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Chrysler Adds Two-Mode Hybrid Ram to Lineup for 2010

Dodge used a herd of 120 long horn cattle driven by 10 cowboys to unveil the all-new 2009 Dodge Ram during the truck’s world debut at the North American International Auto Show today.

Chrysler LLC will apply the two-mode hybrid powertrain—developed in partnership with General Motors, Mercedes-Benz and The BMW Group—to the new Dodge Ram 1500 pickup in 2010. The Dodge Ram HEMI Hybrid joins the Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango in the planned Chrysler hybrid vehicle lineup.

Last year, the company also announced that it would introduce a Cummins turbodiesel engine after 2009 for the Dodge Ram 1500. The engine will meet Tier 2 Bin 5 50-state emissions standards, and will deliver a 30% fuel economy improvement over gasoline versions. The 2008 Ram 1500 2WD versions have combined fuel economy rating ranging from 14-17 mpg US.

The HEMI engine in the hybrid powertrain will continue to feature Chrysler’s Multi-displacement System (MDS), which allows the engine to alternate between four-cylinder mode when less power is needed and V-8 mode when more power is in demand.

The two-mode hybrid system provides assistance from electric motors allowing the HEMI V-8 to remain in four-cylinder mode more often than without a hybrid powertrain, improving overall fuel economy.

The two-mode full hybrid system offers low- and high-speed electric continuously variable transmission (ECVT) modes (“two-mode”) and four fixed-gear ratios for high efficiency and power-handling capabilities. During the two ECVT modes, the system can use the electric motors for acceleration, improving fuel economy, or for regenerative braking to utilize energy that would normally be lost during braking or deceleration. The energy is stored in the batteries for later use.

The hybrid system’s two modes are optimized for city and highway driving. In the first mode—at low speed and with light loads—the vehicle can operate in three ways: electric power only; engine power only ; and any combination of engine and electric power.

The second mode is used primarily at highway speeds. In addition to electric assist, the second mode provides full power from the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 when conditions demand it, such as when passing, pulling a trailer or climbing a steep grade.

The Hybrid Development Center (General Motors, Chrysler, Mercedes-Benz and The BMW Group) jointly developed the overall modular two-mode hybrid system and the individual components used by the partners: electric motors, transmission, high-voltage battery, high-performance electronics, wiring, safety systems, energy management and hybrid-system control units. In addition, the Hybrid Development Center is responsible for system integration and project management.



Good to hear more facts on US hybrids. Better yet, turbo-diesels meeting 50 state standards.

Why do they need a HEMI in the hybrid?

The dates sound pretty iffy. 'after 2009' covers a lot of eternity. And 'in 2010' can mean the vehicles will be marketed in mid-2009 or eighteen months later.

Travis Rassat


I think the HEMI hybrid is just taking advantage of what has become a marketing tag. A hemispherical head is not a bad thing - it promotes a more efficient fuel burn. HEMI has become synonymous with "big", but the concept could be applied to any size engine.


Dodge was going to come out with a hybrid Durango SUV years ago, but the added weight, reduced cargo capacity, increased costs and small mileage increase caused them to scrap the idea. I have never thought of Chrysler as the fuel efficient company. Maybe this will change that image.


So what has changed from "years ago"? The cost, weight, size, efficiency gain or bragging rights?


Lipstick on a pig.

Unveiling the line of trucks on Brokeback Mountain was a nice touch though.



I believe the "Hemi" is now using more of a pentroof design in the heads and not a hemispherical design.



I believe the "Hemi" is now using more of a pentroof or cloverleaf design in the heads and not a hemispherical design.


Years ago they were going it alone in the design, now they are part of the group of car companies banding together to do the design. I guess when you get behind the curve, a bit of help from your competitors helps get the product out sooner. I have no idea what the comparative specifications are. I do not think that they published much of that on the older proposed design.

Stan Peterson

It is quite evident that the combined truck and auto makers like Chrysler and Ford, are addressing the need for improved truck power plants before they address the need for increased mileage for their sedans.

Increasing fuel efficiency, and cleaning emissions on those vehicles is the apparent first order of priority. Even a supposedly strapped company like Chrysler, seems to have the problem in hand. T2B5 diesels from Cummins and Mercedes are available to them, and already announced in products. Improved transmissions are announced with 5, 6, and 7 speed transmissions. The 2-mode hybrid drive along with variable cylinder usage offers a solution that can provide both the combined torque and power for load haulage and towing. These solutions are able to still shed power and fuel consumption, when no longer needed.

I can see a need for regenerative braking and mild hybrid technology for diesel and pure SI drive trains. That will come, as such further improvements are not expensive or complicated to do.

Both Ford and Chrysler have announced a new generation of V6s, that when available, will improve fuel efficiency and power of present equivalents but offer in hybrid use the replacement some larger and less fuel efficient V8s.

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