Chrysler doesn't have any money to introduce a single new or significantly updated car for the 2010 model year, but they've got a lot of overstock paint to distract customers from noticing.
Witness all the "special editions" at Detroit last month: a two-tone Oreo job for the PT Cruiser, Corvette fender stripes on a yellow Dodge Nitro, and cartoonish decals plastered on the Wrangler. But Chrysler wasn't done refurbishing old models and putting Audi monikers on the five-year-old 300, so for the Chicago Auto Show Dodge forced its muscular Challenger to put on pink.
It's actually "Furious Fuschia," a throwback to the "Panther Pink" paint on the 1970 Challenger. Only 400 SRT8 models and a "limited" number of the midrange R/T Classics will show up like this for mild premiums ($1,495 and $225, respectively). For the Challenger, adding a color even wilder than "Plum Crazy" purple makes sense. The car's still new, and it's a cheap way to squeeze the last few drops out of Chrysler's mostly tired lineup.
Fiat boss and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, however, has promised US dealers the lovable 500 subcompact in December, and if all goes according to plan, an all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2011 Chrysler 300 before that.
Unlike most automakers, Chrysler has made a point of advertising its cars without the boring, soupy gray mishmash colors in vogue today. Hopefully their bright palette will soon dry on newer and far more competitive cars.
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About Boston Overdrive
|Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
In the garage: 1995 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (by association)
|Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
In the garage: 2006 Subaru Baja
|John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England, a certified mechanic, and a Globe columnist. He hosts a weekly radio show on WROL.
In the garage: Hyundai Sante Fe, Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible
|Craig Fitzgerald has been writing about cars, motorcycles, and the automotive industry since 1999. He is the former editor of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.
In the garage: 1968 Buick Riviera, 1996 Buick Roadmaster, 1974 Honda CB450
|Keith Griffin is president of the New England Motor Press Association and edits the used car section on About.com. He also writes for the Hartford Business Journal and various weekly newspapers in Connecticut.
In the garage: Mazda 5, Dodge Neon
|George Kennedy is a senior writer for WheelsTV in Acton, which produces video reviews for Yahoo, MSN, and other auto websites.
In the garage: Lifted 1999 Jeep Cherokee