The Chrysler Group will be adding hybrid versions of its Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen vehicles for the 2008 model year, with both vehicles getting a 5.7L Hemi V8 engine mated to an electric motor. The hybrid vehicles will hit showrooms next year and are expected to improve mileage rates by 25%, while increasing efficiency by nearly 40% in stop-start city driving. It's the best of both worlds, a powerfull SUV with big-cube V8 power plus MDS and hybrid tech saving you fuel.

Chrysler exec Frank Klegon, who spoke with The Detroit News, described the Hemi-powered Chrysler Aspen Hybrid as the “ultimate combination of fuel efficiency, overall performance and capability in a premium full-size SUV.” The eco-friendly SUV will feature a fuel-saving multi-displacement system that can shut down four of the engine’s eight cylinders during low load conditions.

The hybrid system used in the Aspen and Durango is the latest Two-Mode version co-developed with General Motors and BMW, and pairs an electric motor with the V8 engine. Under minimal load, the SUVs can run on electric power alone and can then switch to employ both power sources during heavy demand. We wouldn't be surprised if Chrysler's 300C sedan also picks up the hybrid option with its own V8 Hemi powerplant in the near future.

GM is expected to follow-up with its own hybrid SUV, the Chevy Tahoe Hybrid due early next year.