It does this by reducing parasitic losses. First, by eliminating the torque converter, and second, through the use of synchronizers instead of shift clutches. The first units will be available with a 2.0L turbodiesel engine but there are plans to add it to more models in the near future.
Original: Chrysler is planning to roll out a host of new technologies this year with everything from hybrid powertrains to fuel-efficient AWD systems and advanced safety features all set to appear in coming months. Under the guidance of new owner Cerberus, Chrysler has made the decision to launch whatever new technology it has straight away instead of waiting until the traditional mid-cycle refresh as it has done in the past.
Some of the highlights of Chrysler’s technological downpour include a two-mode hybrid-powertrain set to debut on the 2009 Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen SUVs, a new AWD system with an active transfer case and front-axle disconnect system that promises the same fuel economy as a normal RWD model, infra-red-based adaptive-cruise-control systems and suspension upgrades for the 300 and Charger models. The performance 300C SRT8 may even get active suspension with sport and standard modes, reports The Detroit News.
Chrysler's new fuel-efficient AWD system runs with the front-axle disconnected most of the time but when onboard sensors detect slip the front transfer case is automatically sped up via an electric motor, reconnecting the front drive and sending up to 38 percent of power to the front wheels.
The 2009 Dodge Ram, meanwhile, will finally give up the traditional leaf-spring rear suspension for a five-link coil-spring setup - the first ever on a conventional pickup - and a hybrid-electric powered version will be available in 2010.
To improve safety, Chrysler has a new blind-spot-detection system that flashes a warning light and gives off an audible alert if it detects vehicles in rear blind-spots. The system can also warn of unseen vehicles up to 66 feet away when attached to a vehicle that’s reversing. Other features in the pipeline include back-seat satellite television and in-car internet connectivity as well as voice-activated entertainment and communications systems.