Tag Archives: Pentastar V6

Report: 2014 Jeep Cherokee will keep Liberty designation in China… sort of

By Jeffrey N. Ross

2014 Jeep Cherokee

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Chinese buyers will get their first live look at the 2014 Jeep Cherokee during the Shanghai Motor Show, but CarNewsChina is reporting that it will go by a different name – Ziyou Guan, which translates to “Liberty Light.” The article states that our Jeep Liberty was never sold in China, but the iconic XJ Cherokee was sold and produced there as the Qinuoji (a phonetic translation of Cherokee).

The new Jeep Liberty Light will be built alongside the Fiat Viaggio (China‘s Fiat-badged version of the Dodge Dart) at the Guangzhou-Fiat plant, and the two models will share the same powertrains: a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder base engine paired to a five-speed manual or a dual-clutch transmission and a 2.4-liter four-cylinder (the base engine for the US-spec 2014 Cherokee) as an optional engine. It doesn’t sound like the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 will be offered in China.

We’ll be on hand when the new Jeep debuts in Shanghai, so stay tuned to Autoblog this Friday night and Saturday for our live coverage of the show.

2014 Jeep Cherokee will keep Liberty designation in China… sort of originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 17 Apr 2013 13:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New York: 2014 Dodge Durango bows with eight-speed auto, updated looks [w/video]

By Michael Harley

2014 Dodge Durango live at 2013 New York Auto Show - front three-quarter view

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Dodge has significantly updated its full-size Durango for the 2014 model year, giving the seven-passenger hauler a fresh look and a well-rounded boost of competitive features as it enters its fourth year in the showroom.

Cosmetically, it is hard to miss the revised front end with projector-beam headlamps and LED daytime running lamps, “floating” crosshair grille, a taller front bumper and a new lower fascia. The rear end of the facelifted Durango has been redesigned with the automaker’s now-signature LED “racetrack” taillamps and resculpted rear fascia. All of the wheels are new too, with 18- and 20-inch options for each trim level with a variety of factory finishes.

Inside the cabin, buyers can select the automaker’s latest Uconnect infotainment system with a full suite of infotainment features and connectivity accessed through an 8.4-inch touchscreen. Other optional goodies include a heated steering wheel, heated second-row seating and a Blu-Ray player capable of running unique programs on the twin individual rear monitors.

Mechanically speaking, Dodge has fitted an eight-speed automatic transmission as standard equipment to both the 3.6-liter V6 (290 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque) and the optional 5.7-liter V8 (360 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque) which should improve both performance and economy. As an added benefit, the Pentastar V6 now boasts a best-in-class driving range of more than 600 miles on one tank of fuel, but thus far, Dodge isn’t discussing much in the way of additional performance metrics, saying only that the Pentastar should get 25 miles per gallon on the highway cycle.

We’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg in terms of new features, so scroll down to watch an official video and see the full press release for all of the details.

Continue reading 2014 Dodge Durango bows with eight-speed auto, updated looks [w/video]

2014 Dodge Durango bows with eight-speed auto, updated looks [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 28 Mar 2013 15:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New York: 2014 Jeep Cherokee dreams of Moab, crawls on stage [w/video]

By Michael Harley

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The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee inched its way onto the stage at the New York Auto Show today, proving that at least the “Trail Rated” version of the SUV is more than just a controversial unique odd fresh face in the mid-size segment. After the short, simulated Moab run by the Trailhawk model, the gray four-door was joined on the stage by a burgundy Limited model – the luxurious highway variant.

As a recap, the all-new 2014 Cherokee rides atop a modular Alfa Romeo-derived platform (we know it from the Dodge Dart) and will be offered in both front- and all-wheel drive models with a choice between a 2.4-liter four-cylinder (rated at 184 horsepower) and a new 3.2-liter Pentastar V6 (developing 271 horsepower) engine. A nine-speed automatic is standard and no less than three different all-wheel drive systems are available.

Of the four different models (Sport, Latitude, Limited, and Trailhawk), we like the rugged looks and capabilities offered by the Trailhawk the best. Overlook the red tow hooks and check out its more aggressive wheel/tire package, flared fenders, reduced breakover angle and lack of brightwork in our gallery of live images from the New York show. Skid plates and off-road capable tires round out the package. Read all the details in the official press release below.

