The Chrysler 1.8 Liter Engine of the 1990s
This is a 16 valve, four-cylinder SOHC gasoline engine, based on the Neon 2.0 but smaller to get around the tax hurdle often placed on 2.0 liter and larger engines in Europe. It was developed with a number of corporate partners, to spread research costs and apply more expertise.
The 1.8 (1796 cc) had lower noise, vibration, and harshness than the 2.0, according to Chrysler, along with better fuel economy; the European version, made in Trenton, Michigan, conformed to Euro Stage III emissions rules. Power was rated at 86 kw (115 bhp) at 5750 rpm and 152 N-m (112 lb-ft) at 4900 rpm, far below the 2.0’s 132 hp and 129 lb-ft.
Fuel mileage in the Neon was 11.1l/100km (21 mpg) urban, 6.7l/100km (35 mpg) extra-urban, and 8.3 l/100km (28 mpg) combined. By comparison, the EPA rated the 2.0 Neon at 29 city, 38 highway with the manual transmission; the ACR transmission used in Europe to maintain acceleration despite lower power hurt fuel economy.
Like all new Chrysler engines, the design process was “paperless” and used extensive computer modelling and rapid modelling techniques.
After Fiat bought the factory which made the engines in Brazil, they kept the engine in production, modernizing it at one point; it is still made there in 2014.
A factory worker wrote:
The 1.8 liter Neon export engine was based on the Trenton-made 2.0; it was a smaller bore, with the same rods and crank as the 2.0 (it’s easier to make different sized pistons than both rods and crank). The block line would change over the tooling for the smaller bore and run a few thousand per month, but you had to make sure there were no 1.8 blocks in the system — if you tried to bore out a 1.8 liter, rough-bored block to finish the 2.0 liter bore size, the tooling wouldn’t take it. It happened a few times.
This is not the 1.4/1.6 liter engine developed with Rover and used in the BMW Mini.