• Dec 2, 2008
It's pretty obvious at this point that Cerberus doesn't want to keep Chrysler, and turbulent economic realities have scuttled what few available prospects there would have been for new ownership. Some have openly wondered whether team Pentastar is even working on new products at all. Product development VP Frank Klegon insists that new Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep models are on their way, and he points to the next 300/Charger as proof.

Klegon told Automotive News at the LA Auto Show that the 2011 redesign of these two large, rear-wheel-drive sedans will beat projected 2011 CAFE standards. That feat will be accomplished with improvements to aerodynamics, axle ratios and upgraded engines. Klegon mentioned that the upcoming Phoenix engines, the development of which has not been cancelled, would motivate the Charger and 300. The new Phoenix family of V6 engines will have variable valve timing, cylinder deactivation and direct injection among its many efficiency increasing technologies. Automotive News also mentioned that Chrysler may employ an eight-speed automatic transmission to further improve performance and fuel economy. We don't know of any Chrysler transmission projects that are this ambitious, and Daimler currently utilizes only seven cogs in its Mercedes lineup, but suppliers like Aisin and ZF already have 8 speeds on the market.

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


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 35 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Uh . . . the headline reads "Next-gen Chrysler 300/Dodge Charger to beat CAFE standards."

      The car is still 2 years out, final numbers aren't available yet. But this indicates it should be pretty good.

      And, the photo is the current car, not the 2011.

      So, what was your point again?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'd like to think that I helped in submitting this story, as found at Allpar.com forums. My first email to Autoblog. Keep up the good work, guys. Love the podcasts.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I really wish them well. I love my Magnum R/T and can't wait for the LX replacements.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Me too, I'll be due for a new car when the LX replacements come out and I'm really anxious to see them. Love my current 300 though :)
      • 6 Years Ago
      What does "beat CAFE standards" mean? CAFE is a fleet average. Any single car is just part of the picture. And the 300/Dodge Charger are not going to come in above average for car fuel economy, so the only way they can really help Chrysler's CAFE average is by not being quite as much of a boat anchor at the bottom end of the scale.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "And the 300/Dodge Charger are not going to come in above average for car fuel economy"

        That's a lofty discount of engine and transmission tech you know nothing about....
        • 6 Years Ago
        You're reading too much into it. CAFE is Corporate Average Fuel Economy, as I'm sure you well know. Beating the CAFE standard simply means that the car will have a higher fuel economy than the required standard for CAFE. It does not mean that the entire corporate fleet will meet or exceed CAFE, as CAFE requirements are intended to compel the manufacturer to do. However, beating the standard is a good thing for a full sized car.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yep, that's right.

        Physics trumps technology.

        This could beat the mandated 27.5 CAFE average if you count only highway rating. That's not how CAFE is calculated though.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The important question for me is: Will it still feature a HEMI V8?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Meh, I won't be buying one if that's the case. I'm not interested in a tiny torqueless cammer engine.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Phoenix FTW.

        It looks like a 4.7l v8 variant is in the planning stages.
      • 6 Years Ago
      One of the benefits of Cerebus management is that they are not reluctant at all to abandon some market segments. Every abandoned segment that Chrysler is not competitive in, makes an acquisition simple and easier, and less complex.

      It also frees engineering management to do a more thorough and complete job on the fewer vehicles that they do build. It would appear that they have been spreading themselves too thin.

      It seems that with most recent products, the sizes and designs are not bad, but merely unfinished and unrefined. I offer the example of the Caliber and Sebring platforms. For example, the derided Sebring/Avenger has a competitive sized basic platform with the requisite components FWD, multilink RS, acceptable weight, good bending stiffness Hz, etc. They need some handling refinements, NVH attention, improvements in the World engine, namely DI and detuning for a earlier broader torque range and better, transmissions such as the 6 speed DSC, so they don't have to be tuned so nosily to extract maximum power, as they have been to overcome transmission deficiencies, and some tender loving care, and they are competitive, not hopelessly outclassed.
      • 6 Years Ago
      good move.
      • 6 Years Ago
      And they are really good looking cars on top of these new "claims" of vastly improved fuel economy...

      I am getting more and more excited about these cars...
      leslie
      • 2 Years Ago
      when is body kit for 200 coming out
      • 6 Years Ago
      #1 So what will be the MPG on this car?

      #2 Also it looks old already, they should have made more changes to the outside of the car. Why not do it now instead of later once once they will realize that sales are too weak, ala Sebring, Caliber and others.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The picture is of the current car, not the redesigned model that is still 2 years out.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You have seen the new version? Awesome, please give us a link! Dumb ass.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is all well and good, and I'm certainly not knocking them, but I'm interested in what they do with the rest of the lineup, particularly the designs. I think I read they were moving to a more "organic" look or something like that? It has me curious what an "organic" 300C will look like.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Maybe something similar to the Nassau concept? That was actually a pretty good looking vehicle.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Hopefully it looks like a 1st gen neon, the Chrysler Akino concept, and maybe a '57 c300 / '69 Dodge Charger
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well, at least they know their current V6's are hilariously bad. And the newest ones are already nicely improved over slightly older ones. The smaller V6 in the last generation was quite possibly the worst engine I've ever witnessed in a car of any kind, and that includes a 58 horsepower Nissan I4 in an 84 sentra. I remember flooring the pedal in the Town and Country, then hearing the engine scream for mercy...but the speedometer would do nothing. After a good 5 seconds of crazy loud grinding, it would finally start to very slowly crawl up in speed. Getting from 50-60mph felt like it took longer than most cars take to get from 0-60. This is a vehicle that had almost a 12 second 0-60 with no passengers in the car, and of course I was using it like a van is supposed to be used, so the 0-60 time must have been something like 18 seconds. It certainly felt like it.
      Come to think of it, I think a prerequisite of any minivan reviews should come with a review of how it behaves when there are actually people in the damned vehicle-what's the point of having a 7 passenger van if you can't fill it with more than 2 people before it slows to a crawl?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Sounds like a vehicle that had other issues.

        The T&C was available with both the 3.3 and 3.8 v6 engine family.

        The 3.3 was introduced in 1990 with 150hp and 180 torque. A revised intake plenum in 1994 increased power to 162hp/194tq. 1996 brought a revised intake and exhaust for enhanced torque, 158hp/203tq. In 2001 the 3.3 was extensively revised with a new variable intake system, higher compression ratio, and new piston heads, bringing power to 180hp/210tq.


        The 3.8 was introduced in 1990 with 150hp and 213 torque. A revised intake plenum in 1994 increased power to 162hp/213tq. 1996 brought a revised intake and exhaust for enhanced torque, 166hp/227tq. In 1998, revisions brought the engine to 180hp/240tq. In 2001 the 3.8 was extensively revised with a new variable intake system, higher compression ratio, and new piston heads, bringing power to 215hp/245tq.
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