Continue reading 2014 Jeep Cherokee dreams of Moab, crawls on stage [w/video]

2014 Jeep Cherokee dreams of Moab, crawls on stage [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 27 Mar 2013 16:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: 2014 Jeep Cherokee flaunts its new contemporary curves

By Michael Harley

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Only slightly more than one month ago, undisguised (and less-than-flattering) shots of the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee were leaked online. Later that day, in an effort to suppress the uprising, Jeep countered with its own official photography offering us much clearer front and three-quarter views. We’ve been left to digest those pictures for weeks.

Now, mere hours before the fabric comes sliding off its newest mid-size sport-utility at its live reveal at the New York Auto Show, Jeep has released dozens of new images showing all four corners, plus a few interior shots, of its new Cherokee.

As we previously mentioned, the 2014 Cherokee rides atop a modular Alfa Romeo-derived platform (shared with the Dodge Dart). We’ve now also learned that the new Jeep will offer both front- and all-wheel drive with a choice between a 2.4-liter four-cylinder (184 horsepower) and a new 3.2-liter Pentastar V6 (271 horsepower) powerplant. A new nine-speed (!) automatic transmission, a first in this segment, is standard across the board. There will be four different models: Sport, Latitude, Limited and Trailhawk (right), with the most fuel efficient delivering 31 mpg on the highway, and the most rugged earning Jeep’s “Trail Rated” badging while boasting Selec-Terrain and Active Drive Lock (locking rear differential), the latter being the most aggressive of the three separate all-wheel drive systems available.

The new front end is obviously its most controversial feature – a sculpted design that improves aerodynamic drag, promotes global appeal yet still retains the Jeep DNA and heritage with its seven-slotted iconic grille, says the automaker. Assembled in Toledo, Ohio, the new Cherokee arrives in showrooms later this year. For all of the details, get comfortable in your chair before checking out the lengthy press release below.

Continue reading 2014 Jeep Cherokee flaunts its new contemporary curves

2014 Jeep Cherokee flaunts its new contemporary curves originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 27 Mar 2013 00:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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First Drive: 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel

By Jeremy Korzeniewski

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel

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Choose Your Own Adventure… But Choose Wisely

Jeep has got you covered. We can say this without even having to know what it is you want, because there’s hardly an option or configuration that you won’t find in the 2014 Grand Cherokee. There are three different engines, three different four-wheel-drive systems (plus rear-wheel drive), four different trim levels – not counting SRT – two different suspension setups and five different settings for various off-road terrain conditions. If you happen to check the box for Quadra-Lift, you’ll also have five different ride-height settings for the driver-selectable air suspension.

As you might expect with so many customization possibilities, the way a buyer checks the options sheet can have a profound effect on the final product and its capabilities, to say nothing of its price. Nowhere is that more true than with the Grand Cherokee‘s choice of engines, with the brand-new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 stealing the spotlight from the still excellent gasoline-fueled 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and 5.7-liter Hemi V8 powerplants that carry over from last year. No matter which engine you choose, though, it will be paired up with Jeep’s new standard eight-speed automatic transmission from ZF. This, ladies and gentlemen, is very good news indeed.

We took to the ranch lands surrounding Austin, Texas at Jeep’s invitation to put the 2014 Grand Cherokee through its paces, both on road and off. Read on for our initial report card.

Continue reading 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 26 Feb 2013 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Chrysler 100 hatchback caught cruising around Santa Monica

By Jonathon Ramsey

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A coming hatchback said to be called the Chrysler 100 has been caught on video traipsing around Santa Monica by Autoblog reader Zach Dillman. Still wearing the scrapyard assemblage of Alfa Romeo Giulietta body panels as it was when spy photographers began capturing it last summer, its arrival date is still a question mark: some outlets have reported that it will go on sale this year, others have said it won’t be in showrooms until 2016.

In fact, quite a few questions remain. Based on Fiat’s Compact US Wide (CUSW) platform that supports the Dodge Dart and expected to be about the same size, the 100 is thought to be a small premium hatchback that will be priced above the Dart and below the Chrysler 200, with the idea that it can challenge the Ford Focus and Hyunda Elantra at the value end and the Buick Verano and Acura ILX at the premium end. Word is that there will be no sedan version.

It looks like there’ll be plenty of gewgaws inside, with buttons for Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning and a button to toggle the traction control.

Some rumors say the 100 will only get four-cylinder engines, other rumors suggest it could get a V6 to justify the premium aspirations and the price bump over the Dart, and an “E85 Only!” sticker spotted in one of the mules last summer has other rumormongers wondering if it will get a ethanol-capable version of a new powerplant that isn’t the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6. It looks like there will be paddleshifters for getting through the gears, and front-wheel drive is the easy bet, all-wheel drive the long-shot shocker.

