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Chrysler Gets Charged Up

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Dodge ZEO Concept Photo: Sean Frego
By Johnny Pak
Manufacturer introduces three environmentally responsible concepts to the European markets.
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Dodge ZEO Concept Photo: Sean Frego
Dodge ZEO Concept Photo: Sean Frego
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Jeep Renegade Concept Photo: Sean Frego
Jeep Renegade Concept Photo: Sean Frego
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Jeep Renegade Concept Photo: Sean Frego
Jeep Renegade Concept Photo: Sean Frego
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Jeep Renegade Concept Photo: Sean Frego
Jeep Renegade Concept Photo: Sean Frego
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Chrysler ecoVoyager Concept Photo: Sean Frego
Chrysler ecoVoyager Concept Photo: Sean Frego
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Chrysler ecoVoyager Concept Photo: Sean Frego
Chrysler ecoVoyager Concept Photo: Sean Frego

Being green and clean continues to be the trend for many manufacturers and it looks like Chrysler is on the right path. After making its world debut at the Detroit auto show in January, these concepts from Jeep, Chrysler and Dodge European were introduced to Europe from Geneva.

 

The Jeep Renegade is a hybrid with the typical Jeep-like appearance. The sporty two-seater has a bold and rugged exterior that looks like it’s ready for outdoor action. But where this concept stands out are the environmentally responsible materials that make up the exterior, an advanced propulsion system and a diesel engine.

 

The Renegade starts with a lithium-ion battery pack that can drive for 65 kilometers (approx. 40 miles) and then uses the 1.5-liter 3-cylinder BLUETEC diesel engine to extend the range up to 645 kilometers (400 miles). That kind of efficiency is equal to four to five times the fuel economy of a gas-powered vehicle.

 

From a rugged concept to an odd-looking one. The rounded box-shaped Chrysler ecoVoyager is aimed for customers who want a travel experience of a private jet, but without a lot of fancy gadgets. Power comes from a lithium-ion battery pack that allows the electric motor to drive the wheels. Driving range is about 40 miles supplemented by a regenerative braking system that helps recharge the battery.

 

An advanced hydrogen fuel cell helps extend the journey to more than 300 miles while emitting zero emissions. The entire propulsion system is located below the floor so space is maximized for passenger and cargo space.

 

For car enthusiasts that like the sporty wagons, the Dodge ZEO may be something to add to their wish list. Decked out with 23-inch wheels pushed to the far corners, the rear-wheel-drive, “Zero Emissions Operation” is a 2+2 all-electric concept. The lithium-ion battery pack can last for 400 kilometers (approx. 250 miles) and the 200-kilowatt single-electric motor can get the car from 0 to 62 mph in less than six seconds.

 

President and Vice Chairman of Chrysler LLC Jim Press acknowledged that these currently aren’t the most pleasant times but he remains positive about the future. These concepts are just examples of what’s to come and “if you can dream it, we can build it,” said Press.

 

Dodge Caliber SRT4 and Journey

Offering a combination of high performance and value, the aggressive-looking Dodge Caliber SRT4 was also on display in Geneva. The 2.4-liter DOHC I4 turbocharged engine produces 290 horsepower and is mated to a Getrag six-speed manual transaxle. It has the most horsepower in its class and is the most affordable car in the SRT lineup.

 

Dodge is also making an entry into the crossover SUV segment and it will hit the streets of Europe later this year. Called the Journey, the SUV offers consumers seating for seven and a plethora of storage areas. The all-new Dodge Journey will be available starting in mid 2008.

 

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