Chrysler Developing New Diesel Powertrains Quickly


jeep-grand-cherokee-30l-ecodieselChrysler has released several new engines and drivetrains over the past couple of years, and this process has kept their engineers working hard. But is this short engine development time hurting quality?

Example: One of the complicated tasks involved in this process was the attachment of their new 8-speed transmission to a 3.0 liter diesel engine for the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee. This type of combination is a first for Chrysler, yet this project took only two years.

“We started on it in February 2011. (There was) not much time,” Bob Lee, vice president-engine and electrified propulsion, tells Wards Auto.

The diesel engine was developed out of collaboration with Fiat, VM Motori, and Bosch. The U.S. market is especially challenging for diesel engines, but consumers seem to be warming up to them. They key here is to deliver a quality product that does what Chrysler says it can do; provide ample power and improved fuel economy over the gas-fed V6.

The Ram 1500 will also receive the combined 3.0 L diesel engine and 8-speed transmission, though there are key differences between the combinations to better handle the rugged wear-and-tear pickups are put through. Still, fuel economy should be a good deal better than either the gas V6 or V8, and we all know diesel engines pack a torquey punch.

Still, Chrysler’s timing is great, because the market share for diesel is increasing. Hopefully the short turnaround time didn’t affect quality, or else Americans might once again be turned off by diesel engines.


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loves attending and writing about/photographing events, and he writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, automobiles, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography.

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  • With this
    Global Village approach, and considering we are in the computer age, expect the
    extreme restrictions faced by GM engineers in their early ‘in house diesel
    attempts’ to be overcome, and look for a really good reliable Global diesel
    engine – quite possibly with sub assemblies from China, and injection from
    America is slow to change, slow to adapt to the new economic realities and
    hobbled by corporate interests that have managed to more than double the price
    of a fuel once half the price, cheaper to refine, and yielding twice the
    mileage, with no expensive additives. in fact: my 1980 VW Diesel “Rabbit”
    ran quite well, all though illegally and only as a test, on “Number 2 stove
    oil” – at half the pump price again, for road taxed diesel fuel at the
    pumps. Today we have another “diesel fuel” from used restaurant
    cooking oils, commonly used in Canada by many diesel owners, and it seems that
    an Algae generated diesel fuel is on the market in some countries as well as a
    “Diesel Fuel” from an E coli variant fed raw sewage.( and we are full
    of that!) We have not seen the end of Diesel engines and will likely see
    methane added to the diesel mix, especially in Canada where large stationary
    diesels running on conventional fuels and methane from Dairy farm poop turn
    generators to supplement the grid at peak times for top dollars.

    An 8 speed
    transmission speaks of high mechanical component numbers, and an electric drive
    system and generator may prove more reliable and cover the highest efficiency
    ranges of the diesel even better, more smoothly? Can the 3 L be reduced by a
    nanocarbon super capacitor energy accumulator system with inductive pulse
    switched energy return scheme? Will more commonly used light weight aluminum,
    carbon fibre, plastic, and hemp fibre body components reduce over-all weight?
    Will the “Pick Up Truck” and SUV notions disappear as the 21st
    Century unfolds in America? Will a newer smaller COE styled utility truck for
    workers evolve – like the VW “Transporter” of days gone by? As is
    seen in the Philippines, Asia? Diesel, the first step in the transformation of
    20th Century America to 21st Century America, and a great new future.


  • Jason Carpp

    That’s crazy! Why rush something like production of an engine, particularly a diesel engine? You rush into something, you’re liable to screw up. It takes time to do it correctly.