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Chrysler vows to retain -- and improve -- its Hemi engine

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Chrysler vows to retain -- and improve -- its Hemi engine

06:31 AM

That thing got a Hemi? Yup. And the red-blooded American V-8 is going to stick around and be improved to make it more fuel efficient, says Chrysler Group's manufacturing chief.


"The Hemi engine is a great engine," says Paolo Ferrero, Chrysler Group's senior vice president of powertrain in an interview with Drive On. "We are working on improving it."

Yes, the big Dodge and Ram engine with hemispherical cylinders is a powerful beast, but Ferrero says there are still large vehicles in the lineup that need that big power. There are no plans to kill the Hemi, although he didn't specify which vehicles will get to keep it. Chrysler has a new line of small, efficient engines to handle the new smaller vehicles it has on the boards. There will be no slacking in getting out those small engines since Chrysler has a set a target of a 25% fuel-economy improvement by 2014 -- four short years from now.

The Hemi already has a cylinder-deactivation system that saves some gas, like other V-8s. The now-gone Durango SUV had a Hemi hybrid. There are no plans to try to find ways of making Chrysler's best known engine as a four- or six-cylinder powerplant, he adds. Chrysler isn't backing down when it comes to its American factories:

Chrysler made Ferrero available to note its announcement yesterday that it's sinking $300 million into its Indiana transmission factories. He said it was a smart decision because the plant's 1,200 staff are talented manufacturing workers who will make great eight-speed transmissions.



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