Chrysler not planning mass-market hybrid car before 2015

Chrysler Group LLC, which recently announced its 5-year product and business plan, has no plans to accelerate the development of a mass-market hybrid or a plug-in electric passenger car. The Auburn Hills automaker plans to rely heavily on small Fiat engines to improve the fuel-economy of its vehicle fleet.

Chrysler’s head of powertrain operations,¬†Paolo Ferrero, said that future Chrysler, Jeep or Dodge vehicles will use the MultiAir engines that will be offered in the Fiat 500 when it arrives next year. The MultiAir system delivers a mix of fuel and air to boost horsepower of smaller engines while improving fuel-economy. Chrysler will also use Fiat’s dual dry-clutch transmission, which will be introduced on the 2011 Chrysler 300.

A mass-market hybrid from Chrysler isn’t planned before 2015, even though the company’s 5-year business plan assumes that gas will return to $4 a gallon. The Dodge Ram 1500 light-duty pickup is the only model scheduled to get a mild-hybrid system sometime next year.

It was earlier this week that Chrysler has dismantled a team of engineers dedicated to developing a range of electric-vehicles under Fiat SpA.

– By: Stephen Calogera

Source: Free Press