Chrysler Terminates Aspen, Durango HEMI-Hybrids

chrysler terminates aspen durango hemi hybrids

I like Scott Brown. I spent six hours in Manhattan Motors’ parking garage with the ChryCo PR guy, waiting for NFL assassin Warren Sapp to appear for a Celebrity Car photo shoot featuring a [then red hot] 300C and a Rolls Royce Phaeton (neither of which Warren owned, natch). But then I tend to like all automotive spinmeisters. You couldn’t meet a nicer, friendlier, more auto-savvy group of people. Of course, they’re all congenital liars (although they’d probably call themselves “public relations professionals”). To wit: “The demand for our full-size SUVs has really dropped off this year,” Chrysler spokesman Scott Brown told Edmunds’ Inside Line. “Even though we got significant orders for the hybrids, it doesn’t make sense to keep the plant open for just the hybrids.” Of course, Edmunds isn’t a million miles away from the “never call a triangular-shaped digging implement a spade” philosophy. “Chrysler wouldn’t say how many of the hybrid SUVs it had planned to build at the plant in Newark, which is scheduled to close at the end of December.” The vehicles only went on sale at the end of September. But I bet Chrysler could count the number of Aspens and Durango HEMI-Hybrids sold this month on one hand and still have enough fingers left to salute TTAC. Not that Scott would ever do such a thing… [thanks to MK for the link]

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  • Mirko Reinhardt Mirko Reinhardt on Oct 25, 2008

    @Robert Farago Rolls Royce Phaeton Really? Wasn't that a VW? (Not that RR never made phaetons, but that would belong in "Old Cars" not "Celebrity Cars")

  • Rpol35 Rpol35 on Oct 25, 2008

    I agree with Rudiger, regarding Maryland Superbirds. I grew up in Maryland and remember Sherwood Plymouth in Baltimore had several sitting in a storage yard on York Road late into '70 and in early '71. They were a teenage attraction and I would go and check them out; I thought at the time they were the goofiest looking car that I had ever seen. Excellent comments on the Chrysler Hemi. The engines we absolute legends. I would like to add that they were brought back into production in 1964 with a 426 CI displacement to compete in NASCAR with Ford's 427. The Mopar Max Wedge engines were not competitive with the big Ford or Pontiac's 421 SD. To make matters worse, Chevrolet was going with the new Mark II 427 at the time (though it was quickly killed by GM brass)and Mopar knew they needed to up the ante to be competitive. In those days, "Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday" was all the rage and all manufacturers wanted a piece of that action. Mike66Chryslers is right-on about the Hemi's demise, it couldn't meet emission standards set forth by the Clean Air act of 1970 and the engine was quietly killed. NASCAR never liked the Hemi but did allow it to run until 1974 (under the three year past-production rule). NASCAR felt that the Hemi design gave an unfair advantage and was always looking for ways to hamstring the motor with either displacement caps (404 CI displacement) or smaller carburetors. The 358 CI cap enacted in 1974 eliminated the Hemi from competition for good.

  • Rudiger Rudiger on Oct 25, 2008
    rpol35: "The 358 CI cap enacted in 1974 eliminated the Hemi from competition for good."If the same rules were in effect today, and NASCAR was still using 'stock' parts, the current 345 CID (5.7L) 'Hemi' engine would thereotically be legal for stock-car racing. It's worth mentioning that the original Chrysler hemi engine was the 1945 XIV-2220 V16 designed to be used in the P-47 Thunderbolt WW2 fighter plane. Although it never reached production, the research helped Chrysler when they eventually came out with their first OHV passenger car V8 in 1951. Chrysler and Continental also jointly developed an air-cooled hemi-head V12 for use in the M-47 Patton tank.

  • Davey49 Davey49 on Oct 25, 2008

    I'm more disappointed with the news that the Durango is going away. Hopefully Chrysler will be able to introduce a large SUV later on.