2006 will be Chrysler Group’s biggest ever year in the UK with no less than six new right-hand drive vehicles going on sale in the first seven months of the year, together with the launch of the new Dodge brand.
Chrysler’s award-winning 300C saloon, which has already sold out in the UK this year, will be joined by the 300C Touring estate car in May and a high performance version of the saloon – the Chrysler 300C SRT-8 – will arrive in April.
The 300C SRT-8 features a 6.1-litre HEMI 420hp engine, a top speed of 170mph* and a 0-62mph time of less than five seconds. This high performance engine will also feature in the Grand Cherokee SRT-8, the world’s fastest 4×4.
Due to launch in July, the Grand Cherokee SRT-8 features a specially developed full-time 4×4 system that channels 90 per cent of the power to the rear wheels. If sensors detect rear wheel spin torque will then be sent to the front wheels to increase traction. A reprogrammed traction control system, 20-inch wheels and an SRT sports-tuned suspension all help create outstanding ride and handling.
These SRT versions have been developed by Chrysler’s ‘Street Race Technology’ performance division. All SRT vehicles feature powerful engines, unique exterior details, sports suspension and a sports interior.
Simon Elliott, Managing Director of Chrysler Group, said: “We will only bring a small number of the 300C and Grand Cherokee SRT-8 into the UK but these two aren’t the only stunning vehicles to be launched next year. The new right-hand drive Chrysler PT Cabriolet will arrive in dealers in March while the all-new Dodge Caliber five-door family hatchback arrives in July.
“The Dodge Caliber will be the first of a series of new right-hand drive Dodge products coming into the UK over the next three years. All of our market research suggests that C-segment car buyers are bored with the bland offerings in the market at the moment. The Caliber is a striking looking car that combines great diesel and petrol engines, lots of interior space, European standards of ride and handling plus affordable pricing.”
The final new vehicle for Chrysler Group in the UK next year is the new Jeep Commander, a seven-seat version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, which launches in April.
Simon Elliott added: “Although the new Commander shares the same four-wheel drive system, suspension and powertrains as the Jeep Grand Cherokee, it is a very different vehicle.”
On the outside, the Commander is less than two inches longer than the latest Jeep Grand Cherokee, even though it is designed to accommodate seven people. On the inside, the three rows of seats are arranged theatre-style while the interior materials and design are different to that found on the Grand Cherokee.
“There is no doubt that the Jeep Commander has a unique look and this is increasingly important in today’s crowded marketplace. It has been deliberately designed to hark back to the rugged look of the original Cherokee that so many people love.”
On sale dates:
Chrysler PT Cabriolet (March)
Chrysler 300C SRT-8 (April)
Chrysler 300C Touring (May)
Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8 (July)
Jeep Commander (April)
Dodge Caliber (July)