Plug-ins and hybrids are planned
GREG GARDNER - FREEP
- November 10, 2009
With fresh European leadership, Chrysler is now poised to climb from the abyss it has descended into. --Ed.
Chrysler Group LLC will draw aggressively on Fiat small-engine technology to make its smaller vehicles more appealing, but the partnership will not accelerate Chrysler's development of its first mass-market hybrid and plug-in electric passenger cars.
Paolo Ferrero, the automaker's head of powertrain operations, discussed last week a variety of Fiat-designed engines and technologies that are expected to improve fuel economy and cut carbon-dioxide emissions of future Chryslers, Jeeps or Dodges. These include the Multiair engine that will be offered in the Fiat 500. The Multiair system delivers a richer mix of fuel and air to boost horsepower of smaller engines.
Separately, Fiat's dual dry-clutch transmission, which smooths the movement between gears, will be introduced on the 2011 Chrysler 300. The Italian automaker's Start & Stop technology automatically shuts down an engine when a vehicle stops. That technology is to be available on the Jeep Wrangler diesel about a year from now.
But Chrysler's hybrid plan does not call for a mass-market hybrid car before 2015, even though its 5-year plan assumed gas prices will return to $4 a gallon. The hybrid electric system offered last year on a few hundred Dodge Durangos and Chrysler Aspen SUVs is to be available sometime next year on the Dodge Ram 1500 light-duty pickup.... [Read More]