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A Mopar tale in two acts: A lot is riding, literally, on Chrysler's C and D Segment vehicle platform

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A Mopar tale in two acts: A lot is riding, literally, on Chrysler's C and D Segment vehicle platform

Old 02-07-2007, 05:59 PM
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Default A Mopar tale in two acts: A lot is riding, literally, on Chrysler's C and D Segment vehicle platform



A Mopar tale in two acts: A lot is riding, literally, on Chrysler's C and D Segment vehicle platforms



Automakers strive for this sort of thing: to build a wide variety of cars, trucks, and in-betweens off the same platform. It's the road to profitability, even if it's not the best thing for the customer or to the auto critic. First, Chrysler worked up a rear-drive car platform with some Mercedes bits to give us the 300, Magnum, Charger, and 2009 Challenger. Next came the ultraflexible Mitsubishi GS (2008 Lancer) platform, which will underpin virtually every front-drive Mopar extant.

After the rather messy divorce of DaimlerChrysler and Mitsubishi, Chrysler engineers have continued developing the architecture, which it generically names the C-segment platform, into its own. The larger, midsize Dodge Avenger and Chrysler Sebring were to be built off the GS that was to accommodate the next Mitsubishi Galant, which has been delayed until 2010 or 2011.

So now Chrysler's front-drive midsize cars ride on the D-segment platform, a wider,longer version of its own C platform. The D's wheelbase is 5.2 inches longer, front andrear track are two inches wider than the C platform, and it isolates the C's MacPherson strut front/multilink rear suspension with subframes. You'll see the relationship of C and D in their dashboards, with the same shape and size center-stack protruding from the front cowl.



What do these letters mean? The 2007 Jeep Patriot joins the Jeep Compass and Dodge Caliber on the C-segment platform. An all new 2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser comes next. The 2008 Dodge Avenger joins the Chrysler Sebring and upcoming Sebring convertible on the D-segment platform. Next year, Dodge launches a crossover, codenamed JC49 on it (much the same as the Ford Edge developed from the Mazda6-based Fusion architecture) and a year later, Chrysler will replace its Pacifica with a version of the JC49.

The Dodge Caliber got off to a good start and was outselling Chrysler's PT Cruiser by the end of last year. But it left room for much improvement. Same for the Jeep Compass and the Chrysler Sebring sedan. Which raises this question: When you launch a bunch of cars and trucks off the same architecture, are you locking your future models into the same set of parts, however good or bad?

The Patriot and Avenger are decent early efforts, but the most promising thing they do is show Chrysler's ability to improve upon this flexible, big volume platform.
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Old 02-07-2007, 07:04 PM
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Default RE: A Mopar tale in two acts: A lot is riding, literally, on Chrysler's C and D Segment vehicle platform

I haven't had a chance to test out the new platform, but I hope it is an improvement from the cloud platform. I don't think it is wise for Chrysler to depend so much on other companies platforms. I still think they should have just made the LX cars from an updated LH-platform since it did have RWD capabilities.
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