we know and love, but it offers a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 that cranks out an impressive 475 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque paired with a Standard TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission that’s been specifically calibrated for the Durango SRT. This is the same engine seen in the Grand Cherokee SRT, which isn’t a surprise considering the two vehicles share the same platform.

Press out of the 2017 Chicago Auto Show reports that the Durango SRT will offer a cold-air duct, heat extractors, seven drive-mode systems (auto, sport, track, snow, tow, valet and ECO), adjustable sport suspension, all-wheel drive, Brembo brakes and performance tires, in addition to navigation, Uconnect infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, premium audio features and a touchscreen center stack.

As with other Dodge SRT models, the Durango SRT will feature bold styling to differentiate itself from other SUVs, such as four-inch dual exhaust tips, an aggressive SRT-style grille and five-spoke, 20-inch “Goliath” wheels.

A “Three-Row Muscle Car” from Dodge

The Durango SRT is rated to go from zero-to-60 in just 4.4 seconds, which looks like it could strip the Grand Cherokee SRT of its crown as the fastest SUV in its class.

“The new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT is America’s fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Car Brands, Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and Fiat-FCA North America. “This is what you get, when you take everything great about the Durango and combine it with the performance of the Charger SRT: a 12-second quarter mile, toy-hauling, three-row muscle car.”

Detroit News also reports that the Durango SRT “can tow more than any other three-row SUV and is capable of hauling 8,600 pounds, according to Dodge.” This positions the Durango SRT as a powerful but capable family vehicle, perfect for those who need the flexibility and cargo space of an SUV but desire the performance of a smaller vehicle.

The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT will be available in 11 exterior colors and boast more than 60 available safety and security features, and Dodge officials expect the Durango SRT to make its way to dealerships like Pilson Fiat Chrysler Jeep Dodge and Ram this fall.


The Wrangler strikes back

In a galaxy far, far away from Pilson Fiat Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram’s home in Mattoon, IL, a one-of-a-kind 2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport from Voltron Motors went up for sale on eBay. Sporting a white body with royal blue accents, the Las Vegas-based seller offered this Stormtrooper-style Wrangler for $59,900, a considerable mark up from the Wrangler Sport’s starting price of $23,995 due to the extensive makeover.

Unlike Any Other in the Galaxy

Facing the souped-up Wrangler straight on, it’s easy to see the Star Wars influence, as the front body has been changed to mimic the iconic imagery of the Galactic Empire’s infantry. The headlights and fog lamps nod to the Stormtrooper helmet’s visual processors and air intake filters, while the modified grille acts as its ‘mouth,’ so to speak.                                                     

And while the Empire prefers this special Wrangler’s usage of whites, greys and blacks, the royal blue is a definite nod to the series, conjuring up images of the Senate Guard’s symbolic blue robes and lightsabers. This hue pops up in the exterior details, particularly in the dramatic, sharp wheel spoke and running board lights, but it is most pronounced inside the cabin, with eye-catching blue leather seats and dashboard touches rounding out the experience.

As serious as Darth Vader

However, Voltron Motors doesn’t offer this Star Wars-inspired model only for looks. The Stormtrooper Wrangler Unlimited Sport comes with the company’s Prestige Intimidator upgrade package, giving it a 4” lift, Fox Racing shocks, stabilizer bars, springs, 20” wheels, a cowl induction hood, 52” LED light bar, an Alpine speaker upgrade and Bentley Diamond Leather interior. Additional upgrades can include improved engine performance, amp power boards, heated/cooled seats, a Ripp supercharger and more.

While we don’t have one of these special Stormtrooper Wranglers at Pilson Fiat Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, we are proud to offer a selection of 2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport options, lightsaber not included.

Jeep Models Mattoon, IL

All About the Upcoming Jeep Lineup

At Pilson Chrysler Jeep Dodge and Ram, we know the value packed behind the Jeep name. And looking ahead, there’s tons more in store for Jeep’s newest model year and beyond. However, three models are particularly buzzworthy: the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Jeep Wrangler and the classic Jeep Cherokee.

Trackhawk, Trailhawk & Summit: Grand Cherokee Models that Deliver

After buzzing about the hype on our blog last spring, Jeep is set to deliver its highly anticipated Hellcat-powered supercharged Grand Cherokee, the Trackhawk, later this year. Packing a gut-punching 707 horsepower, the Trackhawk would be a large step up from even the Grand Cherokee SRT’s current 6.4-liter Hemi V8 that churns out 232 horsepower less than the Hellcat while still remaining the fastest SUV in its class. It’s highly believed that Jeep will officially unveil this Hellcat Grand Cherokee Trackhawk at the New York International Auto Show in April, so we’ll hopefully have more details to report soon.

As exciting as the upcoming 2018 season is, there’s no reason to sleep on the 2017 Grand Cherokee’s awesome capability and adventure-ready mantra that can handle any path you might want to take. The new Trailhawk, Grand Cherokee’s off-road trim, features a Quadra-Drive II four-wheel-drive system and comes with your choice of Pentastar V6, EcoDiesel V6 or Hemi V8 engine.

But if you’re looking for a little more luxury (not to mention more luxury than any other in its class), don’t miss the Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit. With a full leather interior and every bell and whistle you could ever want, the Summit delivers technology, safety, power and comfort not readily found in your standard SUV.

More power & possibly a pickup: 2018 Jeep Wrangler

Named by Car and Driver as one of their “25 Cars Worth Waiting For,” the 2018 Jeep Wrangler will mark the 11th generation of this historic model. In addition to the two- and four-door models, we’ll likely see the Wrangler Pickup debut sometime later this year, making it the first Jeep pickup since the Comanche ended in 1992. Enthusiasts guess we’ll see 3.6-liter V6, 2.0-liter turbo or diesel options in such a pickup, but few details have been made clear. Spy photos and rumors are running rampant, and we’re hoping Jeep will set the record straight at next month’s New York International Auto Show.

“If one would look at the spy photos that have been published in recent months, it is clear that the design is revolutionary while the brand tries to maintain its iconic image,” writes Mariechris Felipe for Auto World News. “The technological and mechanical aspects also have major changes which resulted in a more advanced and efficient Wrangler.”

A Jeep staple: The Cherokee

A tried and true classic, the Jeep Cherokee remains a solid choice for all Jeep lovers, both new and old. The 2017 starts out in the mid- to low 20,000s, and even its standard engine provides a solid 184 horsepower. Most predict that the Cherokee will see some significant style changes for the 2018 model year in order to freshen its look and maintain solid sales.

Those looking for more off-road capability in their standard Cherokee can opt for the previously mentioned Trailhawk trim or choose one of its seven other offerings, like the Sport, Altitude or 75th Anniversary Edition available here at Pilson, your local Jeep dealer.

 


2017 Fiat 124 Spider Ranked Best Car for the Money

As a proud dealer of both new and used Fiat models, Pilson Chrysler Jeep Dodge and Ram is thrilled that the U.S. News & World Report ranked the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider as their Best Sports Car for the Money in 2017.

“A rare car”: Fiat 124 Spider ranked as best value

The 124 Spider dethrones the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata to take the 2017 crown, and a comparison between the two cannot be ignored. Both the Fiat and Mazda roadsters were built alongside each other, but the 124 Spider’s athletic handling, solid fuel economy and upscale styling for an affordable price helped make it a clear winner for 2017.

“The Fiat 124 Spider is a rare car,” writes Richard Truett for Automotive News. “The styling changes are tasteful updates of the classic Fiat Spiders of the ‘70s and ‘80s.”

The 124 Spider is that wonderful mix of old with new, and although it shares similar underpinnings with the Mazda Miata, Fiat makes sure the car holds its own in a very competitive sports car market.

Better (and more affordable!) than its main competitor

“If the idea of a Mazda Miata with a little more class sounds like your kind of car, consider the stylish 2017 Fiat 124 Spider,” praises Edmunds. “It’s more comfortable, powerful and quieter than the Miata it’s based on, but retains the Miata’s sense of adventure and fun.”

Ranked at no. 4 overall for U.S. News & World Report Best Sports Cars, the 124 Spider’s mid-to-upper $20,000’s price tag places it anywhere from $7,000 cheaper to almost $40,000 cheaper than similar high trim level sports competitors. For example, the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro might be ranked two places higher, but if buyers want to make the most of their vehicle with premium upgrades, they can expect a price tag around $67,000+, whereas a decked out 124 Spider comes in around or under $30,000.

Find your Fiat at Pilson

These brand new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider models are still making their way to dealerships in North America, and Pilson is proud to offer a selection of new and used Fiat vehicles here in Mattoon, Il. If you’ve ever wanted to see how far your dollar can take you, stop by and see us at Pilson CJDR!

 

Jeeps for sale Mattoon, IL

Jeep Jamboree Tackles Stony Lonesome

Late this September, Jeep enthusiasts converged on Stony Lonesome OHV Park in Cullman County, a 1,456+ acre park located in the northern-central part of Alabama. An acclaimed destination for rock crawlers, equestrians, hikers and bikers, the Jeep Jamboree made sure to make it a stop for the 2016 season’s circuit.

“There are people here from all over the country,” Stony Lonesome Director Doug Davenport told the Cullman Times before the event’s start in September. “It’s a big event. There are folks already staying in the cabins, and we’ve still got people coming in.”

With a Trail Rating of 3-9, Stony Lonesome proved to be a great location for the jamboree, providing easier trails, like the Armadillo Run, all the way up through tougher outings, like the Grizzly Trail. The park’s wide array of activities and broad spectrum of trail difficulties has always made Stony Lonesome a popular event, with 2016 being the circuit’s seventh time visiting Cullman County.

And while the Jeep vehicles themselves have evolved and changed over the years, Jamboree events are always a great reminder of the long-standing traditions associated with the Jeep brand. Started by Mark A. Smith in 1953 and joined by Willys Motors in 1954, Jeep Jamboree USA off-road weekends continue to challenge, inspire and bring together off-road enthusiasts from around the country.

The 2016 Jeep Jamboree circuit finishes up in late October with a tamer but incredibly scenic run through Monument Valley near the Arizona-Utah border. For more information about next year’s Jeep Jamboree circuit, be sure to check out their website.

And although Pilson Chrysler Jeep Dodge and Ram in Illinois may be a far cry away from the Navajo reservation, there’s no reason we can’t get you started with a 4x4 of your own. Stop by to check out our collection of new and used Jeeps and start planning your next jamboree!

 


Dodge Viper Coming to an End

As we touched on over the summer, the 25-year legacy of the hand-crafted Dodge Viper is coming to a close. 2017 will be the last model year for the iconic American-born sports car, but the Viper won’t be silently swept under the rug. Instead, the 2017 Viper lineup features five unique models: the SRT, GT, GTS, ACR and the “One-of-One” GTC.

For Gerry Wood Dodge in Salisbury, North Carolina, the dealership wanted to make sure those different variations were ready and available for a wide variety of tastes, ordering 135 unique 2017 Vipers to the lot.

“When it was finally confirmed that the Viper was going to cease production,” Brad Wood of Gerry Wood Auto Group told the Salisbury Post, “I felt an obligation as a fan, owner and Dodge dealer to help others experience the rare privilege of experiencing this amazing machine.”

And what an amazing lineup this final model year has turned out to be. The entire lineup is powered by an all-aluminum 8.4L V10 that generates 645 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque, and the different models allow for a high level of customization—making sure everyone has the chance to get the Viper of their dreams before the legacy comes to a close.

For Gerry Wood Dodge, that meant designing and ordering 135 individual Vipers, each with its own numbered dash plaque and custom car cover color. Additionally, they’re offering a 2017 Viper VIP experience that includes a white-glove delivery experience, a discount on OEM Viper parts, finance terms up to 84 months and even VIP pickup at nearby airports.

And although we do not have any of our own Vipers in stock at Pilson, we can definitely help you get into one of our new models that’ll best suit you. Stop by and visit us today!

 

new Chrysler Pacifica

Minivan Drag Racing: Chrysler Pacifica vs. Toyota Sienna

The often maligned term “minivan” doesn’t typically conjure up images of drag racing. But for Nathan Adlen and Andre Smirnov at The Fast Lane Car, that’s exactly what happened when they pitted the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica against the Toyota Sienna.

In our home team’s corner, a 2017 Pacifica Touring with a 3.6L V8 engine, front-wheel drive and the best minivan efficiency on the highway for only $30,495. In the opposite corner, a Sienna Limited with a 3.5L V6 engine and all-wheel drive, the only AWD minivan on the market in North America and the long-touted champion. Looking at figures, however, the Pacifica Touring boasts 287 horsepower and the Sienna Limited brings only 266 horsepower to the table.

Adlen and Smirnov took the two to the track, comparing the contenders on Stow-N-Go usability, noisiness, storage, handling and more. The easiest to drive, even before the race flags waved? The 2017 Pacifica Touring.

When it came to the race, the Pacifica easily shot ahead of the Sienna by over a full car length due to its superior horsepower and torque. Overall, both of the hosts agreed “without a doubt” that the Pacifica was the better minivan due to its superior handling, increased horsepower, better torque, great cornering, top-notch efficiency and lower starting price.

“It is, in so many ways, a van that was designed from the ground up,” said Adlen of the Pacifica. “This isn’t even a van to me—this is more like a wagon.”

Luckily for us at Pilson Chrysler Jeep Dodge and Ram, we recently received an entire fleet of brand new 2017 Pacificas, available in a wide palette of colors and a nice selection of trims. If you’re looking for a roomy ride with storage and power to boot, don’t forget to stop by and check out a 2017 Pacifica the next time you’re in our Mattoon neighborhood.


New Daytona Models Hit the Streets

Channeling vibes from the 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona crafted for NASCAR racing, enter the 2017 model, a welcome Dodge addition since its last lineup appearance in 2013. The 2017 lineup will feature a 5.7L V8 version and a 6.4L V8 Daytona 392, both with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The new Charger Daytona incorporates satin black features on the roof, the spoilers and the hood, with the body mimicking the SRT on the 5.7L and the R/T Scat Pack on the 392. “DAYTONA” presents proudly on the rear quarter-panels, and the special edition Charger will be available in crowd-pleasing retro colors like Green Go and Yellow Jacket.

While revealing the 2017 Charger Daytona, Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Car Brands at FCA North America, raved about the car’s unprecedented SRT package on the 5.7L version, noting the car’s larger wheels, cold air intake, electronic exhaust and luxury interior touches, like the leather and suede Daytona-stitched seats.

“Domestic, not domesticated. That’s our Dodge brand tagline and it captures the passion, the attitude and the spirit of the Dodge brand,” said Kuniskis. “Domestic, not domesticated, embodies what Dodge stands for as an American performance brand.”

Kuniskis went on to detail that the 392 will feature the Hellcat’s six-piston Brembo brakes and its wheel and tire package alongside leather SRT seats and a functional cold air intake. In terms of horsepower, the two versions will put out 370 and 485, respectively, with Dodge’s Super Track Pak bringing stiffer suspension, better brake linings, a three-mod stability control system and high-performance tires (the standard features 20x9 inch tires and the 392 boasts a 20x9.5 inch version).

Surprisingly, both of the Charger Daytona versions will start at under $45,000 when they go on sale this fall, making the special edition vehicle a great value for buyers. Until we see the Daytona version in our lot, those of us here at Pilson Chrysler Jeep Dodge and Ram encourage you to come down and take spin in one of our 2016 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcats

 

Jeep Wrangler

Jeep Wrangler Pickup Finally Spotted

Hype surrounding Jeep’s Wrangler-based pickup truck has reached another all-time high, with car spies posting photographs of the prototype wrapped in camouflage while out for a road test.

Photos show it has the same four-door body style seen on the Wrangler Unlimited, but commentators note that the grille is unlike anything seen on current Jeep models and that the truck bed spotted is unlikely to be the final version.

When it comes to what’s under the hood, the mystery continues. Fox News reports that the Wrangler pickup has been seen with anything from a 3.6-liter V6 to a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder and an EcoDiesel V6, as seen in the current Jeep Grand Cherokee. There’s no final word on if it’ll be automatic or manual, but it’s likely Jeep will offer the pickup in both styles.

But if you’re looking to take one of these out on your next offroad adventure, the wait will have to continue. It’s likely that this Wrangler pickup won’t see the production line until late 2018, meaning there’s plenty of time for new rumors and more sightings, including a name.

What name would you give this Wrangler-based pickup? If you think of something good, be sure to stop by and see us at Pilson Chrysler Jeep Dodge and Ram, and let us show you around our lot. You might have to wait another year or two for this pickup, but you can come see us any time you’re in Mattoon!


A Replacement for Jeep Compass or Patriot

Known among Jeep engineers as the C-SUV (compact SUV), the replacement car for the Compass and Patriot models is moving steadily towards completion.

Jeep spies have spotted the camouflaged model in different parts of Europe where it’s being road-tested. This replacement is said to share the Renegade’s FCA Small Wide 4x4 platform and the disconnecting front-wheel-drive-based drivetrain, but we’ll know more once it’s completed.

