Editor's note: Chrysler is developing nine-speed automatic transmissions for front-wheel-drive models. The number of speeds was incorrect in earlier versions of this story.
DETROIT -- Over the next three years, Chrysler Group will redesign most of its hottest-selling vehicles on Fiat-derived platforms and install new and more efficient automatic transmissions in a majority of its vehicles.
The changes are the results of Chrysler's 2009 acquisition by Fiat S.p.A.
Chrysler is ramping up production of eight-speed automatic transmissions, which it will use for large rear-wheel-drive vehicles. It also has begun building prototypes of a new nine-speed automatic transmission for front-wheel-drive models. Both gearboxes will improve fuel economy.
Meanwhile, Chrysler will introduce European diesel engines in a few light-duty vehicles and roll out at least two new gasoline engines for others.
Several of Chrysler's compact and mid-sized vehicles will be redesigned to ride on Fiat's CUSW platform, which was introduced to North America on the 2013 Dodge Dart. Its minivans, large sedans and coupes also are scheduled for redesigns on new platforms. The Viper is returning to the lineup late this year with a new brand, SRT.
Fiat will add an electric version of the 500 this year and a small crossover, the 500X, in the 2015 model year. Here are Chrysler-Fiat's product plans from company and other sources.