2008 Chrysler Aspen Hybrid

2008 Chrysler Aspen Hybrid Chrysler’s first hybrid offerings are the traditional small, funky looking hybrids that Honda and Toyota started out with, oh no. Chrysler didn’t even go the Nissan route and hybrid-ize their midsize sedan, the Sebring. Instead, they’ve decided to go where no automaker has gone before – full-size SUV hybrids.

Say what? Full-size SUV’s are among the least efficient vehicles around – shouldn’t hybrid technology focus on the already efficient vehicles? Well, depends on who you ask. On one hand, the only way to see 40+ MPG on a hybrid is with very small, compact, 4 cylinder vehicles. On the other hand, people are going to continue to buy SUV’s no matter what. Why not give them a more efficient option, while making it so they don’t have to compromise on the SUV benefits?

Both the Chrysler Aspen and it’s Dodge Durango twin will be available with a hybrid gas / electric powertrain, though there is no ETA yet, just sometime in 2008. The strange thing is that the hybrid powertrain is only available when hooked up to the massive, fuel-gulping 5.7 liter HEMI V8. Why in the world Chrysler chose this engine to mate the electric motor to, I have no idea. Except perhaps that the HEMI is already available with cylinder deactivation.. which also aids fuel economy.

Estimates on fuel economy improvements are 25% overall, and a whopping 40% improvement for city mileage. I don’t think the new 2008 EPA ratings are out for the Durango / Aspen, but I’d take a guess that they’ll be somewhere around 11/17. Based on the estimated improvements, EPA mileage for the Hybrid Durango and Aspen could be somewhere around 15 city / 20 highway. And yes, before you say it, these numbers are still atrocious. But remember, this is based on my estimates, and the new 2008 EPA ratings, which are supposed to be much more realistic. So if I’m about right, you can expect to average somewhere around 17-18 MPG if you drive half city / half highway. Not bad for a big truck that’s as aerodynamic as a brick.

Via Autoblog Green.

Published on May 1, 2007 in Chrysler,Hybrids

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