Dodge's newest crossover will speak with a strong Italian accent, if a new report is to be believed.
Automotive News (subscription required) says the second generation of the Dodge Journey, of all vehicles, will move from the milquetoast front-wheel-drive platform that underpins the current model to the decidedly sporty rear-drive setup found underneath the upcoming Alfa Romeo Giulia.
Yes, that means Dodge's workaday people carrier will be an Alfa Romeo at its core.
That's not as far-fetched as it seems given an Alfa Romeo crossover—which may be called the Stelvio—is under development. Still, it marks a major change in focus for the Journey, which has only undergone a modest update since hitting the market back in late 2008.
2016 Dodge Durango
The current Journey on dealer lots shares its platform with the Chrysler 200 and has fell out of favor with critics.
What the next-gen Journey means for the slow-selling, but largely praised, Dodge Durango is up for much debate as well. The Durango, which rides on a stretched version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee's architecture, is set to be reinvented soon as the Jeep Grand Wagoneer, anyway.
If Fiat Chrysler Automobiles [NYSE:FCAU] indeed moves the Journey to a rear-wheel-drive platform, presumably with optional all-wheel drive, that almost certainly means the kiss of death for the Durango.
The rear-wheel-drive architecture under the Giulia will also be used for the next Dodge Charger and Challenger, meaning that Dodge showrooms in a few years may consist of a single platform with three different body styles. Recall that the Viper supercar is also on its way out.