Chrysler's New Powertrains

At last week's Fiat Chrysler Automobiles press conference, one of the many announcements in Sergio Marchionne's five year plan for the company included it's new line-up of powertrains. This new series of engines is designed to help the automaker meet tightening global fuel economy and emissions standards.

This new family of engines will replace Chrysler's range of four-cylinder engines. There are currently 40 types of these within the company, many of which share no common parts or technology with one another. Some were acquired through business ventures. The new ones will share common parts, such as pistons, combustion chamber designs and fuel injectors, and will have the ability to be customized for individual markets inexpensively.

Also coming up are a series of gasoline-electric hybrids, including a plug-in version of their Chrysler Town & Country minivan, which will be the first of several new hybrid models. The company's industry-changing eight- and nine-speed transmissions will be available to more vehicles and FCA will bring more diesel engines to North America.

FCA made several announcements regarding their new powertrains. They are developing both gasoline and diesel engines that will share several of the same technologies. They are also working on a belt-alternator stop-start system.

Dual-clutch transmissions deliver great fuel economy and reduced carbon dioxide emissions, but as seen with the Dodge Dart, aren't popular in North America. Diesels are getting more popular over here, as seen by sales of the EcoDiesel options in the Jeep Grand Cherokee and RAM 1500.

As fuel economy standards in the U.S. and in Europe get stricter, the company needs to embrace more fuel efficient powertrains. Customers too, are demanding better fuel economy as gas prices aren't getting any lower.

It's not all about fuel economy though. FCA also announced that their line of Dodge performance cars will get their new 6.2-litre supercharged V8. It's anticipated that it will get approximately 640 hp. The current 6.4-litre Hemi V8 found in the company's SRT performance cars delivers only 470 hp by comparison.

Chrysler is no stranger to consolidating engines. The company phased out several V6 engines in 2010, and replaced them all with the Pentastar V6 engine.

By Linda Aylesworth -


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