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On Tap at Chrysler: Hybrid 300, Jeep Wrangler Pick-Up

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On: Wed, Jan 19, 2011 at 5:02PM | By: Chris Weiss

On Tap at Chrysler: Hybrid 300, Jeep Wrangler Pick-Up

Showing that the 2011 Detroit Auto Show was but a start and not a conclusion, Sergio Marchionne has been busy talking up the future products on the way from the Fiat/Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep factories. The new launches will help Chrysler more than double sales from its bankruptcy year in 2009 and will provide a host of new options for cleaner driving.

One of the more interesting upcoming vehicles Marchionne mentioned is a hybrid version of the all-new 2011 Chrysler 300. Chrysler's flagship sedan will get a gas-electric powertrain by 2013, according to the Fiat CEO.

Additionally, there are plans for a Jeep Wrangler pickup that will hopefully take a lot of inspiration from the NuKizer 715 (pictured above) that Jeep/Mopar brought to the 2010 Easter Jeep Safari in Moab.

Journalists who were there for Marchionne's announcements claim that he was looking a little svelter in his signature sweater thanks to a low-carb diet. I'd imagine that all the action and excitement going on within Fiat and Chrysler probably helped his weight-losing cause.

Chrysler plans to up its global sales to 2 million vehicles this year and 2.8 million vehicles within five years. That's up from 1.6 million in 2010 and 1.3 million in 2009. Following in GM's footsteps, Chrysler will also have an IPO, which it plans to get out later this year.

Key to this recovery will be a product overhaul that leans toward smaller, more efficient cars. Chrysler wants to cut its current dependence on ineffecient light trucks, and will be offering a variety of new and revamped small- and medium-sized vehicles to do so.

The hybrid 300 will be coming in 2013. Though Chrysler hasn't detailed the powertrain, speculation is that it will be based on Chrysler's 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 or 5.7-liter HEMI V8.

The Jeep pickup still isn't 100 percent, but Marchionne expressed support for the model. The pickup would be based on the Wrangler, but would obviously include a bed in the back for extra utility. While there is some worry that the model could cannibalize sales of Chrysler's Ram Truck division, the Jeep model would sell outside of North America, unlike Ram.

Other upcoming models in the Chrysler family include the return of the flagship Jeep Grand Wagoneer, a Dodge Caliper replacement, and a new people mover to replace one of the group's minivans.


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