Ram 1500 Plug-In Hybrid pickup truck and Chrysler Town & Country plug-in hybrid minivan, April 2012Enlarge Photo
Pretty much every carmaker offers at least one hybrid model these days, even if they're notably unenthusiastic about it.
(Have you ever seen an Audi Q5 Hybrid? Ahem.)
But one carmaker is missing from a list that now numbers more than a dozen. And that maker is Chrysler-Fiat.
Sergio Marchionne and his black Ferrari EnzoEnlarge Photo
Back in January 2011, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said at that year's Detroit Auto Show that the company would launch a Chrysler 300 Hybrid sedan during 2013. It would have used the company's new 3.6-liter V-6 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission.
That same month, Marchionne also said there'd be a hybrid minivan joining the 300 Hybrid on roughly the same timeframe.
Didn't happen either.
It's not surprising, in a way. The combined Chrysler-Fiat entity has much, much greater challenges than engineering hybrid powertrains.
Most notable among them: launching new cars and crossovers based on the adapted Fiat/Alfa Romeo underpinnings that will give it the economies of scale to compete in the global maket.
The first of those, the Dodge Dart, has been a disappointment, both as a product and in its sales volumes.
The second, the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, hit the market last fall after several delays to get the control logic right on its new nine-speed automatic transmission.
We drove it last weekend and are cautiously impressed (wait for our drive report in a few days).
And the third new model will be the 2015 Chrysler 200 unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show two weeks ago.
Chrysler has been notably unenthusiastic about building electric and hybrid vehicles, though the company likely knows it will have to add those skills to its capabilities sooner or later.
Meanwhile, it's boosting its fuel economy by offering diesel models. The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel is now on the market, although the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is still MIA.
We'll see some hybrids from Chrysler-Fiat sooner or later, we suspect.
Meanwhile, which vehicle(s) from their lineup should be offered first as hybrids?
Leave us your thoughts in the Comments below.