Press Kit: What's New for '09

2009 Chrysler Aspen: Chrysler’s First SUV and First Production Hybrid

Auburn Hills, Mich. September 1, 2008 -

Chrysler has an alternative to premium sport-utility vehicles that come with premium prices: the 2009 Chrysler Aspen, which offers sophisticated styling, luxurious amenities, performance and capability – plus great value. And for the first time, a hybrid powertrain is available.

The 2009 Chrysler Aspen offers customers the kinds of features found in competitors costing thousands more, including the available uconnect gps, three-row seating, abundant standard safety features including Chrysler Group’s exclusive Trailer Sway Control, plus best-in-class cargo capacity and towing ability.

Compared with mid-size SUVs, Chrysler Aspen features more interior passenger space and cargo room, unmatched towing and hauling capability, and more fuel efficiency and maneuverability.

The 2009 Chrysler Aspen is offered in Limited trim and 4x2 or 4x4 configurations. Powertrain choices include a standard 4.7-liter V-8 engine producing 303 horsepower and 330 lb.-ft. of torque; and an available new 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 engine featuring best-in-class 376 horsepower and Chrysler LLC’s fuel-saving Multi-displacement System (MDS) that seamlessly alternates between four- and eight-cylinder modes depending on power demand.

The new 2009 Chrysler Aspen HEMI Hybrid offers a blend of performance, utility, capability and vastly improved fuel economy, in a single package. Combined with fuel-saving MDS technology, the advanced, two-mode hybrid technology delivers an overall improvement of more than 25 percent in fuel economy and up to a 40 percent improvement in the city.

WHAT’S NEW FOR 2009

EXTERIOR

  • New exterior colors: City Teal Metallic Clear Coat, Deep Crimson Crystal Clear Coat

INTERIOR

  • SIRIUS Streaming Video packaged with rear-seat video system
  • uconnect gps now with 30-gigabyte hard drive

POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS

  • Chrysler’s advanced, state-of-the-art two-mode full hybrid system, integrating proven automatic-transmission technology with a patented hybrid-electric drive system
  • Hybrid system produces 385 horsepower (287 kW) and 380 lb.-ft. (515 N•m) of torque, while delivering an overall improvement of more than 25 percent in fuel economy and up to a 40 percent improvement in the city
  • New 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 with fuel-saving MDS technology provides 376 horsepower (280 kW) at 5,600 rpm and 401 lb.-ft. of torque (544 N•m)

DESIGN

From its broad chromed grille, to its distinctive straked hood to the winged badge on its tailgate, Chrysler Aspen is bold and distinctive.

Chrysler wings flow seamlessly into the grille header and contain the gold seal of the brand, providing a proud and instantly recognizable design cue. Front and rear fenders, rear doors and rear-quarter panels feature clean, precise angles, creating a seamless profile. Individual chromed “Chrysler” lettering adorns the bodyside on each of the front doors and the liftgate. Chromed accents on bodyside moldings, door handles, side mirrors, belt molding and roof rack, as well as available 20-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels, add premium panache.


ENGINEERING

Offered in the Chrysler Aspen for the first time is Chrysler’s advanced, state-of-the-art two-mode full hybrid system, developed in partnership with General Motors, Mercedes-Benz and The BMW Group. It delivers a “two-mode” full hybrid system by integrating proven automatic-transmission technology with a patented hybrid-electric drive system.

The two modes in the hybrid system result from low- and high-speed electric continuously variable transmission (ECVT) modes. During the two ECVT modes, the system uses electric motors for acceleration, improving fuel economy, or for regenerative braking to utilize energy that would normally be lost during braking or deceleration. The energy is stored in a 300-volt battery pack for later use. The system’s two modes are optimized for city and highway driving. In addition, there are four fixed gear ratios for high efficiency and power-handling capabilities.

The first mode is designed for low speeds and light loads. In this mode, the vehicle can operate in three ways: electric power only, engine power only, or any combination of electric and engine power.

In electric-only operation, the engine is shut off, with the vehicle moving under electric-only power at low speed. The result is a significant reduction in fuel consumption in heavy stop-and-go traffic.

