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Carrying styling cues over from the 2003 Dodge Avenger Concept, and built on the upcoming Mitsubishi GS (Lancer) platform, the Neon replacement is expected to arrive in late 2005, just in time for the 2006 model year.
Codenamed PM49, this five-door hatchback will share its platform with several other vehicles in the DCX family. Two car-based SUVs based off this platform are expected to make it to production, one from Dodge and one from Jeep. Both will likely be powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive will be offered as an option on all three of these vehicles. The next-generation PT Cruiser will also be riding on this platform, as well as the next Mitsubishi Outlander (which is expected to offer a V-6 option).
Currently the Jeep version is expected to be called “Scout” and the Neon replacement, as shown here, was originally believed to be called the D80, but sources are now telling us that other names are under serious consideration.
The powerplants expected will be built in Dundee, Michigan, and are part of a Hyundai-DaimlerChrysler-Mitsubishi four-cylinder joint venture. The Neon replacement, as well as the Dodge and Jeep models, will be built in Belvidere, Illinois. There is speculation that assembly of the next-generation PT Cruiser may also be in Belvidere.
Other future DCX vehicles on this platform include the next-generation Dodge Stratus Sedan and Chrysler’s Sebring Sedan and Convertible, although the coupe versions of these cars will be discontinued. Both the Stratus and Sebring will likely arrive for the 2007 model year and will be built in Sterling Heights, Michigan.
We believe this all-new hatchback (we’re careful not to use the outgoing Neon name) will be introduced during the 2005 auto show circuit, but to our knowledge it is NOT currently scheduled to be unveiled at the NAIAS.