DaimlerChrysler to Offer New Hybrid Dodge Durango in 2003

October 31, 2000 by Jeff Shepard

DaimlerChrysler Corp. (Auburn Hills, MI) has announced that it will start offering the Dodge Durango with a hybrid powertrain in 2003. The company expects that up to 15 percent of the total Durango volume will be equipped with the new gasoline-electric propulsion system. The hybrid Dodge Durango SUV, with through-the-road powertrain technology, is intended to give consumers the option of an environmentally friendly vehicle that continues to provide the performance and size of a typical SUV.

The hybrid Durango combines two separate propulsion systems: a 3.9-liter, V-6 engine with automatic transmission that powers the rear wheels, and a three-phase, ac-induction electric motor that drives the front wheels. The electric motor assists the gasoline engine during acceleration, and recaptures energy normally lost during deceleration. The combination provides the power, acceleration and performance of a conventional V-8 engine. In fact, DaimlerChrysler claims that it is actually quicker than a 5.9-liter V-8-powered Durango from 0mph to 60mph.

The hybrid powertrain yields a 20-percent increase in fuel efficiency, achieving 18.6mpg combined city/highway use, over 3mpg more than the conventional V-8 Durango.