At the end of the video, a second mule gets spotted in Santa Monica, this being one of a legion of jacked-up Franken-Giulietta mules that’s been seen around the country for a while now. It could be either a new Jeep Liberty mule or a replacement for the Compass/Patriot. See for yourself in the videos below.

Continue reading Chrysler 100 hatchback caught cruising around Santa Monica

Chrysler 100 hatchback caught cruising around Santa Monica originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 21 Feb 2013 19:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Quick Spin: 2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4X4

By Michael Harley

2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon covered in mud

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Ice skates are spectacular on frozen water, yet they are dreadful everyday footwear. I consider the Jeep Wrangler equally as specialized.

I recently spent a week with a 2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4X4. Introduced for the 2007 model year, the Wrangler Unlimited is a standard JK two-door with 20.6 inches added to its wheelbase and two additional doors bolted to its passenger compartment. While Jeep offers the Unlimited in seven different trim levels, the desirable Rubicon is the most capable when the pavement ends, as it boasts a slew of hardcore off-road tools including front and rear electronic locking differentials and sway bars that can be disengaged at the touch of a button for improved articulation. My I-Look-Like-A-Traffic-Cone test model started with a base price of $34,095 (plus $995 destination). Options including a five-speed automatic transmission, Uconnect, tow package and a premium soft top, drove the bottom line up to $38,630.

Driving Notes

  • On one hand, it would be difficult to find a new vehicle less competent on pavement. Despite its many improvements over the years, handling is still very sloppy, with initial turn-in delayed and mushy. The brakes felt strong, but stopping distances seemed long. Most of the blame is aimed at the aggressive BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A tires. The rubber is excellent for post-apocalyptic travel, but the tire’s large tread blocks squirmed uncomfortably when tasked with changing direction on pavement. (To allay any concerns, stability control bundled with electronic roll mitigation is standard, so it would take real effort to actually get a wheel off the ground.)
  • On the other hand, few vehicles on the market are as competent off-road – and none are at this price point. Exploring Hungry Valley SRVA, an off-road park north of Los Angeles, the Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon was all but unstoppable. I drove effortlessly through deep, soft sand, climbed steep hills like a mountain goat and danced through sticky mud. Generous approach and departure angles allowed the Jeep to go where other rigs only dream, and the electronic sway bar disconnect system allowed the two live axles to articulate at obscene angles.
  • Thanks to its strong Pentastar V6 (new for 2012), the Rubicon had plenty of power. The off-road park is up near 5,000 feet in elevation, but the 3.6-liter pulled strongly and never felt out of breath. Fuel economy isn’t impressive, but that is what Jerry Cans are for.
  • The ride quality of the long-wheelbase four-door is predictably better than on the two-door. My passengers found the second row fairly comfortable compared to the rear accommodations in a compact SUV or CUV. Some occupants, especially younger ones, complained about the lack of running boards as the step-in is high (in Jeep’s defense, the low-hanging protrusions just get in the way off-road), and everyone complained about drafts from the soft top. Of course, it was nothing but smiles when the truck was flinging muddy water all over itself – kids love …read more
    Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

Chicago: 2014 Promaster looks like a Fiat, hauls like a Ram

By Jeremy Korzeniewski

2014 Ram Promaster

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A new day is dawning, folks. The old-guard vans of our youth are being replaced with a new flock of European-inspired commercial vehicles from the likes of Ford, Nissan (Renault) and Mercedes-Benz. Here in Chicago, Ram pulled the covers off its entry into the reborn commercial van market with the 2014 Promaster, based on the well-known European Fiat Ducato.

Ram makes no bones about the Promaster’s Fiat underpinnings, though the company claims it has beefed up the machine for US roads and uses with a re-engineered chassis, a more robust suspension setup, improved brakes (from Brembo), additional corrosion protection, improved climate control and additional safety systems.

Power comes from one of two powerplants options, one gas and one diesel. First up is Chrysler’s well-known 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 rated at 280 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. For a bit more pulling power and durability, Ram is offering a new 3.0-liter four-cylinder diesel engine pumping out 174 hp and, more importantly, 295 lb-ft of torque at just 1,400 rpm. That engine sends its torquey goodness through a six-speed electronically controlled automated manual gearbox.

If you want the diesel, you’ll be interested to know it carries 4,000 miles worth of urea diesel exhaust fluid. Oil change intervals are an impressive 18,500 miles apart, though – a bit odd, no? Ram is offering three different styles – Cargo Van, Chassis Cab or Chassis Cab Cutaway – and three wheelbase options, along with a low roof or high roof with or without an extended body. Max payload sits at 5,189 pounds and the max gross combined weight rating, with the diesel, is 12,500 pounds.

