Stellantis is Dropping Billions on Ethanol Tech in South America

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

Dodge is in the news this week with its new Charger, which will be offered with gas and electric powertrains. While the automaker’s parent company is moving toward electrification, it remains dedicated to internal combustion, announcing that it would invest billions in a new engine that runs on ethanol. The automaker said its investments in South America, specifically Brazil, show its confidence in the continent and a desire to reduce emissions with bio-hybrid technologies.

Stellantis said the engine could power up to 40 new models and noted that the design allows it to slot into the company's existing factories in South America, reducing costs. The first flex fuel vehicle is due out late this year. Stellantis will eventually offer three variations on the theme, including a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid, and a full EV.

South America is a significant market for Stellantis, where sales of Fiat buoyed the brand’s bottom line and helped make it the company’s best-selling brand. The automaker said that it leads Brazil, Argentina, and Chile in sales, exceeding 878,000 units last year and giving it a 23.5 percent market share.

Stellantis, at least in America, is the house that Hellcat built, so it’s unclear if these technologies will make their way to our shores. There have only been a few EV announcements from the company, but it’s moving away from the rowdy V8s of the last several years into smaller turbocharged applications and plug-in hybrids.

The Dodge Charger might not be the most appealing to gearheads, but the electric and gas versions don’t give up much performance to achieve their lower emissions. The electric Charger Daytona has up to 670 horsepower and a 3.3-second 0-60 mph time, while the Scat Pack configuration can cover the quarter mile in 11.5 seconds.

[Image: Stellantis]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

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  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Mar 07, 2024

    Funny that Brazil (or Brasil - they spell it both ways) was originally tucked into the armpit of Africa next to that continent's biggest oil producer, Nigeria, and Brazil/Brasil hasn't begun to discover how much oil it has.

    As for "carbon", CO2 in the air is necessary for photosynthesis, and it's a trace gas. When it was 7,000 ppm, it was called the Cambrian Explosion, when most existing forms of life developed. That 7,000 sounds like a lot, but there's 10,000 ppm of inert argon in the atmosphere, and that's only 1%.

    The claim that the world will get hotter/drier with more CO2 in the atmosphere is unscientific hogwash, a tool for power-hungry idiots to take control. We saw what they did with Covid, which is now treated like the flu, not a killer disease.

    Pump the oil, make the gasoline, and see the USA in your Toyota Camray.

    • See 1 previous
    • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Mar 13, 2024

      Yes, Lou, 250 million years ago, brazil and Nigeria were neighbors. That's when the oil formed, during the Permian mass extinction that also split the Afro-American segment into two continents. That's also when West Texas permian oil deposits were laid down. Brazil has 17.7B illion, or 14.85 billion, or 16.68 billion barrels of proven oil reserves - so far.

  • TheEndlessEnigma TheEndlessEnigma on Mar 08, 2024

    Feels like Stellantis is just flailing around now.

  • NJRide So this is an average age of car to be junked now and of course this is a lower end (and now semi-orphaned) product. But street examples seem to still be worth 2500? So are cars getting junked only coming in because of a traumatic repair? If not it seems a lot of cars being junked that would still possibly worth more than scrap.Also Murilee I remember your Taurus article way back what is the king of the junkyard in 2024?
  • AMcA I applaud Toyota for getting away from the TRD performance name. TuRD. This is another great example of "if they'd just thought to preview the name with a 13 year old boy."
  • Jeff Does this really surprise anyone? How about the shoes and the clothes you wear. Anything you can think of that is either directly made in China or has components made in China likely has some slave labor involved. The very smart phone, tablet, and laptop you are using probably has some component in it that is either mined or made by slave labor. Not endorsing slave labor just trying to be real.
  • Jeff Self-driving is still a far ways from being perfected. I would say at the present time if my car took over if I had a bad day I would have a much worse day. Would be better to get an Uber
  • 2manyvettes Time for me to take my 79 Corvette coupe out of the garage and drive if to foil the forces of evil. As long as I can get the 8 track player working...