POWERBOX "Conscientious American" Hybrid SUV Adds Environmental
Responsibility to Muscle
Auburn Hills, MI - The Dodge PowerBox hybrid concept vehicle
combines the brawny looks that have become synonymous with the Dodge
brand, with an advanced powertrain that is gentle on the environment.
at the 2001 Greater Los Angeles Auto Show, the rugged sport-utility
concept provides the performance of a powerful V-8 engine, but achieves
60 percent better fuel efficiency than a comparable SUV, with near
zero emissions. The vehicle is powered by a combination of a supercharged
V-6 engine that runs on clean compressed natural gas (CNG) and an
electric motor that provides added power for acceleration and passing.
Allen, Senior Designer at DaimlerChrysler Corporation, wanted to
evolve the muscular "all Dodge" design he had originally
created in the successful 1999 Dodge Power Wagon concept vehicle.
exterior design elements express the strength of the brand,"
said Allen. "It is instantly recognizable as a Dodge. From
its large, separate drop fenders based on the classic 1946 Power
Wagon, to the crosshair grille, this truck is bold, powerful and
capable. We refer to it as the Dodge DNA."
the same time, "PowerBox is a vehicle with a conscience,"
said Richard Schaum, Executive Vice President, Product Development
& Quality, DaimlerChrysler Corporation. "Introducing a
CNG-electric hybrid SUV, with patented 'through-the-road' (TTR)
technology, gives consumers the option of an environmentally-friendly
vehicle without sacrificing their wants and needs for both performance
driver would never know the powertrain was any different,"
Schaum added. "When they step on the gas pedal there is no
difference in the way this vehicle performs from a conventionally
Dodge PowerBox has all the performance of a big displacement V-8
engine plus the fuel efficiency of a small, supercharged CNG engine.
As a super ultra low-emission vehicle (SULEV), the PowerBox hybrid
SUV has a range of more than 350 miles (563 km), triple the mileage
of most CNG vehicles and even more than most conventional sedans.
with a conventional Dodge Durango, the PowerBox is projected to
achieve 25 mpg (9 liters/100km) resulting in a 60 percent increase
in fuel economy without sacrificing horsepower. Off the starting
line the PowerBox charges forward from 0-60 mph (97 kph) in about
seven seconds, providing performance more in line with a sports
car than a utility vehicle.
will save customers money at the pump," said Schaum. "If
every SUV sold in this country were equipped with this hybrid propulsion
system, customers would save more than 142 million gallons (538
million liters) of gasoline per year."
importance of applying this fuel-saving hybrid technology in the
increasingly popular SUV segment solves the dilemma of having to
choose between performance, utility and fuel efficiency. With the
PowerBox, owners can have it all.
we are establishing a commitment to bringing advances in low emissions
technology to the market as soon as they are technically and economically
feasible," said Schaum.
hybrid powertrain draws power from two different sources. A supercharged
2.7-liter, V-6 engine with automatic transmission drives the rear
wheels, while a Siemens Automotive electric motor provides additional
power to the front wheels. The V-6 engine is fueled by CNG and generates
250 horsepower (187 kW) while the electric motor adds another 70
horsepower (52 kW). The electric motor assists the CNG engine during
acceleration and recaptures energy normally lost during deceleration.
The engine and electric motor are not coupled in any way, connecting
only through the road, hence the name for the patented technology.
technological highlight is the PowerBox's body construction, which
consists of a lightweight recyclable thermoplastic. This injection
molded body technology has been demonstrated most recently in the
Dodge ESX3 and the Jeep® Commander 2.
Baccus, PowerBox's Senior Interior Designer, reflected the boldness
of the exterior in the interior, providing a natural yet inviting
set out to design a warm, domestic interior space that would balance
the power and ruggedness of the exterior design," he said.
"Something that would feel more like home furnishings."
interior of the PowerBox was inspired by a desert photograph. "We
felt the interior color palette should suggest an outdoor environment
so we used the natural colors of a red rock canyon."
straightforward, honest instrument panel design spans from door
to door, creating a sense of simplicity. Rustic red leather and
woven tan inserts, combined with subtle brushed stainless steel
accents, provide a comfortable environment.
high seating position offers the driver command of the road while
PowerBox's "kneel-down suspension" provides ease of entry
and exit for both driver and passengers. The vehicle drops three
inches (76 mm) after being placed in "Park".
features include occupant restraint belts integrated in the seats
providing a totally open and clutter-free zone. The swing-slide
rear doors maximize passenger accessibility and provide easy access
to the rear storage area.
the B or center pillar is integrated in this swing-slide rear door,"
explained Kenneth Mack, Director-Program Management at DaimlerChrysler's
Liberty & Technical Affairs. "The door is latched at the
top and bottom providing the same strength as a traditional middle
first is what PowerBox engineers call a "lift-tail-combogate."
This patented configuration eases loading and unloading. "A
tailgate within a liftgate offers customers an option. Depending
on the cargo, one can either lift the tailgate up or drop the tailgate
down for extended cargo length," Mack added.
spaces are a dominant theme throughout the Dodge PowerBox's interior.
With seating eight passengers, it offers 24 percent more interior
space than the conventional Durango that seats seven. Additionally,
backseats fold down flush with the rear cargo floor for increased
space and cargo hauling capability. With rear seats folded flat,
the overall cargo length is seven feet (2.44 m), one foot more than
in the Durango. While extremely roomy inside, with a width of 77
inches (1956 mm) and a wheelbase of 125 inches (3175 mm), overall
length is only one inch (25.4 mm) greater than that of the Durango.
PowerBox stands as a pyramid of strength, a substantial SUV with
power and presence yet, more gentle on the environment than any
competitor in its class," said Allen.
Through-the-road (TTR) hybrid
Engine: 2.7-liter V-6 supercharged
Estimated Power: 250 bhp (187 kW)
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Electric Motor: Siemens electric motor
Estimated Power: 70 bhp (52 kW)
Drive: All-wheel drive
Structure: Recyclable thermoplastic body on aluminum frame
Front: Independent short-and-long-arm (SLA) with air springs
Rear: Independent short-and-long-arm (SLA) with air springs
Wheels: 20" x 8"
Length: 194.2 in. (4933 mm)
Width: 77 in. (1956 mm)
Height: 73.6 in. (1869 mm)
Wheelbase: 125 in. (3175 mm)
Front: 68 in. (1727 mm)
Rear: 68.2 in. (1732 mm)
Front: 27 in. (686 mm)
Rear: 42.2 in. (1072 mm)
Weight: 4000 lbs. (1814 kg)
0-60 mpg (0-67 kph): 7 sec
Fuel Economy: 25 mpg (9 liters/100 km) combined city/highway, gasoline
Range: 350 miles (563 km)
Top Speed: 120 mph (192 kph)
further information, contact:
1000 Chrysler Drive
Auburn Hills, MI 48326-2766