Is Chrysler deliberately slowing down its V6 cars?

The V6 in my car is “made” by the eight-speed automatic that came with it. Before that transmission, the 300 V6 was almost pokey. With it, 0-60 times officially comes in 6.6 seconds (down from around 8.6), while highway mileage shot up from an EPA-registered 27 to 31. In real life, long highway trips yield 34 mpg, not bad for a full size upscale sedan.

But it reacts slowly, compared to its potential. It is still faster shifting than the five-speed it replaced or the old Chrysler four-speed, or most competing transmissions, but when you get the Hemi, it’s tuned for faster shifts. The Charger SRT has faster shifts still.


Is this the nature of the different transmissions used in the different cars, or is it a programming thing? Did someone at Chrysler figure you don’t care about speed if you get the V6, or is it a deliberate Apple-under-Sculley attempt to limit the power of the lesser engines? If so, I must remind the powers-that-be at Chrysler of what happened to the great Apple Computer under John Sculley… and what happened when Steve Jobs decided that limits on low-end models must be removed. (The Mac currently enjoys the highest market share in its entire history. Apple itself, of course, used to have a higher market share — as the first seller of “personal computers,” they once had a 100% market share.)

So… unless there is some inherent difference in speed between the transmissions used in the V6, V8, and SRT cars (which do all have different capacities though they are similar in design)… I want someone at Chrysler to get cracking on a firmware upgrade. That would increase the car’s responsiveness and “highway guts,” and it could be set up as an option in the 8.4-inch touch screen along with when the doors lock and how the headlights behave. If they really want to increase their corporate fuel economy, one way to do it is to take away the downsides of getting a V6 instead of a Hemi V8.