Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Despite putting all that money into developing the two-mode hybrid system with BMW and GM, Chrysler must not have a lot of hope for their Dodge Durango Hybrid and Chrysler Aspen Hybrid SUVs. Perhaps they've been looking over at the sales of GM's hybrid SUVs, which haven't exactly taken off, yet.
But still, this is Chrysler's first foray into the hybrid marketplace, and production did begin in the its Newark, Del. assembly plant.. The plant needed some new components to be installed, including the battery packs, high-voltage cables and the hybrid powertrain. They also needed to add in electric air conditioning, an auxiliary power module, hydro-electric power steering pump and more.
The two-mode hybrid system is a full hybrid powertrain, which means it can run on all-electric power at low speeds, switching to an electric assist at higher speeds. The hybrid SUVs will also come with cylinder de-activation and regenerative braking to help recharge the battery pack.
The Durango and Aspen Hybrid were priced at $8,000 less than the hybrid SUVs from GM. At $45,340 the 2009 Dodge Durango Hybrid is priced a lot higher than the lowest starting point for the 2009 Dodge Durango. It starts at $27,630 (according to Edmunds.com). That's obviously a big difference, but the Hybrid powertrain isn't all you get. The 2009 Aspen Hybrid has an MSRP of $45,570. The 2009 Aspen starts at $34,270, but again, the Aspen hybrid will come with more options.