With these similarities to other Jeep models, it’s important to remember that the C-SUV design is intended to give the model its own distinctive place within the Jeep lineup. Dissenters of both the Compass and the Patriot complained that it filled a ticket few were specifically asking for, particularly considering the models’ mid-range level on all fronts.

Now, the C-SUV is rumored to perform up to a much higher bar, with improvements being made in the vehicle’s styling and fuel economy. It’s also possible that the C-SUV could see a Trailhawk trim or the turbocharged Hurricane four-cylinder engine that’s anticipated to appear in the next-generation Wrangler.

When it comes to timing, the C-SUV has already experienced one delay, as the model was originally scheduled to appear at the 2016 New York International Auto Show in March. Currently, Jeep has plans to show the car at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, with the C-SUV debuting on dealership floors in the first half of 2017.

Exactly how the car will be marketed is still up to debate, but Mike Manley, brand head for Jeep, confirmed earlier this summer that the C-SUV will wear either the Compass or Patriot badge and be built in Toluca, Mexico.

If you’re a fan of the current Compass and Patriot models, don’t miss your chance to stop in and take one home today from Pilson Fiat Chrysler Dodge Jeep and Ram. We’ve got plenty of 2016 Compass models in stock at a discounted price, such as the FWD 4dr High Altitude Edition for only $25,841 or the 75th Anniversary edition for only $22,373. Drive over and into the Jeep of your dreams today!

 

New Dodge Viper

The Dodge Viper Still Packs a Punch

Few descriptions sum up the Dodge Viper as well as autowriter Dan Carney’s in a recent article for Maxim:

“The Viper is a wonderfully irrational machine at a time when so many cars are painfully rationalized for measured efficiency, safety and cost. The Viper balances libido, pavement-shredding performance and a body-shaking physical experience merging sound, vibration and heat.”

The Viper is wicked fast, and it’s a car that has the ability to introduce itself before you’ve even finished pulling up to the red light. Of course, you might expect this of any car that has a base price of over $90,000, but there’s a certain magic, a kind of relentless nature, associated with the Viper that’s not seen in many other iconic muscle cars.

With an 8.4-liter V10 engine that pumps out 645-horsepower as the Viper standard, it’s no wonder this model has a reputation for speed. Compared to a Corvette’s base of only 455, the Viper’s horsepower is definitely something of a sensation, a feat that’s completely and unequivocally nonsensical for the likes of a morning commute but something that’s still worth every penny nonetheless.

Rationally, the Viper still meets all safety standards and features, and Dodge hasn’t given up the helm of making the Viper available only with a manual transmission. Carney relates that drivers better be ready to work those peddles for maximum performance, but the writer does express his admiration at the car’s less frequent need for shifting gears since it can max out at 206 mph.

Although this isn’t exactly your father’s Viper, the car is still remarkably agile, and the model is something of a living testament to the days of driving that have passed. Many autowriters pick-up on the model’s exclusion of certain driving luxuries that are rather commonplace nowadays—touchscreen infotainment systems, automatic transmissions and mobile-optimized technologies are not features readily found in today’s Viper.

“Because the Viper does exactly what you tell it to do,” said Jason H. Harper for The Verge. “It won’t choose a gear for you; it doesn’t interpret the angle of the steering wheel and then use an advanced digital algorithm to deduce how much you want to turn. It relies on huge tires with lots of grip, big Brembo brakes and your own good sense (or lack thereof) to deliver racecar-like performance.”

As it seems with all great things, the era of the Viper is coming to an end, and at Pilson Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram and Fiat we will surely mourn its passing. Dodge will commemorate the Viper legacy with five special 2017 Viper models as it closes its Viper factory. Dodge will have built over 30,000 Vipers since the car’s inception in 1992, and the car’s iconic legacy will continue to live on in the memories of classic car Americana.

 


The New 2018 Jeep Wrangler

Car junkies love talking about cars from the drawing board to the dealership floor. The 2018 Jeep Wrangler is currently somewhere in the middle, with no official photos or announcements having been made concerning the upcoming Wrangler’s styling or power. That’s where car spies come to save the day, and a few of them recently got a peek at the 2018 Jeep Wrangler prototype.

In a word: awesome.

In a few more words: it looks like a classic, but it’s definitely not your grandfather’s Wrangler.

Car private eyes Nathan Adlen and Andrew Smirnov for The Fast Lane Car followed what looks like a Wrangler Rubicon prototype as it wound its way down snowy roads up in the highlands of the Rocky Mountains. Adlen and Smirnov commented that they smelled a hint of diesel coming from the vehicle, which could confirm rumors that the new Wrangler will be available with a 4-cylinder diesel engine. Of course, there are other rumors that the Wrangler will be available with a V6 engine or the Willy’s Hurricane engine or maybe even as a hybrid, although we agree that it seems unlikely due to an unavoidable addition of weight to the vehicle.

The issue of weight is likely to be important for Wrangler developers, as there are rumors that the new Wrangler will incorporate body elements that are made form aluminum. This stems from comments made by Chief Executive Officer of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Sergio Marchionne, who recently stated that, while it would be not in their best interest to make a car entirely from aluminum, he did support the idea of using the material in components such as doors and hoods.

Other weight rumors have centered on the Wrangler’s freedom top—will it be removable, will it be a convertible, will it be solid—and, sadly, the recent photos or video could not confirm or deny any rumors. However, the photos do seem to confirm the rumor that the new Wrangler will no longer feature a removable windshield. Instead, the windshield will be angled in favor of better aerodynamics.

Another cool piece of nearly-confirmed speculation is that the 2018 Wrangler will feature a newbie-friendly driving system that allows off-road drivers to select terrain and conditions at the push of a button in order to optimize handling. Of course, this feature will be irrelevant to seasoned Jeep handlers, but it’ll be an enticing feature for drivers who have always dreamed of off-roading but have little to no experience.

Lastly, current Wrangler fans should have little to worry about. Although it’s speculation at the moment, it’s highly believed that Jeep will continue to market the current Wrangler model, opting to sell it alongside the “new” Wrangler. This makes sense from a business standpoint, considering that the current Wrangler is one of the most popular models on the market. Nothing’s been set in stone just yet, but that’s the popular opinion among car blog writers and fans.

Of course, it’s difficult to tell what the 2018 Wrangler will eventually look like or what features it will and will not include. The prototype seen by Adlen and Smirnov used the body styling of the current Wrangler in order to camouflage what the new Wrangler will really look like. However, those of us at Pilson Chrysler Jeep Dodge and Ram are certain that the 2018 Jeep Wrangler is going to be a showstopper. Take a chance and stop by to visit us some time so that we can get you behind the wheel of a Jeep, such as a 2016 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon or a Firecracker Red 2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. Let us show you the power of Jeep!

The “Convertriple”: Vintage Dodge Dart Ads

Here at Pilson Chrysler Jeep Dodge and Ram, we know that advertising has always been a big deal in the automotive world, and we know that it sometimes gets a little, shall we say, interesting. That’s the exact feeling that advertisement historian and writer Murilee Martin described after finding a collection of 1974 Dodge Dart advertising images still stuck in their glass slide mounts in the back of a Los Angeles photography supply store. Martin speculates that the collection of images was likely used during Chrysler presentations for dealers, since the photographs mostly include marketing buzzwords describing the then-new 1974 Dodge Dart.

 

One of Martin’s images is of a 3D advertising installation called the “Dart Dozen: Right On Target,” a wooden box featuring a bulls eye surrounded by features of the 1974 Dart model. In a list of features like “big trunk” and “room for five or six,” the most standout in terms of age is definitely “electronic ignition.” Around the bull’s eye are 12 pointed and red darts that spell out the different styles of the Dodge Dart that could be accomplished through different packages and upgrades, like the “Dart Sport” or the “Swinger Special”—hence, the literal “Dart” dozen that is boldly claimed to be “RIGHT ON TARGET.” Martin also points out that the “Dart Dozen” could be a reference to the 1967 film The Dirty Dozen, which just goes to show that pop culture has always had an influence on advertising, no matter the decade.

 

Other images from Martin’s trip down Dodge memory lane include a swimsuit model in a pattern of stars and stripes posing with a surfboard next to a Hang Ten model Dodge Dart in a rock quarry. Martin points out that, while the location doesn’t make the most sense, the inclusion of the surfboard points to a neat feature of the Hang Ten Dart: it came with a complimentary surfboard (sadly, no Americana swimsuit to match).

 

However, our favorite “Dart” has to be the term drummed up by marketers to drive home the Dart’s multi-functionality: the “convertriple.” The ad’s catchphrase, “Convertriple—three cars in one!” refers to everything Dodge pushed for the Dart to be: a fashionable sports car, a convertible-esque car (you could purchase a sun roof upgrade) and a roomy station wagon due to its large trunk.

 

However weird or funny this advertising may seem to us in 2016, there’s no doubt that it worked. R.D. McLaughlin, vice president of Chrysler’s automotive sales in the 1970s, stated, “The Dart was one of the most successful compact cars ever introduced in the American automobile marketplace.” The Dart is definitely an American classic that hasn’t been forgotten since its first generation in 1960, and it just goes to show that it still has a few surprises up its sleeve.

 

Like the Dodge Dart and other Dodge models?  Check out our online inventory and see which car best suits your needs.

 


The Future of Ram Trucks

There’s always something to be said about striking a balance. The top end and the bottom end of a spectrum always have their benefits, but it’s right in the middle that makes a sweet spot. When it comes to recent growth in the truck industry, the mid-size pickup market has been continuing to grow right in the middle of such a sweet spot. The FCA recently announced a mid-size Wrangler-based pickup, and now Ram might be bringing its own smaller version to the table.

“I think there’s opportunity there in the U.S. if you look at what’s happened in the mid-size segment here—significant growth last year,” Mike Manley, global head of Jeep and Ram, said to The Detroit News. “I think that space is big enough, certainly, to have two offerings there.”

These “two offerings,” one of which is likely the confirmed Wrangler-pickup, may indicate a Ram mid-size coming to the U.S. Nothing is official, but the FCA has seen recent success with their mid-size trucks, notably GMC’s 2016 Canyon and Chevrolet’s 2016 Colorado, which could spur them to make a Ram equivalent.

The draw of these mid-size trucks is simple: they’re more economical at a time when consumers have a need for savings, particularly when discussing gas-powered vehicles. A mid-size truck may not have the power of a full-size truck, but, for most truck owners, there simply isn’t a need for so much towing power or payload capacity. Opting for a mid-size truck versus a full-size option helps trim around the edges without sacrificing quality, comfort or innovation, and for many, it just makes sense based on their situation.

Although we do not currently have any mid-size trucks in stock, don’t let the power of Ram pass you by. Stop in today to take a spin in one of our 2016 Ram 1500s or 2500s, and start to get a feel for the truck you need. We might have to wait to see a mid-size Ram or Jeep, but it’s never too early to start planning for your future with Pilson Chrysler Jeep Dodge and Ram.

 

Jeep Gets Japan’s Eco-Car Incentive

After 75 years of legendary Jeep heritage, we’ve always known the Jeep brand to blaze trails in the automotive world. Now, the carmaker is becoming a spearhead among American-made, gas-powered vehicles in the battle for supreme eco-efficiency.

This news comes hot on the heels of the news that the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk, a powerful model underpinned by a 3.2-liter Pentastar V6 engine, is the first American-made, American-brand gasoline-powered vehicle to meet fuel-efficiency and emissions guidelines for Japan’s Eco-Car tax incentive.

“At Jeep, we don’t sacrifice operating efficiency for capability,” says the Head of Jeep Brand and Global Lead Executive for International Operations, Mike Manley. “This achievement vindicates our efforts to deliver products that resonate in a highly complex industry climate.”

The root of the Trailhawk’s success in this climate traces back to the aforementioned award-winning Pentastar engine that features fuel-saving Engine Stop-Start (commonly referred to as ESS) technology. In plain words, ESS refers to a car’s ability to shut down and restart the internal combustion engine in order to reduce time spent idling; this reduces the fuel consumption and, in turn, lowers emissions—a win-win for the driver and the environment. Additionally, the Trailhawk’s Pentastar engine features two mini-oxidation, three-way catalytic converters and four heated oxygen sensors to help reduce emissions, just a few of the features that explain why the Pentastar engine family is featured three times on the list of Ward’s 10 Best Engines.

So what’s this mean for Jeep in Japan? When the SUV comes to dealerships in Japan this month, Japanese drivers of the Trailhawk will meet all of the emissions-level requirements to receive a 58,000 yen consumer tax break. This is a huge benefit for Japanese drivers, and the Trailhawk’s eco-friendly design will help combat the adverse effects of the country’s growing urbanization. 

With the Cherokee Trailhawk model coming to Japan just after the country listed the standard Jeep Cherokee as one of the 10 best cars from 2014-2015, we’re sure it’s going to be a hit. Of course, you don’t have to live in Japan to experience the cutting-edge performance of Jeep, and award-winning eco-performance is something we can all celebrate. Come visit us at Pilson Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram so that we can get you behind the wheel of one of these 2016 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawks, and let us show you the power of Jeep.

 


A Jeep Pickup Truck Is Coming

Jeep has a tradition of revealing concept cars around Easter and this year was no exception. In addition to a Comanche Pickup that was quickly written off by Jeep designers as nothing more than a "pipe dream," Jeep unveiled a concept they're calling the Crew Chief 715: a 4-door pickup with all of the fittings to be an outdoor adventurist's dream. However, Jeep Chief Designer, Mark Allen says it isn't exactly the Crew Chief that'll be hitting showroom floors in the future; instead, Jeep will draw inspiration from this concept for its plans on a 4-door pickup truck based off of one of their most popular lines: the Wrangler.

 

All of these concepts are still in the making, but Allen told Outside that the Wrangler pickup will likely have its eyes set more on the future than on the past. This may come as a surprise to diehard Jeep fans who may hope to see a pickup concept similar in style to the iconic Kaiser-Willys CJ-5's, but Allen believes the Wrangler lineup lends more to new design than to "retro" ideas, as he puts it.

 

However, if the Wrangler pickup is anything like the concept seen last month, fans, both old and new, have nothing to worry about. The Jeep Crew Chief concept features skinny, off-roading tires that are reminiscent of the Kaiser Jeep M715 plus a tactical green paint job that drives home the military influence that covers the entire pickup. The inside gives off the same vibes you would expect at a mission control base camp with its all black interior punctuated by metallic accents and dramatic orange switches that control certain accessories, not to mention an oversized compass.

 

Granted, these features may or may not show up in the Wrangler pickup when it does arrive. This speculation comes from comments made by Allen himself; Allen says about the Wrangler pickup that "there may be things you see on the Crew Chief that you might see on that truck." Few things seem to be set in stone at this moment, but the dream of a 4-door Jeep pickup truck is on its way to becoming a reality.

 

This doesn't mean that your own Jeep dreams have to stay as concepts. We invite you to come visit us as Pilson Chrysler Jeep Dodge and Ram to see about taking a spin in one of our brand new 2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4-doors so that you can get a feel for the Jeep crew cab experience. Find your way to Pilson and we'll help you find your way into the car of your dreams.

 

Ram Yellow Rose of Texas 1500

With roughly one in six trucks sold in the U.S. going to Texans, it's no wonder that carmakers are battling for business in the Lone Star State. Ram is currently at the forefront of this race with their latest announcement: a "Yellow Rose of Texas" edition of the Ram 1500. The name comes from a chart-topping hit from Mitch Miller in 1955, and this unique, Texan flare on the Ram 1500 will be available for purchase in Texas only.

Besides an obvious reference to the Miller song, the truck's decision to come in Stinger Yellow may also be influenced by the state flags of two of Texas' nearby states, Arizona and New Mexico. A special Lone Star logo that incorporates the state nickname and flag (a red-white-and-blue overlay on the iconic Texas shape) is featured on the back of this Yellow Rose model, and accents from the Texas Ranger police force create a unique interior. The southwestern theme resonates again as four authentic Mexican five-peso silver coins are inlaid in the truck's door bolsters.

The Yellow Rose of Texas 1500 is available in either a half-ton 4x2 or 4x4 crew cab version, and it is Ram's most recent Texas edition since the Ram Lone Star in 2002. However, Ram is not the only truck manufacturer to target Texan audiences, and the Yellow Rose of Texas will compete with Ford's F-150 Texas Edition and Chevrolet's Silverado Texas Edition.

With its striking color palette and uniquely Texan accents, those of us here at Pilson Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram and Fiat are confident that the Yellow Rose of Texas will make an impact on southwestern buyers. And although we won't be seeing this edition in Illinois, we've got plenty of brand new 2016 Ram 1500's in stock if you want to get a feel for the yellow power that'll be rumbling through Texas.


2016 Jeep Renegade Review

TopSpeed, one of the leading car review and news sites, recently released their opinion on the cutting-edge 2016 Jeep Renegade. Their verdict? It’s a true star among compact-crossovers, and it’s a smart move for Jeep.

