Chrysler is going a decidedly different route than Ford and GM when it comes to meeting upcoming fuel economy standards. Instead of focusing on hybrid and electric car technology, Chrysler is working to bring natural gas and diesel engines to the American market. And according to a recent patent filing, the diesel engines will be marketed under the “EcoDiesel” name.
A Diesel By Another Name
As the only major American automaker without a hybrid vehicle in its lineup, Chrysler is in a bit of a bind. Hybrid and battery-electric vehicles will go a long way towards the convoluted counting system that is the new CAFE fuel economy standards, and the Pentastar has just one car (the new Dart) capable of achieving 40 mpg highway. But it’s beginning to look like diesel engines will play a large role in Chrysler’s lineup, starting with a 3.0 liter turbodiesel that will debut in the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Hence the “EcoDiesel 3.0” badge patent above.
Packing over 400 ft-lbs of torque, the 3.0 liter turbodiesel was jointly developed by Fiat and Chrysler for use in both the European and American markets. The EcoDiesel name will be applied to the Grand Cherokee at first, but it seems to me that this is just the first step in the beginning of a new brand. Americans are warming up to diesel engines in light of higher gas prices, and Chrysler could hit its stride if rumors of a 33 mpg Jeep Grand Cherokee are true. That said, I wonder if Ford might take issue, as the first thing I thought when I heard EcoDiesel was “EcoBoost”.
Chrysler, Fiat, and EcoDiesel. Will it blend?
Source: Motor Authority