Four Cars Only FCA Has The Balls To Build
Making cars isn't just about engineering and investment, soemtimes all you need is some courage.
Composed of Fiat, Chrysler, Alfa Romeo, Jeep, Dodge, Abarth, Maserati, Ram, SRT, and Lancia, FCA is a large player in the automotive industry. This conglomeration of Italian and American car manufacturers builds a wide variety of cars. Some are sensible, others are fast, and a few are not very good at all but throughout their extensive lineup FCA manages to build cars no one else has the courage to.
FCA is a group of automakers that isn’t worried about building the latest self-driving hybrid, FCA lets other car manufactures worry about the electrified future where no one drives and “mobility” solutions carry people from place to place. Instead, FCA will build you cars no one else has the balls to build.
#1 The Broken Italian Sports Car
Modern Italian Supercars don’t over heat in traffic, have functional air conditioning, and only catch fire sometimes. We thought the Italians finally figured out how to build fast cars that worked, until FCA joined the fray with the Alfa Romeo Guilia QV.
FCA will sell you the only new Italian car that retains the 1970’s Italian charm missing from all other modern Italian cars. FCA managed to reproduce the infamous Italian reliability issues in their new Guilia QV giving owners an authentic Italian car ownership experience. This super sedan masquerades as a modern BMW M3 fighter but the Guilia QV is actually an Italian heart breaker of old.
Modern cars are no longer surprising, turn the key and they work, but FCA found a way to bring back the lost mystique of the old days, just you, your broken Italian sports car, and a plea for help.
#2 Hellcat Jeep
The Hellcat powered Jeep Grand Cherokee is FCA’s latest 707 horsepower vehicle. For some reason, FCA called this monstrous Jeep Grand Cherokee the Trackhawk even though the Hellcat name has brand recognition and sounds better, pretty ballsy if you ask me.
The Grand Cherokee Trackhawk isn’t the world’s first high performance SUV. However, the Trackhawk is the most powerful and affordable vehicle in the performance SUV segment starting at only $85,000 with an impressive 707 horses crammed under the hood.
Driving the Trackhawk is a disorienting experience. The steering wheel says Jeep, the engine whines Hellcat Challenger, and the handling screams CTS-V. From the Road to the Track, the Jeep Trackhawk is a capable machine in both performance metrics and emotional connection. I may have shed a tear from laughter after launching this beast to 60 in under 4 seconds.
Now you can sprint from 0-60 in 3.5 seconds while carrying a family of four and a trunk full of groceries, all the while embarrassing X5Ms and other competitors.
#3 Road Legal Drag Car With Only One Seat
The Demon is an impressive machine; it produces 840 horsepower on 100-octane fuel, has a transmission brake, and uses A/C powered intake cooling, resulting in super car beating acceleration.
Remember the lead up to the release of the Demon? To refresh your memory, Dodge released a series of videos highlighting features of the car using a copious amount of flames and a CGI demon. This hype up tour is something only Dodge could muster the courage to do.
Imagine if Porsche did that for the new 911 GT2 RS? Only Dodge could pull off a video series prior to the reveal of an 840 horsepower road legal drag car with only one seat.
FCA built the Demon as a halo car to improve Challenger sales, but imagine pitching this idea in a boardroom with accountants? Think of all the sensible bean counters at Dodge trying reign in a ridiculous project like this?
Luckily FCA has balls, pretty huge ones at that, and they built the Demon, a car we’ll always remember as one of the death throws of the internal combustion age.
#4 The Last New Car With A Naturally Aspirated Ferrari V8
The Maserati GranTurismo is a very interesting case of love hate. At one end the GranTurismos remains so unchanged it's suddenly an analogue sports car, and at the other end is an overpriced outdated mess.
The GranTurismo is the last way you can buy a naturally aspirated Ferrari V8 new and for that it's my hero. But that also makes it slower than all competitors and more thirsty, a small price to pay for aural engagement.
Some how the GranTurismo is timeless and I really don't care it's 10 years old. It has the same classic shape penned by Pininfarina when the financial crisis was well underway, and the heart of an Italian supercar. However, The interior is an attrocious mishmash of buttons and I've heard it doesn't drive particularly well. Maybe Maserati can send me one and I'll happily verify it.
So what does it all mean?
It takes courage to build cars, with every other automaker following the same trends and building the same cars it’s refreshing to see a company like FCA. They think it’s all well and good to build electric cars that drive themselves, but they’ll be at the drag strip running 9s waiting for the whole thing to blow over.