The second mode is used primarily at highway speeds. In addition to electric assist, the second mode provides full power from the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 when conditions demand it, such as when passing, pulling a trailer or climbing a steep grade.

A sophisticated controller determines when the vehicle should operate in the first or second mode. Input from the controller determines the necessary torque for driving conditions and sends a corresponding command to the engine and electric motors. The engine and electric motors transfer torque to a series of gears in the transmission, which multiply torque similar to a conventional automatic transmission in order to propel the vehicle. Unlike conventional continuously variable transmissions, however, the two-mode full hybrid’s electrically controlled system uses no mechanical belts or bands. Shifts between the two modes do not require engine speed changes, resulting in seamless accelerations.

A 300-volt battery pack provides electric power for the system, and is designed to fit in the vehicle without compromising passenger space. A rectifier located under the vehicle’s hood converts AC to DC in order to power conventional 12-volt accessories including interior lighting, climate control and the audio system. The Chrysler Aspen Hybrid’s 5.7-liter HEMI engine efficiently maintains the battery pack. The Chrysler Aspen Hybrid’s powertrain produces a total of 385 horsepower (287 kW) and 380 lb.-ft. (515 N•m) of torque.

The 2009 Chrysler Aspen’s standard powertrain with the E Package is the 4.7-liter V-8 offering better fuel economy, power and torque than previous 4.7-liter engines, while at the same time delivering improvements in refinement. The 4.7-liter V-8 incorporates two spark plugs per cylinder (the only Chrysler engine to do so other than the 5.7-liter HEMI), increased compression ratio, improved cylinder-head port flow and a new combustion system. The result is 303 horsepower (226 kW) and 330 lb.-ft. (447 N•m) of torque.

The 4.7-liter V-8 is remarkably refined as a result of a quiet and efficient induction system, a lightweight piston/rod assembly and low accessory drive noise through lower accessory drive speed. The 4.7-liter V-8 is equipped with Electronic Throttle Control, which provides engine torque control while compensating for changes in engine load caused by the air conditioning compressor, alternator and power-steering pump.

The 4.7-liter powerplant is also E85 compatible, earning the flexible-fuel vehicle (FFV) designation that provides customers the option of operating their Chrysler Aspen on ethanol, gasoline or a mixture of the two.

Standard on the 2009 Chrysler Aspen with the J Package is the new 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine, featuring Chrysler’s fuel-saving MDS technology, provides best-in-class 376 horsepower (280 kW) and 401 lb.-ft. (544 N•m) of torque. Without compromising performance, the 2009 Chrysler Aspen’s HEMI V-8 engine seamlessly alternates between four-cylinder mode when less power is needed and V-8 mode when more power is in demand.

The 2009 Chrysler Aspen provides best-in-class horsepower and torque with the towing and hauling capability of a large SUV and the fuel efficiency of smaller full-size SUVs.

Both the 4.7-liter and 5.7-liter V-8 engines are offered with a five-speed automatic transmission.

The 2009 Chrysler Aspen rides on a torsionally stiff, hydroformed frame and independent front suspension with rack-and-pinion steering, providing a smooth and quiet ride and precise handling. Suspension and steering are tuned to deliver superior ride and steering.

In the rear is a unique suspension setup with coil springs and a solid rear axle that delivers durability, substantial payload capability and best-in-class towing ability. A Watt’s linkage system is fitted to the rear axle, centering the axle and reducing rear-end skate over rough surfaces. The rear suspension supports a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 6,650 lbs. and towing capacity of 8,900 lbs. The 2009 Chrysler Aspen HEMI Hybrid is capable of towing 6,000 lbs.

All-wheel-drive models of the 2009 Chrysler Aspen are available with a choice of two transfer cases. A single-speed transfer case is standard with AWD models that feature the 4.7-liter V-8 engine. A two-speed transfer case is standard with AWD models that feature the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine. Chrysler Aspen’s two-speed transfer case features AWD electronically shifted into either “high” or “low” operating modes. Both transfer cases feature a 48-52 torque split between front and rear axles when AWD mode is selected.

