While Chrysler was an original partner in development of the Two-Mode Hybrid system used in pickups and sport utilities by Chevrolet, GMC, Cadillac, as well as upcoming sport utilities from BMW and Mercedes-Benz, its hybrid history has not been happy.
The company made fewer than 1,000 Dodge Durango Hybrids and Chrysler Aspen Hybrids before killing those large sport utilities last December and shutting the Delaware plant that built them.
But recent reports indicate its next large green truck, the 2011 Dodge Ram Hybrid pickup, remains on track for a launch next year. Details of the hybrid pickup, announced at the January 2008 launch of the redesigned (and well-received) Dodge Ram, will likely be revealed at January's Detroit Auto Show.
Ram Hybrid Badge
2009 Dodge Durango Hybrid launch at 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show
It's even possible the Ram Hybrid could be unveiled at December's Los Angeles Auto Show, where the Durango Hybrid was launched back in 2007. That show plays heavily on its green-car reputation, so it might offer a good debut for the more fuel-efficient pickup.
Two-Mode: All About Torque
The Two-Mode Hybrid system was designed from scratch to provide torque in the largest and heaviest of rear-drive vehicles and their all-wheel-drive versions.
As fitted to the 2009 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid and 2009 GMC Sierra Hybrid large pickup trucks, it happily handles towing up to 6,100 pounds.
The 5.7-liter Hemi engine used in the short-lived Durango and Aspen Hybrids produced 345 horsepower, paired with two 87-horsepower electric motors. The Ram Hybrid should be equally beefy, though no performance statistics have yet been released.