By Nat Shirley
Wednesday, Oct 19th, 2011 @ 2:40 pm
 
Not content to leave its oil-burning models in Europe while diesel vehicles enjoy a resurgence in sales and consumer perception in the United States, Chrysler will offer Americans a diesel-engine option on the Jeep Grand Cherokee in 2013.

Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed the plan in an interview with Automotive News last week, also adding that a diesel engine will make its way under the hood of several other "large" Chrysler vehicles in coming years.

The motor to be used will almost certainly be the 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 available in the European-market Grand Cherokee, which makes 224 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. The mill is also offered in the Lancia Thema (essentially a rebadged Chrysler 300), meaning the 300 and possibly the Charger could also be candidates to receive diesel power in the states.

What other "large" Chrysler Group vehicles could get the engine? The Dodge Durango is strong contender based on its mechanical similarity to the Grand Cherokee, and the mill would make sense in the Ram 1500 because it would give the truck a powerplant unique to the light-duty pickup segment.

Even the Dodge Grand Caravan replacement and the Chrysler Town & Country could eventually use the diesel motor. Why? The engine was developed for both longitudinal, rear-wheel drive AND transverse, front-wheel drive applications when it was originally commissioned by GM (!) during the American automaker's partial ownership of Alfa Romeo.

References
1.'Jeep Grand Cherokee...' view