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In the coming years, Chrysler will add a megadose of Fiat's fuel-saving technology to tame its gas-guzzling lineup of vehicles. The goal: Hit the target that the Fiat-Chrysler chief executive officer, Sergio Marchionne, set: increasing fuel economy 25 percent by 2014.

Chrysler will take a multi-pronged approach to reach this goal. With assistance from Fiat, Chrysler will shift from six- and eight-cylinder engines to more four-cylinder units and employ Fiat's award-winning MultiAir technology if possible. Aside from downsized engines and MultiAir, Chrysler will license transmission technology from ZF to replace some of the automaker's existing slushboxes. Eight- and nine-speeds transmissions are in the works, with the former showing up in rear-wheel-drive vehicles and the later in front-wheel-drive vehicles.

Additionally, Chrysler will offer more direct-injected turbocharged engines, debut a dual-clutch transmission in 2012 and, of course, launch the electric Fiat 500 in 2012. Chrysler says this lengthy list of changes is exactly what's needed, and we only have to wait three years to find out if it's right.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 18 Comments
      Nick
      • 3 Years Ago
      American consumers religiously value their cars by the number of cylinders though. It took a decade to switch from V8 to V6, and switching to I4 won't happen overnight either. I hope Fiat has some efficient V6 motors to make the move smoother.
        Snark
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Nick
        Nick, your suppositions are entirely off-base. We've already switched to four-cylinder engines in most cars; the majority of non-fleet sales are I4 engines. V8s are only 17% of the US market, mostly in trucks and SUVs. The switch is happening as we speak and will only accelerate in the coming years. Americans may value V8s, but most of them by I4s, especially in sedans, hatches, and crossovers.
      GeorgeS
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think the big "generator" looking thing on the end is the drive for the VVT system.
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      Chrysler automatic transmissions have always been problematic. So the plus side here is that you have plenty of extra gears when you lose a gear. Maybe they'll last 100,000 miles?
        GeorgeS
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        2WM, ZF transmissions have a pretty good reputation. Lot's of racers use them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ZF_transmissions
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        ZF, yes. Chrysler-made transmissions, no, no way. They are the worst. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultradrive ^-- multiple decades of Chrysler transmissions that fail right around 100k, often much sooner. Notice these words: "Chrysler will license transmission technology from ZF" ... Don't even get me started on their motors. Thank god i convinced my girlfriend to sell her 2007 Charger, at 35k it was already ticking and doing strange things.
          GeorgeS
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Well, in the 60-79 time frame Chrysler had some nice transmissions. My dad had a 65 Belvedire w/ a 318. The nice thing was that the transmission had a nice positive shift....ie it slammed 'em pretty good maybe that's why they wore out sooner.
      Justin Forposting
      • 3 Years Ago
      8 speed, 9 speed, when will this madness stop? Someone needs to invent infinite speed; some kind of transmission that continuously varies. I just don't know what to call it.
        Brian P
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Justin Forposting
        A CVT that has mechanical efficiency the equal of a gear-to-gear transmission has not been developed. The ZF 8-speed transmission is an interesting design that only has 5 clutches in it - no more than most 5-speed or 6-speed auto-boxes have - so why not?
        Nick
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Justin Forposting
        It's called CVT. It works very well under certain conditions, but can't handle high powered motors. It is also quite heavy.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Justin Forposting
        CVT maybe?
        Robdaemon
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Justin Forposting
        Clearly you've never owned / driven a car with a CVT. I do. I hate the transmission on my car. (2008 Nissan Maxima 3.5SE) The CVT is simply not responsive enough. An 8 speed is.
      GeorgeS
      • 3 Years Ago
      Multi air technology uses valve timing strategy to vary the amount of air into the engine versus a throttle plate thereby reducing pumping losses. There are other advantages as well. Her's a link that explains it: http://www.fptmultiair.com/flash_multiair_eng/home.htm
      tozzou
      • 3 Years Ago
      The two crappy carmaker on the planet togheter, and about the article.."fiat technology"...what?????
      brianXL
      • 3 Years Ago
      Diesel Grand Cherokee please! Then I can have a rational, dual-use vehicle to tow my racecar and drive to work. I could buy a Touareg, but it's $50K!
      guyverfanboy
      • 3 Years Ago
      I hope this also means multi-air for Dodge vehicles like the Challenger and Charger! Hopefully start-stop too.
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