Interior appointments are notable for a long list of standard features, including wood-accented door panels and instrument-panel center stack, air conditioning, overhead console with HomeLink Universal Home Security System Transceiver and Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC), front and rear aimable LED lamps, uconnect gps, floor console with rear power accessory outlet, and 60/40 third-row bench seat.

Seating options include leather-trimmed bucket seats, eight-way power driver’s seat with memory, heated front- and second-row seats, and either bucket or fold-and-tumble second-row seats.


PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS

First Chrysler SUV, first Chrysler production hybrid vehicle

  • The “300” of SUVs comes loaded with performance, premium amenities and hybrid fuel efficiency

Styling: Elegant Chrysler styling in an SUV

  • Signature Chrysler chromed grille, winged badge and sculpted hood; 20-inch chromed wheels; and eye-catching chromed accents
  •  Interior boasts rich bird’s-eye wood-grain accents; available leather seats and second-row bucket seats with center console provide a first-class passenger environment
  • Bigger than its full-size SUV competitors yet smaller than large SUV competitors, Chrysler Aspen is a luxury SUV in a class all its own

Engineering: Unmatched capability and performance, fuel-saving technologies

  • HEMI Hybrid provides more than 25 percent overall fuel economy improvement (nearly 40 percent in the city)
  • Best-in-class powertrain with 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 delivers 376 horsepower and 401 lb.-ft. of torque
  • Fuel-saving Multi-displacement System (MDS), standard with the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine, seamlessly alternates between four-cylinder mode when less power is needed and V-8 mode when more power is in demand
  • 4.7-liter V-8 engine produces 303 horsepower (226 kW) and 330 lb.-ft. (447 N•m) of torque, E85 compatible; more power and torque with better fuel economy and more refinement than previous 4.7-liter V-8s
  • Best-in-class towing of 8,900 lbs. and a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 6,650 lbs.
  • All-wheel-drive systems feature full-time all-wheel drive and available low range
  • Seating for up to eight adults, and best-in-class cargo volume behind the second-row seat

Equipment: Loaded with upscale amenities and safety features

  • Standard Electronic Stability Program (ESP), anti-lock brakes and next-generation front air bags; ParkSense® Rear Park Assist System, ParkView™ Rear Back-up Camera, power rear liftgate, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, Tire Pressure Monitoring (TPM) display and side-curtain airbags with roll sensing technology
  • Available remote start (standard on J Package), security system, heated front- and second-row seats, rear-seat DVD entertainment system and uconnect gps (standard on J Package)

Value: Alternative to luxury-priced SUVs

  • Vehicle alternative to competitors including the Cadillac Escalade, Lexus GX 470 and Lincoln Navigator, offering equal or better content

MODEL LINEUP

2009 Chrysler Aspen Limited with E Package
Standard Features

  • E85-compatible, 4.7-liter Flexible-fuel Vehicle (FFV) V-8 engine with five-speed automatic transmission
  • Roof rack side rails
  • Power driver seat
  • Dual manual lumbar adjustments
  • Fog lamps
  • Bright bodyside moldings
  • uconnect tunes
  • 40/20/40 folding second-row seats
  • Rear HVAC
  • Driver/passenger express-up/-down power windows
  • Luxury floor mats
  • 18-inch chrome-clad wheels
  • Electronic Stability Program (ESP) with Trailer Sway Control
  • Side-curtain air bags with roll-sensing technology
  • Stain Repel Seat Fabric
  • Bright interior accents
  • Sentry Key® engine immobilizer
  • Security alarm
  • Power heated folding mirrors
  • Leather-wrapped center console lid
  • Light-emitting diode (LED) interior lighting
  • Overhead console
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel with wood accents and remote controls
  • Analog clock
  • Bright fascia accents 
  •  Interior Convenience Group
  • Power liftgate
  • ParkSense® Rear Park Assist System and ParkView™ Rear Back-up Camera
  • Three-passenger 60/40 third-row seating
  • Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC)
  • Premium I Audio (eight Alpine speakers with 276-amp subwoofer)