The Renegade delivers the classic Jeep look both on the exterior and with the interior, and TopSpeed believes it’s a great alternative for Jeep lovers who are looking for something a bit more powerful and spacious than Jeep’s recent Compass and Patriot models. The Renegade truly shines with its off-road capability, a feature that resonates with the model’s inspiration from Jeep’s iconic CJ-7. So while the Renegade is more compact than the Cherokee Trailhawk, the Renegade is sure to handle its own next to its larger sibling.

Because the Renegade revives so many classic Jeep details, TopSpeed calls it “one of the best-looking Jeep products to date,” and we couldn’t agree more. From the classic tapered Jeep hood to the square taillights and sleek, box-style, it’s a model that doesn’t need to say “Jeep” in order to get the point across. Similarly, the interior calls attention to these traditional roots with “SINCE 1941” proudly displayed on the top of the center stack, but the new definitely made it into this car as well. The Renegade features sports-equipment style fittings inspired by the Jeep Wrangler to give a “rugged” look, but the infotainment touchscreen in the center of the dashboard proves that this model brings both traditional and modern touches. Other optional features include heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers and a Beats Audio system sure to make any audiophile smile.

When it comes to power under the hood, buyers have two options: the standard 160 horsepower 1.4-liter MultiAir turbocharged four-cylinder, also available as a six-speed manual, or the more powerful 180 horsepower 2.4-liter Tiger Shark 16-valve four-cylinder, available only as a nine-speed automatic that’s good for fuel economy. The Renegade also does well when it comes to safety measures as it features rear park assist, a backup camera and the UConnect Access infotainment system that puts emergency service at your fingertips.

You’ll be able to choose your Renegade from a variety of versions including the Sport, Latitude, Limited and Trailhawk. The Renegade Sport comes in either two- or four-wheel drive with the smaller engine, and the Latitude adds four-wheel drive. The most powerful versions in this line are the Limited and Trailhawk which feature the nine-speed automatic transmission. Prices run the gamut here from $17,995 for the Sport through $27,120 as a starting price for the Trailhawk. 

Whether you’re looking to just navigate down to the supermarket or veer off-road to your next Jeep Jamboree, the 2016 Jeep Renegade offers both the power and comfort needed to make it happen. If your interest is peaked, please come see us at Pilson CJDR and take a spin in one of our in-stock 2016 Jeep Renegades.

Superheroes and Super Cars: The 2016 Jeep Renegade Dawn of Justice Special Edition

The FCA is taking us back to the movies with their new promotional partnership with Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice which is set to hit theaters later this month. Similar to recent FCA collaborations with movie hits like Zoolander 2 and Star Wars: Episode VII, the carmaker and upcoming superhero mashup recently released a promotional video starring the all-new blacked out 2016 Jeep Renegade. The spot focuses on Bruce Wayne, Batman’s true identity as portrayed by Ben Affleck in Batman v. Superman, as he rushes into the action by navigating downtown around explosions and crumbling buildings in this 2016 Jeep Renegade Dawn of Justice Special Edition. 

The Dawn of Justice Special Edition is a blacked-out model based on the Jeep Renegade Latitude 4x4, and it comes in your choice of either a lighter Granite Crystal or the exclusive Carbon Black. With the special edition’s matching shiny black trim and 18-inch wheels, it’s clear that the car is meant to mimic the iconic stealthy and intimidating look of recent Batmobile designs. The interior is similarly monochromatic except when studded with metal diamond accents for contrast, and you can spot an exclusive Batman v. Superman badge on this Renegade’s bumper. Just like the Renegade Latitude, the Dawn of Justice Special Edition is a 180 horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder and nine speed automatic with remote start, a power driver’s seat and dual-zone climate control.

If you want to get your hands on one of these special editions, you’ll need to act fast. Company spokesperson Todd Goyer expects no more than a few thousand of these blacked-out superhero specials to be made, and the vehicle’s surprisingly comparable price tag when next to the standard Renegade Latitude (approximately $27k versus $26k) is sure to make this limited edition compact SUV a hot seller. 

Please visit us today at Pilson CJDR for more information on how you can get behind the wheel of your very own 2016 Jeep Renegade Dawn of Justice Special Edition, or take a spin in one of our currently available Jeep models.


Hellcat-Powered Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk to Arrive in 2017

The Hellcat, a popular supercharged HEMI engine known for its power and success in the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat and Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, has finally been confirmed for a Jeep Grand Cherokee model. The result will likely be titled the Trackhawk, a name speculated as a Hellcat-powered Grand Cherokee that has been making its rounds as a rumor since the carmaker trademarked the name in 2014.

Rumors that such a vehicle could exist were finally made fact when Jeep chief executive Mike Manley responded to a reporter at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show this January. “Not only can I put a Hellcat motor in [a Grand Cherokee] for you, I’m going to bring that to the market by the end of 2017.” This sparked a wave of excitement since the Jeep Grand Cherokee is a mid-size SUV unlike the likes of the Dodge Challenger muscle car or overpowered Dodge Charger sedan.

The most exciting news? When placed in a Grand Cherokee, the 707 horsepower provided by the Hellcat engine has the probability of out accelerating both the Challenger and the Charger due to the Grand Cherokee’s use of all-wheel drive. The supercharged V8 engine is expected to be handled by an 8-speed automatic transmission, and the all-wheel drive will ensure a good grip on the road while accelerating. The spiciest rumors are suggesting that such a configuration would result in an SUV capable of going from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, having the potential to make the Trackhawk, should the name stick on this model, the world’s fastest accelerating SUV.

This vehicle has already amassed a large following of car enthusiasts who run discussion boards and topic threads devoted to analyzing any new pieces of information that can be parsed out during the next year or so before the 2017 debut. One point of discussion is the potential comparison between the Trackhawk and popular European brands that offer similar 0-to-60 numbers in such models, such as the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S that can make the leap in 4.1 seconds. Should the 3.5 second calculation be true, the Trackhawk could beat the luxury vehicle off the starting line. Not only that, but the Cayenne Turbo S’s horsepower maxes out at 570, a 137 horsepower shy of the Hellcat’s potential.

These speculations are only the beginning. There are sure to be plenty of exciting and new announcements made concerning the Trackhawk, so stay tuned at Pilson Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat for any upcoming news. While the Trackhawk isn’t expected to make its debut until 2017, we here at Pilson CJDR would love have you stop by and set up a test drive in one of our 2016 Dodge Challengers so that you can get a taste of the power to come.

 

chrysler pacifica

The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica: Redefining the Minivan

When it comes to the automotive world, the minivan usually receives the short end of the stick. Stuck with the unflattering (and, in our opinion, undeserving) label of being “uncool,” minivan makers have a big stigma to fight against in today’s market. Of course, it isn’t just the word on the street that has had executives worried about the future of the minivan; for carmakers like Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, it’s the dragging sales decline of the once-popular minivan maverick: the Chrysler Town & Country.

The problem that FCA faced when attempting to reconceptualize the Town & Country was that the name was too well known. The carmaker feared that too many preconceived notions surrounding the model would hinder any future success, not to mention the difficulties that would ensue when attempting to reconfigure its price structure. The solution? A resurrection of the Pacifica, a model whose production as a mid-size crossover was originally halted amid the recession in 2008.

The Pacifica was a fairly popular model when it hit dealership floors in 2004. The car found a way to harmonize the traits of a minivan, SUV and sedan, but fears that the vehicle lacked power kept it from truly taking hold. A resurrection of the Pacifica name attached to a modernization and reconceptualization of the minivan is the exact formula that FCA hopes will rejuvenate interest in the market.

Of course, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica will bring more to the plate than just a known name. Designers at FCA have really focused in on the car’s curb appeal, ditching any notions classically associated with models like the Town & Country. In fact, the exterior of the 2017 Pacifica features sleek lines and chrome accents, and the carmaker has taken extra steps to make sure that the sliding side doors are understated, making the new Pacifica resemble a crossover more than a minivan. These steps should minimize any preexisting stigma new buyers, particularly millennials that are beginning to start families, might have when comparing styles. Dave Sullivan, an auto analyst for AutoPacific, believes this design will put the Pacifica well above market competition, particularly the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna.

What’s under the hood for the new Pacifica is just as bold as the design covering it. Previous concerns about the Pacifica’s power will be put to rest since the 2017 Pacifica will feature a redesigned 3.6-liter, V6 Pentastar engine that produces 287 horsepower, a higher stat than even the 2016 Town & Country. However, FCA has another feature under the hood that’ll help make the new Pacifica a popular choice: a plug-in hybrid model.

As part of FCA taking strides to catch up with other automakers that began heavily investing into hybrid research in the early 2000s, the 2017 Pacifica will feature a hybrid model in addition to the traditional gas-only model. This Pacifica Hybrid will stow its battery under the second row of seats, so fans of the roomy Stow ‘n Go seating and storage feature don’t need to worry; in this case, hybrid doesn’t mean compromising space. This hybrid version will get 80 MPGe with in-city driving and can go up to 30 MPG on electric power when fully charged, perfect for the daily routine of most buyers in the minivan market. Best of all, the battery can be fully charged in only two hours.

Don’t let all of this talk about the exterior and workings of the 2017 Pacifica distract you from its inside. FCA is truly packing in all of their latest and greatest technological advancements, particularly two 10-inch Uconnect screens. This infotainment system is great for streaming movies, listening to music and playing games for passengers in the back rows, but it also provides temperature controls, hands-free calling, wireless charging and more for those in the front seat, all controlled through voice commands. The new Pacifica will also feature hands-free sliding doors and liftgate alongside the redesigned Stow ‘n Go seating, Stow ‘n Go Assist and Easy Tilt access to the third row.

“This is a fairly monumental leap. This is no evolutionary change,” says Sullivan for AutoPacific. Taking in all of these changes and reconfigurations, it’s clear that FCA is ready to take back the minivan throne. Buyers will be able to choose from six different gas-only models this spring, and those waiting for the Pacifica Hybrid will be able to choose from two different models in the second half of 2016. If you’re looking to buy this new flagship minivan, be sure to keep an eye on our blog and inventory here at Pilson Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat. As always, reach out to us for any of your Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram needs, and let us know if we can set you up with a test drive in one of our brand new 2016 models.

 


Jeep Wrangler

The Time Has Arrived for A Wrangler Pickup


At Pilson Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat we have been teased by the rumors of a Jeep pickup before, but it looks like it is actually going to happen. We might even be seeing a midsize Jeep pickup on the road in 2018, but it may still be too early for such predictions. Why a Wrangler pickup? Why now? It’s all part of the Chrysler Fiat plans to expand globally, much as the company has done for the past five consecutive years when they broke sales records in international markets. The auto giant chose the high profile Detroit Auto show, held in January of this year, to let us in on a few details about what’s in store for the first Jeep pickup since 1995.


Jeep has developed concept pickups in the past, including the Jeep J-12 which was made to compete in the Moab Easter Jeep Safari event back in 2012. Then there was the Jeep Gladiator which was also based on the Wrangler platform and was shown off at the Detroit Auto show just over a decade ago. Of course, dedicated Jeep fans could create their own Wrangler pickups using the Mopar JK-8 pickup conversion kit, but soon, it won’t be necessary to go to such great lengths.


Production of the Jeep Comanche, if you’ll remember, was halted in the early 90s and ever since then Jeep fans have had to hang on hope. The time is certainly ripe for such a move back in the pickup direction now that the midsize segment has been gaining in sales, and the Toledo Assembly Complex in Toledo, Ohio has been reconfigured to start production. The truck will be built on the same platform as the Wrangler, so it will likely share much of the same technology. While the design allows for more rigidity, aluminum will also be used in the construction of the tailgate, doors and bonnet, but high strength steel will also make up some of its hybrid construction.


Is a year too long to wait for a new Jeep? If so, stop by and see us today at Pilson Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat. We have plenty of great Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram cars and trucks for you check out. We are located at 2212 Lake Land Boulevard in Mattoon, IL.

Chrysler Commemorates Historic Wartime Participation in Film Short

 

Chrysler has been at the center of wartime production since before the U.S. entered WWII in 1941. And on December 29, 1940 during a segment in a series of radio broadcasts to Americans - often referred to as the 'fireside chats' - President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave his famous speech named "The Arsenal of Democracy." The announcement outlined America's plan to supply the U.K. with military supplies to help in the battle against Nazi Germany. The U.S. would help provide ammunition while remaining on the sidelines as a neutral party and the main military supplier for the Allied war effort.

In commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Roosevelt's address, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA US LLC) presents a new Chrysler mini-documentary titled “Automakers and the Arsenal of Democracy” chronicling Chrysler's role in WWII as a major military supplier. The six-minute long historic documentary offers a behind scenes look at Chrysler's production efforts during the war.

The brand pledged to offer its full cooperation with the United States government in the interest of national defense by building trucks, tanks, aircraft parts and components, guns, ammunition, rockets, bombs, and a number of other goods and materials. Initially, Roosevelt's "Arsenal of Democracy" speech was regarded as a "call to arm and support" the European Allies in a collective effort involving civilian and non-civilian resources, which would establish America as a major military supplier in the war against Germany and Japan.

From what Pilson CJDR knows, Chrysler's participation in defense work was the subject of a number of headlines in the New York Times in 1940, citing the brand's ability to produce light tanks as fast as they churned out vehicles. Several articles also reported that Chrysler had entered into contracts with the government to not only build Dodge trucks and reconnaissance cars, but fuse bomb noses, forging and machining shells, cartridge cases, and heavy artillery weapons, as well.

Little did many Americans know, but the country was slowly preparing itself for war. GM and Chrysler and were under negotiations with the Army to build several plants in the Midwest - one of which was estimated to cost $16 million - for the sole purpose of manufacturing tanks.

Not long after that, the War Department and National Defense Advisory Commission announced that it had just signed a contract with the automaker to build a plant along with a specified number of tanks for $54,500,000. But, it wasn't until the bombing of Pearl Harbor that Chrysler leased a factory and started making parts for the B-26 medium bomber. It was also reported that the automaker was working to create a twelve cylinder, V-type, liquid-cooled engine which would provide a plane with enough power to fly five hundred miles, and 115 octane gasoline capable of producing 25 percent more hp than 100 octane gas.

By April of 1941, the first M-3 tanks had gone into production. The documentary narrated by FCA US historian Brandt Rosenbusch, heralds these and other contributions made by Chrysler during the war.

And to this day, the American automaker celebrates the service of the men and women in the Armed Forces by setting up its own military-focused programs. Pilson Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat commends Chrysler’s annual donations to the Marines' Toys for Tots Program, as well as its contributions toward the construction of the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.


The Oldest Surviving Jeep Prototype Added To The National Historic Vehicle Register

The year: 1940. The setting: A war that is rapidly spreading across the world and will soon draw in the United States. The problem: The U.S. Army lacks a lightweight, all-terrain vehicle that can both perform frontline recon duties and be called upon to support infantry during combat. The solution: A request to the auto industry for a ‘general purpose’ four-wheel-drive scout car that can be maintained in the field, drive across a variety of terrain types, and carry a machine gun into the fight. The result: The first of what would be collectively known as ‘Jeeps’, legendary fighting vehicles that have since become a staple of civilian life.

Now, to commemorate the process that led to the creation of the Jeep over 75 years ago, the Historic Vehicle Association announced on December 7, 2015 — in conjunction with the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor — that the oldest surviving prototype of what would eventually be developed into the Jeep lineage has been added to the National Historic Vehicle Register. Manufactured by Ford Motors in 1940, this ‘Pygmy’ GP-001 is not only the sole surviving GP prototype, but also a vehicle that, after severe testing by the U.S. Army, still works today.

Members of ‘Jeep Nation’ may be a bit surprised to learn that the oldest surviving vehicle that can be classified as a Jeep was built by Ford, as the Willys name is synonymous with the earliest generation, however a quick review of the historical environment that led to its genesis is enough to explain the vehicle’s origins. 1940 America was a nation that, after suffering through years of economic trouble, was rapidly trying to convert its civilian industrial output over to military production. While Germany, Britain, Japan, and other nations had been rebuilding their militaries for years, the U.S. was forced to engage in a series of crash programs to modernize each of its services. The U.S. Army, in particular, saw the need for a light recon vehicle that could be used to scout through and fight in adverse terrain. To this end they issued a general request for proposals to the auto industry for a new ‘general purpose’ lightweight vehicle. Bantam, Ford, and Willys each responded with their own prototypes.

The first to be delivered was the Bantam Reconnaissance Car, a prototype that lead engineer Karl Probst personally delivered to the Army’s Fort Holabird in Baltimore on September 23, 1940, a date that came only two months after submitting his initial design. In an era when the American auto industry had largely switched to producing large six- and eight-cylinder cars, often with ‘straight’ engine block configurations that required long hoods, Bantam specialized in producing lightweight vehicles that were powered by 4-cylinder motors. Other than the flexibility that is usually enjoyed by smaller companies, Bantam was also able to deliver their submission first because, while the Army was formulating their requirements for the new vehicle, Bantam representatives had remained in contact with the service while it settled on the requirements for the new vehicle, providing feedback on their field of expertise and sample cars as this process progressed.

