Last summer Ichiro Suzuki was selected as the MVP of the baseball All-Star game and got the keys to one of the first Chevy Tahoe Two-Mode Hybrids. At the time, those SUVs were still more than six months away from production. This year, Chrysler is getting ready to launch their own full-size hybrid SUVs and they may be awarding one of the early production Aspen Hybrids to a women golfer at the Ginn Tribute LPGA tournament this weekend. If any of the 144 golfers, including Annika Sorenstarn, shoot a hole-in-one during the tournament they will get one of the first Aspens.

The Aspen and its twin Dodge Durango hybrid don't go on sale until this fall but they are set up very much like the corresponding GM hybrids. The same two-mode hybrid transmission is paired up with a large V8, in Chrysler's case the 5.7L HEMI. The HEMI is also equipped with cylinder deactivation allowing it to run on either four or eight cylinders. The nickel metal hydride battery pack is installed below the second row seat. While GM is offering their hybrids with either rear or all wheel drive, Chrysler is only planning to offer the Aspen/Durango with the latter configuration. The Chrysler press release is after the jump.



Press Release:

Chrysler Rooting for 2008 Ginn Tribute Player to Shoot a Hole-in-one and Receive an All-new 2009 Chrysler Aspen HEMI® Hybrid

* Hole-in-one winner receives one of the first 2009 Chrysler Aspen HEMI® Hybrid sport-utility vehicles, due in showrooms this fall
* LPGA Tour tournament winner receives 2008 Chrysler Sebring Convertible
* Second annual Ginn Tribute LPGA event televised on Golf Channel, May 29-30, and on NBC, May 31-June 1

Auburn Hills, Mich., May 29, 2008 - The Chrysler brand is hoping that one of the 144 Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) players competing in this weekend's 2008 Ginn Tribute Hosted by ANNIKA will shoot a hole-in-one as that golfer will be one of the first to own an all-new 2009 Chrysler Aspen HEMI® Hybrid, due in showrooms later this year.

As one of the founding sponsors of Ginn golf tournaments and the official automotive sponsor, Chrysler is also giving the winner of the 2008 Ginn Tribute an all-new 2008 Chrysler Sebring Convertible.

The 2008 Ginn Tribute will be one of the last tournaments for Annika Sorenstam, regarded as the best player in LPGA history, who announced on May 13 that she will be stepping away from competitive golf at the end of this year. Sorenstam will join last year's Ginn Tribute champion, Nicole Castrale, and 142 additional top female players in the tournament, which will be televised on the Golf Channel, May 29-30, and on NBC, May 31-June 1.

"The Ginn Tribute is an excellent opportunity for Chrysler to showcase our all-new Chrysler Aspen Hybrid," said John Plecha, Director - Chrysler Marketing and Global Communications. "With Annika Sorenstam leaving competitive golf, all eyes will be on this year's tournament. We are anxious to see which top ladies player will win and drive away in the Sebring Convertible and who could be one of the first to own an Aspen Hybrid by simply shooting a hole-in-one."

About Chrysler Aspen Hybrid
With the introduction of the new 2009 Chrysler Aspen HEMI® Hybrid, Chrysler LLC delivers a hybrid-electric vehicle that combines fuel-efficient advanced hybrid technology with full-size sport-utility-vehicle (SUV) performance and capability. The new hybrid vehicle will offer customers the sought-after blend of performance, utility, capability and vastly improved fuel-economy, all in one package. Combined with Chrysler's Multi-displacement System (MDS), the advanced two-mode hybrid technology immediately delivers a more than 25 percent fuel economy improvement and up to a 40 percent improvement in the city. The 2009 Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango HEMI Hybrid vehicles, due in showrooms this fall, are Chrysler's first entries in the hybrid market.

About Chrysler Sebring Convertible
The 2008 Chrysler Sebring Convertible offers a sleek and elegant design, exhilarating performance with excellent fuel efficiency and a spacious interior. The Sebring Convertible also offers three automatically latching convertible top options: vinyl, cloth and a body-color painted steel hard top, all of which can be retracted with a push of a button on the key fob. The Chrysler Sebring Convertible has long held the honor of America's favorite convertible, solidly leading the segment for the past decade. In fact, Sebring Convertible has earned the title of best-selling convertible in the United States for seven of the past 11 years.

About Chrysler and Golf
Chrysler is a proud supporter of professional and amateur golf. The 2008 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic (BHCC), a pro-am event sanctioned by the PGA Tour, was held in Palm Springs, Calif., in January. Chrysler has supported the Classic since 1965 and has been a title sponsor since 1985, the longest sponsor/event association in the PGA Tour and one of the longest in sports. Chrysler's sponsorship has enabled the Classic to distribute nearly $44 million to the Eisenhower Medical Center and a total of 112 local charities. The Ginn Open is the third richest event on the LPGA. Chrysler has been the automotive sponsor of the Ginn golfing events since 2006. Chrysler is also the official automotive sponsor of the Merrill Lynch Shootout, Dec. 5-7, 2008, in Naples, Fla. The Chrysler Club Championship (CCC) is the fastest growing, most prestigious amateur golf event in the country. Now in its fifth year, the CCC is a stroke-play event designed for top male and female amateur golfers

[Source: Chrysler]