Chrysler announces efforts to boost auto fuel efficiency

AP Auto Writer

DETROIT - With higher government fuel economy requirements looming and gas costing about $3 per gallon, Chrysler Group on Thursday announced new measures to boost mileage for its cars and trucks.

The company announced that its new family of V-6 engines would have the ability to drop to three cylinders when less power is needed, raising the fuel economy by 6 to 8 percent.

The company also plans to place its new two-mode hybrid powertrain in more vehicles in its fleet, put a clean diesel engine in the 2009 Jeep Cherokee sport utility vehicle, and alter its 5.7-liter Hemi and 4.7-liter V-8 engines for better gas mileage.

Frank Klegon, executive vice president for product development, said the company is making the investments in anticipation of stronger government fuel economy requirements.

''We're moving forward with real urgency to improve fuel efficiency across our entire lineup,'' Klegon said.