While other auto makers are looking to hybrid-electric powertrains to boost vehicle fuel economy, DaimlerChrysler AG’s Chrysler Group is, for now, satisfied with the advance of its Multi-Displacement System (MDS) that shuts down half of the cylinders of its popular Hemi 5.7L OHV V-8 when not needed. The so-called cylinder-deactivation systems have one bad-actor past example – General Motors Corp.’s ill-fated V-8-6-4 – but the advent of improved electronic hardware and software means ...

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