FCA Partners with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 2

This past week Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced that on Sunday November 1, they would release four custom television spots featuring Chrysler, Dodge and Ram brands in partnership with Lionsgate and the latest installment of The Hunger Games, The Hunger Games: Mockingly-Part 2.  The new commercials will span television, radio, digital and social media platforms.

“At FCA, we do not like to go traditional. We challenge the status quo, so we also questioned the well-established tradition of the end-of-the-year Tier 2 commercial. Tier 2 communication nearly plays on the ‘why buys,’ the most rational part of the purchase process. It is almost never relevant and rarely branded,” said Olivier Francois, Chief Marketing Officer – FCA Global. “Our collaboration with ‘The Hunger Games’ and Lionsgate is a great example of what can be done that’s unexpected. The association with such an anticipated and popular movie provides an exceptional relevance to our message. And the values shared with our three brands – the ‘rebellious’ Dodge, the ‘hard working’ Ram and the resilience of Chrysler – bring the branding element.”

Check out the first spot to air, the Chrysler brand ad, above.  The three remaining spots, “Whistle”, “Playing With Fire”, and “The Official Truck of Heroes” are all available for viewing on YouTube.

FCA will also be one of the presenting sponsors of the film’s red carpet premiere in Los Angeles on November 16th.  The Hunger Games: Mockingly-Part 2 hits theatres on Friday November 20th.

“May the odds ever be in your favor.”

Viper GTC Online Customizer

Dodge Viper GTC Photo Credit Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Dodge Viper GTC Photo Credit Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Dodge Viper GTC enthusiasts beware.  Dodge has just launched a website that could be quite dangerous for your pocketbook.  The new Viper GTC Customizer offers each and every Viper lover out there the opportunity to design their very own personalized version of the only hand-built supercar.

Site visitors begin the experience in the Design Studio of the customizer, where they have more than 25 million build combinations to choose from in order to create their own unique version of the Viper.  With 8,000 exterior color options, 24,000 custom strip colors, 11 wheel options, 16 interior trims and seven aero packages, three brake packages and four suspension options, enthusiasts can expect to log quite a bit of time on the site designing their perfect combination.

Dodge Viper GTC Photo Credit: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Dodge Viper GTC Photo Credit: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Users have the opportunity to virtually “sit” inside the cockpit and get an up close look at the 16 available trim options.  Once completed, the fully designed Viper can be placed in the user’s lifestyle environment to see what their design will look in the “real world”.  There is also a feature on the site that allows users to share their design with family and friends. The images are available to download for use on social media or as desktop and device wallpaper.  A PDF file with the final image and specs selected is available to download as well for those ready to purchase their custom supercar.

Dodge Viper GTC Photo Credit: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Dodge Viper GTC Photo Credit: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

For those who are still uncertain with the image, Dodge will provide a complimentary speed form replica of their design prior to the Viper being built.

The ‘1-of-1’ custom Viper GTC comes with a MSRP price tag of $94,995, a personalized instrument panel badge, Concierge Service and Viper Ambassador Owner’s Portal with exclusive sharable content tracking the building of the car.

Dodge Viper GTC Photo Credit: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Dodge Viper GTC Photo Credit: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Whether you are ready to buy, or just want to design your own custom Viper, this site will no doubt satisfy any enthusiast’s dream of designing their own supercar.

Check out the new site at http://www.driveSRT.com/Viper and get started on your custom Viper GTC today. No two customers can order the same configuration, making this a truly personalized vehicle.

Furious 7 and the Lykan Hypersport

Furious 7 Photo Credit: Universal Studios

Furious 7 Photo Credit: Universal Studios

The gang is (mostly) all back for the latest installment of the Fast and Furious franchise, Furious 7, and this one is the biggest movie in the line-up yet.

We left off in Fast and Furious 6 with Owen Shaw’s older, meaner brother Deckard (Jason Statham), coming after Dominic for some vengeance. One death and a few explosions later and Dom (Vin Diesel) , Brian (Paul Walker), Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Ludacris) and Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) are back at it, looking for ways to defeat Deckard.  This is easier said than done.  Statham’s character is former British black ops.  In other words, a trained killing machine.  They also get recruited by the US government, once again, to help bring down a crew of mercenaries, led by Djimon Hounsou, who have kidnapped a hacker named Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel).  Ramsey has created a program called God’s Eye, that can be used to find anyone, at any place, at any time in the world.  If Dom and his crew help Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell), find Ramsey and God’s Eye, he will let them use the program to locate and take out Deckard.

The story is all over the map, literally, starting with the crew parachuting cars out of a plane over a remote, unreachable part of the world, followed by a quick, and destructive, stop in Abu Dhabi, and finally bringing the characters back to their beloved home turf, Los Angeles.

Furious 7 has everything we’ve come to expect from the franchise: action, humor, death-defying stunts, and the most important component, fast cars.  I love that these movies continue to showcase old school muscle cars.  Dom’s 1970 Dodge Charger, a character in and of itself, makes yet another spectacular appearance.  The sound of the 528ic supercharged Hemi onscreen never gets old for me.

