Chrysler is going to give its Chrysler 200 sedan and Jeep Cherokee SUV an extra fuel economy pop by offering stop-start technology on each starting this fall.
Stop-start improves fuel economy by turning the engine off when it comes to a stop and automatically restarting it when a driver presses the accelerator.
For Chrysler, which trails competitors on development of hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles, stop-start systems is one way the automaker can bring itself closer to achieving stricter fuel economy standards that will kick in by 2017. Chrysler began selling the Fiat 500e electric car in California last year, but CEO Sergio Marchionne complains the company loses money on every electric vehicle it sells.
Stop-start will be a standard feature, or at no additional cost, to customers who buy the Chrysler 200 with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine.
On the Jeep Cherokee, stop-start will be offered on models with the 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 engine for no additional cost.
"We're taking highly efficient engines and upping the ante to further benefit our customers," Mike Duhaime, Chrysler's global director of electric powertrains said in a statement.
The stop-start feature is expected to improve the fuel economy of both the Chrysler 200 and the Jeep Cherokee by about 3% and reduce emissions by about 3%, the company said.
The combined city and highway fuel economy of the Chrysler 200 with the 2.4-liter engine is 28 miles per gallon and starts at $21,000. The Jeep Cherokee with the 3.2-liter V6 engine gets a combined 22 mpg. Models with the V6 engine are about $1,495 more than those with a four-cylinder engine.
Stop-start technology is offered by several other automakers, including General Motors on the Chevrolet Malibu and Ford on the Ford Fusion. Ford has said it plans to offer stop-start on 70% of its models by 2017.
In Europe, about 50% of the new cars come with the technology, either as a standard feature or an option. But in the U.S., Americans are still getting accustomed to the systems.
In Chrysler's system, fuel that flows to the engine is cut off when the vehicle comes to a stop, which saves gas and reduces emissions -- especially in city traffic.
When the brake pedal is released, the engine automatically restarts within 0.3 seconds.
Customers who decide they don't like the system can deactivate it with the push of a button, Chrysler said.
Chrysler first offered stop-start onthe Ram 1500 HFE model paired with a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, an eight-speed transmission. That pickup gets an estimated 18 miles per gallon in city and 25 in highway driving, or about 1 mpg better than trucks without it.
Contact Brent Snavely: 313-222-6512 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @BrentSnavely.
Original headline: Chrysler to offer stop-start on 200 sedan and Jeep Cherokee by fall
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