Chrysler improves efficiency of top-drawer minivans

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General Motors has proven that it's not all that difficult to eke a bit more efficiency out of already-finished models with its XFE line. By waving a magic wand over the engine's computer, subtle reprogramming tweaks can make a big difference. Other tricks involve altering transmission gear ratios for improved efficiency. Chrysler has gone ahead and made changes such as this to its minivans equipped with the top-level 4.0-liter SOHC V6 engine and six speed automatic transmission combo. The biggest changes seem to be to that auto gearbox, which sees a lower first gear for better take-off and more closely-spaced ratios the rest of the way up. The newly-optimized engine features 251-horsepower and 259 lb.-ft. of torque. The end result is an improvement in fuel mileage of up to eight percent. For the number crunchers out there, that puts the Dodge Caravan and Chrysler Town and Country at 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway.

[Source: Chrysler]


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

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Sept. 10,2008 - 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 Chrysler Town & 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(TM) 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(TM) 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.

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