By Patrick Rall
Ma Mopar may not be in the best shape right now, with the American economy struggling right alongside the currently-weak automotive industry, but in the meantime the show goes on in the Chrysler headquarters with plans for future models. During an interview with Automotive News, VP of product development Frank Klegon commented that the next generation Charger and Chrysler 300 will not only meet the revised 2011 CAFÉ standard, but it will exceed them.
The CAFÉ laws are often misunderstood, and it should be pointed out that a company’s compliance to the laws stretch across the entire lineup and not just a few models, along with a handful of other ways around the penalties associated with said laws. However, the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger, even with the 5.7L Hemi engine, are able to achieve mileage in the high 20s, thanks to Chrysler’s Multiple Displacement System (MDS). Real world reports have found the 300C getting near 30mpg on highway trips while driving conservatively, so its no surprise that this is one of the vehicles being called upon for its efficiency.
Klegon went on to mention that new aerodynamic adjustments will be used in conjunction with improved gear ratios and possibly a new lineup of engines, should the alleged Phoenix Engines see the light of day. There is also speculation that Chrysler could call upon one of the major transmission manufacturers to provide a 7 or 8 speed transmission mated to a hybrid engine, similar to those found in the Durango Hybrid models right now.
Although Chrysler is on unsteady grounds right now, the future of the company could rely on highly efficient models designed right now. We have seen Ford release their “EcoBoost” system, so could the secret behind these Phoenix Engines be a turbocharged direct injection system, allowing for “Hemi Power” from a boost V6? Would a TTV6 Charger RT or 300C be accepted by Mopar faithful? Talk about it here!!