Significant changes planned for ‘new’ Chrysler lineup


Chrysler has confirmed it will launch a sedan based on Fiat’s C-Evo platform, which will underpin the new Alfa Romeo 149 (Milano)

Chrysler has confirmed it will launch a sedan based on Fiat’s C-Evo platform, which will underpin the new Alfa Romeo 149 (Milano)

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Chrysler’s viability plan presented to the U.S. Treasury back in February turned out to be a goldmine for information about the company’s future plans. Not only were there details about the next-generation Chrysler 300 and 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, but the documents also outlined details for some of Fiat’s future models that will be heading to North America.

Following this week’s announcement that Chrysler has emerged from bankruptcy and is now in the hands of Fiat, the Detroit Free Press is reporting fresh news on the significant changes planned for Chrysler’s lineup. The ‘new’ Chrysler will reportedly see seven new Fiat and Alfa Romeo models sold in the U.S., two of which will include the replacement for the current 147 hatch and 159 sedan.

These two new Alfa Romeos will be called the Milano and the Giulia. The Milano will serve as a replacement for the 147 hatch and will go on sale in Europe later this year as a 2010 model. The Giulia will be the successor to the 159 midsize sedan and is due to go on sale in late 2011.

The first Fiat vehicle hitting U.S. showrooms, however, will be the 500 minicar. The car will be built at Chrysler's plant in Toluca, Mexico, although the first examples will likely be imported. Down the track, Chrysler is also expected to use the car’s platform for its own unique minicar. The best estimates put the arrival of the first Fiat-Chrysler joint projects at about 18 months from now.

Fiat will also lend Chrysler its midsize C-Evo platform, which the American automaker will use to build a compact sedan. This is the same platform that will underpin the Alfa Romeo Milano and currently resides in the Fiat Bravo. On top of this, Chrysler will also receive the B-segment platform underpinning the sporty Alfa Romeo MiTo. It’s not clear yet which Chrysler brand will receive the new model built on the platform, though.

Finally, Chrysler will inherit Fiat's innovative Multiair variable valve-timing system to help boost the fuel economy and power of its engines. Fiat four-cylinder engines will probably go into production at Chrysler's plant in Dundee, and will eventually be joined by a new dual-clutch transmission. In return, Chrysler will provide Fiat with its Pentastar V6 engine.
 
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