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FCA Working On SiEVT Transmissions For Rear-Wheel Drive Applications?

On June 13th, the Kokomo Perspective posted an article discussing the future of Fiat Chrysler’Automobiles’ (FCA) Indiana Transmission Plant #2 (ITP II). Employment at this plant has dropped sharply, from 900 down to fewer than 100 today; but the UAW hopes to see the plant become the nexus of FCA’s hybrid future.

2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Limited. (FCA US Photo)

That brings about some interesting questions. Could FCA be quietly designing a new hybrid transmission much line it did the single-input electrically variable transmission (SiEVT) used for front-wheel drive applications? Is FCA working on an in-house designed hybrid transmission with a plan to build it at the ITP II plant in Kokomo, Indiana?

Chrysler Pacifica SiEVT Tranmission paired with 3.6-liter V6. (FCA US Photo)

For well over two years, I have heard rumbling that FCA was continuing to move forward with new transmission designs, focusing on hybrid technology.  The recently introduced SiEVT front-wheel-drive transaxle caught many people by surprise, since it was a design that many critics simply did not think that FCA had the resources to produce.

With ever evolving emissions regulations and diesel continuing to receive a black-eye in both the United States and Europe, the future for FCA looks to be focused on hybridization.  Fortunately, the SiEVT has turned out to be a game-changer for minivans and will probably lead to a rapid hybridization of the entire FCA front-wheel-drive lineup over the next five to ten years (I extensively covered the design over at Allpar).

2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Widebody, 2018 Durango SRT and 2018 Challenger SRT Demon. (FCA US Photo)

Doing the same for rear-wheel drive applications looks to be the best path for a company that relies greatly on trucks, SUV’s, and performance cars.

Michael Volkmann, a mechanical engineer in the steel industry, autocrossed and road-raced Neons. Michael has drag raced his 1971 Duster 340, 2015 Dodge Charger SRT392,  2009 Challenger R/T, and Neons, of which he’s owned seven — one SRT4, three ACRs, and three Sport Coupes.

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