Bantam was not the only company that jumped at the new contract, however, as Willys soon followed with a prototype, then known as the ‘Quad’, that was submitted on November 13. Ford then entered the Pygmy GP-001 and a Budd-bodied prototype that was never tested, the GP-002, on November 23.

Initial evaluation revealed that each company had missed the requested maximum dry weight mark, which was set at 1,300 lbs, by a significant margin. The Bantam submission clocked in at 1,840 lbs, with the Ford weighing in at a meaty 2,150 lbs. Though, at 2,450 lbs, the heaviest prototype, the Willys entry made up for its bulk due to a 4-cylinder engine that turned out 60 horsepower and a markedly superior transmission and 4x4 systems. Ford, which had not produced a 4-cylinder engine in recent years, was hampered by a motor that, having been developed from the 120 cubic inch flathead engine on their 9N tractor, could only generate 42 hp and a transmission system that was repurposed from the retired Model-A line and then mated to a Spicer transfer case and axles. The Bantam model, on the other hand, was considered competitive due to the viable power-to-weight ratio provided by its 45 hp, 4-cylinder Continental engine and overall lightweight architecture.

Though the Army’s preferences during the evaluation phase gradually shifted from the Bantam entry to the one from Willys, the otherwise disadvantaged Ford Pygmy GP-001 prototype that was honored on December 7 did have some features that gained official favor. These included headlamps that could hinge up to provide engine bay illumination, an under-the-seat gas tank, and a second top bow. In addition, while the Willys Quad and BRC had rounded hoodlines and grilles, the Ford Pygmy GP-001 featured a flat front and grille that were constructed from welded flat stock, which made it easier to build en masse. Despite the varying plusses and minuses of each design, the Army nevertheless ordered an additional 1,500 units — now classified as the Bantam BRC-40, Willys MA, and Ford GP — from each company. After further evaluation, it was decided that the offering from Willys, which was standardized as the Willys MB, would be the production version, though the final model incorporated aspects from both the Bantam and Ford submissions (Ford would also build the Willys MB under contract as the GPW throughout the war).

Now in its clearly recognizable form, the Willys MB was soon introduced to the American public by Willys-Overland Motors during a public event in which company test driver Irving "Red" Haussman piloted it up the steps of the U.S. Capitol, producing an iconic photograph that appeared on the front pages of newspapers across the country throughout February 1941. Though whether or not the term ‘Jeep’ originated at this time is disputed, the vehicle itself was soon deployed to every theater in the war, becoming the standard scout and liaison vehicle for most Allied armed services. For a generation of young Americans, the new Jeep developed into a symbol of durability and adaptability, making it a popular consumer choice when the CJ (‘Civilian Jeep’) version was introduced by Willys-Overland in 1945. Similar models would soon follow and the name remained synonymous with off-roading even as the brand’s parent company changed throughout the post-war era. Indeed, when Chrysler chairman Lee Iacocca acquired American Motors Corporation in 1987 (which had absorbed the then Kaiser-Jeep Corporation in 1970), he did so specifically to acquire the Jeep brand and design lineage.

While the impact Jeep has had on American culture is undisputed, the fate of most of the original prototypes is unclear, as it appears that the majority were given back to the manufacturers and later destroyed. The Ford Pygmy GP-001 prototype that has been honored by the Historic Vehicle Association survived because it was first used as a company vehicle, then preserved for a time at the Henry Ford Museum. Since 1982, it has been in the hands of a private owner from Alabama who, after making some minor repairs, was able to get it back to running condition.

While Jeeps that match the exact specifications of the first prototypes cannot be purchased from Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, and Ram dealers today, FCA is proud to offer not only the 2016 Jeep Wrangler, which reflects the spirit and capability of its Willys MB ancestor, but also a limited edition, 3.6L V6-powered 2016 Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler 4x4 trim that incorporates a number of design accents and capabilities that harken back to the vehicle that helped preserve America’s freedom during World War II.

At Pilson Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat, we honor both the history of the Jeep brand and the courage of America’s servicemen and women, so we’re happy to answer any questions about the Willys Wheeler 4x4 trim, as well as other 2016 Wrangler models, from anyone who calls us at 844-607-2518 or visits our showroom at 2212 Lake Land Boulevard in Mattoon.

Fiat-Chrsyler Calls to Owners to Upgrade Tires for Winter

Here at Pilson Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat we know just how brutal these winter weather conditions can be in the Midwest. So it’s no surprise to us to hear about Fiat-Chryslers new urge to Fiat owners to keep safety at the forefront of their minds this year by having special winter tires installed on their vehicles.

With warmer temperatures seemingly keeping a true winter at bay for now here in Northern Illinois it can be hard to imagine what the roads will look like come January and Feburary. This call to action comes as a safety concern for drivers in inclement weather. When temperatures drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit even traditional all season tires can lose their grip which negatively affects a car’s ability to break properly, and can even affect handling. The easiest solution for ensuring safe driving is having your tires changed out for the season which is an easy switch.

The great thing about this option is that many brands and variations are available for drivers to choose from. Brands from Continental, Michelin, Goodyear, and Bridgestone have options to choose from. The only downside is at this time not every vehicle package is available to drivers. Currently packages are available for the Dodge Caravan, Dodge Charger, Chrysler Town & Country, Chrysler 200, Chrysler 300 and Jeep Cherokee. At this time it is anticipated more options and models will be available next year.

Pricing for the tires will range from $242 to $292 per tire before installation. While a $1000 price tag might initially seem like a huge chunk of change to spend on tires that are only designated for part of the year, this price is a fraction of what you would normally pay from a third party provider.

Before we know it old man winter will be here in full force wreaking havoc on our roads, and it’s always better to be prepared ahead of time. If you’re interested in learning more about how to protect yourself and your vehicle this winter come on in to see us here at Pilson Auto. Our qualified service professionals will be able to explain what your options are for keeping safe and on the road this winter season.


Jeep Pushing Two New Special Packages for the 2016 Market

 

It is a great time to be a Jeep fan! That is, the company announced recently that it plans to unveil two new special edition packages, for two of its best selling vehicles, at this year’s LA Auto Show. These new special edition packages will include the new Jeep Grand Cherokee Night, which is obviously a version of Jeep’s Grand Cherokee, and the new Wrangler Backcountry.

The Grand Cherokee Night package sticks pretty tight to its namesake, adding to the standard Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT a dark, glossy black color to the rear spoiler, side body pillars, widow surrounds, grille bezels, and roof. The front and rear fasciae get a less-glossy satin black, which goes well with the other to pull off quite a beautiful, sleek color scheme. The exterior of the vehicle also includes a set o 20-inch wheels that also get that satin black finish that really makes the Grand Cherokee Night pop.

Moving to the interior, the Grand Cherokee Night boasts these silver accented dark-chrome bezels that do well to lend their sort of mystique to the overall theme. Specs-wise, the Grand Cherokee Night package comes out of the gate packing what the Grand Cherokee SRT does: that is, an eight-cylinder engine capable of 475 horsepower and around 470 pounds-feet of torque Oddly enough, however, for all the emphasis on the “night” theme, the Grand Cherokee Night only comes in red, silver, and gunmetal. But, needless to say, despite that, the vehicle is a beautiful sleek ride.

Modeled after the Jeep Wrangler Sahara, the Backcountry is a different ride with a focus on the colder months. The front and rear bumper push a powder-coated, off-road theme and both the rack rails atop the vehicle as well as the wheels are borrowed from the rugged Rubicon. Customers have the option of getting the Backcountry with the standard black hardtop or one matching the body color.

Inside the Jeep Wrangler Backcountry features tough, black leather seats with black mesh inserts. Too, climate control vent rights, grab handles, and door handles are all painted in a shiny, classy piano-esque black that sings quite well juxtaposed with the rest of the vehicle’s color palette. The console and armrests are also painted black, however these feature some gray accent stitching that really pops. Going with simply the standard equipment package, buyers will be given a nine-speaker premium audio system as well as Bluetooth audio streaming capability.

Buyers here have five options with regard to color: blue, black, white, gunmetal, and purple.

Keep checking back in here with us at Pilson Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat for more information with regard to the Jeep Grand Cherokee Night and the Jeep Wrangler Backcountry.

November 11th Marks The Anniversary Of The General Lee’s First Stunt Jump!

 

 

They were just some good ol’ boys, never meaning any harm, however the fact that they were in trouble with the law since the day they were born meant that cousins Luke and Bo Duke needed the fastest car available when they were running from Boss Hogg and his minions. For the producers of The Dukes of Hazzard, which ran on CBS from 1979 to 1985, this meant that the car of choice for their heroes was obviously the 1969 Dodge Charger, as this muscle car, which was nearly a decade old when the show began filming, had both the power to perform planned stunts and a real world history that fit in with the show’s backstory. Since November 11th marks the 37th anniversary of when CBS filmed the first General Lee stunt, which involved an 82-foot long jump from a dirt ramp over a pursuing police cruiser, there’s no better time to review the history of what is undoubtedly America’s most famous television car.

History, actually, is where the creators of the The Dukes of Hazzard, Gy Waldron and Jerry Rushing, drew their inspiration for the General Lee. Asked by CBS to develop Moonrunners, a 1975 movie they had produced about moonshine smugglers, into a regular, light-hearted series, the duo set to work creating fictional biographies for their main characters. The central premise was that the two heroes, Luke and Bo Duke, used a former stock car to smuggle alcohol into ‘dry’ Hazzard County, which was run by the corrupt Boss Hogg. Though each episode would involve a plot wherein the Duke Boys uncovered one of Hogg’s schemes or helped an innocent bystander, the stories would always climax with a spectacular chase that was capped off by a jump over a collapsed bridge, flowing river, or series of pursuing police cruisers. For the show’s key sequences to work, they needed a vehicle that had a real history as a stock car racer and was known for being able to make high performance jumps. The search for a car that could fit this bill inevitably led to one choice: the Dodge Charger.

Developed as a ‘fastback’ version of the Dodge Coronet in the mid-60s, the Dodge Charger rapidly began to make its mark when it entered stock car circuits, including NASCAR, in 1966. Originally offered with four engine options, including a 426 Street Hemi, the Charger initially had difficulties racing because its aerodynamic body and high power output often caused it to become airborne for short stretches, however a few mid-year modifications enabled David Pearson, who drove a #6 Cotten Owens-prepared Charger, to win the 1966 NASCAR Grand Championship with a dominating 14 first-place finishes. Subsequent model years and an array of engine options proved to be equally successful, and the Charger line soon became synonymous with stock car racing.

Able to leap into the air with minimal prompt, attain high speeds, and execute the difficult 180-degree “Bootlegger’s Turn”, the Charger was therefore quickly selected as the show’s featured vehicle, with the 1969 model being listed as the General Lee’s canonical year (Chargers from other model years would be used for stunt sequences in later seasons). Though the producers purchased as many Chargers as possible for conversion, most were destroyed throughout the course of filming and, of the approximately 255-320 cars that were used during the series’ run, only 17 are believed to have survived.

Six screen-ready Chargers, for use as both second unit stunt cars and first unit close-up cars, were completed when filming of the Dukes of Hazzard began in November of 1978. The Lee’s first stunt jump, which saw it soaring over Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane’s police cruiser in a sequence that would be replayed during the closing credits of the show for its entire run, was carried out by a Charger with the off-screen label of ‘LEE 1’ on November 11th over a road near Convington, Georgia. This General Lee, which was powered by a 383 V-8, was quickly stripped down and later used in the episode “Repo Men” as a burnt-out hulk that, within the story, was once raced by Richard Petty, however it was later restored to its original on-screen appearance. ‘LEE 3’, which was the first close-up car to be used by the series, was powered by a 440 Magnum. Believed to be the first car over which Luke Duke, played by actor Tom Wopat, made the iconic “hood slide”, this early General Lee is believed to have appeared in all the early episodes of The Dukes of Hazzard.

A slew of other General Lees would be used by the producers over the years as an ever-escalating demand for new footage took its toll on the powertrains, suspensions, and bodies of the stunt cars. When the available pool of functioning 1969 Chargers began to dry up, Warner Brothers, which filmed the show for CBS, began transferring fascia, badging, and other details from wrecked ’69 models to any available ’68 or ’70 examples that they could find. According to some sources, they even hired private pilots to search the country from the air for any available period Dodge Chargers. When even this supply began to run out, the producers resorted to using remote controlled miniatures, a decision that was one of the factors that led to the show’s sudden decline in its final season.

While the exact tally of Chargers that were used to film The Dukes of Hazzard may never be accurately tabulated, the model’s impact on popular culture cannot be underestimated, as the 1969 Dodge Charger is now considered the muscle car by a generation of Americans who grew up watching the program. Its immediate successor, the 1970 Dodge Charger, even served as the “final car” in the 2001 film The Fast and the Furious, cementing the line’s muscle reputation. Today, aficionados of The Dukes of Hazzard and performance driving in general have the option of owning their own piece of history, as Pilson Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat will soon be receiving a full batch of 2016 Dodge Chargers. Available in a range of trims that include the 485 hp SRT® 392 and 707 hp SRT® Hellcat, modern Chargers actually boast levels of power which exceed that wielded by their legendary ancestors. If you loved The Dukes of Hazzard or simply enjoy driving pure American muscle, cruise down to 2212 Lake Land Blvd in Mattoon to see the Chargers we have in the inventory or call (877) 710-0776 for more information on ordering select trims. While we don’t recommend that you use your Charger to jump over any rivers, we do believe that you’ll love it as much as the Duke Boys loved the General Lee.


Chrysler Town & Country

A complete overview of the 2016 Chrysler Town and Country

2016 is going to be a big year for minivans. Chrysler’s latest and greatest from their 2016 minivan lineup is going to bring a whole new air of class to the world of vans with their newest Town and Country.

With a long, long list of new features that will be available in the Anniversary Edition Package, and in 7 different trim options (LX, Touring, S, Touring-L, Anniversary Edition, Limited, and Limited Platinum), you can’t go wrong. Especially since the Chrysler Town and Country’s unaging silhouette is still just as recognizable as ever. Plus it’s attractive outside only hints at all the great details and features on the inside.

But before we jump into the inside of this van, let’s talk about the exterior options available.

The Anniversary Edition Package comes with rain sensitive windshield wipers, Rear window defroster, Rear window wiper/washer, automatic high beam headlamp control, daytime running lamps, halogen quad headlamps, premium fog lamps among other premium features. But if that just won’t do, you can always upgrade to the Limited Platinum option which includes bright door handles, bright grille, bright side roof rails, chrome exterior mirrors, exterior mirrors with heating element, exterior Mirrors with memory, and so much more.

This Town and Country also features a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces a mighty 283 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque so no matter where you’re going you can rest assured you can get there full-force. Efficiency wise, this 2016 model comes in at around 20 mpg combined, which may not be something to write home about, but definitely is something worth noting.

The real bragging rights come to light when we start talking about that all new interior. The Anniversary Edition Package comes with heated front seats, heated second row seats, nappa leather-trimmed bucket seats, 115 volt auxiliary power outlet, 12 volt auxiliary power outlet, 12 volt DC front and rear power outlets, mini overhead console, overhead storage bins, 1 year SiriusXM radio service, 40 GB hard drive with 28 GB available, 6 speakers, 6.5-inch touchscreen display, audio jack input for mobile devices, bluetooth streaming audio, high definition multimedia interface, and that’s not even scratching the surface.

The Limited Platinum interior comes with all that good stuff and a little bit more to add some icing to this already too good to be true minivan.

In the spirit of innovation, Chrysler keeps looking forward (although backing up would not be a problem since this Town and Country has the ParkSense rear park assist system) and this newest model of an all time favorite is proof.

For more information or for a test drive visit us at Pilson Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat.

 

Ram Trucks and Rolling Stone Country Shake Hands on Multi-Content Collaboration

Ram Trucks just sealed the deal on its newest partnership. And it isn't any of your usual automotive suspects. The Italian/American car company is teaming up with Rolling Stone Country to launch a multi-platform content venture in order to bring diehard country music fans more of what they love: music, videos and behind the scenes artist interviews. Rolling Stone Country is a new site that caters to country music lovers and is dedicated to bringing music coverage to the public from a genre that has been underrepresented for years.

And country music lovers just happen to love Ram Trucks. So, it’s not surprising that Ram has also formed alliances with some of the biggest names in the business.

Earlier this year, the brand created a national television spot and music video for Miranda Lambert, which featured her new Ram inspired tune, "Roots and Wings." Ram has also collaborated in the past with Easton Corbin and Chris Stapleton, while boasting a long-time relationship with the Academy of Country Music Awards. So, why not bring the two groups together to expand popular content on the country music scene?

