Chrysler to Improve Fuel Economy by More than 25% in Five Years - Cherokee SRT8 Forum
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Chrysler to Improve Fuel Economy by More than 25% in Five Years

Chrysler has just unveiled its strategy that will see a more than 25 percent improvement in fuel economy by 2014. The five-year plan will see significant use of Fiat technology and engines, with smaller engines, six-speed dual clutch transmissions, as well as the use of turbocharging and direct injection technology. Chrysler will also continue to explore electric car technology, with a hybrid Ram expected this year, while a plug-in hybrid Ram 1500 will begin fleet testing.

In total, four new engines will be launched in Chrysler products over the next few years. The first is the 1.4-liter I-4 FIRE with Multiair, which makes 100-hp at 6,50 rpm and 95 ft-lbs of torque at 4,250 rpm. Hardly exciting, this engine will get impressive fuel economy. Add a turbocharger, however, and the 1.4-liter I-4 FIRE Turbo with Multiair delivers 170-hp at 6,750 rpm and 170 ft-lbs of torque at 3000 rpm. The first vehicle to launch in North America with the 1.4-liter will be the Fiat 500, with other Chrysler models to follow.

Next up is a new version of the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder World Engine (above), which gets Fiat's variable valve Multiair technology to produce 190-hp and 175 ft-lbs of torque. Compared to its predecessor, Chrysler says this new engine not only delivers improved power, but fuel economy as well.

Finally, a new 3.6-liter V6 engine will also be introduced, taking the place of six different V6 engines in the Chrysler lineup. Called the V6 Pentastar, it will first appear in the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, making 280-hp and 260 ft-lbs of torque - 90 percent of which is available from 1800 rpm. In the Grand Cherokee, this amounts to an increase of 33 percent more power and 11 percent more torque than the outgoing V6 model.

In addition to these four new engines, Chrysler will begin to use Fiat's six-speed dual clutch transmission to deliver improved fuel economy and quick-shifting driving dynamics. Chrysler says the Dual Dry Clutch Transmission (DDCT) can handle up to 260 ft-lbs of torque and will launch later this year in mid-size D-Segment cars.

"By 2014 calendar year, more than 80 percent of Chrysler Group's current powertrain lineup will undergo a complete makeover," said Chrysler Powertrain boss Paolo Ferrero.

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