Optional Equipment

  • New 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine with five-speed automatic transmission
  • Heated leather-trimmed front- and second-row bucket seats
  • Rear entertainment system with SIRIUS Backseat TV™
  • Popular Equipment Group – adjustable pedals, body-color running boards, remote start
  • Trailer Tow Package (two-wheel-drive models) – 3.92 axle ratio, Class IV receiver hitch, 4- and 7-pin wiring harness, auxiliary transmission and power-steering oil coolers (plus two-speed transfer case, tow hooks, skid plates for fuel tank and transfer case with AWD models)

2009 Chrysler Aspen Limited with J Package
Standard Features
In addition to standard features on the Chrysler Aspen with the E Package,
the J Package adds the following:

  • New 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 with five-speed automatic transmission
  • Heated leather-trimmed front-row power bucket seats
  • Automatic-dimming rearview mirror with uconnect phone
  • uconnect gps navigation system
  • Memory seats, mirrors, adjustable pedals, HVAC and radio
  • Power, heated, folding driver-side auto-dimming mirrors
  • Remote start
  • Automatic temperature control
  • Embroidered logo on front seatbacks
  • 20-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels
  • Heated first-row seats
  • Running boards with body-color finish
  • Front and rear laminated glass
  • Two-speed transfer case (AWD models only)
  • Premium II Audio (eight Alpine speakers and 368-amp subwoofer)

Optional Equipment

  • Heated leather-trimmed second-row bucket seats
  • Power sun roof
  • Rear entertainment system with SIRIUS Backseat TV™
  • Trailer Tow Package II – 3.92 axle ratio, Class IV receiver hitch, 4- and 7-pin wiring harness, auxiliary transmission and power-steering oil coolers (plus two-speed transfer case, tow hooks, skid plates for fuel tank, and transfer case with AWD models)

SAFETY AND SECURITY FEATURES

Please refer to the Safety and Security Glossary in the Safety and Technology section for descriptions of the following available features: 

  •  Advanced Multi-stage Air Bags
  • All-speed Traction Control
  • Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
  • Auto-reverse Windows
  • BeltAlert
  • Brake Assist
  • Brake/Park Interlock
  • Child Protection Rear Door Locks
  • Constant Force Retractors (CFR)
  • Crumple Zones
  • Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD)
  • Electronic Roll Mitigation (ERM)
  • Electronic Stability Program (ESP)
  • Energy-absorbing Steering Column
  • Enhanced Accident Response System (EARS)
  • Front Crush SensorsHeight-adjustable Seat Belts
  • Homelink Universal Home Security System Transceiver
  • Interior Head-impact Protection
  • Knee Bolsters
  • Laminated Glass Windshield
  • Low-risk Deployment Air Bag
  • Lower Anchors and Tethers For Children (LATCH) Child Seat Anchor System
  • Octagonal Front Frame-rail Tips
  • Parksense® Rear Park Assist System
  • Parkview™ Rear Back-up Camera
  • Power-adjustable Pedals
  • Remote Keyless Entry
  • Roll Sensing
  • Seat Belt Pretensioners
  • Security Alarm
  • Sentry Key® Engine Immobilizer
  • Side Occupant Protection System
  • Supplemental Side-curtain Air Bags
  • Three-point Lap-shoulder Belt
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring (TPM) with Display
  • Trailer Sway Control
  • uconnect phone

COLOR AVAILABILITY

  • Light Sandstone Metallic
  • Brilliant Black Crystal Pearl
  • Cool Vanilla
  • Bright Silver Metallic
  • Mineral Gray Metallic
  • Steel Blue Metallic
  • City Teal Metallic Clear Coat
  • Deep Crimson Crystal Clear Coat

MANUFACTURING INFORMATION

  • 2009 model year production start: July 2008
  • Production location: Newark Assembly Plant in Newark, Del.
  • 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine: Saltillo Engine Plant in Saltillo, Mexico
  • 4.7-liter V-8 engine: Mack Avenue Engine Plant I in Detroit
  • 5-speed automatic transmission: Indiana Transmission I in Indianapolis

MARKET POSITION

The Chrysler Aspen has style, looks, technology and comfort at a great value – the perfect package for individuals seeking a premium sport-utility vehicle. For those buyers, owners and intenders who are having second thoughts about sport utilities, the Aspen offers guilt-free indulgence. The Aspen is not too big, possesses fuel-saving technology such as Chrysler’s first hybrid powertrain system, and has the same premium amenities and looks of luxury competitors but for thousands of dollars less.


