Chrysler Reveals Future-Product Details
By Chris Haak
None of these announcements are necessarily earth-shattering, but in a meeting with analysts and media yesterday in Detroit, Chrysler executives outlined several interesting items of note on the product front. According to Inside Line, fresh off the company’s first profitable quarter since 2006 (!), the company finally seems to be on the verge of breaking out of its long product slump. Each of the company’s three divisions is getting something good.
Jeep is getting the new 3.6 liter Pentastar V6 and a five-speed automatic in the 2012 Wrangler. The company promises 10 percent better fuel economy, plus we’re anticipating a significant boost in power output.
Dodge is getting a special-edition Charger Super Bee, a package that was last reincarnated for the 2007-2009 Charger. No further details were forthcoming, but expect it to be a derivative of the Charger SRT8 if the 2007-2009 model’s pattern holds.
Chrysler and Dodge are getting dual-clutch gearboxes for the 200 and Avenger. In other transmission news, eight-speed automatics are going to soon find their way into rear wheel drive cars like the 300 and Charger, and nine-speed units will start making their way into the front wheel drive lineup in 2013.
Finally, in order for Fiat to acquire the final five percent ownership in Chrysler that it needs to get to 51 percent, and therefore hold a controlling stake in the company, Chrysler has to build and sell a 40 mile per gallon car in the US. The company confirmed yesterday that it will do so by the end of 2011, and it’s all but a certainty that it will share a platform with the Fiat 500. Of note, the Fiat 500 itself does not get 40 miles per gallon on the highway, though it wouldn’t be hard to change the gearing and/or tires of that car to do so if they chose.
All of this sounds like good news for fans of the Pentastar. We’re anxious to see this new super-efficient Chrysler, but more importantly, look forward to seeing the rest of the company’s flood of Fiat-derived products coming in the next year or two.