LOS ANGELES--With a nod to nearly $4-per-gallon gasoline, Chrysler Group is adding fuel-saving cylinder deactivation for the first time to three SRT performance vehicles.
So even though the 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8, Dodge Charger SRT8, and Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 will have more horsepower than their predecessors, they will burn less fuel on the highway.
Cylinder deactivation shuts off four cylinders on the 470-hp, 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 during certain highway driving conditions.
Ralph Gilles, CEO of the SRT brand, said a critical question that Chrysler had to answer in deciding to revive the SRT vehicles after a one-year absence was: "How are you going to sell these cars in this day and age?" He spoke at a media launch of the vehicles here.
Cylinder deactivation was one answer. The technology improves highway fuel economy 13 percent for the Grand Cherokee and up to 25 percent for the 300 and Charger from the 2010 versions with a 425-hp, 6.1-liter Hemi V-8, Chrysler says.
Chrysler skipped the 2011 model year with all but one of its SRT models, the Challenger.
The reworked 6.4-liter Hemi, which is exclusive to SRT models, cranks out 470 hp at 6,000rpm and 470 pound-feet of torque at 4,300rpm. The 6.4-liter Hemi with cylinder deactivation was available in the 2011 Challenger SRT8.
Tentative prices for the vehicles, including shipping, are as follows: Charger SRT8, $46,620; 300 SRT8, $47,995; Grand Cherokee SRT8, $55,295; and Challenger SRT8, $44,820.
The SRT vehicles will arrive in dealerships in the third quarter.
(Source: Automotive News)