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Diesel Engines for Jeep in 3 Years

In three years time, Jeep could offer diesel engines for some models in its range on the U.S. market, according to Mike Mantley, president and CEO of Chrysler's Jeep brand. Manley also said that Chrysler has plans to sell some models under the Fiat brand in Latin America.

"It does come at a significantly higher cost than a gas engine ... and that's why I think that the convergence of technology is important," Manley said.

This intention may lead to the improvement of Jeep’s fuel economy and consequently attract new customers as gas prices increase. Among the models that could be fitted with diesel powered engines we find the Jeep Wrangler and the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Diesel fuel is selling in metro Detroit for an average of $4.04 per gallon, according to AAA, compared to an average of $3.82 for unleaded regular. But a diesel engine is about 30% to 35% more fuel efficient than a gas engine in the same vehicle.

Jeep's Grand Cherokee, introduced last year, is already the company’s best-selling model in the U.S, and this move would further boost its success within the North American customers.

The Environmental Protection Agency reports that the car’s fuel economy is, for the 3.6-liter engine and two-wheel drive version, 23 mpg (10.2 L/100 km) on the highway and 16 mpg (14.7 L/100 km) in city driving. Customers can chose the two-wheel drive 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine version, with a fuel mileage of 20 mpg (11.7 L/100 km) on the highway and 14 mpg (16,8 L/100 km) in the city.

"Everywhere else in the world, Jeeps come with diesel engines," said Aaron Bragman, an analyst with IHS Automotive.
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