The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Aspen & Durango Join Chrysler Group Hybrid Lineup

April 30, 2007

AUBURN HILLS, MI - Debuting next year as the first volume-production hybrid offerings from the Chrysler Group and the first vehicles to feature DaimlerChrysler’s two-mode hybrid technology, the new Chrysler Aspen Hybrid and Dodge Durango Hybrid SUVs will both be powered by Chrysler Group’s all-new 5.7L HEMI Hybrid powertrain. The new 5.7L HEMI Hybrid is expected to deliver an overall fuel economy improvement of more than 25 percent, including an improvement of nearly 40 percent in the city. "The all-new Chrysler Group HEMI hybrid will offer our customers the best of both worlds: renowned performance and significantly improved fuel economy," said Frank Klegon, executive vice president — Product Development. "With the new HEMI-powered Chrysler Aspen hybrid, we are delivering the ultimate combination of fuel efficiency, overall performance, and capability in a premium full-size SUV." The HEMI powerplant, in hybrid form, will continue to feature Chrysler Group’s Multi-Displacement System (MDS), which allows the engine to seamlessly alternate between four-cylinder mode when less power is needed and V-8 mode when more power is in demand. For the fifth consecutive year, Chrysler Group’s 5.7L HEMI engine has earned a place on Ward's 10 Best Engines list. With an electrically variable transmission (featuring two electric motors), two full hybrid modes of operation, and four fixed mechanical gear ratios, the drive system improves fuel economy in city driving and at highway speeds, according to Chrysler. The Chrysler Aspen features numerous premium features, elegant Chrysler design, 30 safety features, and best-in-class horsepower, torque, and interior room. Chrysler Group’s two-mode hybrid powertrain — jointly developed by DaimlerChrysler, General Motors, and the BMW Group — represents an automotive industry milestone due to the fully integrated combination of electric motors with a fixed-gear transmission. As a result of the low- and high-speed electric continuously variable transmission (ECVT) modes, the system is commonly referred to as the two-mode hybrid. However, the system also incorporates four fixed-gear ratios for high efficiency and power-handling capabilities in a broad variety of vehicle applications. The new Chrysler Aspen Hybrid and Dodge Durango Hybrid vehicles can be powered either by the electric motors or by the 5.7L HEMI V-8 engine – or a combination of the two. During the two ECVT modes and four fixed-gear operations, the hybrid system can use the electric motors for boosting and/or regenerative braking. When full power is needed, the system automatically adjusts for passing, driving steep grades, or hauling a trailer.
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