Last week was the premiere of Rolling Stone Country's, "Ram Report," a daily, hosted video series to bring fans the hottest news stories on today’s most popular country artists. The first episode featured an exclusive interview with Lady Anteblleum’s Charles Kelley, who recently announced his solo album and single “The Driver.” Ram will sponsor the star’s November 3rd performance at the Rolling Stone Country Live: Nashville event – a preview of Kelley’s upcoming fall tour.

As a result of the new partnership, Rolling Stone Country will develop a custom video series for Ram Trucks that features exclusive music performances and Q&As with Nashville artists, pair up with Ram as a media partner for the 2016 pre-Academy of Country Music Awards event and capture performance content for distribution by the brand on Rolling Stone and Ram properties.

Olivier Francois, Chief Marketing Officer, FCA – Global commented on the alliance, "Ram is always seeking additional opportunities to authentically be part of the country music genre through relationships and content that reaches target audiences who index high among truck buyers," he said. "Rolling Stone has been the authority on all things music and pop culture for nearly 50 years and their new dedicated genre hub, launched last year, has been critically acclaimed with the artist community as a solid, reputable and quality editorial destination. For these reasons, we are looking forward to this partnership that will help us create and deliver custom content in the near future.”


There Can Only Be One Jeep Wrangler

Ever wonder why there seems to be no competition for the iconic Jeep?

Over the years some of you may have stumbled upon this strange revelation that’s suddenly gaining a lot of buzz: The Jeep Wrangler has no competition.

After this conclusion you may have also found yourself asking this burning question: Why not?

Why haven’t other brands tried to tap into this type of vehicle? Is there a secret, Coca-Cola style formula that Jeep has been hiding for the last few decades? Are other brands intimidated by recreating a vehicle that’s so uniquely Jeep?

Actually, there have been several attempts to design, create, and market a similar vehicle. For instance the Xterra, GeoTracker, that one 2-door Rav4, that one time KIA made a two door open roof version of the Sportage, the Isuzu Amigo, the Toyota FJ Cruiser, and a plethora of other vehicles.

The attempts are there, they just haven’t been as successful as the original. But wait, there’s that burning question again: Why?

A couple reasons, but to start with let’s just say it has a lot to do with brand loyalty. I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed this, but Jeep buyers love their cars. A lot of the time buyers will stick with Jeep for the rest of their lives.

Another important reason the efforts to compete with the Jeep Wrangler have been sort of minimal is because the brand and the vehicle are so deeply engrained in our culture now. Even if another brand tried to make an extremely similar vehicle that performed just as well, heck, perhaps even better than the Wrangler, it still wouldn’t compare. That brand would have to invest in literal decades of marketing in order to get to the same point that the Wrangler is at.

Lastly, keep in mind that this is Jeep’s specialty. No other brand makes vehicles like this specifically. Sure, as mentioned above, there are a lot of brands that made the attempt, but those brands have several other types of vehicles, built for different terrains (i.e the highway), for different purposes, for different people. Jeep has a niche, a focus, and they don’t like to deviate from it (neither do their loyal, loyal fans). It’s not worth the extreme effort and massive amounts of funds it would take to try and compete with such a specialized vehicle when they already have a plethora of other types of vehicles to worry about.

Some advice? Leave it to Jeep. They’ve already got the formula, branding, marketing, and following to keep rolling out those well-sought after Wranglers. And they’re not going to be stopping soon.

For more information, or for a test drive, visit us at Pilson Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat.

 

Turns Out the New Wagoneer May Have Wood Paneling After All

 

Everybody loves classic cars. There’s just something about that classic, vintage look that you don’t see anymore that makes them so intriguing. So what classic vehicle comes to mind when you think Chrysler? Well, turns out Chrysler is bringing back an old Jeep that hasn’t been manufactured in about 2 decades. The Jeep Grand Wagoneer. And this is all news we've known for a while, and have previously shared with you on our blog. But, there is a new development: it looks like the wood paneling may also return as well!

 

Kaiser Jeep first introduced the Wagoneer in 1963 and after a few years released the vehicle with faux wood side paneling coining the nickname “Woody”. The wood paneling become incredibly popular and, in part thanks to Magnum PI, many people harbor a great amount of nostalgia for the vehicles today, especially if they grew up with them.

 

What’s more is that the average price for these vehicles has skyrocketed more than 35 percent according to data from classic vehicle insurance expert Hagerty cited by Bloomberg. Some high end models in excellent condition are even garnering prices of around $70,000.00. That’s more than a brand new, off the lot, Chevy Spark with all the bells and whistles. Dealers aren’t afraid that this classic’s reboot is going to decrease the oldie but goodie’s value drop. People still seek them out, and although it’s pretty clear the world can’t wait for this new vehicle, there’s no shortage of die hard fans of the original.

 

This isn’t the first time that Fiat Chrysler has brought back a classic vehicle. In recent years they brought back Barracuda, Charger and Dart all with Hemi engines. Most are hoping the brand will give the same engine treatment for the Woody.

 

Although for some this may come as a pleasant surprise, it actually makes a lot of sense for the brand. August showed an 18 percent increase in sales for the company, the most of any brand. They’ve also been trying broaden their genre and portfolio to appeal to a larger audience. While the Renegade was targeted towards the younger generation, the Woody will loop in the older generation.

 

The only thing that worries car analysts is that the new Jeep Wagoneer lacks a third row of seats, something that many SUV buyers are looking for. Despite the fact that most consumers don’t regularly use that row, people still want it.

 

Either way, don’t get too excited yet. The Wagoneer isn’t slated to come out until 2018, but rest assured it’s on its way to you. For more information, or for a test drive, visit us at Pilson CJDR.


Fiat Chrysler and Lucasfilm Team Up as The Force Awakens This December

 

Without a doubt, there are fewer more beloved or better-known stories in modern culture than George Lucas’ epic Star Wars, and with the film franchise’s new installment, The Force Awakens, preparing for a landing later this year, the series will be on the verge of celebrating an incredible forty years of successfully stirring the imaginations of untold millions of fans. With that impressive fact in mind, Fiat Chrysler is finding it easier than usual recently to answer the question of who best to partner with when the time comes to make an effort to present their evolving image to today’s fast-paced, media-saturated world. As obvious fans of the innovative thought that Star Wars embodies, and as appreciators of the worldwide admiration that the films represent, the company seemed downright thrilled recently to announce a dedicated partnership with Lucasfilm, in what the studio is calling “an expansive, historic promotional campaign” for its new film.

 

Fiat Chrysler certainly boasts something of a successful history in partnering with other major forces in entertainment media, and this bid to be included in the celebration of a new episode of Star Wars is definitely nothing short of a defining victory in the company’s marketing portfolio. Following a long and productive partnership between Dodge and Fast and the Furious film franchise, which even saw on-screen debuts for the next generation of the new Dodge Charger and Challenger, Fiat Chrysler are seemingly looking to set their sights beyond the impressive heights they’ve reached in the past, which also includes successful tie-ins with films like Anchorman and work with respected figures like Bob Dylan and Clint Eastwood.

 

Working with Lucasfilm may indeed soon come to represent the Fiat Chrysler’s most high-profile marketing efforts to date, and the honor of sharing the stage with Star Wars will be shared by six other world-class brands, all of whom have been trusted to do first-rate work in a campaign that Lucasfilm characterizes as an attempt to “capture the familiar fun and excitement of our galaxy far, far away.” The possibilities for Fiat Chrysler to flex its creative muscles are seemingly endless in conjunction with such a rich narrative legacy, and we couldn’t be happier that Star Wars is looking to squeeze a little more torque into ‘The Force’ this time around!

 

Chief Marketing Officer Olivier Francois has described Fiat Chrysler’s position on working with media in the past, and it’s clear that the company is very particular about who it chooses to partner with on the complicated road of marketing.

 

Of course, the most fun will be in seeing exactly how Fiat Chrysler manages to creatively engage with the amazing, outlandish Star Wars universe. Is this the year that will see the company finally making our battle-ready hover-Jeep dreams a reality? A little lightspeed capability on next year’s Charger, perhaps? We’ve got our fingers crossed, of course, and hope you won’t miss out on our coverage of the cinematic wonders yet to come as Fiat Chrysler straps in and takes off with The Force Awakens this December!

Protect Your Car from Hacking

Last month Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, a couple of hackers, made headlines in an unexpected industry - the car industry. That’s because after months of research, they were finally able to hack into a 2015 Jeep Cherokee, turning the A/C to freezing, blasting Skee-lo through the speakers, and even putting a photo of themselves up on the digital display. Luckily, their intentions were not malicious - the driver was a willing test dummy who got an article for Wired.com out of it - but their success has sent the auto industry into a frenzy.

This is the downside of our technological advances: anything that can be used for good can also be used for evil. But before you freak out and swear off smart cars forever, keep in mind that just like you can protect the computer on your desk, you can protect the computer in your car. Here’s how.

What Miller and Valasek pulled off is what the security industry calls a zero-day exploit, which gives the hacker total wireless control via the internet. The software allowed them to send commands through the Jeep’s entertainment system, controlling its dashboard functions, steering, brakes, transmission - all from a laptop that could be across the street or on the other side of the world. Since the story came out on Wird, Fiat-Chrysler America has since announced a voluntary safety recall of 1.4 million vehicles to update software.

 

 

Owners can now download and install a software update that close the potential entry points. Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles has a website where you can enter the Vehicle Identification Number of your car and download the update. You’ll find your VIN on the vehicle title, vehicle registration card, insurance card, and the small metal plate at the base of the windshield on the driver’s side. Customers affected by the recall will receive a USB device that they may use to upgrade vehicle software, adding security features. If you don’t know how to download it you can have your dealer complete the update at no cost.

And don’t worry - it doesn’t take long, about twenty minutes.

Now that our cars are becoming mobile computers, they’re going to acquire the same vulnerabilities our PCs have, and we’ll have to take proactive measures to protect them in the same way. These updates are going to become more common in the future - but don’t worry. FCA’s got your back — and so do all of us here at Pilson Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat. Have any questions? Come visit us at 2212 Lake Land Blvd in Mattoon, or give us a call at 217-234-6461


Holy Pope-Mobile, Batman!

While visiting in Paraguay, Bolivia, and Ecuador, Pope Francis was riding in style in his “Pope-Mobile” Jeep Wrangler. The world at large has generally accepted the newest Pope as being pretty cool, but this might be the icing on the cake.

His white Jeep Wrangler only had some modest decorations (another aspect that the world seems to love about him; his modesty and how humble he is) - just some red roses with their petals strewn out on the top of the hood. But the adoring public still went bananas over his presence in their beautiful cities and countries.

Speaking of modest: Pope Francis doesn’t seem to be taking his security very seriously. Although he was surrounded by the typical security and entourage, the Jeep Wrangler was almost completely open, with little guard to protect him from the occasional crazies and radicals. His disregard to his fame has also solidified himself as the laid-back, down-to-earth guy we like to picture him as.

Thousands of people throughout the countries he was touring poured out into the streets just to have a chance to glance at his holiness as he drove by. Pope Francis’ popularity has been on the steady upward since day one and we can totally see why.

The purpose of Pope Francis’ visit was to shed new light on the sometimes “swept under the rug” issues of wage disparity and environmental issues, something that has plagued parts of South and Central America for decades. So, despite how awesome the Pope’s shiny new Jeep Wrangler was, it definitely didn’t outshine the issues at the forefront of Pope Francis’ agenda.

The Pope is pretty cool, and he’s making the Jeep Wrangler look even cooler while he nonchalantly stands in the back waving and holding on tight to the roll cage (see, it’s not just for safety or off-roading anymore). And although it doesn’t appear that Pope Francis seems to be partial to any specific brand of vehicle, it’s our humble opinion that he looks the best riding in an all-terrain four-wheel drive Jeep Wrangler, especially since it matches his robes.

For more information on the same Jeep Wrangler that the Pope has been cruising around in, or for a test drive, you can visit us at Pilson Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat!



Toy Jeep Experiment Paves The Way To A Better Tire

What if it was possible to harness the wasted energy that shoots away from your tires in the form of friction? A team of engineers from the University of Wisconsin and scientists from Zhengzhou University in China have found a way to do just that – with a tiny toy Jeep.


You've heard of static electricity – the “touch shock” when two different materials come into contact with each other, like your hand and the sleeve of a friend's T-shirt.


The research team decided to harness the static electricity between tires and the road by attaching custom-designed electrodes to the tires of a small toy Jeep. The toy was equipped with six common LED lights, and as the Jeep moved, the electrodes came in and out of contact with the ground, making the LED lights flash. At last, the little toy proved that static electricity between tire and ground could not only be harnessed but also put to use in a vehicle's electrical systems.


So imagine a full-sized version: a Jeep that can power its headlights and charge its electric battery simply by moving. It would be a leap forward for hybrid and electric vehicles and a major development for scientists looking to improve electric vehicle range.
It took a year for scientists to develop the unique electrodes, which the team called S-TENG (single-electrode triboelectric nanogenerator). They are based on a commonly used, nontoxic, rubber-like material called polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS).


But the toy Jeep experiment isn’t the only technology of its kind being developed. A new tire concept introduced by Goodyear aiming to improve electric vehicles follows a similar concept as S-TENG technology. Goodyear's “tire of the future" flexes and generates heat while in use. The heat from the tire gets converted to electricity that may be stored in the battery.


Scientists across the pond have a similar idea. Schrader, a company in the United Kingdom, has been working on a sensor-equipped tire that would not only improve fuel efficiency but also extend tire life. Hopefully these features will start popping up soon on models like the new 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee. 

We at Pilson Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat encourage automotive scientists to do everything they can to make a better tire of tomorrow ­– and to always keep your toy Jeeps. You never know when they will come in handy.


new jeep pilson

A Brand New Jeep Grand Wagoneer to be Shown to Dealers This Summer, Expected to be on the Market in 2018

 

Remember the days of wood paneling? It seems there was a special time in the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s where everything from video game systems to cars was covered in wood paneling.  Jeep certainly remembers this. Their Wagoneer (along with the Volvo Station Wagon) practically single-handedly made wood paneling a staple of most kids’ childhoods during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Well, there is good news for your nostalgia: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles just recently confirmed that, in accordance with the five-year strategy announcement it made last year, the company will launch an all-new Grand Wagoneer model on the 2018 vehicle market. This news came as part of Jeep’s aforementioned five-year strategy announcement that shows the company planning to seriously give the overall SUV market a jolt. Included with the Wagoneer were impressive redesigns of the Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Grand Cherokee models in 2017.

Many enthusiasts of the brand and owners of the SJ, XJ, and ZJ-generation Wagoneer have been pushing quite enthusiastically for quite some time for Jeep to launch a new generation of the vehicle. And fans were certainly heard. Speaking to the Australian publication, Motoring, Jeep president and chief executive officer Michael Manley noted that, “I’ve always talked about Grand Wagoneer and that for me is a big focus and it will fill out the [Jeep] brand at the top end […] Obviously I have intimate knowledge of what it is and I think that vehicle could very, very effectively compete with premium SUVs.”

The Jeep Wagoneer made its debut seven years before Land Rover launched its Range Rover in Britain, and twenty-four years before that upscale marque appeared in the United States. This, of course, means that the Wagoneer was a true sports utility vehicle for decades before the term was even coined.

The Grand Wagoneer can also boast about enjoying some of the longest production runs of any vehicle. The powerful V8 engine and high towing capacity made the SUV popular among its many repeat buyers, and by 1991, it was the longest domestically produced vehicle on the same platform. This was a truly impressive vehicle, and the last of these rolled out of Chrysler’s Toledo Assembly Plant on June 21, 1991. But all of that will change by 2018, and I for one am beyond excited.

Jeep, of course, aims to be competitive with the likes of vehicles like the Range Rover.

Come out to Pilson Chrysler Dodge Jeep Fiat — your number one car dealership in Mattoon, IL — and sign off for a test drive and keep checking in with us with regard to the brand new Jeep Grand Wagoneer hitting the market in 2018.

 

Jeep is a Winner...and We’ve Got the Awards to Prove it

 

Have you ever wondered why Jeep vehicles have an incredibly loyal fan base, yet they mostly only manufacture SUVs? How can a brand that offers generally one type of vehicle have such a strong standing amongst their drivers?

We’ll show you.

The 2015 Jeep Cherokee was named Best Small Utility by Motor Week. The 2015 Jeep Trailhawk was named Four Wheeler of the Year by FOUR WHEELER. The Grand Cherokee has recieved its 5th consecutive SUV of Texas award, along with the “Mid-size SUV of Texas” and “Mid-size luxury SUV of Texas”, and the “Compact SUV of Texas” by the Texas Auto Writers Association, named the Official Winter Vehicle of New England by the New England Motor Press Association, and the 2015 Green SUV of the Year by the Green Car Journal.  It’s also one of the most awarded vehicles of all time.

