Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has just surpassed making its five millionth Pentastar V-6 engine. That’s easy to believe considering its wide spread use and availability in nearly every FCA product. In fact, 47 percent of all FCA’s U.S.-spec vehicles have come equipped with the V-6 since the start of 2015.

Introduced in 2010 with the then-new Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Pentastar V-6 began life displacing 3.6 liters. Now the engine design has grown to include a 3.2-liter version for the Jeep Cherokee and a 3.0-liter version for the Chinese-spec Wrangler, Grand Cherokee, and Chrysler 300.

It’s thanks to the engine’s compact design that allows so many vehicles to utilize it. A 60-degree V keeps its width to a minimum while its exhaust manifolds are integrated into the cylinder heads, eliminating the jumble of individual exhaust tubing. This allows the Pentastar to be easily fitted into either a transverse or longitudinal powertrain orientation with almost no modifications between applications. What’s more, its A/C compressor and alternator are mounted directly to the block, eliminating the need for numerous accessory drive variations.

In the truck world, the Pentastar makes headlines in both the Ram and Jeep brand. The 3.6-liter V-6 comes standard in the Ram 1500 and offers 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque, giving the truck a respectable V-6 max tow rating of 7,600. As for the Jeep brand, the 3.6-liter is still going strong in the Grand Cherokee. The Wrangler also uses the 3.6-liter, except in China, where FCA powers the Jeep with the 230-horse, 210-pound-feet 3.0-liter version.

The Pentastar might not be as iconic as say, the GM small-block V-8, but with FCA’s widespread and continued use of the engine, that could chance over time. Just don’t count on hot-rodders swapping Pentastars in their weekend toys.

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Why It Matters

Keeping commonalities between in engines save time and money when engineering them into a new vehicle. With the exhaust manifold and accessory drive incorporated into the packaging, engineers don’t have to design new solutions for mounting and routing these items from vehicle to vehicle. Besides that, having a trusty powertrain that hops from vehicle to vehicle make for good business. Congrats, FCA, on surpassing the 5 million mark.

Mark McNabb
Mark McNabb was a contributor at TopSpeed from 2013 to 2018. Growing up, Mark always had a mind for tinkering on random items throughout his home and dad’s garage, including a 1953 Ford Mainline and 1971 Corvette Stingray.  Read More
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Press Release

Production of the FCA US Pentastar V-6 Engine Family Surpasses 5 Million

  • Pentastar V-6 engine family consists of three displacements: 3.6-liter, 3.2-liter and 3.0-liter
  • Pentastar engines contribute to numerous best-in-class benchmarks, ranging from fuel economy to driving range
  • Nearly half of all FCA US LLC produced vehicles sold during the first 4+ months of 2015 are equipped with Pentastar engines

May 27, 2015 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Cementing its status as an FCA US LLC workhorse, total production of the Pentastar V-6 engine family surpassed the 5-million mark earlier this month.

First introduced in the 2011 Jeep® Grand Cherokee, the Pentastar V-6 is the most advanced six-cylinder engine in the history of FCA US, with an ideal integration of select technologies that deliver refinement, fuel efficiency and performance. Today, Pentastar V-6 engines are available in 14 vehicles from the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram brands.

Since the start of 2015, 47 percent of FCA US vehicles sold are equipped with a Pentastar V-6 engine.

“The success of the Pentastar V-6 engine family continues to be a testament to our powertrain engineering prowess,” said Bob Lee, Vice President – Engine, Powertrain and Electrified Propulsion, and Systems Engineering, FCA – North America. “This engine delivers world-class performance in multiple displacements and vehicle applications around the globe. We’re extremely proud of how this engine family has evolved to provide our customers with a wide range of performance capabilities.”

The Pentastar V-6 engine family consists of three displacements: 3.6-liter; 3.2-liter (Jeep Cherokee) and 3.0-liter (Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Wrangler and Chrysler 300 sold in China). Three FCA US facilities produce these engines:

  • Trenton Engine Complex, Trenton, Mich. (3.6-liter, 3.2-liter, 3.0-liter)
  • Saltillo South Engine Plant, Saltillo, Mexico (3.6-liter)
  • Mack Avenue Engine Plant, Detroit (3.6-liter, 3.2-liter)

Flexibility: A Pentastar Hallmark
In terms of character, the Pentastar V-6 can be mannerly, as demonstrated in the Chrysler Town & Country; sporty, as in the Dodge Challenger; or beastly, as in the rugged Jeep Wrangler and Ram 1500.

Other Pentastar V-6 engine applications for the 2015 model year are: Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan and 300 full-size sedan; Dodge Charger sport sedan, Grand Caravan minivan, Durango full-size SUV and Journey mid-size crossover; Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee; and Ram Cargo Van and ProMaster full-size van.

Accounting for all its 2015 model year vehicle applications, Pentastar V-6 engines contribute to numerous best-in-class benchmarks:

  • Best-in-class standard V-6 horsepower (283; Ram ProMaster full-size van)
  • Best-in-class horsepower (283) and torque (260 lb.-ft./353 Nm), best-in-class V-6 fuel economy (26 mpg highway) and best-in-class V-6 driving range of up to 520 miles (Ram C/V Tradesman)
  • Best-in-class horsepower (295; Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan)
  • Best-in-class horsepower (283; Dodge Grand Caravan/Chrysler Town & Country minivans)
  • Best-in-class gasoline-powered V-6 driving range (600+ miles; Dodge Durango)
  • Best-in-class gasoline-powered V-6 driving range (600+ miles; Jeep Grand Cherokee)
  • Among full-size sedans, the 3.6-liter Pentastar powers the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 to:
  • Best-in-class highway fuel economy (31 mpg with RWD, 27 mpg with AWD)
  • Unsurpassed combined fuel economy (23 mpg with RWD, 21 mpg with AWD)
  • Unsurpassed city fuel economy (19 mpg city RWD, 18 mpg AWD)

In addition, the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 is a three-time winner of Ward’s 10-Best Engines award (2011-2013).

The Pentastar V-6 architecture further distinguishes itself with flexibility. With little or no modification, it can accommodate longitudinal and transverse orientations; front-wheel-, rear-wheel-, all-wheel- and four-wheel-drive systems; 6-speed manual transmissions and 6-, 8- and 9-speed automatic transmissions.

All Pentastar engines feature a 60-degree, deep-skirt, die-cast-aluminum cylinder block with six-bolt main caps that provide optimal stiffness for NVH mitigation. Also contributing to NVH reduction are:

  • A structural windage tray to complement block stiffness
  • A structural aluminum oil pan
  • Direct-mounted alternator and A/C compressor, which increase stiffness
  • Select-fit pistons with polymer-graphite-coated piston skirts
  • “Silent chain” timing drive with inverted teeth for minimal sprocket NVH
  • Contoured composite cylinder-head covers
  • All Pentastar engines feature variable valve timing (VVT), which enhances fuel efficiency

Further enhancing the driving experience is the specially designed, glass-reinforced, nylon composite intake manifold, which benefits from low-rumble tuning.

The Pentastar family’s defining design element is its exhaust manifold. The manifold is integrated with the cylinder head, which enables greater packaging efficiency.

The engine also features forged-steel connecting rods and piston-squirter jets, and its cam drive and valve-train components require no scheduled maintenance.

About FCA North America Powertrain
Rejuvenated when the Company was established in 2009, FCA US powertrain organization has intensified its efforts to develop engines that deliver superior performance, improved fuel economy, reliability and driving enjoyment. Since 2009, nearly half of Chrysler Group’s total manufacturing outlay (more than $2 billion) has been directed toward powertrain projects.

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