FCA Gives Us a Glimpse of 2018 at “What’s New” Event

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FCA "What's New" event DodgeForum.com

Dodge Forum learns about the changes Dodge and Ram have made to their vehicles for the 2018 model year.

Dodge made headlines when it announced that a new Demon was coming and made even more of them when it revealed that the ultra Challenger generates a maximum of 840 horsepower and 770 lb-ft of torque. That’s not the only 2018 model year news from FCA, though.

A little while back, FCA invited us up to its Chelsea Proving Grounds to learn about the changes it’s making to its Dodge and Ram lineups, and drive the various models within them (sorry, but the Demon, Durango SRT, and Dodge Challenger SRT Widebody were static displays only). We’ve broken down some of the new features for Dodge vehicles and Ram pickups below.


Of course, the biggest Dodge news for 2018 is the debut of the respawned Demon. We’ve already covered its stats/hardware and what it’s like to drag race/drive. We didn’t get a chance to drive the 6.4-liter Hemi-powered Durango SRT so we’ll take this opportunity to tell you about the other stuff going on in the 2018 Dodge family of vehicles.

The Challenger SRT Hellcat gets a variety of cosmetic changes, including a new grille, fender badges, caliper color options, an available Demonic Red Laguna leather interior, and a Nano Steel wheel finish option. The Challenger SRT 392 comes standard with Low Gloss Black “5Deep” lightweight wheels that save a total of 16 pounds; Brass Monkey wheels are now optional.

A Performance Handling Package adds 4-piston Brembo brakes and a high-performance suspension to Challengers with the 5.7-liter Hemi V8. The Challenger SXT, R/T, R/T Shaker, and T/A models come standard with a 7-inch touchscreen running Uconnect 4, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. All Challengers come equipped with a Parkview rear back-up camera and one-touch-up windows. F8 Green and IndiGO Blue join the Challenger color palette; B5 Blue and Plum Crazy return to it.

The SRT Hellcat and 392 versions of the Charger get many of the same visual upgrades as the Challenger Hellcat and Challenger 392. The same colors join and return to the Charger family. Dodge puts the Pentastar V6 under the hoods of the SXT, SXT Plus, and the all-wheel-drive GT and GT Plus models of the Charger. The GTs get 300 horsepower, Dodge Performance Pages, a Gloss Black fascia, and 19-inch wheels from the factory. Uconnect 4, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto are standard on the Charger SXT’s 7-inch touchscreen. Across the board, 2018 Chargers come with a Parkview rear back-up camera and the Parksense rear park assist system.


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Over on the truck side of FCA, the Limited Tungsten Editions of the 1500, 2500, and 3500 come trimmed with special exterior elements and high-end interior materials such as a Light Greystone suede headliner, “Natura Plus” Frost and Indigo-colored ultra-premium leather, real wood accents, and unique badges.

The 1500 Rebel can now be ordered with a factory leather interior.

The 1500 is available as a Sport model (Sport is an option package on 2500 and 3500 Big Horn, Lone Star, and Laramie trucks.) The Sport model/package offers a new body-colored R-A-M lettered grille and the choice of black wheels and badges or polished wheels and chrome badges.

Torque generated by the Ram 3500’s 6.7-liter Cummins turbo diesel is now up to 930 lb-ft, making the 3500 capable of towing 30,000 pounds with a Ram Engineering-designed fifth-wheel hitch, 31,210 pounds with a gooseneck, and 20,000 pounds with a conventional hitch.

Other changes to Ram’s lineup cover the 1500, 2500, and 3500, such as a standard backup camera on all models, a vehicle-tracking Fleet Telematics Module, and a switch in the cargo box that controls the LED bed lights. The 8.4-inch radio setups include 4G LTE, HD Radio, Android Auto, Apple Car Play, USB Flip, pinch-to-zoom capability, and better resolution. Sirius Guardian provides the peace of mind of SOS Call, Roadside Assistance, Remote Services, Send and Go, and Vehicle Finder.

Ram will offer the 1500, 2500, and 3500 with the Harvest Edition package. Inside that package is a chrome “Wave Mesh” grille, one-inch lift (1500 models), on/off-road tires, black tubular side steps, a spray-in bedliner, a fold-out bumper step, mud flaps, rubber floor mats, skid plates, tow hooks, and heated seats. Heavy Duty Harvest Editions also get a cargo-view camera. In the cabin, there’s an 8.4-inch Uconnect 4 touchscreen radio system with navigation, 4G Wifi, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. Ram Harvest Edition pickups will come in a limited variety of colors, which most notably includes tractor-themed Case IH Red and New Holland Blue.

*Corporate photography courtesy of FCA.

Derek Shiekhi contributes to a variety of Internet Brands’ Auto sites, including J-K Forum , Jaguar Forums, and 5 Series. He's also a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association.

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