First Look: Chrysler’s SEMA Cruisers

From an SRT Challenger to the Mopar Fiat 500.

by on Oct.25, 2010

Could there be an "extreme" version of the little Fiat 500 coming?

With the frost on the pumpkin and the dead getting ready to rise for an evening of trick-or-treating, it must be time for the annual SEMA convention, in Las Vegas.

And this year, Chrysler is hoping to scare the competition – and win some fans – with an assortment of concepts and production models that run the gamut of the maker’s updated line-up.  That covers everything from the 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 Inaugural Edition to Mopar’s take on what a high-performance Fiat 500 might look like.

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The idea of a bulked-up Cinquecento might seem surprising to Americans, though Fiat’s affiliate, Abarth, has long shown what you can do with the little 4-seater.  And now, Mopar is taking a crack at it.  The Fiat 500 going on display at the Las Vegas Convention Center will feature flared fenders, a front air dam, a lower sill, modified rear exhaust and 18-inch Alcoa alloy wheels.

Dodge takes the wraps off the Challeger SRT8 392, with its new 6.4-liter V8.

The maker says the goal was to give the new model the sort of attack dog look that the prior-generation Fiat 500 had when it was a force to be reckoned with on the track.

The Inaugural Edition Challenger 392 certainly is something you’d take seriously seeing it come up on you in the rearview mirror. Its 6.4-liter V8 is rated at an impressive 470 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque.

For those longing to take the 2-door muscle car out for some time trials, Dodge also will introduce the Challenger Drag Pak V10.  Borrowing the 10-cylinder beast until recently found under the hood of the late, lamented Dodge Viper, the package also features a 2-speed gearbox, roll cage, fuel cell and unique instrument cluster.

Both the Inaugural Edition and Drag Pak will be available for sale in 2011.

Despite its 22-inch wheels, the Red Line Dodge Charger rides an inch lower than the production pony car.

Back on the concept side, Chrysler has a pair of offerings that cover the car and truck side of the business.  The Black and Tan is a sleek take on the Dodge Durango, and suggests the direction the maker is going as it refines both interior and exterior packages, here with a slick new wheel design and a completely revised cabin.

The 2011 Red Line Dodge Charger, meanwhile, is all about attitude.  The package gets the full-out Mopar treatment, with high-performance headers, cold-air intake and exhaust designed to squeeze every ounce of performance out of the 5.7-liter Hemi V8.  Despite the massive 22-inch wheels and tires, the Red Line’s tuned suspension drops the Charger concept an inch closer to the ground.

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