Valeo SA will supply its Hydraulically Driven Fan System (HDFS) for the redesigned '03 Dodge Viper and on an '05 luxury SUV.

The supplier also has letters of intent with customers to provide the system for two other major SUV platforms for the '05 model year, and several other programs are in the works for other customers by '06. All of the vehicles will be produced in North America.

HDFS first debuted as standard equipment on '01 Jeep Grand Cherokees powered by the 4.7L SOHC V-8. In all, 200,000 vehicles are equipped with HDFS.

Valeo says HDFS frees up vehicle designers because it allows the radiator and fan to be placed anywhere in the vehicle — behind the back seat or under the floor pan, because the system has an air-moving power that is 20 to 30 times that of an electric fan. With traditional cooling, the grille, radiator and fan are clustered in front to allow natural air flow to keep the radiator cool.

Hydraulic fans are not new and have appeared on Toyota Motor Corp. and Lexus vehicles, as well as the Lincoln LS and its linemate, the new Ford Thunderbird. But Valeo says its system differs because it shares hydraulics with the power steering system, cutting engine parasitic losses.