Have a gander at the massive press release below, but not before checking out our live images above.

Continue reading 2014 Promaster looks like a Fiat, hauls like a Ram

2014 Promaster looks like a Fiat, hauls like a Ram originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 07 Feb 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: 2014 Ram Promaster reporting for duty

By Jeffrey N. Ross

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We already knew Chrysler would be getting its own version of the Fiat Ducato for use as the 2014 Ram Promaster, but it was just a question of when and what changes would be made. Well now we know. Though far from conventional-looking, the new Promaster should give Chrysler a fullsize van that is more competitive than the old Ram Van and more affordable than the Mercedes-based Dodge Sprinter.

Chrysler says it made numerous changes to transform the Ducato into the US-friendly Promaster, and the biggest changes were made to the powertrains. Standard equipment on the Promaster 1500 is the widespread 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 rated at 280 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque paired, which, paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, offers a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 11,500 pounds. Other models will get the 3.0-liter diesel inline four-cylinder producing 174 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, giving this version a GCWR of 12,500 pounds, and this engine is mated to a six-speed automated manual transmission.

Continue reading 2014 Ram Promaster reporting for duty

2014 Ram Promaster reporting for duty originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 07 Feb 2013 00:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Quick Spin: 2013 Dodge Charger AWD Sport

By Steven J. Ewing

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We won’t beat around the bush: The all-wheel-drive Dodge Charger is not a brand new car. This generation launched in 2011, AWD models and all. But for 2013, Chrysler has added an optional sport package to the AWD model, available with both the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 or the sweet, sweet 5.7-liter Hemi V8. The upgrades for this new sport pack are mainly cosmetic; a gloss black grille, new 19-inch alloy wheels and body-colored rear spoiler make up the list of exterior changes. Inside, there are new sport seats and paddle shifters, and the eight-speed automatic transmission has been reflashed for better performance.

But because vehicles like the Dodge Charger mainly stick out in our minds as being rear-drive bruisers, Chrysler wanted to give us the opportunity to test out the LX platform’s foul-weather prowess. And perhaps no place more appropriate to test such a system was way up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in the dead of winter.

Driving Notes

  • It’s not a new formula by any means, but we still adore the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 under the hood of the Charger. 370 horsepower and 395 pound-feet of torque are more than enough motivation to get this hefty (4,450-pound) sedan up and moving with a quickness, even with all-wheel drive.
  • The new eight-speed automatic ‘box is really slick here in the Charger, and unlike other eight-cog units, you won’t find the transmission frequently jumping back and forth between gears.
  • Even with eight gears to keep the engine revving for efficiency, fuel economy isn’t anything stellar. Combined with all-wheel drive, the Charger R/T AWD Sport achieves 15 miles per gallon in the city or 23 mpg on the highway. Still, that’s about par for the class – a two-wheel-drive Hyundai Genesis with the 5.0-liter V8 achieves 16/25 mpg.
  • On our drive through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, we mostly encountered long stretches of two-lane backroads that, while throwing the occasional curve our way, were mostly straight and flat. This is ideal Charger territory, as the big sedan is perfectly poised to be a solid, comfortable highway cruiser above all.
  • We had the chance to pilot the Charger AWD Sport around a few handling courses in the snow, and there, the car offered safe amounts of fun. The Charger uses a rear-biased AWD system that only sends power to the front wheels when moments of slip or poor traction are encountered, but this means enthusiasts who like a bit of tail-wagging hooliganism in the snow will be very happy.
  • Even with that rear bias, the big Dodge never failed to snap itself back into line when we intentionally tried to break its butt loose. And since we were able to drive the Charger on a number of snowy, icy test courses, it was easy to see that this AWD system works well in all types of road conditions.
  • After so many years of lackluster cabins, it’s nice to be able to praise Chrysler interiors. Here in the Charger, we found both the sport cloth and leather seats to be immensely comfortable, and the overall fit and finish to the interior is quite nice. We especially like the carbon fiber-look trim pieces added to the Sport model for 2013.
  • Perhaps the best thing about the Charger’s interior is the Chrysler UConnect system – there’s a reason why it’s an award-winning piece of technology. The 8.4-inch screen is super easy to navigate, but this system’s biggest win is just how responsive it is to touch commands. Other automakers really should take note.
  • What’s great about this whole package is that the fullsize, loaded sedan tops out under the $40,000 mark. That’s comparable to fully optioned midsize sedans these days (like a Ford Fusion Titanium, for instance). Yes, those smaller cars are no doubt better on fuel economy, but for bang-for-the-buck performance, the Charger is really something special.

