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Could a Chrysler 300 diesel make a stylish hybrid substitute – and a statement?

Chrysler 300The Chrysler 300 is one of the most intimidating sedans around, but the rumble of its petrol engine could soon be replaced with the whoosh of a turbodiesel.

Chrysler brand president and CEO Saad Chehab told WardsAuto that the Auburn Hills brigade is seriously considering a diesel 300.

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Chrysler already sells the 300 in Europe (as the Lancia Thema) with a diesel engine built by VM Motori, the company that designed the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 used in the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The EcoDiesel, which produces 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, but could fit in the 300’s engine bay. The diesel Jeep even uses the same eight-speed automatic transmission Chrysler offers in the 300.

However, Chrysler feels it will have to trim the $7,500 premium the EcoDiesel adds to the Grand Cherokee’s price tag to make a 300 diesel viable.

If things go well, Chrysler could even put a diesel in the 200 when that car goes through a redesign next year.

Compression ignition seems to be Chrysler’s green technology of choice. Like most of its competitors, the Pentastar has dramatically increased the fuel efficiency of its gasoline engines over the past few years, but it hasn’t developed anything beyond that.

Chrysler doesn’t sell any hybrids, and research on extended-range plug-ins was halted last September when some test battery packs overheated. The only electric car in the company’s portfolio is the lowly Fiat 500e.

So while Ford and General Motors chase kilowatts, Chrysler could distinguish itself by becoming a diesel specialist. It would be nice to have an alternative to Volkswagen’s ubiquitous TDI models.

Of course, even VW is looking at hybrids now, so it’s unclear how long Chrysler could go without adding one to its lineup. For now, though, a 300 diesel would give Chrysler a fuel-efficient model. Even a diesel’s sound is more intimidating than the silence of an electric motor.

The 300 Diesel, imported from Detroit. Would you buy one if it got big mileage numbers? Comment below.

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Chrysler’s ubiquitous Pentastar V6 set for an upgrade with turbos and direct injection
chrysler pentastar v6 to get turbocharging and direct injection for better gas mileage  with cover

As far a modern engines go, Chrysler's 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 is one of the most versatile, finding its way into everything from the Jeep Wrangler to the Dodge Challenger.

Still, with fuel economy standards getting tougher worldwide, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) thinks it's time to give the Pentastar an upgrade.

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Chrysler 300 SRT to meet the reaper while Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT lives on
2014 Chrysler 300 SRT

Among the many revelations to come out of Fiat-Chrysler's new five-year plan was the merger of the Dodge and SRT brands, leaving Dodge as Chrysler's performance outlet.
However, that leaves a couple of loose ends. Namely, the two SRT models that don't wear Dodge badges.
It appears, there's both good news and bad news. Car and Driver reports that the Chrysler 300 SRT will be discontinued, but the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT will live on.
Why the Jeep and not the Chrysler?
Weirdly, the Grand Cherokee SRT is the brand's best-selling model, so it makes sense to keep it for the time being. Buyers apparently love their high-performance SUVs.
SRT, which stands for Street and Racing Technology, is essentially Chrysler's version of Mercedes-Benz AMG, an in-house tuner that makes hot rod versions of the company's products.
More recently, Chrysler attempted to grow SRT into a standalone brand, even re-badging the Dodge Viper as an SRT.
Now that Dodge is taking over the performance role - and Chrysler and Jeep are taking on its old role as a mainstream brand - it really doesn't make sense to continue building SRT vehicles for other brands.
Fans of the 300 SRT can always look to the Dodge Charger, which is essentially a less-luxurious version of Chrysler's big sedan. Both cars ride on the same updated LX platform, which can be traced back to an older Mercedes design, and feature the same glorious HEMI V8 engines.
A new Charger SRT is expected after the refreshed 2015 Charger base model hits showrooms later this year.

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Could Dodge’s rumored ‘Hellcat’ V8 outshine the Viper’s V10?
dodge hellcat v8 engine rumors 2014 challenger srt

Chrysler seems to think giving engines cool names will imbue them with special powers.
First came the fuel-efficient "Hurricane" four-cylinder and now, at the other end of the spectrum, we have the "Hellcat".
The company is rumored to be preparing a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 for use in the next Dodge Challenger SRT. While the company hasn't even confirmed the hellacious engine's existence, reports suggest its power output will be in the 580 to 640 horsepower range.
Note that last figure matches the power rating of the SRT Viper's 8.4-liter V10. Could it be that a hot-rodded version of the Challenger will rival the near-supercar Viper in grunt?
SRT president and CEO Ralph Gilles hinted at this possibility in an interview with Hot Rod, when the magazine suggested Chrysler was losing to Ford and Chevrolet in the Detroit horsepower war.
"We have a situation where, you know - we may have a situation - where the flagship car is not the most powerful car in our arsenal; how do we explain that to ourselves?" He said there is an "internal horsepower race" going on at Chrysler.
In the same comment, Gilles said SRT will focus on "usable horsepower" and improving vehicles' power-to-weight ratios, presumably as an alternative to increasing horsepower for its own sake.
While SRT could probably extract more power from the Viper's V10 (perhaps by giving it a supercharger of its own), it's admittedly hard to see where it can go from here.
A more powerful Viper would be faster, but pushing the car further into supercar territory would require a level of refinement to rival that of Ferrari or Porsche, and to keep minimally-trained owners from killing themselves.
So as SRT seeks to improve the Viper, other factors will become as important - if not more important - than increasing horsepower.
As for a Hellcat-powered Challenger producing as much grunt as a Viper, keep in mind that there's already one Detroit muscle car that's accomplished that feat. The outgoing Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang has 662 hp, courtesy of a 5.8-liter supercharged V8.
The GT500 has always been more about top speed than handling, but a two-seat sports car like the Viper has to excel at both.
Maybe SRT has decided to give its super sports car more than just a venomous bite, while giving enthusiasts another high-horsepower model to drool over.

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