Chrysler Sets Ambitious Targets for Revamped Powertrain

Automaker releases specs on advanced four-cylinder engines, says new powertrain lineup will incorporate Fiat technologies.

Chrysler has set some ambitious targets over the next five years with its revamped powertrain lineup, with the automaker estimating it could see a 25% improvement in fuel efficiency. By 2014, Chrysler says more than 80% of its powertrain lineup will undergo a complete makeover.

The U.S. automaker will be tapping the assistance of its new parent company, Fiat, which recently issued a five-year plan which would incorporate a wide range of progressive, eco-friendly technologies.

Some of those technologies include Multiair variable valve adjustments, direct injection, turbo-charging and dual-clutch transmissions.

Under the partnership, Fiat Powertrain will concentrate its resources on diesel technology and small displacement gasoline engines, while Chrysler Powertrain will handle large displacement gasoline engines and electric vehicle technology.

In the near future, Chrysler vehicles will see a new lineup of four-cylinder engines. Two 1.4-liter engines will be available, one naturally aspirated and one turbocharged. Both will feature four valves per cylinder and Multiair variable valve adjustments. The naturally aspirated 1.4-liter engine will be rated at 100-horsepower and 95-pound-feet of torque, and the turbocharged unit will be rated 170-horsepower and 170-pound-feet of torque.

A 2.4-liter four-cylinder unit with Multiair technology will also be offered. It will produce 190-horsepower and 175-pound-feet of torque. A turbo-charged version of this engine is also under development.

Chrysler is also looking to introduce Fiats six-speed Dual Dry Clutch Transmission (DDCT) to its line-up, starting with mid-size D-segment cars this year. The DDCT can improve fuel economy by 10% while enhancing performance.

Although Chrysler disbanded its hybrid/electric vehicle program ENVI as part of its bankruptcy reorganization, it still continues work on individual electric and hybrid projects. At the moment, Chrysler is developing a Ram 1500 hybrid for 2010. It is also building a small test fleet of plug-in hybrid Ram 1500 pick-ups and minivans. A small electric delivery van is also under consideration for 2011-2012.

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