With moms now actually reading EPA fuel economy figures on the window sticker before trying out the dozen cup holders found in most modern minivans, Chrysler went back to the engineering lab and knocked out a few more miles per gallon for its 2009 minivan offerings. Bragging that no other minivan offers better fuel economy than the 2009 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan, the automaker is boasting EPA figures of 17 city / 25 highway for the minivans when equipped with the automaker's 4.0L six-cylinder engine and minivan-first 6-speed automatic. Considering that the original 1984 Chrysler Town and Country achieved 18 city / 21 highway with a 2.6L four-cylinder and three-speed transmission, we've clearly come a long way. To squeeze out the extra miles per gallon, Chrysler tweaked the large 4.0L V6 engine and then changed the ratios on the transmission. With a higher ratio first gear, and smaller steps between the new ratios, the minivans are quicker off the line and the engine doesn't loose as much speed between shifts. The result is a fuel economy improvement of about 8 percent or about 2 mpg. Now, if the engineers could just do something about that minivan stigma...

[Source: Chrysler]


PRESS RELEASE

Chrysler Improves Fuel Economy By 8 Percent on 2009 Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan

Auburn Hills, Mich., Sep 9, 2008 - New 2009 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan models equipped with a 4.0-liter six-cylinder engine now deliver EPA fuel efficiency in the city of 17 mpg and 25 mpg on the highway, a label unbeaten among minivans.


"Chrysler and Dodge minivans continue to lead the segment," said Larry Lyons, Vice President – Car and Minivan Product Team, Chrysler LLC. "With an improved 4.0-liter six-cylinder engine and a minivan-first six-speed transmission, no other minivan has better fuel economy. We optimized both the engine and the transmission to give our customers the fuel economy they want, and the power and responsiveness they expect."
A best-in-class aerodynamic exterior encapsulates the optimized 4.0-liter single overhead cam (SOHC) aluminum V-6 engine that produces a powerful 251 hp (189kW) and 259 lb.-ft. (350 N·m) of torque. A re-tuned six-speed transmission and higher numerical first gear launches Chrysler and Dodge minivans more briskly than a comparable four- or five-speed transmission. The engine also provides smaller steps between ratios, which means the engine speed changes less with each shift, creating a smooth driving dynamic, with improved fuel economy. The end result is a fuel economy improvement to 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway, or up to 8 percent when comparing the previous 2008 engine's fuel economy of 16 mpg city and 23 mpg highway.

Chrysler engineers have spent more than 25 years perfecting its award-winning minivan formula and have created more than 65 minivan-first features and more than 40 improved features from the previous generation minivans. Today, Chrysler and Dodge minivans command more than 40 percent of the U.S. minivan market segment.

New 2009 ChryslerTown & Country

The new 2009 Chrysler Town & Country offers a contemporary appearance, three different models, two distinct seating and storage systems, unmatched entertainment systems and safety features. The Chrysler Town & Country has 40 new and improved features over the previous generation, including a 4.0-liter V-6 engine mated to a minivan-first six-speed transmission and more standard equipment including Electronic Stability Program (ESP). The minivan-first Swivel 'n Go™ seating system offers second-row seats that swivel 180 degrees to face the third row with a removable table that installs between the two rows, covered storage bins in the floor and the second row, third-row uncovered storage, and fold-in-the-floor third-row seating. The 2009 Chrysler Town & Country received the U.S. Government's Five Star crash test rating in both front and side impacts. The U.S. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of the new 2009 Chrysler Town & Country LX is $26,500, which includes $770 destination.

New 2009 Dodge Grand Caravan

As the first to introduce the modern minivan in 1984, Dodge continues to revolutionize the family road trip. The new 2009 Dodge Grand Caravan has 40 new or improved features over the previous generation including the exclusive Swivel 'n Go™ seating system, turning the minivan into a "family room on wheels." The vehicle also offers an entertainment system with minivan-first dual DVD players and uconnect studios SIRIUS Backseat TV with family programming channels that include Nickelodeon, Disney Channel and Cartoon Network Mobile. The 2009 Dodge Grand Caravan received the U.S. Government's Five Star crash test rating in both front and side impacts. The U.S. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of the new 2009 Dodge Grand Caravan SE is $24,300, which includes $770 destination.
Dodge Brand

With a U.S. market share of 6.2 percent, Dodge is Chrysler LLC's best-selling brand and the sixth largest nameplate in the U.S. automotive market. In 2007, Dodge sold more than 1.3 million vehicles in the global market.
The Dodge brand's first crossover vehicle - the all-new 2009 Dodge Journey - arrived in dealer showrooms in the first quarter of 2008, and is now available outside North America in petrol and diesel powertrains in both left- and right-hand drive. The limited-edition 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 with a 6.1-liter HEMI V-8 engine that boasts 425 horsepower and 420 lb.-ft. of torque started hitting the streets this past spring. This fall, Dodge will add three more vehicles to its product lineup – the all-new 2009 Dodge Ram with game-changing exterior and interior design, innovations, best-in-class features and craftsmanship; the all-new 2009 Dodge Challenger, a modern interpretation of the American muscle car; and the 2009 Dodge Durango HEMI Hybrid, a hybrid electric vehicle that combines fuel-efficient advance hybrid technology with full-size SUV performance and capability.

Last fall, America's best-selling minivan, the all-new 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan, was introduced with the newest innovation, the Swivel 'n Go™ seating system. In 2007, Dodge sold 33,500 commercial vehicles, a 285 percent increase over 2003 when the company returned to the commercial vehicle market and is now the sixth largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles sold in the U.S. Also in 2007, the Dodge Avenger and Nitro entered key volume segments outside North America, joining the Dodge Caliber, the highest sales volume vehicle for the company outside of North America.