Yesterday, we had a chance to attend the FCA Design Cars + Coffee event on the grounds of the former Walter P. Chrysler Museum at the Chrysler World Headquarters and Technology Center in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The Cars + Coffee events put on by the FCA Product Design Office a few times a year are not only a great place to mingle with other car enthusiasts and meet your favorite designers, but are also a great event to get up close with some of your favorite Mopar concept cars.
The FCA Product Design Office brought out six cars for the public to get a chance to view this weekend. They included the 2018 Jeep® 4SPEED Concept, 2018 Jeep Sandstorm Concept, 2019 Ram 1500 Mopar-Modified Rebel Concept, a 1968 Dodge Charger R/T from the Chrysler Historical collection, the 2009 Dodge Challenger 1320 Concept, and the new 2020 Dodge Charger SRT HELLCAT and Scat Pack Widebody models.
Light, quick and nimble, the Jeep 4SPEED Concept was the most recent concept in a line of lightweight Wrangler concepts. This lightweight concept, following the popular Pork Chop concept in 2011 and Stitch concept in 2013, bolsters Wrangler’s off-road capability and performance through extensive weight savings and showcases the all-new 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 engine.
The Jeep Sandstorm Concept was inspired by Baja desert racers and is about all about blitzing long, sandy straightaways while still being capable of handling the daily driving duties. To accomplish this, the Sandstorm features off-road hardware that will handle both with ease, including an extreme-duty suspension system and a 6.4-liter HEMI V8 with excess power on tap.
The 2019 Ram 1500 Mopar-Modified Rebel Concept features accessories pulled from the 200+ parts and accessories catalog from the Mopar Performance Parts brand. Some features like the Mopar ram air hood are concepts to test feedback as well as the “Rebel Smoke” paint job, however, most of the parts on this truck are currently available on Mopar.com.
One of the coolest vehicles there was the 2009 Dodge Challenger 1320 Concept. The 1320 Concept began life as a Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak, however, this one features Mopar’s 426 cubic-inch, all-aluminum, HEMI® V-8 crate engine that generates 556 horsepower and 540 lb.-ft. of torque. Power is put to the ground via a 6-speed manual transmission through a custom Dynatrac rear housing with Mopar Dana 60 internals and a selectable, ARB locking differential. Mopar police wheels, widened in the rear, are strapped with Mickey Thompson street-legal drag radials to provide extra grip at launch.
Of course, we mentioned that one of the company’s historical collection cars was on hand. The beautiful 1968 Dodge Charger R/T was joined by another privately owned 1969 Dodge Charger R/T SE, showcasing the pinnacle of Dodge design during the late-1960s muscle car era.
Both, FCA Designers Mark Trostle and Jeff Gale brought their 2020 Dodge Charger Widebody cars that they are driving for feedback to the event. It was the first time that the MoparInsiders.com team got to spend some time around the Scat Pack Widebody, considering we have been around the new 2020 Dodge Charger SRT HELLCAT Widebody a number of times already.
It was also the first time we have seen the new Charger Widebody models in other the new Frostbite color or the SRT graphics wrap, and we can honestly say that this is the car that the “Triple Nickel” paint color was made for. The color seductively shows off the new curves of the Charger Widebody, while looking very upscale at the same time. Of course, F8 Green plays more to the retro side of Charger’s palette and seemed to have more of the crowd’s attention since it continues to show that retro colors are still very popular with Dodge fans.
Several hundred cars ended up coming out and enjoying the event and it wasn’t just Mopars either. There were some very interesting cars on hand, from exotics, to powertrain swapped muscle cars, tuner cars, as well as some highly-modified pickups. There was a little bit of everything for everyone. We can’t forget to mention the coffee, snacks, and music entertainment that was on hand to kick off a nice chilly Michigan fall Sunday morning. We can’t wait until the next one.
FCA Design Cars + Coffee – September 2019 Image Gallery: