The Chrysler Group announced a broad set of new initiatives targeted specifically at improving the fuel efficiency of future Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles. Included in the announcement is the addition of a 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee BLUETEC Tier 2 Bin 5 compliant diesel.
Chrysler outlined a number of new technologies and possible applications that will begin entering the market in 2009. Among the initiatives are a commitment to developing mild-hybrid technology and expanding the company’s two-mode hybrid program; new six- and eight-cylinder gasoline engines, including the application of cylinder-deactivation in a V-6; dual-clutch transmission technology; a common axle program; and weight reduction, aerodynamic and drivetrain initiatives.
Additionally, the company announced it is exploring the development of a 4-cylinder diesel engine for the North American market, and the expansion of its 3.0-liter V-6 diesel engine.
Chrysler Group is focused directly on improving fuel efficiency across our vehicle lineup. We have developed and are implementing a series of major initiatives—including a bigger push in hybrid and clean-diesel technology—to meet the needs of American consumers.
Many of these fuel-efficiency initiatives will be incorporated simultaneously into a single vehicle family—our new V-6 with Multi-displacement System (MDS) mated to a dual-clutch transmission, for example&mash;ultimately resulting in double-digit-percentage fuel-economy gains.—Frank Klegon, Executive Vice President – Product Development,
The announced initiatives are:
Mild hybrids. Within the next few years, Chrysler will offer a mild-hybrid powertrain featuring start/stop, regenerative braking, and some traction assist in a Chrysler Group vehicle.
Two-mode hybrid. Chrysler Group announced today that its two-mode hybrid program will expand beyond the Chrysler Aspen Hybrid and Dodge Durango Hybrid, which debut next year. (Earlier post.)
2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee BLUETEC. The 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee will join the 2007 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty as one of Chrysler Group’s first Tier 2 Bin 5 compliant diesel offerings.
Further application of the 3.0-liter V6 CRD diesel.
The possibility of a four-cylinder diesel for the North American market.
Phoenix V-6 with cylinder deactivation. Chrysler has recently broken ground on three new plants for the production of the next-generation of V-6 gasoline engine it calls the Phoenix family. The V-6 family will feature an aluminum die cast block, dual variable valve timing (VVT) and a two-stage oil pump, along with cylinder deactivation and other technologies. Chrysler expects to deliver across-the-board V-6 fuel efficiency improvement of six to eight percent in addition to new levels of V-6 power and performance.
Upgraded 5.7-liter HEMI V-8. For 2009, Chrysler Group will deliver a significantly upgraded version of its renowned 5.7-liter HEMI V-8, resulting in notable gains in fuel efficiency, refinement, power and torque.
New 4.7-liter Flex-Fuel V-8. The new 4.7-liter V-8 offers up to five percent better fuel economy than the previous 4.7-liter engine. At the same time, this E85 flex-fuel engine delivers increased performance and improved refinement. These improvements come from the 4.7-liter V-8’s two spark plugs per cylinder (the only Chrysler Group engine to do so, other than the 5.7-liter HEMI), increased compression ratio, improved cylinder-head port flow and new combustion system. In addition to improved fuel economy, the result is a 30-percent increase in horsepower and a 10-percent increase in torque (up to 75 additional horsepower and 35 more lb.-ft. of torque, depending on application) compared with the previous 4.7-liter V-8 engine.
Dual-clutch transmission technology. A new dual-clutch transmission developed in partnership with Getrag joins the Chrysler Group lineup in significant volumes in 2010 model-year vehicles. The new dual-clutch transmission is expected to deliver a fuel economy improvement of up to six percent, based on preliminary testing. The new transmission is equipped with two independent lay-shaft style gear sets with separate clutches, using manual transmission-based components. During shifts, the next gear is anticipated and pre-selected. Then one clutch is opened while the other is closed, allowing shifting without torque interruption. The result is quicker acceleration and refined shift quality.
Common axle program. New common axle technology will result in fuel-economy and axle-efficiency gains, while providing weight savings, cost reduction, increased refinement and less complexity. New advanced materials increase overall axle strength and reduce package size. Already featured in the Chrysler 300C SRT8, this axle will soon move to other Chrysler Group vehicles.
Aerodynamic, weight reduction and drivetrain improvements. A new set of initiatives are in place to improve fuel efficiency across its vehicle lineup by at least five percent. These initiatives include weight reduction, aerodynamic drag improvements, reduced rolling resistance and brake drag, optimized accessory loads, and minimized drivetrain losses.