The all-new 2015 Renegade was named one of the ‘10 Best All-Wheel-Drive Vehicles Under $25,000’, one of the ‘10 Best SUVs Under $25,000’ and one of the ‘10 Favorite New-For-2015 Cars’ by Kelley Blue Book. The Renegade was also named by AAA Arizona its Top Pick for its Cool Car Segment.

The 2015 Jeep Wrangler was voted by the Texas Auto Writers Association as their “Off Road Utility Vehicle of Texas”, and Kelely Blue Book named it their “2015 Best Resale Value” in its class and made it into their “Best Resale Value: Top 10”. Specialty Equipment Market Association, or SEMA, dubbed the Wrangler the “Hottest 4X4 - SUV”. It also won the Vincentric Best Value in America award for the Compact/Mid-size SUV. The Unlimited Version recieved the 2015 5-Year Cost to Own Award and was named a 2015 Best Resale Value, both by Kelley Blue Book.

The 2015 Patriot was named number one in Kelley Blue Book’s list of 10 Most Affordable SUVs and their 5-Year Cost to Own Award. The 2015 Compass was named number two on the 10 Most Affordable SUV list.

No matter which Jeep you’re considering, it’s almost guaranteed that it will have an award or two under its belt. They are the rugged yet refined American made vehicles we love to push to their limits.

If you’d like to test drive one of these award winning new Jeep models or for more information, visit us at Pilson Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat.

 

 


New Dodge Viper ACR Just Gets Better

 

There’s not much that gets us more pumped up here at Pilson Auto Center more than a Dodge Viper and the new American Club Racer gets our pulses racing for sure. This fast ride was built for the track but is 100 percent street legal. Since its debut in 1999, the Viper has always been fast, fast, fast with the second generation model achieving a Nürburgring lap record of 7:12.3. That’s a rare feat that puts the Viper in good company with the Porsche 918 Spyder and the Nissan GT-R NISMO. As amazing as that record is, the new 2016 Viper is purported to be even faster — the fastest Viper track car ever produced, according to Tim Kuniski, Dodge CEO.

With an 8.4 liter V-10 that churns out 645 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of toque and a six speed manual gearbox, there’s power enough for the track. While that’s the same as the previous generation of Viper, what has changed is the overall aerodynamics which can add crucial seconds to lap time. This increase comes courtesy of a design that will produce almost one ton of downforce at speeds of 177 miles per hour. That’s triple of what the Viper TA 2.0 delivers. Carbon fiber has gone into the construction of various elements of the Viper and a rear diffuser and adjustable rear wing, along with a newly designed front hood, will help with resistance as well. There’s also new suspension and a lower ride height on the ACR than what you’ll find on stock Viper models.

The Viper ACR is a light, fast, great looking racer but make no mistake, the inside matters too. That’s where the Alcantara lining comes into play. Similar to suede, this fabric lines the armrest on the door, the instrument panel and cluster and is wrapped around the custom steering wheel. Silver or red stitching is available for the seat and special badging lets people know that this ACR is unique even among Vipers.

Production of the 2016 Dodge Viper ACR will begin later this year, but until then there are plenty of great Dodge models to get excited about at Pilson Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat. Don’t believe us? Come see for yourself. We are located at 2000 Lake Land Boulevard in Mattoon, IL.

 

The Results Are in From Ram’s Record-Setting Celebration at This Year’s Academy of Country Music Awards!

 

On Saturday, April 18th, Ram truck owners from seven U.S. states and Canada joined together in historic Arlington, Texas to meet representatives from the Guinness Book of World Records for a record-setting introductory celebration of the 2015 Academy of Country Music Awards. It was definitely quite a turnout for the company’s Ram Truck Roundup, with a new world-record 451 Ram pickups parading more than three miles around Arlington’s AT&T stadium for an unprecedented opening to mark the award ceremony’s 50th anniversary.

The Academy of Country Music was founded in Los Angeles in 1964, initially to stand as a western counterpart to Nashville’s Country Music Association. Where the CMA found most of its inspiration in the South and on the East Coast, the ACM dedicated itself to shining a light on exemplary country artists from the Western U.S. and to promoting the as-yet independent western genre, which, like the ACM itself, would eventually come to blend its traditions with those of its Eastern counterpart in a country-wide network of recognition and support for country and western artists of all kinds. This year’s grand gesture comes as the culmination of six years of partnership between Ram and the ACM, during which Ram has served continuously as the Academy’s official truck. Naturally, it seemed only appropriate to team up for a special celebration!

Hosted by recent chart-toppers Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan, this year’s awards made room to honor such longtime favorites as Garth Brooks, Reba McIntire, George Strait, and Brooks & Dunn, as well as current stars like Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line and Cole Swindell, who won a special fan-voted award that was presented in a personal mini-ceremony on the red carpet. The reps from the Guinness Book of World Records were also on hand to honor a handful of repeat winners with their own recognition of record-setting accomplishments in the industry. With the awards getting bigger and better every year, it was only appropriate that Ram decided to make an attempt at stepping up its own accomplishments in kind. With the last Ram truck parade event topping out with 438 participants, thirteen new additions made it an undeniable success for everyone involved this time around!

This is the first year that the ACM Awards has decided to host its main event in Texas, and it certainly lived up to its reputation for outsizing the competition. It’s also worth noting that, with the Ram Truck Roundup being a notably grassroots campaign in which Ram asked for support from owners in gathering together to show their mutual pride, the event’s success definitely stands as a strong testament to the demonstrable value and popularity of Ram trucks, and we’re definitely proud to help celebrate. With so many good reasons to consider Ram on the table lately, we think it’s a great time to consider us for your next truck, and Pilson Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat will be standing at the ready as usual to be your Ram truck guide.

 


Surprising Demand Forces Dodge to Increase Production of New Hellcat Muscle Cars

Well, it’s safe to assume that word is getting out about the new Dodge Challenger and Charger SRT Hellcats—the modern muscle cars that are drawing more attention from car buyers than even Dodge anticipated! The Hellcats were certainly expected to leave a lasting mark on the 2015 consumer market, notably by bringing the most powerful production engine ever created by an American automaker to its customers in an accessible package born from the tradition of the great muscle cars, but now it seems that Dodge’s original production plan has greatly underestimated the overwhelming demand that these awe-inspiring vehicles have created. The company has been forced to freeze orders for both the Challenger and Charger Hellcat models for the time being, but now it seems that things are looking up for new plans to address the company’s order backlog situation.

It’s not much wonder why the Hellcats have garnered so much attention, as their 707 horsepower, supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V8s have set a new standard in performance for American automakers. They will remain a low-volume, higher-end choice for buyers, but apparently not quite as low-volume as originally predicted, based on reports of almost 10,000 orders made from dealers who were originally intended to receive only one unit per month. In comparison, only 2,200 Hellcats have been delivered since the vehicle’s release last year. But now, an auto industry source has told Fox News that about 1,000 new units have been successfully added to Dodge’s immediate production schedule. It’s not the end of the Hellcat demand issue, but it’s clear that Dodge has every intention of sating the obvious hunger for its newest morsel of tantalizing innovation.

Along with the temporary order freeze, Dodge has been motivated to warn consumers about making deposits or unverified orders for Hellcats with dealers, some of whom have already taken many such orders without any basis for providing a reasonable arrival date. Only a fraction of the current number of orders has been filled and only another small fraction has been moved up for immediate production, while authorized dealers remain on a fixed schedule of one vehicle delivered per month, intended to curb unscrupulous markup and pre-order practices.

Here at Pilson Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat, though, we’ll be following Dodge’s advice, staying responsibly on top of the current supply of the awesome new Hellcats, and keeping up to date with developments in Dodge’s adapting production schedule. Keep an eye here for any and all details as they emerge, and don’t let this temporary adjustment period keep you from getting all the info you might want about this groundbreaking new creation. There’s still plenty to get excited about while the new era of Dodge muscle continues to build steam!

 

Fiat Chrysler Vehicle Winter Bootcamp

Thank goodness spring is just around the corner - it has been one brutal winter for many of us. However, the snow and ice also created an opportunity for Fiat Chrysler to test out their vehicles in the harsh conditions. Pilson Auto knows that our residents need the best vehicles to get them through the winter season, and these test drives proved to be a great way to makes notes, collect data, and determine the capability of the Chrysler models.

The testing grounds were in Canada, an area that has received far more severe winter weather than we have, so it was the perfect place to take out a few Jeep models, including the Cherokee, Renegade, Compass, Wrangler, Wrangler Unlimited, and the Patriot to put their 4x4 configurations and all-wheel drive systems to the test.

Since the conditions were varied, the drivers really got to see the vehicles revert from front-wheel to rear-wheel drive automatically. This gave results of not only increased handling and maneuverability on tough terrain, but the automatic AWD systems gave some extra fuel economy that most cars don’t usually get as they try to navigate slippery roads.

But the vehicles brought out weren’t limited to the big Jeep lineup. The Fiat Chrysler truck family was represented with the Ram Power Wagon, Heavy Duty 2500, 2500 and Ram 1500. Other vehicles that went out for a winter joyride included the Chrysler 200, Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Dodge Durango, and Dodge Journey.

The vehicles were fitted with winter tires after a drive with the all-weather tires. By far, the winter tires proved themselves miles above all-weather tires when it came to navigating the ice and snow. Fitted with those tires, the Dodge Charger, an ever popular law-enforcement car of choice, proved to be quite the contender in the harsh Canadian weather.

Three features stood out as the best for managing the ice and snow: the first was the automatic disconnect AWD system seen in models such as the Chrysler 200, allowing for as much as 60% of the torque to be transferred to the rear wheels. Combine it with the winter-tires, and it performs beautifully on an iced-up figure eight course. The last feature is the fully-automatic four-wheel drive at any speed on the Jeep models. It keeps the already reliable vehicle even more stable on the ever changing condition of snowy hills, embankments, and ice-slicked roads.

Spring is just around the corner, but winter hasn’t let up just quite yet - so if you are interested to hear how each model performed and what you can do to make your vehicle safer on the slick roads, stop by Pilson Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram today.


Jeep Collectible Sells for More Than Some Used Jeeps

There is no doubt that our customers at Pilson Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram have a lot of pride in their vehicles. But you might be able to argue that none have more pride than our Jeep drivers. There is a lot of history behind the Jeep name, and with such a rich background, there is no shortage of collectibles, toys, and novelty items that people can collect. Plenty of them you can find in your local stores, however some you might have not seen since you were a young child, and can be extremely rare.

Some of the most sought-out memorabilia are the signs and advertising materials from decades ago. This is especially true for these items back from the Willy’s era (1941-1945). This was when the Jeep was made exclusively for use in times of war for the U.S Army, and still remains the inspiration for Jeep designs even to this day. While it would be nearly impossible to find a mdoel og a Willy’s Jeep that was built in that era, you can however purchase small models today or buy a kit to build your own.

As it turns out, if you are fortunate to own a classic Jeep or Willy’s item, you might be holding onto something very valuable. Recently, a 1968 Samsonite Lego Jeep set sold for $1,049 (still in original plastic of course). It just goes to show that Jeep owners are completely dedicated to the brand name.

It is more common to see plastic toy Jeeps for young ones on the market today, but for the big kids, there are still plenty of gift ideas with the Jeep name attached to them. T-shirts, jackets and hats are always popular for Jeep owners and many of them have a vintage theme to them. You could also purchase a poster or painting of a reproduction of an antique Jeep advertisement to add a vintage feel to your favorite room.

If you have a collectible Jeep item, Pilson Auto would like to hear from you. Share your memorabilia and stories with fellow Jeep enthusiasts right in your own neighborhood, or come on down to our show room and take any of our great Jeep models for a test drive.

Is Chrysler secretly developing a new diesel engine for passenger cars?

Rumors are swirling that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ environmentally-conscious plans could include a new diesel engine for passenger cars in 2015. Though it is so far unconfirmed by Chrysler, information has come to light which supports online speculation.

Green Car Reports published an article last week detailing evidence of the existence of a 2.2-liter, 16-valve “De Tomaso” diesel engine. The engine was found listed among the powertrain options for the 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan on the company’s DealerConnect  website by FCA-focused auto enthusiast site, Allpar. This report was confirmed by the industry trade journal Automotive News, but Chrysler hasn’t come forward to acknowledge the unusual listing just yet.

Reports assume Chrysler will use this newly uncovered engine in the 200 or another sedan, but the automaker definitely isn’t at a loss for efficiency-focused powertrains at the moment. Its 2.4-liter “Tigershark” gasoline four-cylinder engine was recently updated, and a new 2.0-liter “Hurricane” four is on the way. However, a new diesel option would help Chrysler - or its sister brand, Dodge - stand out in a crowded marketplace.

For now, it’s clear that Chrysler wants to keep the “De Tomaso” under wraps. The name itself was taken from a defunct boutique Italian carmaker known for buying engines, not developing them - so we suspect it’s a red herring designed to throw curious eyes off the trail.

The popular assumption is that the “De Tomaso” engine will be used in the Chrysler 200 sedan, but Allpar speculates that it might be slated for use in the 2018 Jeep Wrangler. We already know the Wrangler is expected to get an efficiency-focused makeover (possibly including an aluminum body and an eight-speed automatic transmission) and that Jeep has hinted at a diesel Wrangler in the past. A diesel’s extra torque would give the Wrangler a boost during the off-road driving it was designed for, with the added perk of improving the vehicle’s fuel economy. Plus, the next-generation Wranglers need to satisfy the stricter Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards set to tighten up between 2017 and 2025.

While this is all still just conjecture, we definitely have more than a hunch that Chrysler is working on a new diesel engine for one of their passenger cars. Now we just have to wait and find out which. In the meantime, you can visit us at Pilson Chrysler Jeep Dodge to test drive any of the new cars in the FCA family. Give the Wrangler a try and let us know if you think you’ll want the extra torque of a diesel. We want to hear your thoughts!


Toledo cleans up land ahead of potential Fiat Chrysler plant expansion

 

Plans are in motion in Toledo, OH to adapt 100+ acres of abandoned industrial land for re-development - potentially by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles - later this year. Hoping to persuade Fiat Chrysler to continue building the Jeep Wrangler in Toledo beyond 2017, the city quickly bought up available properties adjacent to the current plant. Top officials within Mayor D. Michael Collins’ administration believe a plant expansion may be necessary for production to continue.

Much of the purchased land has been contaminated by chemicals used by the previous owners, Textileather, for synthetic leather production. Toledo city officials say their clean-up efforts are well-planned, though. A thorough consultant’s report outlining problems and solutions has already been prepared, and numerous testing wells have been drilled all over the site to check for groundwater pollution. “We’ve sampled so many things there won’t be a monster in the closet or under the bed with something like this,” Bill Burkett (Toledo’s economic and business development commissioner) said.

The city estimates the remediation efforts will cost $1.25 million - a portion of which will be paid by the property’s former owner. The money will go towards removing soil contaminated with PCBs and stripping the site of debris, buildings, and concrete foundations. Burkett estimates that less than 1,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil will need to be removed from the property. The city plans to sell the property’s steel buildings to bring in extra money for asphalt removal and to regrade the site.

In all, Toledo has assembled more than 100 acres of land next to Fiat Chrysler’s Toledo Assembly Complex, with plans to purchase another 68.5 acres nearby. Experts say that there should be more than enough space for the automaker to build an expansion or even a new plant, should Fiat Chrysler confirm their interest. As of the time of publication, the company declined to comment on the city’s land purchases. We won’t have to wait long for an answer though: a decision on where to build the next-generation Wrangler is set to be announced by the end of June 2015.

Toledo officials are hopeful that their efforts will be rewarded, pointing to the expansion and upgrades Fiat Chrysler made to the Toledo plant in preparation for the new Jeep Cherokee in 2013. The 300,000 square foot addition only took about a year to complete so city officials say their timeline for a potential 2015 expansion is more than reasonable.

Whether or not Chrysler Fiat moves forward with Toledo’s plan, the city is determined to put the land next to the Jeep plan back to good use. “This property, with its access to the highway, with its proximity to the most efficient automobile product facility in the country, we think it’s very marketable,” Matt Sapara, director of the city’s department of development, said.

Toledo city officials are expected to present their plan to Chrysler Fiat in the coming weeks. We’re curious to see how it all pans out, and excited to see what this will mean for US Jeep Wrangler production.

Can’t get the Wrangler off your mind? Stop by Pilson Chrysler Jeep Dodge today for a test drive, or check out any of our other great Jeep models.

Make a Special Meal for Your Special Someone this Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is all about romance and making your “Special Someone” feel loved and appreciated. This doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money to show your appreciation, although a new car from Pilson Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram would be THE ULTIMATE GIFT! Why not show them what they mean to you by preparing this quick and easy meal that lets you spend time with your sweetie?

6 oz Filet Mingon

Serves: 2 

Total Time: 15 min

 

Ingredients:

  • Two (5 to 6 ounces each) filet mignons (about 1 1/2 inches thick)
  • Coarse salt and very coarsely ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoon(s) olive oil

Red Wine Sauce (optional):

  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoon(s) cold butter, cut up
  • Coarse salt

Directions

1.    Season filets very generously on both sides with salt and pepper (especially pepper), patting in firmly.

2.    Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high. Cook filets until desired doneness, 3 to 5 minutes per side (depending on thickness) for medium-rare.

