If anyone's talking about the Dodge Ram today, it's because Chrysler stampeded a herd of cattle through the streets of Detroit as part of the company's announcement for the 2009 Dodge Ram. But, according to what is - we think - a leaked Chrysler press release on CJRJ.com, a Chinese website, it looks like the really big news (for ABG readers, anyway) is that the Dodge Ram 1500 will be getting a two-mode hybrid system in 2010. This will expand Ram buyers' choices to three gasoline, the HEMI hybrid and also a new Cummins turbodiesel engine coming after 2009.

The hybrid powerplant is the same two-mode system that we can see in the Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango. The press release (also pasted after the jump) says "the engine will meet 50- state emissions standards, and will deliver a 30-percent fuel economy improvement." Don't worry, we'll track down all the details we can before we leave the Detroit Auto Show.

UPDATE: we found a more standard/official press release that matches the earlier find here.

[Source: Chrysler LLC (we're pretty sure) via JRJ.com]

Chrysler''s Fuel-efficient HEMI(R´╝ëHybrid to Power All-New Dodge Ram
AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Chrysler LLC added to its list of fuel efficient powertrain offerings for the all-new Dodge Ram 1500 pickup today, announcing that the company's advanced two-mode hybrid will join the light-duty Dodge Ram powertrain lineup for 2010.

The Dodge Ram HEMI Hybrid joins the Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango in the Chrysler hybrid vehicle lineup.

Last year, the company also announced that it would introduce a Cummins turbodiesel engine after 2009 for the Dodge Ram 1500. The engine will meet 50- state emissions standards, and will deliver a 30-percent fuel economy improvement.

"Dodge Ram is known for capability, utility and performance," said Frank Klegon, Executive Vice President - Product Development, Chrysler LLC. "The addition of hybrid and diesel powertrains to our all-new Dodge Ram 1500 lineup is sure to attract an array of new customers looking for the ultimate combination of full-size pickup fuel efficiency, performance and capability."

The hybrid and diesel offerings for Dodge Ram are in addition to three gasoline powertrain options:

-- An all-new 5.7-liter HEMI V-8, that delivers a 4 percent increase in fuel economy for 2009 while producing 380 horsepower and 404 lb.-ft. of torque
-- A new for 2008 4.7-liter flex-fuel V-8, that resulted in an increase in fuel economy while producing 310 horsepower and 330 lb.-ft. of torque
-- A 3.7-liter V-6 that generates 215 horsepower and 235 lb.-ft. of torque

The renowned HEMI powerplant, in hybrid form, will continue to feature Chrysler's Multi-displacement System (MDS), which allows the engine to seamlessly alternate between four-cylinder mode when less power is needed and V-8 mode when more power is in demand. The two-mode hybrid system provides assistance from electric motors allowing the HEMI V-8 to remain in four- cylinder mode more often than without a hybrid powertrain, improving overall fuel economy.

The Advanced Two-mode Hybrid System

Chrysler's advanced, state-of-the-art two-mode full hybrid system - developed in partnership with General Motors, Mercedes-Benz and The BMW Group - integrates proven automatic-transmission technology with a patented hybrid- electric drive system to deliver the world''s first two-mode full hybrid.

As a result of low- and high-speed electrically variable transmission (EVT) modes, the system is defined as a "two-mode hybrid." In addition, the sophisticated fuel-saving system incorporates four fixed-gear ratios for high efficiency and power-handling capabilities. During the two EVT modes, the system can use the electric motors to improve fuel economy, acceleration, and for regenerative braking to utilize energy that would normally be lost during braking or deceleration. The energy is stored in the batteries for later use.

The system's two modes are optimized for city and highway driving.

In the first mode - at low speed and with light loads - the vehicle can operate in three ways:

-- Electric power only
-- Engine power only
-- Any combination of engine and electric power

The two-mode hybrid provides all of the fuel-saving benefits of a full- hybrid system, including electric-only operation. In this mode, the engine is "shut off," with the vehicle moving under electric-only power at low speed. The result is a significant reduction in fuel consumption in heavy stop-and-go traffic.

The second mode is used primarily at highway speeds. In addition to electric assist, the second mode provides full power from the 5.7-liter HEMI? V-8 when conditions demand it, such as when passing, pulling a trailer or climbing a steep grade.

Hybrid Development Center

Located in Troy, Mich., the Hybrid Development Center (General Motors, Chrysler, Mercedes-Benz and The BMW Group) jointly developed the overall modular two-mode hybrid system and the individual components: electric motors, transmission, high-voltage battery, high-performance electronics, wiring, safety systems, energy management and hybrid-system control units. In addition, the Hybrid Development Center is responsible for system integration and project management.

Chrysler Advanced Propulsion Technology

Hybrid technology is one part of Chrysler's advanced propulsion technology umbrella, which also includes efficient gasoline engines, advanced clean- diesel technology, biofuel capable powertrain and zero-emission fuel cell vehicles.

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