August 10, 2006

Chrysler Group’s new powertrain strategy to focus on fuel efficiency, flexible-fuel vehicles

Traverse City, Michigan – Chrysler Group COO Eric Ridenour presented an overview of the company’s powertrain strategy, focusing on applying technological lessons learned from its World Engine plant, at a briefing seminar in Michigan yesterday.

The company is launching ten new vehicles this year; Ridenour noted that a key part of the product offensive is an intense focus on fuel efficiency, more flexible-fuel vehicles (FFV) and a future powertrain strategy, including a new V6 engine. The Chrysler Group is currently developing a business case for a new family of V6 engines based on a single architecture; if approved, the one engine would replace four current engine families, while representing a major investment in three U.S. sites. The engine would be produced in a variety of displacements, built around an all-aluminum, DOHC, four-valve-per-cylinder design.

Ten per cent of Chrysler Group vehicles produced over the past eight years are flex-fuel capable; today, there are 1.5 million ethanol-capable Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles in service. In 2007, the company will produce 250,000 more, and in 2008, will double the number to 500,000. Starting next year, the company will install bright yellow fuel caps on all FFVs, as General Motors currently does, to let customers know at a glance that it is flex-fuel capable. The FFV vehicles will also be badged as such.

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