By Patrick Rall
The 2009 SEMA Show in Las Vegas is only 18 days away, and today the
Mopar camp offered their first teasers of what to expect in their
display. Not surprisingly, the first four announced vehicles for the
SEMA Show include a Dodge Ram and a Dodge Challenger, along with a pair
of wild Jeep concepts.
The two Jeeps to be featured at
the Mopar SEMA Show display, the Jeep Wrangler Overland and Jeep Lower
Forty are both based on the popular Wrangler. The Mopar Dodge Ram
Bianco is based on a production Dodge Ram 1500 Sport, and the Mopar
Dodge Challenger 1320 (the first of many Challengers I expect to see at
SEMA) is actually based on the Dodge Challenger Track Pak rather than a
Click below for information about each of these awesome vehicles from Mopar to debut at the 2009 SEMA Show.
goes without saying that there is a good chance that several or all of
these vehicles won’t ever see production, but this first sampling of
what we can expect from Mopar at the 2009 SEMA Show is promising.
Mopar usually has a very large display, and with this being the first
announcement about what they will be showing at SEMA, I expect to hear
more news about what will adorn the Mopar display at this year’s SEMA
Stay tuned to the Detroit Autos Examiner for
complete 2009 SEMA Show coverage, including high resolution images of
this awesome concept the day that it is introduced to the world!
Subscribe now to the Detroit Autos Examiner column and don’t miss any of the coverage from the 2009 SEMA Show in Las Vegas!
(images courtesy of Chysler Group LLC)
The Official Press Release from Chrysler Group LLC:
Chrysler Group LLC to Showcase Four Mopar Image Vehicles at
2009 SEMA Show Auburn Hills, Mich., Oct 15,
A 556-horsepower Dodge Challenger, a
Jeep® Wrangler that transforms into a mobile campsite, a luxury Dodge Ram 1500
and a go-anywhere, do-anything extreme Jeep Wrangler with 40-inch tires. It
must be SEMA season.
Four Mopar-customized vehicles will
steal the show next month at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA)
show in Las Vegas. Mopar’s in-house team of creative customizers developed a
slew of high-performance image vehicles that feature the brand’s innovative
performance parts and accessories.
“Our Mopar vehicles demonstrate this
company’s passion and enthusiasm for the automotive aftermarket,” said Pietro
Gorlier, President and Chief Executive Officer – Mopar Service, Parts and
Customer Care, Chrysler Group LLC. “We will gauge reaction to these vehicles
and explore new directions as we develop Mopar performance parts and
accessories for our vehicles.”
“The aftermarket is not an
after-thought in our design studio,” said Ralph Gilles, President and
CEO–Dodge Car Brand and Senior Vice President–Product Design, Chrysler Group
LLC. “Our vehicles are designed and built by the same passionate automotive
enthusiasts within our company who are designing and engineering new
Mopar parts and accessories for vehicles in our product pipeline.”
Led by Mark Allen, Head of Jeep
Design, Chrysler Group LLC, the Mopar design team developed four head-turning
vehicles for next month’s SEMA show.
Mopar Dodge Challenger 1320 Image
Vehicle: Exploring a Street-legal Drag Pak Challenger
The Dodge Challenger 1320 began life as a Mopar Drag Pak Dodge Challenger. The
current Drag Pak option is a light-weight, stripped-down, race-only,
special-order version of the Dodge Challenger designed for competitive drag
For the street-legal design, Mopar’s
design team took the vehicle back to its roots with styling reminiscent of
vintage Mopar muscle, updated with today’s technology. The Dodge Challenger
1320 image vehicle, named for the 1,320 feet on a quarter-mile drag strip,
features Mopar’s 426 cubic-inch, all-aluminum, HEMI® V-8 crate engine that
generates 556 horsepower. The engine is equipped with unique Mopar-designed
valve covers and a dress-up kit. Mopar’s long-tube headers and exhaust system
allow the cubic inches to breathe. Electric cutouts allow the exhaust to bypass
the muffler system, which exits through custom side pipes for added rumble at
the dragstrip. Power is put to the ground via a six-speed manual transmission
through a custom Dynatrac rear housing with Mopar Dana 60 internals and a
selectable, ARB locking differential. Mopar police wheels, widened in the rear,
are strapped with Nitto street-legal drag radials to provide extra grip at launch.
A four-corner, adjustable coil-over kit is provided by Mopar as an option for
the Dodge Challenger. This system improves the handling of the vehicle under
extreme loads of 556 horsepower and 540 lb.-ft. of torque.
Following Mopar’s high-impact color
heritage, the design team layered the 1320 in Acidic Hue, a non-metallic yellow
paint and added matte black graphics. The body is lightened with the following
carbon-fiber components from Mopar’s design team and Seibon:
• Bulged hood with HEMI scoop
• Front spoiler
• Grille panel/headlamp surround
The interior is equipped with bare
necessities–Dodge Viper seats, a sport steering wheel and a Hurst shifter. The
rear seat, center console and radio have been removed in order to reduce
vehicle weight and maintain the 1320’s no-nonsense theme.
Mopar Dodge Ram Bianco Image
Vehicle: A Stylish, Luxury Pickup Truck
The Dodge Ram Bianco started life as a 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 Sport with a
5.7-liter HEMI V-8. The Dodge Ram is modified to reflect an upscale
feel and appearance with the aid of Mopar performance parts and accessories.
Colors, textures and accessories are combined in a manner that showcases the
sophisticated side of the Dodge Ram 1500.
