Chevrolet and Ford have both been active in the lead up to SEMA, but we hadn't heard a peep from Mopar. Finally, the aftermarket supplier for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has shown its hand, whipping the covers off six show cars for its stand at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Highlights include a Challenger, a retro-modern Jeep and a RAM Power Wagon.
Dodge Shakedown Challenger
There's nothing like a big, old-fashioned muscle car, and none of the current muscle cars are bigger or more old-fashioned than the Dodge Challenger. The Shakedown is inspired by the 1971 Challenger, but uses modern Mopar parts for more power and presence.
Any good muscle car is defined by what's under the hood, so Mopar has put plenty of work into improving the Challenger's HEMI V8. A new cold-air intake and custom twin exhaust should free up some more noise, and the shaker hood is a neat throwback – although it offers no real performance benefits.
The engine's 485 hp (362 kW) is put to the road through a Viper Tremec T6060 six-speed gearbox. The Shakedown sits on lowered springs and blacked-out 19-inch wheels, and hiding behind those wheels are bigger Brembo brakes borrowed from the 707 hp (527 kW) Challenger Hellcat.
Inside, the rear seats have been ripped out to make room for a roll bar and storage net, and the cabin has been trimmed in a combination of contrast stitched leather and Alcantara.
Like the Shakedown Challenger, the CJ66 has been designed with one eye on the past. The car's frame has been taken from a TJ Wrangler (1997 to 2006), and the body is adapted from a 1966 Wrangler CJ. There are also elements of the current JK Wrangler scattered around the body, adding the finishing touches on this complex intergenerational experiment.
Throw a low-cut windscreen, concept fender flares and unique Copper Canyon paint finish into the mix, and you've got one seriously cool Wrangler.
Beyond the styling, Mopar has chosen its upgrades to make the CJ66 a good fit for even the toughest off-road expeditions. It sits on beadlock wheels taken from the Jeep Performance Catalog, and they're wrapped in BFGoodrich All-Terrain tires. A concept two-way air system even lets drivers inflate and deflate them remotely, making it easier to optimize pressures in changing conditions without getting their hands dirty.
Opening the door reveals a set of Viper bucket seats sitting on custom made risers, along with four-point harnesses.
Dodge Durango Shaker
The Shaker takes an otherwise average seven-seat Durango and turns it into a high-riding muscle car. Power comes from a 6.4-liter HEMI V8, which has been upgraded with a cold-air intake and custom catback exhaust, and the whole package sits three inches (8 cm) lower than the standard car.
Working with the dropped suspension is a set of 22-inch black wheels sitting under custom fender flares, and the car has been finished in a special shade of blue to really make it stand out under the show-floor lights. Inside, all three rows of seats have been replaced with Viper buckets, and all the trim pieces have been finished in the same shade of blue as the exterior.
RAM Macho Power Wagon
It might borrow its name from a 1970 Dodge Power Wagon, but the RAM Macho isn't another shameless throwback.
Instead, it's been designed to showcase the RamRack, which slides back and forward along the sides of the bed to accommodate kayaks, surfboards and snowboards of every shape and size. It hides away under the truck's sail panel when it's not being used.
Beyond the RamRack, the Macho Power Wagon has been fitted with a 4-inch (10-cm) lift kit and chunky beadlock wheels for a tougher look. It's also finished in a unique red and black paint scheme, which has been carried over to the leather interior.
RAM ProMaster Pit Stop
The ProMaster Pit Stop is designed to show off the level of customization available on RAM vans. The back of the vehicle is home to a pop-up bar, and the sliding door on the side of the cargo hold has been replaced with an upwards-opening hydraulic door. There's even a flip-down bar, giving patrons of the Mopar bar somewhere to sit their beers.
Beside the food-truck fittings, the rest of the changes made to the PowerWagon are purely cosmetic. It sits on new 20-inch wheels, and the chunky plastic wheel arches have been extended for a bit of extra attitude.
Chrysler Pacifica Cadence
When it launched the Pacifica at this year's Detroit Auto Show, Chrysler set itself an ambitious goal: to make the minivan cool again. The Pacifica Cadence doesn't do much to change the standard car's design, instead aiming to help its cause with a unique paint job and roof racks.
Unlike some of the other concepts here, this really is just a Mopar parts bin special. Aside from the lairy decal, everything from the wheels to the roof racks can be added at the dealer. We're not sure how many moms are desperate for blacked out wheels on their minivan, but it's nice to know the option is there, right?
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