September 30, 2010

2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 2.8 CRD: Engine Start/Stop Technology and 197hp!

European version of Chrysler's iconic Jeep Wrangler Unlimited four-door compact off-roader will soon be available with a powerful, yet fuel efficient 2.8-liter turbo-diesel engine.

Unlike the current inline-four oil-burner that produces healthy 177 horsepower and 460 @ 2000 rpm of torque while consuming around 12 liters of diesel fuel per 100 km in a combined cycle, the 2001 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 2.8 CRD will offer 20 more horsepower but will at the same time offer up to 13 percent better mileage.

If equipped with the W5A580 five-speed automatic gear box, the engine will produce the same 460 Nm of torque available in the range of 1600-2600 rpm.

In times when six-speed transmissions are practically standard, while the seven- and even eight-speed gearboxes are nothing new, the five-speed box seems quite archaic. As a matter of fact, it IS archaic, since the W5A580 is a version of the Mercedes-Benz's 5-Gtronic electronically controlled (shift by wire) automatic gearbox that was first presented around 15 years ago.

However, the box is known for its reliability (you can't say the same about the new 7-Gtronic transmissions, can you?) and the "580" in its name stands for the maximum input torque value in Newton-meters meaning that there is a great reserve of durability and, err, upgradeability in case you would want to install a new ECU unit into your Wrangler. Also, retuned versions of the box still work in the Mercedes-Benz S-Class W221, Maybach 57, Dodge Magnum, Dodge Challenger and so on, and so forth.

Those buying the legendary off-roader with six-speed manual transmission will have to live with "only" 410 Nm @ 2000-3200 rpm, but, considering the vehicle's weight, even that is more than adequate in most cases.

In order to achieve better fuel economy, the American engineers have equipped the manual-transmission version of the 4x4 with the notorious Stop/Start technology. The thing shuts the engine down when the driver halts the vehicle, put the gear lever in Neutral and releases the clutch pedal.

In its press release Chrysler doesn't go into particulars, but the Start/Stop functionality probably comes from the European Bosch via its Italian partner Fiat S.p.A. In order to increase the system's life expectancy, Bosch equips it with a much more durable starter designed to withstand significantly greater number of starts. Actual users say that in most cases the Start/Stop system provides absolutely seamless "stop and go" operation.

The same 2.2-liter CRD engine is also available for the normal Jeep Wrangler and the new Jeep Cherokee.

See also: 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee comes with more premium features

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