2013 Dodge Charger AWD Sport originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Jan 2013 14:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Chrysler 300 Glacier edition ready to chill with AWD

By Jeffrey N. Ross

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2013 Chrysler 300 Glacier Edition in front of frozen waterfalls

It seems that word is finally out on the redone Chrysler 300, as evidenced by the fact that the model’s sales almost doubled last year compared to 2011 (when the distinctive sedan was a little slow out of the gates). One thing that’s likely helping the car is a growing number of unique models like the 300S, 300 SRT8 and the new 300C John Varvatos Luxury Edition, and now one more trim has joined the lineup. Initially announced back in September, the 300 Glacier is on sale now with a starting price of $36,845 (*not including a $995 destination charge).

Designed with cold-weather climates in mind, the 300 Glacier is only available with all-wheel drive. Chrysler says the Glacier will run an additional $1,500 over the 300S AWD off which this car is based, but that extra money gets unique 19-inch aluminum wheels, an exclusive Glacier Blue Pearl Coat paint job and special interior treatments including piano black accents and fancier leather seats and stitching. Like the 300S, power from the Pentastar V6 has been bumped up to an even 300 horsepower (up from 292 hp) with the aid of a cold-air induction and freer-breathing exhaust. Naturally, the 363-hp Hemi V8 is still available, too.

For more information, scroll down to check out Chrysler’s official press release.

Continue reading Chrysler 300 Glacier edition ready to chill with AWD

Chrysler 300 Glacier edition ready to chill with AWD originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 19 Jan 2013 10:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Dodge announces Sport package for AWD Charger

By Steven J. Ewing

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2013 Dodge Charger AWD Sport - dashing through the snow

We normally think of the Dodge Charger (and its Chrysler 300 brethren) as being rear-wheel-drive muscle sedans, but we mustn’t forget about the fact that all-wheel drive is available as well. And in an effort to give the AWD models a bit more presence, the all-season Dodge sedan will be getting a new sport package for the 2013 model year.

The AWD Sport pack – available on SXT, SXT Plus, R/T and R/T Plus trims – gets you a raft of visual upgrades including a gloss black grille, unique 19-inch wheels and a body-color rear spoiler. Inside, the package adds paddle shifters and sport seats in either cloth or leather, depending on trim.

This Sport pack retails for $1,395 on SXT models with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, and $1,195 on R/T cars with the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine. As part of the new package, the eight-speed automatic transmission also receives a more aggressive sport setting.

Interested customers can order their cars now, with production spanning from December until February. See the new Sport model for yourself in the gallery above (and yes, we’ve asked Chrysler to pass along some photos that have the whole car in the frame), and scroll down to read the full press blast.

Continue reading Dodge announces Sport package for AWD Charger

Dodge announces Sport package for AWD Charger originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 17 Dec 2012 17:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Spy Shots: 2014 Maserati Ghibli prototype spied for the first time

By Jeffrey N. Ross

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Looking to better compete with mainstream luxury automakers, Maserati has already announced its plans for expanding its model lineup. Now, these spy shots give us our first look at a new, smaller sedan that resurrects the Maserati Ghibli nameplate. Seen for the first time as a prototype rather than a Quattroporte-based test-mule, this is the closest-to-production view of the upcoming Ghibli thus far.

Aside from its name, we don’t know much about the 2014 Ghibli, but we do hear that this Maserati, like the upcoming Maserati Levante SUV, will have a direct lineage to a Chrysler product. While the Levante will be based on the Jeep Grand Cherokee, it sounds like the Ghibli could use the Chrysler 300 as its starting point. This means that the standard version of the car could get Chrysler’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 – rumored to produce around 400 horsepower – paired with the latest eight-speed automatic transmission; sportier trim levels would almost certainly get a V8 from Ferrari rather than using the 300C’s Hemi.

As for some of the details apparent in the spy photos, we can obviously see the size difference between these two cars when comparing previous spy shots of the newly released 2014 Quattroporte, which we drove last week. We also see that this car gets some performance-oriented, cross-drilled brake rotors, and based on the depth of the snow in which this car was caught testing, we also wouldn’t rule out the use of all-wheel-drive on the Ghibli.

2014 Maserati Ghibli prototype spied for the first time originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 17 Dec 2012 09:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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