This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

May 02, 2007

Chrysler to Launch Hemi-Powered Hybrid SUVs in 2008

The Chrysler Group announced on April 30th that its Chrysler Aspen Hybrid and Dodge Durango Hybrid will feature an all-new Hemi Hybrid powertrain when they go on sale next year. Chrysler's 5.7-liter V-8 Hemi engine was first introduced on the 2003 Dodge Ram and is known for its combination of power and fuel efficiency features. Chrysler's Multi-displacement System improves fuel economy up to 20 percent by shutting down half of the engine's cylinders when less power is needed. The engine has earned a place on Ward's 10 Best Engines list for five years running.

The new 5.7-liter Hemi Hybrid powertrain is expected to deliver a fuel economy improvement of more than 25 percent overall, with a 40 percent fuel economy improvement in city driving. The new sport utility vehicles (SUVs) will feature a two-mode hybrid system, which integrates electric motors into a fixed-gear transmission. The electric motors add power through continuously variable transmissions that operate in either low or high speed, which is why it's called a two-mode system, but the main transmission operates in one of four fixed gears. See the Chrysler press releases on the hybrids and the Hemi engines.

The two-mode hybrid system was jointly developed by DaimlerChrysler, General Motors, and BMW at their Hybrid Development Center in Troy, Michigan. It will first appear in passenger vehicles this fall, with the release of the 2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid and the 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid. See the Yukon Hybrid and Tahoe Hybrid Web sites.