Exterior modifications include a
Mopar hard tonneau that adds a classic, sporty appearance. The inside of the
truck bed features Mopar’s bed rug–a plush, yet washable carpet. For the
exterior, a Mopar body kit and modified Mopar fender flares give a unique,
sophisticated look. The stance is aided by a Ground Force lowering kit that not
only lowers the vehicle, but also provides excellent ride and handling. The
Dodge Ram Bianco is layered in several coats of Arctic Ice pearl paint that
give it a rich appearance. Holding true to the upscale theme, Mopar’s 22-inch
wheels are painted in a matching, high-contrast design. Performance upgrades
include a Mopar cold-air intake and a throaty Mopar dual exhaust with just
enough growl to let you know there is something powerful under the hood.
The exterior theme continues through
the interior. White and black Katzkin seats with matching door trim set the
stage for a high-class ride. Piano Black and Arctic Ice accents add to the
luxurious theme. For sound, Mopar contributed a Kicker audio system consisting
of an audio amplifier, a powerful subwoofer and upgraded speakers.
Mopar Jeep Wrangler Overland Image
Vehicle: A Stop-anywhere, Camp-anywhere Jeep
The Jeep Wrangler Overland is
perfect for those craving travel and adventure. The Mopar design team took a
2009 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon and turned it into a mobile “on-the-go”
To increase cargo capacity for
hauling gear, the Jeep Wrangler Overland’s rear seats are replaced with a
large, flat, rubberized utility floor. Mounted to the cargo rack is an all-new
ARB two-person Simpson II rooftop-mounted tent and touring awning. The interior
of the Jeep Wrangler Overland features water-resistant Mopar front-seat covers,
rugged Mopar slush mats, a Daystar dash bin and lower switch panel that powers
Enhancing off-road travel is an
American Expedition Vehicles’ (AEV), Nth Degree, 3-inch suspension lift and a
Full Traction rear sway bar. The lift allows aggressive 35-inch tires mounted
on 17-inch steel Mopar winter/off-road wheels to fit under the Jeep. Additional
off-road protection at the front and rear is provided by AEV steel bumpers and
for added security, a Warn 9.5ti winch.
In order to prepare the Jeep
Wrangler Overland for desert duty, an AEV Jeep Wrangler heat-reduction hood and
snorkel kit is fitted to the vehicle. Mopar windshield-mounted off-road lights
and Daystar bumper-mounted lights provide additional lighting for nighttime and
Mopar Jeep Lower Forty Image
Vehicle: An Extreme Trail Rig with 40-inch Tires
The Jeep “Lower Forty” takes the Jeep Wrangler platform to a new extreme. The
vehicle is equipped with massive 40-inch x 13.5-inch tires mounted on Mopar’s
20-inch forged-aluminum wheels. Mopar added aggressive wheels and tires to a
stock, two-door Jeep Wrangler Rubicon without the use of a suspension lift. The
team’s goal was to achieve added ground clearance without dramatically altering
the vehicle’s center of gravity. The team removed copious amounts of body metal
in order to provide room for 40-inch meats. Three inches are chopped from the
windshield frame and a 10-degree rake is added.
Custom front and rear fender flares
are 1-inch wider and are located 4 inches higher than a stock Jeep Wrangler. A
new one-piece carbon-fiber hood with a Jeep CJ-like power dome and an all-new
drop-down tailgate stamped with the “Jeep” logo are added to complete the
On the interior, an all-new roll
cage is neatly integrated into the body tub and tied directly into the frame
rails. The spare tire is relocated to the cargo floor and a custom cargo rack,
supplied by Poly Performance, holds extra gear. Once all body modifications
were completed, the exterior received a fresh coat of Red Eye No. 3 paint, a
custom color developed by Mopar.
Custom touches throughout the
interior include a color-matched center console and instrument panel. Seats are
re-covered with Mopar’s Katzkin leather package in a two-tone scheme. Replacing
the carpet is a durable, spray-in truck-bed liner. Rugged Mopar floor mats
complete the theme.
Mechanical upgrades came directly
out of the Mopar catalog. The Jeep “Lower Forty” features an all-new 5.7-liter
HEMI® V-8 engine and a Getrag 238 six-speed manual transmission. Powertrain
installations were handled by Burnsville Off-Road using an AEV 5.7-liter HEMI
V-8 conversion kit.
The Mopar-supplied Dana 44 front
axle and a Dana 60 rear axle, fitted with 5.38 gears and ARB air lockers, were
assembled by Dynatrac.
Mopar distributes approximately 280,000 components in more than 90 countries
and is the source for all original equipment parts for Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge
vehicles. Mopar parts are unique in that they are engineered with the same
teams that create factory-authorized vehicle specifications for Chrysler, Jeep,
Dodge Car and Dodge Ram vehicles – a direct connection that no other
aftermarket parts company can provide.
More than 70 Years of Mopar
When Chrysler bought Dodge in 1928, the need for a dedicated parts
manufacturer, supplier and distribution system to support the growing
enterprise led to the formation of the Chrysler Motor Parts Corporation (CMPC)
Mopar (a simple contraction of the
words MOtor and PARts) was trademarked for a line of antifreeze products in
1937. It also was widely used as a moniker for the CMPC. The Mopar brand made
its mark in the 1960’s – the muscle car era. The Chrysler Corporation built
race-ready Dodge and Plymouth “package cars” equipped with special
high-performance parts. Mopar carried a line of “special parts” for super stock
drag racers and developed its racing parts division called Mopar Performance
Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use.