$3.4 million Lykan HyperSport Photo Credit: W Motors

$3.4 million Lykan HyperSport Photo Credit: W Motors

The latest character introduced in Furious 7 is the $3.4 million Lykan HyperSport.  Made by W Motors, the first Arab supercar company, the Hypersport is the third most expensive car ever made.  The HyperSport boasts 770hp, will do 0-60 in 2.8 seconds and reaches its top speed at 240 mph.  Some of the impressive features $3.4 million will buy you include Digital Automotive Technology, complete with a customizable screen that provides access to key driving information, including several performance and efficiency settings, diamond encrusted LED lights (yellow diamonds, sapphires, rubies and emeralds are also available), a concierge service available 24/7, and a team of “car doctors”, W engineers, who will fly anywhere in the world to service the HyperSport, a 9″ hologram screen with interactive motion and gesture recognition.  Don’t get too attached to the HyperSport though.  Dom and Brian use it for a high speed getaway that includes jumping the car between three high rise buildings in Abu Dhabi before bailing out of the car and sending it to its death, stories below, with a spectacular crash.  Car enthusiasts will no doubt be crying at this point in the film.

While always over the top, you can’t help but enjoy the Fast and Furious movies and Furious 7 is no different.  After one particularly intense scene, audience members actually cheered and pumped their fists.  Moviegoers also won’t be able to escape the reality that this is Paul Walker’s final screen appearance.  There is a very touching tribute to him at the end.  While I always enjoy a movie from this franchise, I can’t help but hope that this will be the last one.  They’ve ended it well and I just cannot imagine these movies without Paul Walker.

The Minivan: A Do or a HUGE Don’t?

2015 Dodge Grand Caravan.  Photo Credit Chrysler Media

2015 Dodge Grand Caravan. Photo Credit Chrysler Media

Growing up I remember desperately wanting my parents to get a minivan.  All my friends parents’ had them.  They seemed so cool.  As time went on however, I began to see just how uncool they were.  Nothing screams “parent” or “slow driver” more than the dreaded minivan.  I also remember having conversations with friends post-college, fervently vowing none of us would ever drive minivans.  We would pack our future children into SUVs and who cared if they were comfortable?  SUVs were much cooler and ambiguous.  After all, anyone can drive a SUV, not just those saddled with carpool duties, football practices and dance classes, right?

2015 Dodge Grand Caravan Interior.  Photo Credit Chrysler Media

2015 Dodge Grand Caravan Interior. Photo Credit Chrysler Media

I thought I was completely set in my ways.  Then I rented a minivan for a road trip to Vegas.  And that’s when it happened.  My inner third grader came rushing back and suddenly minivans were no longer so terrible.

My Vegas road trip consisted of 5 adults and 5 suitcases.  Now, theoretically, we could have all squeezed into my 328i and technically fit.  But who wants to “squeeze in” for the painful 4-9 hour (depending on traffic) Vegas drive from LA?  SUVs provide almost no added interior room other than additional cargo space in back for luggage.  That’s when we decided to go with a minivan.  And it must be said, it was the BEST decision ever.

2015 Toyota Sienna.  Photo Credit Toyota

2015 Toyota Sienna. Photo Credit Toyota

Here’s what I loved about the minivan experience:

1. The Room.  The minivan had so much space, each of us had ample room to keep snacks, drinks, luggage, magazines, you name it, all within close proximity.  Not only that, no one was sitting on top of one another.  The middle row had comfortable bucket seats and my sister-in-law got the entire back row to herself.  Brilliant.

2.  The Ride.  Minivans have definitely taken a step forward since I was in the third grade.  The ride was so smooth, I barely felt the road.  I mean, it’s no BMW, but for a vehicle that size, I was definitely impressed.  There are too many potholes to count on the road to Vegas and we barely felt one.

3. The Gadgets.  My husband and I took driving duty, while the rest of our passengers, dubbed “The Kids” for the trip, put on a DVD and the drive time passed quite quickly for them.  The van was also kitted out with several modern conveniences such as blue tooth, media streaming, navigation, and reverse camera.  All of the features we have all come to rely on.  I mean really, who can be bothered to drive without a reverse camera?  It’s too difficult once you’ve had one.

4. The Gas Mileage.  I would think a minivan would suck through fuel like a kid with a Slurpee.  Nope.  The Dodge Grand Caravan we rented got arguably better gas mileage than my Beemer.  Granted, the engine doesn’t quite have the same get up and go as the BMW, but it’s got enough power to accelerate at a decent rate without sounding like it’s going to explode. The Grand Caravan engine, the Pentastar V-6, boasts best-in-class 283 hp and 260lb.-ft. of torque.  It also provides 3,600-lbs. of towing. The fuel efficient engine also does an average of 25 mpg, or 500 miles per tank of gas.  Definitely a win for the pocketbook.

5. The Doors.  Being able to open the side doors and the lift gate with a simple push of a button is amazing.  We traveled with all adult passengers and it was amazing.  I can’t imagine how much easier it is for parents with three children in tow and the double-wide stroller to contend with.

All in all, the minivan was an excellent experience.  I’ve had a couple of friends over the years who have deviated from the college pact and have gotten minivans as family cars, and they all say the same thing.  They absolutely love them.  They can’t get over how easy it is to transport their families.  They use the push button remote to open the side doors and their kids easily climb in and sit in their booster seats.

To answer my initial question, is the minivan a do or a don’t?  I wouldn’t go out and buy a minivan at this stage in my blissfully childless life.  However, once we become a family of 4-5, I just might be found at the dealership picking up my new minivan, with all possible features, the biggest engine available and pimped out rims, of course.  No need to trade style and speed for functionality completely, no matter how many children you have.