However, one carmaker has done the next best thing. The Chrysler Group found a way to make a Hemi® V-8 run as a four-cylinder engine under light-load conditions, such as highway cruising at moderate speeds. The exclusive Multi-Displacement System (MDS) seamlessly turns off the fuel consumption in four cylinders of the 5.7-liter Hemi engine when V-8 power is not needed. This provides a world-class combination of performance and fuel economy.
The system calculates the power needed based on information such as engine load, throttle opening, engine speed and vehicle speed.
The system deactivates half the engine's cylinders in 1/40 of a second, shutting the valves and cutting off the fuel supply. Electronic adjustments to the throttle mean you don't notice a thing. This could cut gas consumption as much as 20 percent.
In tests, reporters and other drivers said they couldn't tell when the vehicle switched from one mode to another. Reviewers found no adverse effects to vehicle performance at all.
Allowing V-8 performance without V-8 fuel consumption, Chrysler's cylinder deactivation may be a technology whose time has come. The 2005 Chrysler 300C is the first modern production vehicle in North America to feature cylinder deactivation. The technology is standard on the Chrysler 300C, as well as on the Dodge Magnum RT and the new Hemi-powered Jeep® Grand Cherokee. Later this year, MDS will be available on the Dodge Charger and Jeep Commander.
For more information, see your Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep dealer or go to the Web sites at www.chrysler.com, www.dodge.com and www.jeep.com.
The Multi-Displacement System is a stroke of genius.