Press Kit: 2006 Paris Motor Show

All-new Dodge Caliber: a New Slant on One of the World’s Most Competitive Segments

  • Dodge Caliber’s bold styling and crossover design with innovative features and affordable power allow owners to be active, do more and stand out 
  • Caliber’s flexible two-box design provides great interior utility and value 
  • With its signature Dodge brand styling, Caliber is designed for global appeal 
  • Caliber will spearhead Dodge brand’s global expansion with petrol and diesel powertrains and left- and right-hand drive availability
Paris September 28, 2006 -

Dodge Caliber is a new slant on the C-segment worldwide, combining bold styling with high value and utility. The Caliber will appeal to owners around the world who want Dodge attitude packaged with the capability and versatility of a sport-utility vehicle, plus high fuel efficiency.

Dodge Caliber will attract up-and-coming owners looking for a car that stands out from the crowd and gives them the flexibility to do more in terms of seating friends and storing gear. Caliber has the versatility and flexibility to accommodate their lifestyles.

“Dodge Caliber is not your typical C-segment car,” said Thomas Hausch, Executive Director – International Sales and Marketing, Chrysler Group. “The all-new Dodge Caliber combines crossover styling with space-efficient packaging, interior flexibility, innovative features and affordable performance. Caliber allows owners around the globe to be active, do more and stand out – to live life to the fullest, and do so with the most horsepower per Euro under the hood.”

Regarding the major volume markets in Western Europe, Hausch added, “There’s not a competitor in Europe in the C-segment five-door hatchback market with the same or higher powered engines that can beat the price of Dodge Caliber.” The new Caliber is priced approximately 10 per cent below equally equipped competitors in key European markets.

Dodge Caliber started to arrive in markets outside North America in the second quarter of 2006.

“Pure Dodge” Design
Dodge Caliber is a five-door vehicle that combines a sporty coupe-like profile with the strength, stance and functionality of an SUV. Caliber’s sheer surface treatment commands attention and evokes attributes that define the Dodge brand: bold, powerful, capable and street smart.

“With its bold styling and clever packaging, Caliber is pure Dodge,” said Trevor Creed, Senior Vice President – Design. “The Dodge Caliber brings emotion to the competitive compact car segment.”

There is no mistaking Dodge Caliber. The all-new car has Dodge’s imprint stamped into its DNA from the grille to the tailpipe. The signature crosshair grille gives Caliber the distinct face of Dodge and defines its strong, muscular front view.

Strong, sculpted fender forms, broad shoulders and a distinctive bonnet give Dodge Caliber its proud, powerful stance. Large, precisely styled headlamps and available fog lamps complement the Dodge grille and create an integrated look that completes Caliber’s sporty appearance.

A black graphic design accent, which runs the length of the roof, melds into an integrated rear roof spoiler, creating a coupe-like visual quality from the side view. New and unique glass-to-body proportions give the Dodge Caliber a tough, protective presence, and the forward sweep of the tailgate further emphasises Caliber’s sporty profile.

The rear view of the Dodge Caliber is as distinctive and powerful as the front. The black roof spoiler with integrated centre high-mounted stop lamp (CHMSL), and large modular, crystal-like taillamps that fill Caliber’s rear corners, provide distinct focal points of the car’s rear view design. Dodge’s “do more” philosophy is evident in Caliber’s rear liftgate, which provides easy access to the vehicle’s spacious interior.

Fun Features and Flexibility
Customer demand for a compact vehicle with a lot of interior flexibility and utility had a big influence on Dodge Caliber’s interior, which provides comfortable seating for the driver and up to four passengers, plus room for gear.

“Dodge Caliber’s spacious interior also is very versatile,” said Matt Liddane, Chief Engineer – Dodge Caliber. “We combined style and comfort with innovative features and clever packaging to create a vehicle that gives new meaning to functionality in the compact car market.”

Dodge Caliber is full of clever interior features, including: 

  • MusicGate Power™: An available nine-speaker Boston Acoustics premium sound system with subwoofer and two articulating speakers packaged in the liftgate. When the liftgate is open, the speakers can swing down to face rearward and play music to augment outdoor activities 
  • A dual-purpose, self-recharging removable flashlight is mounted in the headliner above the cargo area and can snap out of the bezel to serve as a flashlight 
  • Chill Zone™: A cooled beverage storage bin can hold up to four 500ml (20-oz.) bottles or cans (standard in air conditioning-equipped models) 
  • A floor console sliding armrest moves forward 7.6cm (3 in.) to accommodate shorter drivers. The armrest lid includes a unique flip pocket for storing a mobile phone or an MP3 player 
  • Illuminated front cup holder rings glow blue-green to match other centre stack lighting
  • Front passenger seat folds forward to create a table-like surface for versatility (not available on S model) 
  • 60/40 split rear seats both fold flat and recline (not available on S model) 
  • A vinyl load floor in the rear cargo area is both washable and removable 
  • Optional YES Essentials fabric: an easy-care, soil-repellant and anti-microbial textile protects seats from stains, odours and discolouration (late availability)

