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Next Diesel Candidate For Chrysler: Full-Size 300 Sedan?

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2013 Chrysler 300 Motown Edition

2013 Chrysler 300 Motown Edition

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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 Show

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee at 2013 Detroit Auto Show

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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.

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Comments (18)
  1. There can be little doubt that Chrysler Group, under Fiat guidance and vision, is being refined into world class products. There is no doubt the process has borne fruit and is accelerating. The 300 started life as a pretty darn good vehicle, but the refreshed styling and engineering improvements have made it a competitive automobile against the best domestics and many imports. The fact that Fiat has committed a number of it's future vehicles and Chrysler Group vehicles to a modernized and highly refined version of this Chrysler/Mercedes platform bodes well for future 300s. The diesel is one more step in the Chrysler 300 journey to best in class, global status.
     
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  2. @Bill: I knew it was you just by reading the tone of the comment even before I looked at the name! We haven't had any unquestioning, over-the-top, laudatory comments on Chrysler products in some time.
     
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  3. John, I don't believe these particular comments are "over the top". I am an admitted and committed Chrysler loyalist, but fact is the new 300 is a very refined and top shelf vehicle that missed "Car of the Year" designation by one point and only because the shift handle took some getting use to (true)and the 8 speed ZF automatic was available in only the V-6 (now rectified). As an owner of a 2012 300 with the V-6 nothing I have said is without merit.
    A close look at the new product Grand Cherokee, Cherokee and Dart attests to the validity of the statement IMO. I'll strive though to keep my Chrysler comments as laudable as possible. Would you expect less from MoPar Willy?
     
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  4. "As an owner of a 2012 300 with the V-6 nothing I have said is without merit."

    That depends on who you ask: to me, 300 looks like a wannabe Audi, and a sedan-only, automatic-only, no diesel, one-choice-only makes it not worth owning.
     
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  5. "There can be little doubt that Chrysler Group, under Fiat guidance and vision, is being refined into world class products."

    It would be more precise to write that FIAT turned around a company on her deathbed, but lot of work remains.

    1. the Pentastar engine needs to die a swift, no regrets, no remorse death;

    2. Chrysler must stop designing the interior and exterior of the vehicles, yesterday;

    3. Alfa Romeos need to be brought over, especially the diesel models, and they must not be tampered with, except to federalize them

    4. Alfa Romeo must do the exterior and interior design for all Chrysler products going forward.

    In other words: Chrysler should not be allowed anywhere near car design or marketing going forward.
     
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  6. @Annatar: Bwahahahahahahahahaha!

    (1) Won't happen; the new Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 (coming soon in a 3.2-l version) is a mainstay of the company for years to come.

    (2) Won't happen.

    (3) Will only happen in small numbers, and likely no diesels.

    (4) You propose that a brand whose global sales last year were less than 200,000 run all design for a company whose sales were almost an order of magnitude larger.

    If you ran Chrysler-Fiat, these might be worthy of discussion. But you don't; Mr. Marchionne does. So your notions of what Chrysler "must" and "must not" do doesn't carry a great deal of weight.
     
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  7. I know what role Chrysler has earmarked for Pentastar, but they are wrong. So very wrong, they are blindsided. That Chrysler only has this one engine as its mainstay solution to the problem of nearly going bankrupt should serve as a cautionary tale.

    "(4) You propose that a brand whose global sales last year were less than 200,000 run all design for a company whose sales were almost an order of magnitude larger."

    Yes, I do; in a market where everybody is the same, one needs a diferentiator. Alfa Romeo might be mismanaged, but it is world renown for its collaboration with Pininfarina and Giugiarro, and it is well known as pinnacle of design, what other car makers want to be when they grow up.
     
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  8. "If you ran Chrysler-Fiat, these might be worthy of discussion. But you don't; Mr. Marchionne does. So your notions of what Chrysler "must" and "must not" do doesn't carry a great deal of weight."

    Maybe Mr Marchionne should hire me then. I would be swift and merciless in execution; under me Chrysler would be singing a different tune, I guarantee you.
     
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  9. Isn't Chrysler building a Jeep CJ with diesel? I almost bought a CJ several years ago- bought a Subaru instead, since my Impreza gets 23-33 mpg, versus the Jeep's 14-17 mpg or so! (this was back in 2003)
     
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  10. @Jeff: Chrysler has not announced a Jeep Wrangler (the modern version of the CJ) with a diesel. Right now, only the Ram 1500 and the Jeep Grand Cherokee are confirmed with diesels.
     
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  11. The Jeep can already be configured with the diesel engine, with a side note of "late availability" on the Jeep's web site.
     
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  12. I can't wait as i like the chrysler 300 a it;s a class vehicle;
    truly a American type tradition for a luxury sedan.
     
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  13. "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."

    Why would they pay for a lie? It is a lie propagated by marketing departments that diesel engines cost more to make.

    If Chrysler prices the diesel option higher, they will soo learn the error of their ways. How foolish to think that one can slap a "premium tax" based solely on belief!
     
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  14. @Annatar: I've had diesel engineers and program executives from three separate carmakers (VW Group, BMW, Mercedes-Benz) tell me that diesels cost roughly 15 percent more to manufacture than a gasoline engine of the same output power.

    So contrary to your rather sweeping assertion, it is NOT a lie according to three rather well-respected global automakers who produce diesels.

    I should point out that the $7,500 noted in the article above is actually the price premium Jeep charges for the Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel--which may or may not have any relationship to the COST differential. The sentence is badly worded in that respect.
     
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  15. Mr Voelcker, I am an engineer, and I am telling you that those executives are either grossly misinformed, or that they are lying straight to your face, which does not surprise me at all.
     
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  16. Either they are misinformed, lying, or just plain mis-managing, which is yet another in a long list of reasons to get rid of middle management. Modern diesel engines have less parts and weigh less than their gasoline counterparts, so somebody is failing somewhere. We have advanced finite element analysis tools with which we can design an engine and put loads with double precision and millions of degrees of freedom, all before the engine even hits the first prototype, so someone needs to get fired over what they told you. We can simulate any kind of stress and load you can imagine, including the flow of any fluid or gas inside of the engine with extremely high precision, and this has cut costs to almost nothing.
     
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  17. "We can simulate any kind of stress and load you can imagine, including the flow of any fluid or gas inside of the engine with extremely high precision, and this has cut costs to almost nothing. "

    A "real" engineer who works with real life suppliers would know that their benchtop design will always have to account for the skill level of the assembly workers. Gasoline engines can be made for about $2-$3 per HP. I don't think diesel is the same especially if you include all the emission regulation components..

    Just curious, what kind of "engineer" are you? and what kind of engineering work do you do if you don't mind me asking?
     
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  18. Parts are now milled out of solid blocks by robots, and what still needs assembled manually is done using specialized tools, so the chance of mis-assembly is statistically very small.
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