2013 Chrysler 300 Hybrid and gas/electric minivan model confirmed

By Editors on January 21, 2011 1:28 PM

Beyond its joint program with the EPA that's focused on developing a hydraulic hybrid system for passenger cars, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has revealed plans to bring a more conventional gasoline-electric hybrid version of the new Chrysler 300 to market here in 2013. He followed up comments initially made at the Detroit Auto Show by telling workers at the automaker's plant in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, that a hybrid minivan also will be joining the corporate lineup, although he gave no confirmation as to whether it would be based on a next-gen version of the Chrysler Town & Country or Dodge Grand Caravan. Both minivans are currently produced at the Canadian facility along with the Chrysler 300, but Marchionne previously indicated that one of the two will likely be replaced by some sort of new multipurpose "people mover" when the full redesign does occur. Windsor also will be the future home of their hybrid offshoots, including a rebadged Chrysler 300/300 Hybrid that will be sold in Europe as the Lancia Thema/Thema Hybrid.

While few other details have been released, the Chrysler 300 Hybrid reportedly will be fitted with a new ZF-designed eight-speed automatic transmission. Marchionne indicated that the hybrids will share the same basic technology, which is thought to be a new in-house design and not based on the Two-Mode hybrid transmission that was co-developed several years ago with BMW, Daimler and General Motors. Given the desire to see this new hybrid tech generate as much CAFE-related mpg benefit as possible, it seems highly probable the package will be match an electric motor with a dedicated variation of the firm's new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 gasoline engine, which is common to both the Chrysler 300 and the minivan platforms.

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