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Chrysler Developing New Diesel Powertrains Quickly
March 14, 2013

Chrysler has released several new engines and drivetrains over the past couple of years, and this process has kept their engineers working hard. But is this short engine development time hurting quality?

Example: One of the complicated tasks involved in this process was the attachment of their new 8-speed transmission to a 3.0 liter diesel engine for the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee. This type of combination is a first for Chrysler, yet this project took only two years.

“We started on it in February 2011. (There was) not much time,” Bob Lee, vice president-engine and electrified propulsion, tells Wards Auto.

The diesel engine was developed out of collaboration with Fiat, VM Motori, and Bosch. The U.S. market is especially challenging for diesel engines, but consumers seem to be warming up to them. They key here is to deliver a quality product that does what Chrysler says it can do; provide ample power and improved fuel economy over the gas-fed V6.

The Ram 1500 will also receive the combined 3.0 L diesel engine and 8-speed transmission, though there are key differences between the combinations to better handle the rugged wear-and-tear pickups are put through. Still, fuel economy should be a good deal better than either the gas V6 or V8, and we all know diesel engines pack a torquey punch.

Still, Chrysler’s timing is great, because the market share for diesel is increasing. Hopefully the short turnaround time didn’t affect quality, or else Americans might once again be turned off by diesel engines.
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