3.    Remove strings from filets, and serve with Red Wine Sauce, if desired.

4.    To make Red Wine Sauce: Place wine in a small saucepan; boil until reduced to 1/4 cup, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat; add cut-up butter, and swirl pan until butter is melted and sauce is thickened, about 1 minute. Season with coarse salt.

 

Roasted Root Vegetables 

Total Time: 35 min (Prep: 5 min,  Cook: 30 min)

Directions

Cut 1 pound each carrots and parsnips and 2 bulbs celery root into 3/4-inch chunks. Toss with 4 tablespoons melted butter, and salt and pepper on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast at 400 degrees F until tender and golden, 30 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

 

Key Lime Pie

 

Yields: One 10-inch pie

Total Time: 1 hr (Cook Time: 30 min)

Ingredients

• 6 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing

• 1/3 cup(s) sugar

• 1/2 cup(s) finely ground almonds

• 1 cup(s) (from 9 whole crackers) chocolate graham cracker crumbs

• 2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten

• 1 teaspoon(s) finely grated lime zest

• 1 1/4 cup(s) (from 25 key limes) fresh lime juice, preferably key lime juice

• 2 can(s) (14 ounces each) sweetened condensed milk

• 2 teaspoon(s) sugar

• Key lime slices, for garnish (optional)

• 1/2 cup(s) cold heavy cream

• 1/2 cup(s) cold sour cream

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and butter a 10-inch glass pie plate. In a food processor, pulse the graham cracker crumbs with the ground almonds and sugar until thoroughly blended. Add the melted butter and pulse until the crumbs are moistened. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and up the side of the pie plate to form the crust. Bake for about 20 minutes, just until the almonds are lightly browned. Let the crust cool to room temperature.

2. In a bowl, whisk together the lime juice, lime zest, condensed milk, and eggs until smooth. Pour the filling into the cooled crust and bake for about 20 minutes, until set around the edge and slightly jiggly in the center. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until very firm, at least 6 hours or overnight.

3. In a bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the heavy cream and sour cream until soft peaks form, 2 minutes. Beat in the sugar until stiff peaks form, 1 minute. Mound the whipped cream on the pie. Garnish with the key lime slices and serve.


Next Generation of Jeep Wrangler Might Feature Hybrid Technology

While the automotive world might be rejoicing with electric hybrid vehicles such as the Tesla and Prius, Jeep fans are a little confused thanks to the latest report from Auto Express. In an interview with current Jeep CEO Mike Manley, Manley revealed that Jeep is considering a hybrid drivetrain option for the next-generation of the most iconic vehicle they make: the Wrangler.

Manley also discussed the three main goals Jeep wishes to accomplish for the next generation Wrangler: improving on-road driving dynamics, retaining the Wrangler’s classic style and design, and increasing fuel economy. While the first two can easily be achieved and will undoubtedly be an easy transition for all Wrangler fans no matter what Jeep decides to do, the increased economy by utilizing hybrid technologies could be difficult.

To fight critics right away, Manley told Auto Express that “with an electric motor you have the most torque available.” He also added that “with the right combination of transmission and gear ratios you can create incredible crawl ratios.”

While a hybrid setup for a Wrangler would be an all-new feature, Jeep is also looking at using aluminum body panels to lower curb weight, decrease drag by increasing aerodynamics, and are even considering a diesel engine this side of the pond along with an eight-speed automatic transmission to maximize fuel economy.

An electric motor in a Wrangler would also increase its trail ability in necessary torque situations such as acceleration. For example, the new Tesla P85D, which is all wheel drive, is capable of 0-60 miles per hour in less than four seconds. Think how fast your all-new, lighter, more powerful Jeep Wrangler will make it up your favorite trail.

Here at Pilson Chrysler Dodge Jeep, we know what is important to you as a Wrangler owner. With its classic looks and tough off road durability, all generations of Jeep Wranglers are practically purpose-built and we know the new generation will also. To learn more about the upcoming Wrangler, or to look at any of our other great Jeep models, stop by Pilson today.

Dodge Repositioned As the Muscle Car Brand for FCA US

Dodge, under the command of FCA US, has seen its lineup move and realign after the automaker emerged from bankruptcy mid 2009. Since then, the brand, which normally sells commonly affordable sedans and coupes, has been given the green light to take a step back to an earlier time in the brand’s history.

“There’s a lot of work to be done,” Sergio Marchionne, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO, said. “But there is a unique place in the American mind for Dodge. And we need to satisfy that need.”

“Dodge was the cheaper little brother of Chrysler,” said David Kelleher, a Dodge-Chrysler dealer in Glen Mills, Pa. “They made ghost cars on every level. It was always for the working-class person and Chrysler was for the more affluent. That’s how they marginalized the brand.” But now, Dodge is set to be the performance brand of the company, a new mission they're achieving with zeal after the recent release of the Dodge Charger Hellcat—a menacing and ridiculous sedan with 707 horsepower and a top speed of 204 mph—because those groceries need to get home like right now.

But with gas prices and fuel-efficiency at the forefront of many consumers’ minds today, it may seem that Dodge is taking a big risk. If gas prices soar or the economy heads back downhill, performance cars are the first to go. However, technology has come far in the last several years, and the Hellcat still gets 22 mpg on the highway.

But what really makes the Hellcat so enticing, is that compared to other high-horsepowered cars, it isn’t that expensive, starting at only $64,000. Though even then, it is meant to be rare car, and is still not expected to sell in large quantities.

One of the coolest feature that found its way to the vehicle is the use of two different keys. While the red key provides access to all 707 horsepower and the rest of the car’s performance technology, the black key accesses only 500 horsepower. Still powerful, but present to cool off hot-headed teenagers and overly enthusiastic parking attendants.

For more information on the Dodge Charger Hellcat, or any of Dodge’s other offerings, please feel free to contact us, Pilson Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram today.


Chrysler to Invest Another $266 Million for TorqueFlite Eight Speed Transmission Production in Kokomo

Image Credit: www.autoblog.com

The eight-speed TorqueFlite transmission has been so pivotal for Chrysler and its subsidiaries, that the automaker is investing $266 million in new equipment to boost production in its Kokomo, Indiana plant.

A 10-year property tax abatement on new equipment was given an initial approval by Kokomo Common Council Monday, Dec. 8, and according to Chrysler, the investment hinges on a final vote by the common council to approve the abatement. The new abatement is actually an amendment to an existing one. Final approval is expected later this month.

“We look forward to their approval so that we can make the business case for this future investment,” Chrysler said in a statement.

Chrysler began these investments in 2010 and overhauled the 3.1 million square-foot Kokomo Transmission Plant completely in 2012, installing the necessary manufacturing equipment to produce the eight-speed transmission, and has since invested more than $1.5 billion. This year alone, there have been nearly 700,000 transmissions produced, which is almost double the production in 2013.

But what’s so great about 8-speed transmissions anyway?

The inside of the transmission features four gear sets and only five shift elements. With fewer of these open shift elements, the drag losses from multiple parts rotating relative to one another are reduced. This allows for the use of a lower viscosity transmission fluid, which in turn boosts efficiency and fuel economy, especially during start up or cold weather driving.

Compared with five or six speed transmissions, the eight speeds are expected to save their owners more than 700 million gallons of fuel and about $2.5 billion in their lifetime, while also reducing carbon dioxide emissions by more than six million metric tones.

But if that’s not enough, the transmission is “fill for life” which means it doesn’t require oil changes when operating your car in normal conditions.

Eight-speed transmissions for the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Durango and Ram 1500 are produced at the facility, and the company has sold more than 800,000 of these models in the US through November 2014.

Here at Pilson Chrysler Dodger Jeep, we believe in saving you time and money, so if you have any questions about the latest Chrysler products touting the eight-speed transmission, contact us or stop by today.

2015 Chrysler 200 Earns Five-Star Safety Rating

Recently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that the 2015 Chrysler 200 earned the top five-star safety rating. Receiving five stars in both front and side crash tests, along with a four star result in the rollover crash test, the 2015 Chrysler 200 is the newest Chrysler to be the top safety pick.

The main reason for the high crash test ratings is based on its overall unibody structure. However, according to Chrysler, the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 offers more advanced standard and available safety and security features than any other vehicle in its class. A few safety and security features on the 2015 Chrysler 200 include eight standard airbags, Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning with Active Braking, Parallel Park Assist with Full Stop, and Perpendicular Park Assist. The 200 also has available 9-1-1 Call which connects you to a 9-1-1 operator with the push of one button.

If you’re one to take the government’s word with a grain of salt, consider this: the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also awarded the 2015 Chrysler 200 with a high honor. According to IIHS, the Chrysler 200 is a 2014 Top Safety Pick+ since it has earned a “good” score in all crash tests.

Even though the entry level 2015 Chrysler 200 LX starts at just $21,700, the 2015 200 is available in three other trims including the Limited, 200S and the top of the line 200C. With options and packages that include leather interior, navigation, and even large 19-inch alloy wheels, safety might not be the only reason you’ll purchase the 2015 Chrysler 200.

Pilson Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Mattoon, Illinois has a wide variety of the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 in practically all trims equipped with the best options. Give us a call or stop in today to learn more.

 


Ram and Doge Split Deemed Successful

When Chrysler was going through bankruptcy the fate of its brands was uncertain. When Sergio Marchionne of Fiat took over he shook things up by separating Dodge and Ram. He made Ram a standalone truck and utility vehicle and the split has been deemed a success as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles continues to reposition its offerings for specific markets.

“Trucks always wanted to be big, bold, powerful and capable,” said Ram CEO and President Bob Hegbloom during a recent interview with The Detroit News. “The cars wanted to be youthful, spirited, and they're the ones who want to have a Hellcat in their lineup.”

Both Dodge and Ram felt the same about the differences between what they were trying to provide customers, and Dodge has morphed into the performance arm of the offering.

“Separating the Ram and Dodge brands has resulted in the best outcome for both,” Dodge CEO and President Tim Kuniskis told The Detroit News. “It's allowed Ram to focus on the commercial market. And it's allowed Dodge to focus on being a performance brand.”

Ram has led the company in growth since 2009. In fact, it is the fastest-growing truck brand in the country. It’s market share nearly doubled to about 22 percent in the full-size pickup truck market.

Dodge, on the other hand, has seen a 41 percent increase in sales from 2009 to 2014. It is offering affordable performance to the likes of its heyday back in the late 1960s during the American muscle car era. Examples include the recent reveal of the 707-horsepower SRT Hellcat performance Charger and Challenger, plus the exotic and exciting Viper.

Early in the decision of the split, such a move worried analysts.

“I think a lot of other people still say Dodge Ram, so there is still some confusion with the brands” said Michelle Krebs, Autotrader.com senior analyst, told The Detroit News. “But you can't argue with the sales success.”

To further get to its performance roots, Dodge is dropping the Avenger and Grand Caravan for two high-performance SRT cars and an unknown small sedan/hatchback. Seems like the perfect trade-off to us.

Ram will continue to focus on trucks and increasing its commercial van sales.

"We have to continue to monitor the market, remain competitive," Hegbloom said. "That's really our focus right now."

For the latest information on Dodge and Ram, please contact us at Pilson CJDR today.

 

Aging Drivers are the Future Market

Many MOPAR fans are aware of Ralph Gilles. Until recently, he has been the face of everything speed. From the new Hellcat to the Viper, Gilles has MOPAR in his blood. However, now that he is the senior vice president of design for Chrysler, he is putting his two cents into the mix about company values instead of just speed.

According to Gilles, the percentage of older drivers with licenses will continue to rise over the next 15 years and those drivers want to continue to drive as long as they possibly can. With that notion, he also said the auto industry needs to pay just as much attention to the needs of aging baby boomers in designing cars as they do to millennials, if not more.

While manufacturers such as Ford and Chevrolet are increasing gadget output, Gilles told attendees at the SAE 2014 Convergence, a conference for automotive engineers, that millennials “don’t have any money” and “they can’t buy cars anyways.” Figures both Chrysler and the Federal Highway Administration agree.

Gilles data shows a larger percentage of older drivers have the available income to purchase a vehicle. While the Federal Highway Administration recently claimed that by 2030 nearly 25% of people in the U.S. with a valid driver’s license will be older than 65 years old. Their study also noted that those drivers will likely want to avoid traffic, inclement weather, and nighttime driving. All of which would not be an issue if vehicles had the right technology to help drivers in those situations.

“I think that’s the beauty of what we can do for this generation, is to give them their mobility back,” Gilles continued at the conference. “And they love technology. All of them are Facebookers, all of them want to be connected. They just want (technology) to be intuitive.”

Growing up on shows such as “Knight Rider,” Gilles has always dreamed of high-tech safety and navigation equipment in modern cars. Gilles proclaimed that he thinks autonomous driving is going to happen. The big question is when? Gilles response? “Technology, such as the U.I., or user interface, will continue to evolve at a rapid pace,” he said. To push the technology forward, Chrysler is looking to triple or quadruple its current 15 member team that is responsible for this technology in the coming years.

One of the biggest issues is form versus function. For example, Gilles pointed out the Google car. He said, “There is a reason the Google car looks the way it does. It’s because the people they are talking to don’t like cars. It’s all about what it does.”

While form is important to some, he knows Chrysler also need to commit to function also like the Kia Soul. “One of my favorite cars that is the least sleek of all is the Kia Soul. It’s selling like crazy because it is functional,” Gilles explained.

While driverless cars are not currently available, Pilson Chrysler Dodge Jeep has plenty of vehicles with practically unlimited technology including lane warning, various navigation systems, and more. Come down today and see which vehicles have the tech you need!


Jeep Wrangler Production Could Go Aluminum

With fuel efficiency an ever increasing factor in the design and construction of automobiles today, every automaker has to look at ways to reduce their vehicle's fuel consumption—even Jeep and the iconoclastic Wrangler.

Aluminum is getting its share of the limelight in new vehicles and the next-generation Wrangler could be made out of it. As a result, production of the iconic vehicle cuold be moved out of Toledo, Ohio, where Jeep Wrangler production goes back more than 70 years to the first Willys Jeep built for the U.S. Army.

"If the solution is aluminum, then I think unfortunately that Toledo is the wrong place because it requires a complete re-configuring of the assets that would be cost-prohibitive," Marchionne said. "It would be so outrageously expensive that it would be impossible to work out of that facility."

The next Jeep Wrangler is due in 2017. The SUV would benefit greatly from an aluminum body, which would reduce weight and increase the SUV’s fuel economy.

"We need to downsize the engines ... and then increase the capabilities by putting turbos in," Marchionne said. "This requires a complete rethink of the architecture, and before we start committing capital to particular places we need to make sure that we don't spend an inordinate amount of money trying to get it done."

The move to take Wrangler production out of Toledo has not been met favorably by residents, who feel that moving Wrangler production is a sort of betrayal from the automaker. The first Wills Jeep rolled off the line in 1941 for the military, with civilian models rolling off in 1945.

Currently, the Toledo plant builds both the Wrangler and Cherokee SUVs for the automaker at its Toledo Assembly Complex.

While plants in both Canada and Mexico would be suitable for Wrangler production, Marchionne has stated he wanted to preserve the SUV’s American heritage, which is a driving force behind many sales.

"I will never build a Wrangler outside of the U.S.," Marchionne confirmed Thursday. "The commitment to Toledo was certainly in terms of Jeep, and I think the fact that we brought the Cherokee to Toledo is huge. We're selling over 200,000 of these."

Marchionne has said that if the Wrangler is moved, other offerings would be built at the Toledo plant, like the upcoming, full-size Jeep Wagoneer.

We are anxious to see what 2017 brings for the Wrangler. For now, you can view the great selection of 2015 Wranglers at Pilson Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram here, or contact our sales team at (217) 234-6461 for more information about the vehicle you're looking for.

jeep renegade

Pilson Gears Up for Jeep's First Subcompact SUV

An entry-level offering is vital to automakers worldwide. According to Ralph Gilles, Chrysler’s senior vice president of product design, the 2015 Jeep Renegade is the company’s new, entry-level offering that is designed to entice buyers to keep coming back to the Jeep brand. "People will keep coming back once they get a taste of this thing," Gilles said Tuesday morning during the Detroit Regional Chamber's 2014 MICHauto Summit in Detroit.

 

Production started in July at Fiat’s automotive assembly plant in Melfi, Italy. According to Jeep spokesman Todd Goyer, the small sport-utility vehicle will hit European showrooms October 1.

 

U.S. dealerships, including ours, should expect the Renegade by the end of the year. A full inventory should be available in early 2015. What makes the Renegade so important for the Jeep brand is that it is Jeep’s first subcompact SUV.

 

Gilles, who has a 22-year history with the automaker, said that one of the most interesting things about the design of the new SUV was combining traditional Jeep aspects with new ideas from the company’s Italian designers.

