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Praise the Lowered: Gilles says new Chrysler models to hug the ground


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Praise the Lowered: Gilles says new Chrysler models to hug the ground

by Zach Bowman (RSS feed) on Dec 8th 2010 at 4:30PM


According to Ward's Auto, we can expect more than a nice interior from future Chrysler products. It seems the automaker will be making a conscious effort to keep its vehicles closer to the ground in order to improve styling, fuel economy and handling. This revelation came after lining Dodge products up against the competition. Apparently, the company found that comparable products from rival automakers were generally lower than anything rolling out of the Pentastar den. For 2011, the automaker has moved to fix that, cranking out vehicles that have a lower center-of-gravity compared to their predecessors.

That includes products like the 2011 Dodge Durango, which uses a significantly lower front fascia than the Jeep Grand Cherokee specifically to nudge the vehicle's fuel economy as high as possible. According to Ralph Gilles, senior vice president of product design, low-slung looks will come to dominate the company's design language moving forward, especially as Chrysler begins to redraw models based on Fiat architecture in the near future. Don't expect to hear us complain about the change, but off-roaders and those suffering from parking lot barrier scrapes might have a few things to say about it.



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Chrysler Lowering Cars To Improve Performance And Style

By Viknesh Vijayenthiran


December 8th, 2010


Chrysler is in a process of rejuvenating its product lineup, releasing new or updated versions of almost its entire lineup over the next couple of years. We’ve already seen significant new models like the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Charger, Chrysler 200 and stylish Chrysler 300 sedan, but there are several other models in the pipeline, the design of which are being overseen by Chrysler’s senior vice president of product design Ralph Gilles.

One distinction the new models will have over current Chrysler products is that they will be riding much lower, aiding fuel economy, handling and styling. This is a strategy that many of Chrysler’s competitors have adopted and now Chrysler will too.

Speaking with Ward’s Auto, Gilles said “lowering the car looks better. It looks a little bit smarter. It handles better. And more important is the fuel economy."

There are several techniques designers can employ. These include using lowered suspension, low profile tires and aero enhancements.

Gilles also revealed that there are some 15 new models Chrysler is working on, most of them based on new platforms being supplied by Fiat. The new models are scheduled to roll out between 2012 and 2014.



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