WASHINGTON, D.C. – The 2006 model Dodge Ram 1500 light duty pickup will offer a gasoline engine equipped with the latest in fuel-sipping technology – a multi-displacement system (MDS) that can turn engine cylinders on and off depending on driving conditions, boosting fuel economy by up to 20%.

“It’s all about developing practical innovations to help light-truck users get the best fuel economy, maximum performance, and overall value from their vehicles,” explained Bob Lee, VP-Powertrain for the Chrysler Group at a special “Innovations Symposium” held here by its parent company, DaimlerChrysler.

MDS works by turning engine cylinders on and off in 40,000th of a second depending on driving conditions. Lee said it allows a V8 engine to get the fuel consumption of a V4 in slow traffic or while cruising at highway speeds, yet keep the power and performance of a V8 under acceleration and hauling heavy loads – all in one package.

“Basically, customers want to keep the engine power of the V8 yet gain fuel economy, without any changes in how that engine performs or them having to drive differently,’ he said. “MDS allows just that.”