Chrysler Finally Going Green

Published: 26th July 2007
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Despite the strong belief that Chrysler have that its North American consumers will continuously seek for large SUVs, it seems that its time for the automaker to think otherwise. This must be the mindset that Chrysler have, which is evident by its continuous production of gas-guzzlers vehicles despite the increasing fuel prices and the not-so good reputation that such vehicles have on the environment.

Surprisingly Chrysler the producer of Jeep hard top has decided to try its hand on hybrid vehicles which it will present in a sneak preview for media people at its Chelsea proving grounds. Chrysler will be introducing two of its new hybrid vehicles namely the Chrysler Aspen Hybrid and Dodge Durango Hybrid. These two hybrid vehicles are powered by a two-mode hybrid system which Chrysler develops in partnership with General Motors and BMW.

Journalists at the event were given the chance to test drive the two vehicles. The said event is also the first time that Chrysler has exposed a future product to media scrutiny which simply shows the immense confidence that the automaker have on its two new vehicles.

According to Frank Klegon, Executive Vice-President of Chrysler Group's product development, "This two-mode hybrid system leapfrogs the competition."

Chrysler has also said that their hybrid system is far better than the one used by Toyota basically because the Japanese automaker utilized a single mode system which according to Chrysler affects performance and even fuel efficiency. On the other hand Chrysler for its two new hybrid vehicles will employ a two-mode system which fixes the flaws on found on Toyota's hybrid system.

The whole hybrid thing is rather complicated to understand for people such as ourselves without any engineering background but fortunately there is the net where we can find easy to understand information on hybrids.

How does a hybrid system works? Basically hybrid technology involves the splitting of power sources which usually is in the form of mechanical and electrical. The output is then channeled through a continuously variable transmission or CVT which is programmed to keep the mechanical or the gas-powered engine operating at its most efficient speed.

The single-mode system which is employed for Toyota hybrids are highly efficient at lower speeds especially ideal for city driving since it's the electric motor that generates most of the power resulting to lesser fuel consumption.

Meanwhile a two mode system which Chrysler will employ for its two new hybrids functions like a conventional hybrid powertrain for city driving and then shifts to CVT to switch to a second set of gears that increase the vehicle's efficient speed range while allowing the engine to operate efficiently.

The Durango and Aspen operates in five drive modes namely electric only, electric plus four-cylinder gas, four-or eight cylinder gas only, or eight cylinder gas plus electric. The reverse gear is exclusively electric power.

The two mode system of the Durango and Aspen will improve its overall efficiency by 25 percent and fuel efficiency by 40 percent. Chrysler's new hybrids will go on sale next year.

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