While the rest of the world prepares lineups of electric and hybrid vehicles, Chrysler/Fiat have been strangely silent regarding such plans. Wonder no more though; Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne says a Chrysler 300 Hybrid will be here by 2013.
At the Detroit Auto Show, Chrysler finally, officially unveiled its flagship model, the 2011 Chrysler 300. This is the single most important car in Chrysler’s fleet, with roots dating back to the 1950’s, so the engineers took their time to get it right, reportedly spending over $1 billion. Yet there is still no hybrid vehicle in Chrysler’s lineup. The Pentastar did fool around with a hybrid Ram pickup truck, and there are rumors about a diesel/hybrid pickup as well, but nothing solid until now.
That should all change by 2013, as Automotive News talked to Chrysler/Fiat overlord Marchionne, who said that in 2013 there will be a hybrid 300 model, equipped with an eight-speed automatic.
Now, I’m an old school car guy. Four speeds have always seemed like enough for me. Yet even economy cars are coming equipped with six-speed transmissions these days. The next logical step is, of course, eight-speeds! At the Detroit Auto Show, Chrysler said that its new V6 engine with an eight-speed automatic would deliver at least 30 mpg in the heavy Chrysler 300.
So does that mean a hybrid 300 has to get at least 40 mpg? It’s hard to imagine a full-size sedan like the 300 sipping just a gallon of fuel every 40 miles, but to make the hybrid system worth any extra cost, I’m thinking that’s the magic number Chrysler just has to hit. Whether it hits the market in 2013, or 2012 (as a 2013 model) Marchionne did not say, but it can’t come soon enough. There’s a lot to like about the idea of a 40 mpg full-size sedan, don’t you agree?
Source: Automotive News
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to Hemis. You can follow his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout.