On the sidelines of the 2011 Detroit Auto Show, Fiat Group CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed that hybrids will make a comeback to Chrysler’s line-up, with one such model being a gasoline-electric version of the Chrysler 300 sedan. “We will offer a hybrid variant of the 300 equipped with an eight-speed automatic in 2013”, Marchionne said last week.
Besides the new Chrysler 300, Lancia's re-badged version of the car called Thema, which will debut at the forthcoming Geneva Salon alongside three more models, will also get the eco-friendly technology. However, it remains to be seen if the Thema hybrid will make its world premiere in Geneva or if Lancia will reveal it at another show.
According to a report from Automotive News Europe, the hybrid system is expected to share several components including the control software with a similar project that is currently being developed by Maserati for the next generation Quattroporte sports sedan, while the 8-speed automatic gearbox will be sourced from German supplier ZF.
Since it emerged from bankruptcy in June 2009, Chrysler significantly scaled down an ambitious hybrid strategy conceived under previous owners DaimlerChrysler and Cerberus Capital Management, but it seems that this is about to change.
By Csaba Daradics