2011 Chrysler 300
Additionally, the tougher regulations will also see the introduction of more diesel vehicles in the U.S. despite there still being a lack of demand from many customers, although this is starting to change.
While downsized engines and weight saving techniques may work for smaller vehicles, full-size sedans, SUVs, and trucks will need to rely on torquey diesels or hybrid technology to remain viable in a future of 54.5 mpg fleet-wide fuel economy, at least according to Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne.
The Italian exec has already confirmed that a Chrysler 300 hybrid sedan and Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel will be launched in 2013, but now he’s revealed that other models in the Chrysler Group portfolio will get new efficient powertrains.
Speaking with Automotive News, Marchionne said that after the launch of the diesel Jeep, most large vehicles in the Chrysler Group would also be fitted with a diesel engine. Expect the option to be available on the Chrysler 300 sedan, Dodge Durango SUV, more Ram pickups, and possibly even the Dodge Charger sedan.
Expect the diesel engine to be the same 3.0-liter turbodiesel sourced from Italy’s VM Motori and rated at 241 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. This unit is already offered on several Chrysler products currently sold in Europe.
As for the hybrids, Marchionne remains skeptical of their value but says they’re necessary to meet CAFE standards. Once again, following a launch in the 300, expect Chrysler's new the hybrid drivetrain to filter across to most of the other full-size vehicles within its portfolio from 2013 onwards.
Unlike Chrysler’s previous hybrid efforts, the new unit should match an electric motor with the Pentastar V-6 engine rather than a Hemi V-8.