Given the company’s product line? It’s kind of funny that FIAT Chrysler has to do anything for the SEMA at all. Because the Just Enough Essential Parts crowd is going to continue to buy and customize the venerable Wrangler regardless of what goodies they see at the show. And models like the 707-horsepower Hellcat and the 850-horsepower Demon? They’re so insane, that they make ferocious custom hot rods look tame. But come to Las Vegas, Ma Mopar does—and the booth is always a ton of fun. Here’s what we saw this year from FIAT Chrysler at SEMA.
Of course, there were plenty of Jeeps on hand, and we were pretty taken with the 1944 Willys. Every Jeep made since traces its lineage to this rugged military vehicle, and we loved the period touches like the rifle case, tow rope, and lack of seat belts. Nearly 75 years after it rolled off the assembly line, this baby still looks ready to tackle the toughest terrain on earth—and if you go to the annual Easter Jeep Safari, you’ll see examples do just that.
We also got a kick out of seeing the new Hellcrate engine—that’s a crate version of the demonic supercharged V-8—dropped into a 1970 Plymouth Superbird Tribute. These cars have to be some of the wildest stock vehicles which have ever seen a showroom floor, and back in the day, they were actually banned from NASCAR for being too fast. At this point, unmolested original versions are rarer than hen’s teeth, so we fully support making tributes and replicas. Just imagine how it’d be to see one of these rolling down a city street. We think it looks more like some kind of retro space ship than car!
Another hit was the FIAT 124 Spider Abarth Rally. As we’ve said before, a racing livery makes everything better, and we thought the famous Abarth scorpion looked great on the hood. We still have no idea how FCA’s tuning arm manages to take a 1.4-liter engine and make it scream like a banshee. We’re just glad it does.
Regardless of what floats your boat, you’ll find something that floats your boat at your local AutoNation FCA dealer. Stop by or schedule a test drive today!