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Oracle of Delphi

Chrysler starts production of 2 hybrid SUVs

8 posts in this topic

Craig Trudell

Automotive News

August 22, 2008 - 4:38 pm ET

Chrysler LLC has launched production of the hybrid versions of its Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango SUVs, set to go on sale this fall.

Chrysler's Newark, Del., assembly plant started building the SUVs this week. The plant is Chrysler's first to build vehicles with its gasoline-electric Two Mode hybrid system.

The hybrid system called for new assembly processes to install a 300-volt battery and other components that Chrysler is using for the first time.

"The implementation of this new manufacturing process was done intelligently, with both quality and cost in mind," Joe Ozdowy, Newark's plant manager, said in a statement.

The Two Mode hybrid drivetrain features a 385-hp, 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 equipped with a cylinder cutoff system. The engine is combined with a four-speed automatic transmission that has two internal electric motors. The Two Mode was developed by a partnership involving General Motors, Daimler AG and BMW AG.

The Two Mode powertrain propels the vehicle on electric power at speeds up to about 25 mph. It also can provide an extra boost of passing power on the highway when needed.

Chrysler has estimated that the hybrid system improves overall fuel economy 25 percent, to about 20 mpg city.

The Durango hybrid is priced at $45,340 and the Aspen at $45,570; both prices include shipping. Chrysler says buyers are expected to get a $1,800 tax credit.

Chrysler's Durango and Aspen hybrids enter an SUV market that has been slammed by a consumer shift to smaller cars.

Durango sales were down 84.5 percent in July, to 384 units. In the first seven months of the year, sales are down 51.3 percent to 15,293.

The Aspen has fared better than the Durango, but it was a new model in 2007. Through July, sales are down 3.7 percent to 14,446 units.

Link: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/arti...p;rssfeed=RSS31

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is this one a tad beefier for the 5.7? or is the gm 6.0L just more underated?

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Apparently somebody cares. I dont know who, but I assume somebody cares.

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It may be a good deal for people who actually need and use an SUV. They also cost thousands less than the GMT900's and get decent fuel economy. Autoblog got 22 mpg if I remember right, which is damn impressive for something that big.

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It may be a good deal for people who actually need and use an SUV. They also cost thousands less than the GMT900's and get decent fuel economy. Autoblog got 22 mpg if I remember right, which is damn impressive for something that big.

Exactly my thoughts. The Durango/Aspen, for what they are, have always been quite good and at a price level lower than a competitor in size and features.

If you need it, their Hybrid versions are a heck of a lot cheaper than the GM's and their performance and mpg's are better in many ways. Not the highest tech, not a car based ute, but still a solid and feature packed truck at a reasonable price level compared to many.

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I think the Aspen has cleaner lines than the Durango to be honest.

I think it's good that the big SUVs are becoming available from both Chrysler and GM, because people don't seem to be giving up on their big huge SUVs themselves....

;)

Some people drive the big vehicles (bigger than they even NEED) and don't care about paying more for fuel, it's a surcharge of sorts to them for the ability to drive something large.

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