 

"We took the best of both worlds," Gilles said, adding that the Renegade is based on a Fiat platform, engineered in the U.S. and developed and built in Italy.

 

Jeep knew it had to build a small, subcompact SUV to entice young car buyers, who enjoy the affordability of cars that offer practicality and mobility.


Gilles said a “Millennial crew” of designers took the lead of sculpting the vehicle because they understood what young buyers want.

 

"They designed it for themselves in a way," he said. "When you look at the character of the vehicle, I think it has a percent blend of fun and seriousness and strength and playfulness."

 

The Millennial generation is someone born between the early 1980s and early 2000s. With 75 million Millennials in the U.S., they are expected to be the largest generation of Americans since the Baby Boomers.

 

Jeremy Glover, a Jeep design studio exterior designer and member of the Millennial generation, said designers wanted to give the Renegade a very modern feel, while pulling design cues from the classic Wrangler and the first 1941 Willy's Jeep.

 

For more information about the 2015 Jeep Renegade, please feel free to contact us at Pilson Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram.

 


jeep renegade

2015 Jeep Renegade: Ready to Rumble

The Jeep Renegade is the latest addition to Jeep’s family of rugged vehicles, offering a lineup of truly great products that are appeasing to not only everyday customers, but to all enthusiasts who flock to the brand.

Out of the gate, the Jeep Renegade was designed for first time buyers, which is a heavily crowded market. The smaller design and lower cost when compared to Jeep’s other offerings is expected to entice young, first-time buyers into the Jeep brand. The goal with the Renegade is to widen its customer base in hopes that it will lead to an increased number of enthusiasts.

Replacing the Compass and Patriot, the Renegade was designed to handle the wear and tear of daily use. Built upon Jeep’s new small and wide 4x4 architecture, the Renegade shares the same underpinnings with the Fiat 500L. While some may call blasphemy for such a thing to occur, Jeep definitely adds its own bit of flavor to the mix. 

While Jeep is trying to entice new buyers to their brand, expect the little runaround to return great fuel economy. It is expected to get between 30 and 40 mpg on the highway.

One feature that sets the Renegade apart from the other offerings on the market is a capable all-wheel drive system. Jeep Active Drive is a full-time all-wheel-drive system. The off-road system is can apply torque to any of the four wheels independently if necessary.

The rugged capabilities paired with the boxy, iconic Jeep look will draw crowds to our showroom floor here at Pilson Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram.

For those looking for the most capable model, be sure to check out the Trailhawk edition. This beast offers a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine capable of producing 184 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. It also comes with Chrysler’s new, nine-speed automatic transmission, which should help the trim level return over 30 mpg.

The Jeep Renegade reveals the automaker’s continued march towards building the most excellent vehicles on the road today. For more information about the 2015 Jeep Renegade, contact us, Pilson Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, at (217) 234-6461. We have a great selection of new and used vehicles. Stop over today and find the perfect vehicle that fits all of your wants and needs!

Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT

2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Becomes Sales Leader

Jeep, which has seen a renaissance under the helm of Sergio Marchionne, is continuing to better its sales leader—which is the Jeep Grand Cherokee. This was one of the first vehicles to display the greatness that is Jeep and Chrysler, and shown customers the potential the brand has to becoming the market and sales leader.

 

While Chrysler does sell a host of other cars, like Fiat, Dodge, and Ram, the money is in the SUV market and the Grand Cherokee is earning the company lots of ground.

 

The SUV has just recently received a refresh not long ago and Jeep isn’t stopping to make it even better. While most of the coverage surrounding any Chrysler/Fiat vehicle has been decidedly about the new Hellcat offerings from Dodge, the Jeep is still one of the company’s top sales leaders.

 

First, it should be made quite clear right now that there will be no Hellcat Grand Cherokee SRT. Sorry to disappoint, but there will be no 707-horsepower Grand Cherokee Hellcat for sale—at least not yet anyway.

 

However, the SRT’s 6.4-liter V-8 HEMI does get a power increase of 5 more horsepower and 5 more lb-ft of torque, totaling 475 and 470, respectively. The small bump in performance won’t drastically change performance numbers—the Grand Cherokee was tested to rocket from 0 to 60 mph in about 4.6 seconds.

 

Most of the upgrades the SUV receive are trim changes and luxury offerings. Inside, the Jeep will now have noise-canceling technology. The system uses the audio speakers to selectively dampen ambient noise.

 

Also available is a new “Red Vapor” special-edition appearance package. This package is offered with just three colors—Redline Red Pearl, Brilliant Black Crystal and Bright White. The package costs $3995 and includes 20-inch black-chrome five-spoke wheels, black painted badges and grille inserts, a back-lit SRT logo on the steering wheel, and an engine cover.

 

The price for the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee sees a small bump, bringing the new price to $65,390.

 

For more information about the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee and other new models, please feel free to call us at Pilson Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram at (217) 814-0937 today.

 


ram 3500

Ram 2500 and 3500: Class-Leading Towing

A heavy-duty pickup truck is only as good as the numbers attached to it. This ranges from towing capacity to horsepower, torque and cup holders. Styling and design are not prerequisites for a good, heavy-duty truck. A truck needs to perform in almost all situations and perform well, which means an unmatched cargo and towing capacity, which is just what Ram aimed to offer with its 2015 heavy-duty lineup.

For 2015, the Ram 2500 and 3500 models will offer increased torque ratings on the 6.7-liter Cummings diesel at 865 lb-ft of torque. The 2015 Ram 3500 gets an increase in payload capacity to 7,390 pounds. Towing capacity remains unchanged with a class-leading maximum tow rating of 30,000 pounds.

Those are big numbers and bold claims, but they are warranted. Ram is the only automaker using the SAE J2807 testing criteria to determine towing and payload capacities.

Working closely with Cummins, Ram worked aggressively to give the 6.7-liter 24-valve Cummins engine a new fuel delivery system and turbo boost calibration to produce an additional 15 lb-ft of torque. This increase in power has put the Ram ahead of what the competition offers, while still offering a five-year/100,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty and meeting EPA standards.

While the Ram 3500 is a class-leading truck still adhering to SAE J2807 standards, the 2015 Ram 1500 also offers best-in-class towing at 17,970 pounds while still meeting the SAE standards. The 3500 also offers the best-in-class GCWR of 37,900 pounds.

Ram’s leap to the front of the pack has put the hurt on both Chevrolet and Ford, who do not adhere to the new standards yet and are still claiming their best-in-class ratings. Soon, all manufactures will have to meet these new standards, but some, like Ford are having trouble with the new change. Ram is the only manufacture currently meeting the new testing standards.

With Ram offering two leading-class trucks, here at Pilson Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM we are excited we can offering the best product to our customers. The Ram 2500 and 3500 offer performance, styling and features that are unmatched by competitors. For more information about all of Ram’s offerings, contact us at (800) 769-0295 today.

Chrysler 200 Offers Luxury Without the Lofty Price Tag

In a world where mid-sized sedans are seen everywhere, it’s important to stand out in the crowd.  Pilson Chrysler Dodge Jeep is proud to be part of the Chrysler 200 revolution, offering the feel of luxury at an extremely affordable cost.

In recent years, the sales numbers of Chrysler sedans have not been the worst, but they were not at the level that Chrysler expects of itself. After Fiat came on board several years ago, vehicle designs were revisited and given a facelift from the ground up, including the 200 sedans.

The 2015 200 series is one of the Chrysler vehicle models that is now sitting on a Fiat-based platform.  The Dodge Dart and the Jeep Cherokee also share the same platform.  The exterior of the car received a contemporary face lift with sleek curves that make it as stylish as it is aerodynamic.

When you slide behind the wheel, you are rewarded with the feeling of opulence that you usually only receive in cars several times more expensive.  Chrysler has stepped up and covered in the inside with high quality materials no matter which 200 model you choose.

The 200 has received the exclusive 9-speed transmission that has appeared in other new Chrysler models. The transmission is controlled by a rotary dial on the center console, freeing up space and making the cabin even more spacious.  The steering wheel has been beefed up and behind it is either a 5-inch or a 7-inch customizable display.  Almost all of the extensive amount of technology available can be controlled by the steering wheel buttons.

The engines available are either a 2.4-L 4-cylinder Tigershark or a 3.6-L Pentastar V6.  Either engine will get you improved fuel economy over the previous 200 models.

All of this adds up to a very desirable vehicle.  Other car makers are standing up and taking notice of what Chrysler is bringing to the market, especially since the 2015 200 models are some of the most affordable vehicles in their class.

New 200 models are on their way, so come see us at Pilson Chrysler Dodge Jeep to be among the first to know what its like to drive luxury without the high price tag.

 


Challenger SRT Hellcat Soon to Be Unleashed

All of us at Pilson Chrysler Dodge Jeep have been talking a lot about the upcoming release of the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.  The day we have been waiting for is quickly approaching, and we want to tell you all about what you will be seeing in the latest masterpiece from Dodge.

Make no mistake, the 2015 SRT Hellcat will be the most powerful Challenger ever created.  Under the hood there will be a whopping 6.2-L V8 HEMI that pumps out over 600 hp and over 575 lb/ft of torque. With this kind of power, don’t be surprised to get 0-60 mph in less than 4 seconds and top speeds getting close to the 200 mph range.

You get an extra boost in the engine power from the twin screw, high efficiency super charger. These engines were built to last, with features such as the specially designed engine block designed to withstand high amounts of stress and the super-tough hot-forged pistons and connecting rods.  The engine also has special cooling features like aluminum cylinder heads that were created to increase maximum air flow.

How you drive your Challenger is by a choice between two transmissions: the Tremec six speed manual or the Torqueflite eight-speed automatic.  The Tremec is a similar transmission that you will see in the new Dodge Vipers.

The exterior of the Challenger dips back into the classic muscle car era, while being formed to contemporary standards and aerodynamic functionality.  The car is just plain awesome to look at, but there has been subtle changes made to make it sail down the road with even more efficiency.  Much of the design changes were made to achieve maximum engine cooling, like the large air scoops in the front and the outboard air extractors.

Inside you get the ultimate in sports luxury.  The gauges are another touch of the classic Challenger look and the seven inch display behind the wheel can be customized to fit your needs.  In case you forget you are driving one of the most powerful vehicles available to the public, SRT badges are on various surfaces to remind you.  The sporty seats are covered in luxurious and comfortable Nappa leather and can be upgraded to Laguna leather.  The seats are also heated and ventilated, and that comes standard along with the heated steering wheel.

It is a very desirable package, and we dares you to try to resist it.  Contact us to get more information on the 2015 Challenger SRT Hellcat’s release or if you can’t wait to drive a Dodge legend, check out our inventory of popular 2014 Challenger models.

Image source: Auto Week

Ram Adopts SAE Tow Ratings for 2015 Pickups

Tow ratings have been a kind of measuring contest among American truck manufactures for some time now. There has been discrepancy over the years, but now thanks to SAEJ2807, the playing field has finally been leveled.

We at Pilson Chrysler Dodge Jeep are excited Ram has adopted the new tow-rating standards.

Chrysler has actually adopted the new ratings for all of its 2015 pickup trucks, both half-ton and heavy duty. This will end the tug-of-war in advertising claims by automakers about maximum trailer weights. So, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) decision regarding the new standards is good news for truck buyers looking for truly unbiased specifications.

The new SAE regs, which were first published in 2008, now cover three-quarter ton and one-ton trucks. The trucks are used most often to tow up to a gross vehicle weight rating of 14,000 pounds. Both Ford and Chevrolet have agreed to rate their 2015 trucks with the new standards, though only Chevrolet has agreed to apply the new standards to its heavy-duty lineup.

In June, General Motors applied the new SAE tow ratings to the Silverado 1500 and Sierra 1500 and saw a decrease of several hundred pounds in towing capacity with most models.

For 2015 Ram trucks though, the 1500 with the eight-speed automatic transmission gains 200 pounds in towing capacity, now up to 7,600 pounds. Other base offerings stay the same or see minimal improvements, including the 30,000 SAE rating for the diesel Ram 3500 Heavy Duty.

Granted, after Ram has finally published the full towing list—the guide for the 2500 and 3500 trims is 39 pages in length—some ratings will be lower than they were in 2014.

Soon, all pickup trucks will abide by the same standards. Until then, Ram Trucks is looking very good in comparison. Get behind the wheel of one today to see what a Ram Truck can do.

For more information about all of Ram’s offerings, please feel free to visit our Pilson Chrysler Dodge Jeep showroom located at 2212 Lake Land Blvd., Mattoon, IL. We will be glad to schedule a test drive for you. You can call one of our sales representatives at 800-769-0295.


What Does the Future Hold for Fiat Chrysler Brands?

The Fiat-Chrysler company has made some big changes over the past several years and there have been a record number of sales made from some fantastic ideas.  Many of us at Pilson Chrysler Dodge Jeep have been in the car business for a long time, so when the predictions for the next five years for FCA were released we were very pleased with what has been talked about so far.

Some of the changes happening with Dodge are a result from trial and error.  Chrysler put the SRT out as its own brand, much like they did with Ram trucks.  While the Ram brand will continue to stand alone, SRT will be incorporated back into Dodge.  This means that the Vipers will be made under the Dodge nameplate once again. The Dodge Avenger and the Grand Caravan will most likely be taken out of production in the near future.

Ram trucks have seen several consecutive years with awards just piling up, such as being Motor Trends “Truck of the Year” for a few years in a row for the Ram 1500.  Instead of coming up with a whole new model of truck, there will be fine tuning and improvements made on the existing trucks in the lineup.  The public loves the 1500 just the way it is, and Ram sees no need to mess up a good thing.

chrysler 300Chrysler raised its hand to take on the task of bringing the public a brand new minivan in the form of a Town and Country.

They are also already taking the very popular minivan and plan on giving you the option of turning it into a plug-in hybrid version.  The plans for the hybrid predict the vehicle getting up to 75 mpg…something that we will definitely be keeping our eyes on here at Pilson. There are also plans to give the Chrysler 300 series a serious facelift since the 200 series’ upgrades have been met with high marks.

The merge of Fiat with Alfa Romeo is still fresh, so future plans are still in the beginning stages.  What is expected from that end is a new crossover and a new Miata that will be revealed sometime in 2015.

Maserati is taking their sporty little cars and giving them beefed-up engines.  The Ghibli, GranTurismo and the Quattroporte will get V8 engines that put out 560hp.

The Jeep brand will continue to introduce new models in the coming years as the older models fade out.  Some of the biggest releases will the reintroduction of the Grand Wagoneer in 2018 and a total overhaul of the Jeep Wrangler in 2017.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of all the new things coming our way.  As these plans become more concrete, we will pass along the information to you.  With sales on the rise again this quarter, the sky is the limit on what will be coming from Fiat-Chrysler Automotive. Visit us here at Pilson Chrysler Dodge Jeep for a chance to view a great selection of new and used vehicles.

 

Chrysler 200 for the New Generation

The Chrysler 200 has been the flagship vehicle for the company for many years.  It has been regarded as an affordable option for those who prefer sedans out of the luxury market.  While that is all well and good, it was time for Chrysler to put a foot into the luxury car world, and it arrived in style.

Pilson Chrysler Dodge Jeep is pleased to announce that the 2015 Chrysler 200 has finally arrived. It’s a re-vamped version of the reliable vehicle many of us have come to know and love.  It is a car that has been labeled as an affordable luxury vehicle, but Chrysler is aiming to be known as a mid-size sedan competing with the likes of Ford and Toyota but a leap and bound above them in what is offered.

The 2015 Chrysler 200 frame is one of Chrysler’s new vehicle designs based on Fiat architecture.  The base models come with a 2.4 L 4-cylinder Tigershark motor that gets 184 hp and an astounding 36 mpg.  You can always upgrade to the V6, 3.6 L award-winning Pentastar engine that boosts the horse power to 295 while still getting 32 mpg. The Pentastar is the most powerful engine in its class.  The V6 comes with AWD, which is a feature that you won’t see much in the mid-size sedan market.

The technology available for your Chrysler 200 is extremely impressive.  Standard on all models (except the LX) is the Uconnect 5.0 system.  It is a 5-inch touchscreen display that comes with one year subscription to SiriusXM, integrated voice command, Bluetooth, compatible mobile device integration and more.

You also can upgrade to the Uconnect 8.4AN system which includes a larger touchscreen and a whole list of technology upgrades. The 200 will also be one of the safest vehicles to drive.  There are available options you can tack onto your 200 such as Adaptive Cruise Control, blind spot monitoring, park assist, lane departure assist and much more.

The starting MSRP of the 2015 Chrysler 200 is just under $22,000.  The upgrade packages available are also very affordable, so it is very easy to drive a state-of-the-art sedan at a price well below luxury car competitors.

Pilson Chrysler Dodge Jeep is excited to have the 2015 Chrysler 200 in our showroom.  The keys are ready for you to come by and take a drive.