• Dec 1st 2008 at 4:28PM
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As you'd imagine, it's pretty tough to run a successful auto company if there's no viable product in the pipeline. Chrysler has seen its fair share of negative press for not announcing a clear strategy to rebuild the heart of its line-up, namely the Chrysler Sebring and the Dodge Avenger, and it's unclear how much life the aging 300C and Charger platform has in it. According to Chrysler's product development chief, Frank Klegon, though, there's nothing to worry about... assuming that the Feds pull through and "show them the money" they need for future development. If Detroit's number 3 automaker doesn't get the cash? Don't ask.
Klegon also says that Project D is still moving along, though no actual decisions have yet been made as to whether 1) a completely new platform is needed, 2) the old one will be modified or 3) another firm's mid-sizer will be cribbed for the next Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Avenger. Despite rumors of its apparent demise, Klegon reiterated that the Phoenix project to develop next-gen V6 engines is well into the testing phase. Chrysler needs to knock all of these plans out of the park in order to remain competitive.

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

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ahh, what would we do to pass the time if there wasn't rumors of Chrysler's (or GM's) impending death. "The Phoenix development has stopped", "all product development has stopped", "Chrysler is going to sell a small Chinese car in the US/Canada", "Chrysler is going to be bought by _____ " (fill in the blank, here are some candidates: Fiat, Hyundai, Nissan, China Inc, GM (!), VW, etc.

      All not true. Right now development is proceeding on the replacement for the 300/Charger, the next gen Grand Cherokee/Durango, and the new RAM Heavy Dutys have been seen in spy shots.

      Since we now know that Phoenix is alive and well I thought this bit of info on it would be informative (this was posted at the time the GM/Chrysler merger rumor was in full swing):


      Supplier: Phoenix V6 engines are “Chrysler’s hidden crown jewel”
      November 3rd, 2008 by DaveAdmin

      A supplier who asked not to be named reported on Chrysler’s upcoming Phoenix V6 engines, saying that they would be certain to survive any takeovers or mergers. “They’re good on mileage and power, and they’re very quiet,” said the supplier, whose credentials have been confirmed. (Jim Press earlier confirmed that the Phoenix project was still alive and well.)

      According to presentations given to numerous Phoenix suppliers by Chrysler engineers, even the most powerful Phoenix, displacing 3.6 liters and producing (in preliminary tests) over 280 horsepower, is quieter than Toyota’s 3.3 liter V6 - and far quieter than the Toyota 3.5 liter V6. At the same time, gas mileage is said to be good, partly due to the use of high-pressure, die-cast blocks, which save on labor and allow for thinner walls and less use of aluminum.

      These blocks are 20 pounds lighter than General Motors‘ V6 blocks, saving around $40 per engine on aluminum alone; an independent firm estimated that these engines are at least $300 cheaper to build than GM’s current V6 line, increasing the odds of its survival of a GM merger or takeover.

      We hope to have more information on these engines, which have been rumored to have direct injection and variable cam timing.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well I wish I had Frank Klegon's salary. But I think i like living in Fl better.


        Chrysler has produced many world class engines over the years. Including the recent Hemi. It depends on how you define world class. Some only think of Hp. Some think of only NVH, or mpg. If you look at Wards 10 best engine list, you will see Chrysler appearing a number of times over the years. And everyone talks about the Chevy small block V8, but Chrysler's LA series is also one of the most successful small blocks of all time.
        • 6 Years Ago
        SOUNDS like a world class engine (finally). We'll see how it turns out.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Ah look "Frank" (Klegon) is doing his own PR & posting on AB!!! :) :)
      • 6 Years Ago
      I wouldn't be suprised to learn that the only thing left of Cerbyler's development team is card board cutouts. I seriously doubt much work is actually getting done. The Sebring has been out since 2006. It is almost 2009. Not only has it not been fixed but they don't even have a decision on what direction they are going with it's replacement? Doesn't sound like much is happening in Project D to me. I think they are just trying to put on a good show to make sure they don't get left out of the bailout. I hope any government thinking of handing a cheque to Cerbyler get's some concrete proof of these future products and a contract requiring them to not just turn around and sell whatever they do have to the highest bidder once they cash their welfare cheque.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Geez!! Frank Klegon is still hanging on at Chrysler after this last round of white collar cuts???

      We used to call him "Kling-On". There are much better (& younger) people at Chrysler... or there WERE (last I knew).
      • 6 Years Ago
      Please build the 6.4lL, 525hp Challenger. Not everyone wants an econobox.
      • 6 Years Ago
      hehe. I thought this was an Initial D related post at first....
        • 6 Years Ago
        Ditto. Hey, at this point, they might need the Takahashi Brothers and Takumi to get them back onto their feet. RWD Coupe anyone?
      • 6 Years Ago
      The new Grand Cherokee's doing durability testing with the Phoenix engines are currently averaging ~26-28mpg@75mph.

      The phoenix is definitely alive and well.
        • 6 Years Ago
        So, about 21 mpg overall, I'd wager. At 75 mph, 28 mpg, that's around highway. Therefore I'd say its city ratings would be close to what current 28 mpg highway cars get on the city. That would be around 19 mpg. Therefore, somewhere in the range of 21-23 mpg overall. That's not counting aerodynamics, but I don't really think aerodynamics would measure very much at lower speeds.

        I'll admit, I'm skeptical of Chrysler's long term longevity, but getting that kind of mileage out of a Jeep is truly a feat. All right. If you can get that kind of mileage into a Dodge Ram I'd like it. Put it into a Challenger and it would be even better.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ Luigian

        I purchased an Auto R/T Challenger a few months ago. I'm currently running @ 20 MPG combined. The R/T Auto has the MDS system, of course, which puts the 5.7 V8 around 25 MPG @ highway cruising.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Then they had better talk it up before Congress.

        If they don't then I would say it's not true.

        Something that big, getting that kind of MPG at that speed is something to crow about.
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