Jeep Grand Cherokee to Get Diesel Option in U.S. in 2013, Other Large Chryslers Soon After
The Jeep Grand Cherokee will offer a diesel-engine option in the U.S. starting in 2013, Chrysler’s chief Sergio Marchionne told Automotive News in an interview published this week. Chrysler spokespeople have confirmed that in addition to the Grand Cherokee, other “large” Chrysler family vehicles also will get diesel power in the near future. In Europe, the Grand Cherokee is offered with a 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V-6 manufactured by Italian firm VM Motori. The engine also is sold in the Chrysler 300 cum Lancia Thema. As such, we think it’ll be offered in the Chrysler 300 here, and perhaps its Dodge Charger sibling. Being so closely related to the Jeep, the Dodge Durango is a safe bet, and the smaller diesel six would make a great offering in the light-duty Ram 1500.
In its current applications, the 3.0-liter turbo-diesel makes 224 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. We’ve had some experience driving vehicles with this engine and can report that it’s up to industry standards in power delivery and refinement; fuel-economy reports and performance figures will require more wheel time and proper testing, of course.
The engine has a strange pedigree: It was commissioned by GM back when the company still had a stake in Alfa Romeo, and VM developed it to be used in both transverse and longitudinal applications. Since then, Fiat took back complete ownership of Alfa and also bought a 50-percent stake in VM Motori. Aside from the history lesson, this tells us that the engine should be able to be installed in front-wheel-drive vehicles too, so it’s not out of the question to think it could be offered in the Chrysler Town & Country or the upcoming large Dodge crossover intended to replace the Grand Caravan.