DEMOGRAPHICS

  • Gender: 55 percent male/45 percent female
  • Median Age: 45-55
  • Median Annual Household Income: $100,000
  • Household: 85 percent married

MARKET ADVANTAGES

  • Full-size SUV performance, capability and utility combined with hybrid fuel efficiency (more than 25 percent overall and nearly 40 percent in the city)
  • Most affordable premium SUV – alternative to competitors including the Cadillac Escalade, Lexus GX 470 and Lincoln Navigator, offering equal or better content
  • Best-in-class power – 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine features 376 horsepower and 401 lb.-ft. of torque
  • 4.7-liter V-8 engine produces 303 horsepower (226 kW) and 330 lb.-ft. (447 N•m) of torque, E85 compatible; more power and torque with better fuel economy and more refinement than previous 4.7-liter V-8s
  • Premium convenience and safety amenities – available remote start, rear-seat DVD entertainment system, uconnect tunes, full-screen navigation radio; standard SIRIUS Satellite Radio, Electronic Stability Program, Tire Pressure Monitoring (TPM) and ParkSense® Rear Park Assist System with ParkView™ Rear Back-up Camera
  • Elegant Chrysler design – signature Chrysler chromed grille, winged badge and sculpted hood; available 20-inch chromed wheels and eye-catching chromed accents
  • Spacious and agile – combines seating for up to eight adults, and class-leading cargo volume with the refinement, drivability and efficiency of smaller full-size SUVs

PRODUCT CHRONOLOGY

2008 MODEL YEAR

  • Light Sandstone Metallic exterior color (replaces Light Khaki Metallic)
  • Available body-color running boards
  • 60/40 split bench standard for third-row seating
  • AM/FM radio with single-disc CD player and MP3 auxiliary input jack
  • AM/FM radio, DVD/HDD-compatible, with MP3 auxiliary input jack
  • MyGIG® Multimedia Infotainment System with ParkView™ Back-up Camera
  • New 4.7-liter V-8 engine producing 303 horsepower (226 kW) and 330 lb.-ft. (447 N•m) of torque, E85 compatible; more power and torque with better fuel economy and more refinement than previous 4.7-liter V-8s
  • Single-speed AWD transfer case
  • 3.92 axle ratio now available only with Trailer Tow Group (if equipped with 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine)
  • ParkView™ Rear Back-up Camera available
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring (TPM) system

2007 MODEL YEAR

  • Chrysler Aspen introduced
  • The “300” of SUVs comes loaded with performance, premium amenities and fuel-saving MDS technology
  • Signature Chrysler chromed grille, winged badge and sculpted hood; available 20-inch chromed wheels and eye-catching chromed accents 
  •  Interior boasts rich wood-grain accents; available two-tone leather seats and second-row bucket seats with center console provide a first-class passenger environment
  • Bigger than its full-size SUV competitors yet smaller than large SUV competitors, Chrysler Aspen is a premium SUV in a class all its own
  • Best-in-class powertrain with 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 delivers 335 horsepower and 370 lb.-ft. of torque. The 4.7-liter Magnum V-8 provides 235 horsepower and 300 lb.-ft of torque
  • Multi-displacement System (MDS) standard with the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine, seamlessly alternates between four-cylinder mode when less power is needed and V-8 mode when more power is in demand
  • Best-in-class towing of 8,900 lbs. and a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 6,650 lbs.
  • All-wheel-drive systems feature full-time all-wheel drive and available low range
  • Seating for up to eight adults, and best-in-class cargo volume behind the second-row seat
  • Available power rear liftgate, remote start, security system, heated front- and second-row seats, rear-seat DVD entertainment system, UConnect® full-screen navigation radio and SIRIUS Satellite Radio
  • Standard Electronic Stability Program (ESP), anti-lock brakes and next-generation front air bags are standard; ParkSense® Rear Back-up System, Tire Pressure Monitoring (TPM) and side-curtain airbags with roll sensing technology are also available
  • Vehicle alternative to competitors including the Cadillac Escalade, Lexus GX 470 and Lincoln Navigator, offering equal or better content