Click on the image for a gallery of high-res shots of the 2008 Chrysler minivans

Thanks to changes in Chrysler's manufacturing plans for European market minivans and the popularity of Jeep diesels, the US market may eventually get diesel minivans. For the past decade, the Euro market vans were assembled at a plant in Austria, but the new van production will be consolidated at Chrysler's St. Louis, MO assembly plant. That means that the VM Motori diesel engines that are offered in European vans will be shipped to the US for installation. The current diesel doesn't meet new emissions standards, but Mercedes is developing a new 2.2L two-stage turbo diesel for 2010. This engine should meet all the new emissions standards and since they will be coming to the US anyway, it would make sense to sell some of them in the domestic market. Minivans aren't as mini as they were when the original Dodge Caravan appeared in 1984, and their mileage is less than stellar. A high torque, fuel efficient diesel paired up with a six speed automatic would likely be a very good match for the vans and should prove popular.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]


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