Is Chrysler planning to introduce a third diesel-powered vehicle, after its 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel and the Ram 1500 diesel pickup truck?
According to Saad Chehab, head of the Chrysler brand, the automaker is considering a diesel version of its full-size four-door sedan model, the Chrysler 300.
But, he added during an interview with Ward’s Auto, a final decision on a more fuel-efficient diesel 300 is still some way off.
European buyers can already order a Chrysler 300 with a diesel V-6 engine supplied by VM Motori, the same company that supplies engines for the two upcoming U.S. diesels from Chrysler.
As fitted to the 2014 Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel, the 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel puts out 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque and returns up to 30 mpg on the highway,
The Chrysler’s 300 is already offered with the VM Motori diesel overseas, though more stringent U.S. emissions standards would require additional development work.
Chehab suggested that a different Chrysler might also get a diesel option: the next generation of the Chrysler 200 (nee Sebring).
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee at 2013 Detroit Auto ShowEnlarge Photo
That car is being developed on the same flexible underpinnings used for the current Dodge Dart and upcoming 2014 Jeep Cherokee, and will debut early next year. The platform has been designed to accommodate a diesel.
Chehab said that the issue with the 300 would be whether customers will pay the additional cost (about $7,500 in the Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel) of the more expensive engine.
While customers of Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen have shown their willingness to pay the premium for higher-mileage diesel engines, Chrysler wants to get some market feedback from the Grand Cherokee before committing to diesels in other product lines.