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What’s New for 2017?

Chelsea Proving Grounds hosts annual event

June 28, 2016


2017 Dodge Viper ACR with Extreme Aero package

On a muggy, mist-filled day in late June, hundreds of journalists lugged sophisticated camera equipment, computers and high tech recording devices up the tracks of the FCA US LLC Chelsea (Michigan) Proving Grounds, about 18 miles west of Ann Arbor.

They arrived for ‘What’s New,’ an annual event, which showcases the company’s newest lineup. For many journalists, this event is a first-hand look at cars the public won’t be able to see for months.

Reporters from media outlets as far as China and India descend on this remote location in Michigan’s countryside to film, photograph, test drive, and write about the FCA brands’ latest upgrades. One caveat of such an exclusive event is the fact that a substantial amount of the vehicles present are under ‘embargo,’ meaning they can’t be written about until they are officially revealed to the public at a later date. This essentially provides a sneak peak for automotive journalists to get ahead of the curve with the latest in upcoming technology and innovations.

Media are immersed in a flurry of activities, including an experience with the heart-thumping, pavement-pounding vehicle lineup at the Vehicle Dynamics Facility, plus a 1/8 quarter-mile dragstrip accelerator in the most powerful muscle cars ever produced: the 707-horsepower Dodge Challenger and Charger SRT Hellcat. For those who prefer to take their vehicles off the beaten path, the Lyman Trail offers a real-world off-roading experience in the legendary Jeep® lineup, celebrating its 75th Anniversary and the workman-like Ram Truck brand.

Among the vehicles available for test driving were the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica, 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk & Summit, 2017 Dodge Viper and the Mopar ’16 Ram Rebel.

Fast Facts

  • Over 30 distinct vehicles from FCA’s six brands were presented at ‘What’s New’
  • Approximately 200 journalists attend the annual event
  • Chelsea Proving Grounds (CPG) has 95 lane-miles of test roads
  • CPG has hosted the annual ‘What’s New’ event for over a decade

Check out some of our ‘What’s New’ Snapchat coverage below, and be sure to follow us at ‘fiatchrysler_na’ for the latest.