Chicago Auto Show Blog

A whole new Dodge

Posted by: Mark Bilek

I'll understand if you feel a little lost when you visit the Dodge display at the Chicago Auto Show this coming February. Though the nameplates haven't changed, just about everything else has, starting with a re-definition of the brand.

To begin with, gone are trucks. Last year, Chrysler--under the guidance of Fiat---split off the popular pickups into the Ram brand. Curious at first, this move allowed Dodge to better position itself in the marketplace. Dodge is now the maker of sporty and affordable cars and crossover SUVs. This move makes even more sense when you consider that most Chrysler Corporation dealerships sell all four brands, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram.

2011 Dodge Charger and Durango at CATA HQ
2011 Dodge Charger and Durango at CATA HQ

Next up is an unprecedented onslaught of new product. Dodge has six, count 'em, six new or heavily face lifted models for 2011--Avenger, Charger, Challenger, Durango, Grand Caravan and Journey.

Ralph V. Gilles, president and CEOof the new Dodge brand, waxed enthusiastic about the revitalized lineup at CATA HQ this morning, and the proof was in the pudding.' Ralph and Chrysler PR rep Wendy Orthman had lined up all six new models for journalists to sample. And sample we did.

The most striking commonality between the six is a focus on creating world-class interiors. Almost all vehicles now feature a striking 8.4-inch display screen that rivals an iPad for beauty of display and ease of use. But more subtly, each new interior is wrapped in high-quality soft touch materials that are consciously a class above the competition. Gilles hopes Dodge will attract buyers in much the same way the VW and Audi leapfrogged the competition with world-class interiors a half-decade ago. Furthering that goal, Dodge makes almost all of these 2011 interior upgrades standard on every model, including entry-level cars.

But there's plenty of news under the skin as well. That starts with the Pentastar V6. The new engine displaces 3.6-liters and makes 283 horsepower in most applications. It's mated to an all-new six-speed automatic transmission. Together Dodge believes the two will set new standards for power delivery and efficiency.

I'll detail all of the changes coming to each 2011 Dodge model in blog posts over the next couple of days. Suffice to say, I was impressed with what Ralph had to say and even more impressed with the way he said it. It seems that for the first time in a long while Dodge has a clear direction and a leader that's willing to take the risks to get there.

Dodge President and CEO Ralph Gilles presents the new Dodge Lineup
Dodge President and CEO Ralph Gilles presents the new Dodge Lineup
Dodge CATA Journey
The 2011 Dodge Journey


« Last Post Next Post »

View all Posts from this Blog

Follow Us Socially Using #CAS16



Wednesday, October, 12, 2016

Chrysler Pacifica Giveaway

What would happen if kids ran a car dealership? PacifiKids gives you that answer - fun! At PacifiKids youngsters ...

Tuesday, October, 04, 2016

Off-road Adventures at the 2016 MAMA Fall Rally

The 2016 Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) Fall Rally united more than 100 MAMA members and 75 cars, ...

Monday, October, 03, 2016

Chicago Auto Show World Introductions Shine at MAMA Rally

Four of the 20 world introductions from the 2016 Chicago Auto Show are hitting showrooms this month and they were ...

Friday, September, 30, 2016

Rally Rookie Takes On The Track

This year's Midwest Automotive Media Association's (MAMA) Fall Rally lived up to the hype and delivered 75 ...

Wednesday, September, 21, 2016

Tidy Car, Clear Mind

With as much time as we spend in them, our cars become an extension of our households often carrying snacks, extra ...

Tuesday, September, 13, 2016

Chevy Bolts Onto the Scene

Those waiting in line for a Tesla Model 3 might want to consider asking for their deposit back as the Bolt EV is ...

Tuesday, September, 13, 2016

Come Drive the All-New Mazda CX-9!

Hot on the heels of last weekend's MX-5 drive, Mazda is offering a consumer driving experience of its all-new ...

Friday, September, 09, 2016

Nissan TITAN Driving Experience This Weekend

The 2017 Nissan TITAN is rolling into dealerships this fall, and Nissan is giving Chicagoans an exclusive ...

Wednesday, September, 07, 2016

Drive the MX-5 Roadster This Weekend!

Mazda wants to put YOU behind the wheel of the MX-5 roadster. This week, the MX-5 Experience Tour will be making a ...

Friday, August, 19, 2016

Stunning Concepts Headline Monterey Car Week

Two stunning concepts headline Monterey Car Week - a 7-day car orgy featuring the Pebble Beach Concours ...


8/5/2016 3:18:01 PM

CAS Fans, what do you think? - via Chicago Tribune Cars

8/3/2016 12:52:46 PM

Busy morning planning for #CAS17! #Mitsubishi #Mazda

8/2/2016 2:32:45 PM

Guess who we're meeting with to start planning for #CAS17? #CAS15Debut

8/2/2016 10:53:03 AM

What three trucks debuted at the Chicago Auto Show in 2016? #TriviaTuesday

8/2/2016 8:17:32 AM

On the heels of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter WORKER reveal at #CAS16, the brand just announced the Metris

8/1/2016 9:51:02 AM

Give something new a try this week! #MondayMotivation

7/29/2016 10:03:02 AM

We love this old vs. new picture from @automobile_nation! #FanFriday #chevrolet

7/28/2016 1:30:14 PM

Congrats well deserved

7/28/2016 10:31:02 AM

Guess That Grille! Can you guess which car from #CAS16 this grille belongs to

7/28/2016 10:16:55 AM

The Chicago Auto Show Changed their cover photo.


10/21/2016 12:14:35 AM

Susan Robertson's 200mph Suzuki Hayabusa at the 2006 Chicago Auto Show @ChiAutoShow

10/20/2016 12:59:41 PM

2017 First Look for Charity Preview Condensed: via @YouTube

10/20/2016 12:59:41 PM

I added a video to a @YouTube playlist 2017 First Look for Charity Preview Condensed

10/20/2016 12:54:55 PM

2017 First Look for Charity Preview Video: via @YouTube

10/20/2016 12:54:55 PM

I added a video to a @YouTube playlist 2017 First Look for Charity Preview Video

10/20/2016 11:33:29 AM

First Look for Charity 2017: via @YouTube

10/20/2016 11:33:29 AM

I added a video to a @YouTube playlist First Look for Charity 2017

10/20/2016 9:39:39 AM

RT @ChiAutoShow: #ThrowbackThursday of this @chevrolet Corvette from 1953 to 2016! #TBT

10/20/2016 8:30:43 AM

RT @subaru_usa: Tune in tomorrow, 11:30 am EST to witness the 2015 #SubaruLegacy reveal from the @ChiAutoShow. http:…

10/20/2016 8:06:02 AM

#ThrowbackThursday of this @chevrolet Corvette from 1953 to 2016! #TBT