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Future models - Dodge - Caliber

New Caliber Neon

Small and savvy: the production version of the Caliber concept will boast Dodge's striking new design elements.

Dodge's latest concept hints at a new small car with widespread appeal

30 Mar 2005

DODGE unveiled its Caliber concept car at the Geneva show in early March, pointing to its next-generation small car for international consumption – including Australia.

This will replace the current Neon sedan no longer sold in this country, however Chrysler CEO Dieter Zetsche has confirmed the car will be built as a five-door model, as previewed with the Caliber, rather than a four-door sedan.

Chrysler-Jeep Australia managing director Gerry Jenkins said the Caliber – which is based on the next-generation Mitsubishi Lancer front-drive platform – hints strongly at the future direction of the Dodge brand, which is due to arrive Down Under in 2007.

"We are excited at the prospect of Dodge coming to Australia, which will probably happen in 2007," Mr Jenkins said.

The Caliber mates a sporting, coupe-like profile with the stance and functionality of a 4WD wagon, a combination that Dodge designer Trevor Creed said was a "new slant on one of the world’s most competitive segments".

Hence the avoidance, for now, of the term "hatchback" for the car.

"Caliber’s bold, graphic design and inherent interior functionality shatter the conventional definition of a compact car," Mr Creed said. "It strongly hints at what Dodge can do to appeal to global markets." The Caliber has a bold front-end stance, with broad shoulders, bulging bonnet and wide, sculpted wheel arches within which stands a 19-inch rim with 245/45 R19 rubber.

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