World-class Engineering
As a car destined for global markets, the Dodge Caliber features innovative new engines and transaxles to deliver world-class performance, fuel economy and refinement, no matter where the road leads.

“Circling the globe for best practices enabled our engineers to develop an entirely new front-wheel-drive platform in the very competitive global compact car segment,” said Larry Lyons, Vice President – Front-wheel-drive Product Team. “We targeted things consumers want most and developed a vehicle with an all-new global powertrain that addresses these priorities by providing excellent fuel economy, reliability, performance and value.”

Dodge Caliber’s powertrain and drive systems offer many Chrysler Group firsts in the C-segment. Caliber is the first Chrysler Group vehicle to offer the full range of World Engines and a second-generation Continuously Variable Transaxle (CVT). Caliber also is Chrysler Group’s first compact car to offer Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) with traction control.

A 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine is available in Europe and other markets outside of North America. It is a state-of-the-art, direct-injection power unit with high-pressure fuel injection, a variable geometry turbocharger and four valves per cylinder. The turbo diesel engine positions the Dodge Caliber among the best in its class for power, torque and acceleration.

The Dodge Caliber is also available with three World Engine offerings (1.8-litre, 2.0-litre and 2.4-litre). Chrysler Group engineers met aggressive performance and fuel economy targets through advanced cylinder head port and intake manifold design. Technologies in the Chrysler Group World Engine include dual Variable Valve Timing (VVT) and an intake manifold design with flow control valves, both firsts for a Chrysler Group C-segment car. Combined, these features produce more power, better fuel economy and smoother, quieter operation than engines without them.

Dodge Caliber’s CVT has been calibrated for pleasing engine response, precise ratio control and an available Auto Stick feature that allows for manual control with the simulation of six stepped gears. CVT contributes to a fuel economy improvement of 6-8 per cent compared with a traditional automatic transaxle.

Built for Global Appeal
Dodge Caliber will be available in nearly 100 countries outside North America, which led designers and engineers to consider global market demands when developing this all-new C-segment car.

In addition to its global powertrain, Dodge Caliber meets safety, feature and convenience standards in markets around the world. To ensure its success in global volume markets, Caliber will launch outside North America with both left- and right-hand-drive models and an available diesel engine. Caliber’s manual and automatic transaxle shifters are packaged in the centre stack instead of the floor console, which is more common in European and Japanese markets. The Caliber’s transaxles also have been upgraded to provide excellent shift quality and shift effort as smooth as any compact car on the road today.

Dodge Caliber Production
Production of the Dodge Caliber began in early 2006 at the newly refurbished Belvidere Assembly Plant (Ill., USA). The new four-cylinder World Engines for this vehicle are built in the state-of-the-art Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance (GEMA) assembly plant in Dundee, Mich.

Dodge Brand
Dodge sold more than 1.4 million vehicles worldwide in 2005. With a U.S. market share of 7 per cent, Dodge is the fifth-largest nameplate in the United States and the eighth-largest nameplate in the automotive industry. The Dodge global portfolio includes a range of cars, trucks, minivans and SUVs. In calendar year 2005, Dodge sold 10,772 units in limited markets outside North America, an increase of 19 per cent over 2004.

Dodge Caliber spearheaded the Dodge brand’s expansion in volume markets outside North America in 2006, and it will be followed by the Dodge Nitro and the high-performance Dodge Caliber SRT4 in 2007. Strong Caliber sales continued in August as the vehicle marked its third full month of availability outside North America. A total of 6,900 Caliber units were sold in international markets through August, and the Caliber became the number two-selling model for the month of August (with 2,365 units).

Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance (GEMA)
The World Engine is a family of world-class four-cylinder engines produced by GEMA in Dundee, Mich., delivering an exceptional combination of quality, fuel efficiency, refinement and performance. GEMA is owned equally by DaimlerChrysler, Hyundai Motor Company and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation. By optimising the three joint venture partners’ strengths, global economies of scale and the latest practices in flexible teams and machines, GEMA aims to set a new benchmark in engine plant productivity.