By on November 4, 2009


Surprise! There’s some good news coming out of Chrysler’s five-year plan presentation. Okay, the really surprising part first: Sergio Marchionne has revealed that Chrysler has $5.7B in cash, up from $4B when it exited bankruptcy in June. The somewhat less surprising part: Jeep is bringing a stop-start-equipped, diesel-powered Wrangler. How niche-tastic is that?

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25 Comments on “Positive Post of the Day: Chrysler Has Cash, Will Produce Diesel Wrangler...”

  • avatar

    Great. The bigger question is whether it will make it to production before the company runs out of cash and disappears…

  • avatar

    Memo to Paulo and Sergio – Fiat/Chrysler better get this engine federalized for the non-Californian USA soon and it better not retail for $27,000 for the entry level rag top.

    If 2012 or beyond is the target, there may not be many Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep dealers left in the game.

  • avatar
    Chicago Dude

    Is anyone keeping track of the promise-to-delivery ratio for diesel vehicles in the USA? I’m pretty sure it’s quite lousy.

  • avatar

    Someone needs to tell him its not 1995 anymore. Diesels are expensive to design and produce, not to mention the pesky emissions thing. That urea injection stuff too. And the cost as OldandSlow mentioned. Oh, wait, this is Chrysler. Nevermind.

  • avatar

    Duh, the diesel Wrangler has already been sold for years in Europe. In fact, the 2.8 CRD is the only model available in many countries.

  • avatar

    If there is any vehicle that needs a diesel it’s the Wrangler. The MPG’s have nowhere to go but up, and the V6 in it now is atrocious. They need to offer a decent 4cyl gas motor for the cheap posers and the diesel for the people that are really going to use the thing. Jeeps are not cheap as it is considering what you get, the people that buy them are buying an image and that image is only improved with a diesel, especially if it’s a Cummins, though I doubt it will be.

  • avatar

    My guess is that they are talking about adding the stop-start feature the the existing export diesels. Chrysler selling a CRD Wrangler in North America would be too good to be true and thus I’ll believe it when I see it. And if I see it, I will buy it.

  • avatar

    What Chicago Dude said. I think at one time, all of the Big Three promised a small diesel in a half-ton full size pickup, and now it looks like they’ve all cancelled their plans, pretty much in unison due to the economy.

  • avatar

    I drove a Fiat Bravo with a diesel and 6 speed on vacation in Italy a few months ago. It was a fantastic combination. Fast, effortless torque in any gear, nearly silent as a gas engine. The rest of the car was nice, but maybe a bit behind the Japanese leaders. its hard to say, because i dont know the price to make a comparison.

  • avatar

    The off-road community has been begging for a diesel in the Wrangler here in the US. It would be a popular option and return that lost torque between the TJ’s 4.0 and the JK’s V6.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    Can’t imagine a start-stop diesel being very smooth.

  • avatar

    All they have to do is get the 2.8 VM Motori that has gone in to the export Wrangler to meet 2010 emissions.

    The same or similar engine has gone into the export Wrangler and Liberty/Cherokee for over a decade.

    Somehow the powers at Daimler teased the US market with a limited engagement of this engine in 05 & 06.

  • avatar

    I’ve talked to a few owners of the ’05-’06 diesel Liberties and Cherokees, and they have nothing but great things to say about them. I agree that the Wrangler begs for a diesel option, it would help fuel economy, be good for rock crawling, and even give it a decent tow rating for those whose outdoor activities include boats or ATVs.

    The biggest problem with the current Wranglers are the awful powertrain options. My old ’91 with the 4.0 straight six and a three speed auto felt quicker and more responsive than a brand new V6 model does.

  • avatar

    Reliablity would be really important with this hypothetical diesel. All the Jeep fanatics I know worship the old 4L 6 as the only engine true jeeps have. If this diesel has similiar relibility and good fuel economy to boot, I can see it being a major step up for the brand; something to make you forget the Compass anyway.

  • avatar

    i think a lot of folks have rose tinted glasses when it comes to the jeep 4.0 inline six. It was not very strong and the fuel economy was atrocious. The new engine is rated for more torque at a lower rpm and the fuel economy is better. Seems to be one of those common internet jockey go-tos, maybe even topping the chevy ls engines.

