Jeep’s Grand Cherokee is once again offered with a diesel engine, a brilliant unit built by Italy’s VM Motori, and soon the same engine will be offered in the Ram 1500 pickup truck.
But what about Chrysler’s 300, which has long been rumored to be getting the option of a diesel?
When asked that very question by Ward’s Auto, Chrysler brand boss Saad Chehab said the automaker was considering offering the 300 with a diesel engine, but added that a final decision was still some way off.
The Chrysler’s 300 is already offered with the VM Motori diesel overseas; the 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel in the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee is rated at 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque and returns up to 30 mpg on the highway, yielding a range of up to 730 miles in the SUV.
Installing the engine in local 300 sedans would be pretty straightforward, but determining if it could be done profitably is another matter.
“It’s a matter of how much the customer is willing to pay for that premium,” Chehab said. “That’s the only issue with it.”
In the 2014 Grand Cherokee, the diesel option, which Chrysler calls an EcoDiesel, is roughly a $7,500 premium.
One possibility that might help the diesel-powered 300’s cause is the launch of a diesel-powered 200. Chrysler is launching a redesigned version of the 200 early next year as a 2014 year, and, according to Chehab, this new version could feature a diesel engine.
The 2014 Chrysler 200 will be based on the Compact U.S. Wide (CUSW) platform, which underpins cars like the Dodge Dart and Alfa Romeo Giulietta sold overseas. This platform has been designed to accommodate a diesel engine, a must for fuel-conscious Europe.
Stay tuned for an update.