The two-mode hybrid Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen may have been killed before they had a chance to succeed, but Dodge is at it again with the 2010 Dodge Ram Hybrid, caught undisguised in final testing.
The two-mode hybrid system in the Ram Hybrid is the same system available on several GM full-size SUVs and will be available on the Mercedes-Benz M-class in the ML450 Hybrid shortly. The system was developed jointly by BMW, Chrysler, GM, and Mercedes-Benz.
For the Ram, the system will be paired with the updated 5.7-liter Hemi engine with Chrysler’s multi-displacement-system that allows the engine to operate as a four-cylinder under light-load conditions. The engine will be coupled to two 80-hp electric motors housed inside an electrically variable transmission.
The two electric motors can power the vehicle up to around 25 mph depending on the driving conditions. The two electric motors also operate with the engine to allow it to enter four-cylinder driving mode more often to save fuel. Regenerative braking is also used to regain the energy normally lost during braking or deceleration.
The GM full-size hybrids can tow up 6100 pounds and a similar figure is expected for the Ram. If the Ram Hybrid operates as seamlessly as the GM full-size hybrids, it will be one of the smoothest hybrids on the market, although its market appeal may be somewhat limited.
Follow the link to see the spy shots at PickupTrucks.com.