The theme of this year’s SAE World Congress at Cobo Center April 16-18 was “achieving efficiency.” It was the perfect venue to show how Chrysler has maximized current technology to create vehicles that are more efficient in terms of fuel economy and performance.
“We have the new 2014 Jeep Cherokee on display at the show because we’re focused on optimizing existing technology,” said Eric Mayne, manager of media relations for Chrysler Group communications. “Just look at the 8-speed transmission we launched in 2011 on the Charger and the 300.”
Mayne said these were the first “mainstream” cars to get 8-speed transmissions. Now Chrysler is launching the new Cherokee in the third quarter with a 9-speed transmission.
“This technology is normally only available on luxury brands,” Mayne said. “This year, we’re launching the Jeep Cherokee with a 9-speed and now we’re beginning to see other OEMs just beginning to get into 8- and 9-speed transmissions. Chrysler is way ahead of the curve.”
What’s good about these transmissions, Mayne said, is that the vehicles that get them are achieving efficiencies normally on par with what vehicles get with hybrid systems.
“This is patented technology,” Mayne said. “It’s exclusive to Chrysler is able to deliver better efficiency to a vehicle. This is