    I had a cherokee 4.0 in high school. my moms toyota landcruiser she had at the time got better gas mileage.

  • avatar

    Somehow the powers at Daimler teased the US market with a limited engagement of this engine in 05 & 06.

    I suspect the teasing “ended” when emissions standards increased. I’ll eat my shorts if all Fiatsler has to do is “drop in the 2.8 diesel”. The finished product will be much more complex (read expensive) after all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed. I hope their market will still exist.

  • avatar

    saponetta – The new V6 is rated at 237 lb/ft, in ’91 the 4.0 I6 had 235 lb/ft. Now, I haven’t seen torque curves for the two compared to each other, but I know that the I6 feels more powerful.

    I’m sure the Wrangler has gained some weight since the early 90s, and that probably has a lot to do with why the new engine doesn’t feel as punchy, but there is also something about an I6 that just feels better than a V6. All V6s have a certain graininess to themselves that I6s don’t share.

    You are right about fuel economy though, the 4.0 I6 combined with the bricklike aerodynamics of the Wrangler made for a huge gas hog.

  • avatar
    Jim K

    I saw a CRD Wrangler Unlimited in the Virginia-Highlands area of Atlanta about 3 weeks ago.

    I heard it before I saw it, and by the time I saw the “CRD” logo on the fender and figured out what was going on the light I was sitting at had changed, otherwise I would of talked with the guy getting out of it.

    Dont’ know if it was a development vehicle, aftermarket modded, etc. But it definitely was a new Wrangler diesel.

    If they sell these in the US, I will DEFINITELY buy one. Come on Chrysler, do the right thing.

  • avatar

    The 3.8 V6 has significantly less torque south of 3000rpm than the I6. In many off road scenarios you don’t want to have to flog the engine that high, it can be heck on the balance of the drive train.

    The I6 also benefits from a tremendous amount of aftermarket support in terms of stroker kits, aspiration aides, ECU programmers, yada yada yada.

    I don’t know how much it would cost to bring up the 2.8 to current standards. I’m sure that Daimler could not make the business case for the $50-100M it would require for a niche product. I’m guesstimating from what it cost VW to get the 2.0 TDI to pass.

  • avatar

    It’s something that I’d actually consider buying, which means they’ll probably kill the project before it gets to the showroom.

  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    @Gardiner Westbound :
    Can’t imagine a start-stop diesel being very smooth.

    Since my car has start-stop and is a 4-cylinder diesel, I like it. Any engine is more quiet when it’s not idling.

    @RedStapler :
    I don’t know how much it would cost to bring up the 2.8 to current standards.

    They have to do it anyway to meet the upcoming Euro VI standard. Or put a FIAT diesel in instead of the VM one.
    The 2.8 is in the Grand Voyager, the Nitro, the Liberty and the Wrangler. They need a diesel for Europe.

  • avatar

    From what I remember, they sold way more Liberty CRDs than they ever planned on. I think the original plan was something like 5000 units but it ended up being double that number. If any vehicle needs a diesel, it’s a “real” Jeep. VW is showing that there’s still a healthy market for passenger cars with diesel engines even with the additional costs of advanced emission controls. So maybe it’ll actually happen in a Wrangler. I think it would be a hot selling vehicle if they could keep the price competitive with a similarly equipped gas engine model.

  • avatar

    ^True about selling more Liberty CRDs then Chrysler expected. I test drove one and a TJ Wrangler, and they felt a lot a like in torque. I almost bought the CRD, but my wife already drove a V6 Liberty, so I went with the TJ. I just wish we didn’t already have a Liberty as the CRD was fun!

  • avatar

    Nice photo of the La Sals

    While the Liberty CRD has impressive numbers and performance to match, the fuel injectors on the euro-diesel are easily rendered useless on a bad batch of fuel and cost 1K each. If it’s not a very well supported and reliable engine, no thank you.

  • avatar
    Ralph SS

    “Sergio Marchionne has revealed that Chrysler has $5.7B in cash, up from $4B when it exited bankruptcy in June.”

    I am a working, but financially struggling, entity. If some one dropped a wad of cash in my lap, then disolved all my debt (which is primarily mortgatge) in one months time, I could work at McDonalds and my improve my cash situation in 3 months time.

    So why the hell is this news? Why is it positive?

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