Mike Stevens | Nov 12, 2010

Fiat and Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne's plans for the US carmaker are fast taking root. This week he confirmed plans announced last November that the Dodge Caliber small car will be replaced by a new Fiat-based model.

Leaving behind the Caliber's hatch shape, Chrysler Group is planning a new small sedan based on the upcoming Alfa Romeo Giulietta's platform, with a US-market launch window tentatively set for late next year.

“The new architecture, which debuted with the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, is the most advanced mass-produced car Fiat has ever had. At Chrysler, Dodge will use it first,” Marchionne told US industry paper Automotive News.

Marchionne's comments are in line with the company's roadmap, revealing in November last year that a Fiat-based model will replace the current Dodge Caliber in 2012.

Revealing little about the new model, Marchionne promised fuel consumption figures of around 5.5 to 6.0 l/100km - suggesting power will come from one of Fiat's smaller-capacity MultiAir engines.

Chrysler also confirmed earlier this year that it would build Fiat's 1.4 litre FIRE MultiAir engine for North American versions of the Fiat 500.

The Dodge Caliber will continue until mid-2012.
The Dodge Caliber will continue until mid-2012.

While the Giulietta is scheduled for an Australian debut later this year, the first of Chrysler Group's Fiat-based models will likely not appear on local roads until sometime in 2012.

In Australia, the Caliber was last updated in July, bringing an all-new interior to the table. Sales have not been strong however, with just seven of the hatches finding a home in October, compared to 29 for the same period in 2009.


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