Since its debut in 2011, Chrysler’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 has been one of the automaker’s premier engines with more than five million units produced and available under the hood of almost every Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram product. For 2016, this engine is getting some big changes that are expected to return better power, efficiency and refinement.
Just like the original Pentastar, the updated 3.6-liter will be making its debut on the Jeep Grand Cherokee, and as quickly as this engine spread across the current Chrysler lineup, the new mill promises to be even more adaptable, so we will likely be seeing it appear in even more products in the future.
Every aspect of the engine was considered when the improvements were being designed, and the extensive changes show just that. Chrysler has yet to reveal exact torque output or fuel economy figures for the updated Pentastar, but it is saying that torque – especially low-end torque – will increase by almost 15 percent while fuel economy will be up by about 6 percent. Additionally, the 2016 Grand Cherokee will be rated at 295 horsepower compared to the 290-horsepower rating of the current model.
Power and torque have increased thanks to the new intake manifold that features longer runners and a recalibrated Variable Valve Timing. Both improvements help deliver more torque at lower engine speeds (1,000 rpm to 3,000 rpm). The upgraded VVT also allows for expanded use of automatic stop-start, which means that this fuel- and emissions-saving technology will be offered on additional models beyond the Chrysler 200 and Ram 1500.
Speaking of fuel economy, several enhancements were made to the Pentastar for this purpose, starting with the two-stage Variable Valve Lift, which accounts for almost half (2.7 percent) of the gain by reducing the workload on the engine. The engine was also given a higher compression ratio, new fuel injectors (still port injected rather than direct) and high-energy ignition coils, adding another 1.5-percent increase, while an EGR cooler and reduced-friction internal components each add about 1 percent fuel economy gains.
And to finish it all off, the revamped 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 also went on a diet, now weighing in at 326 pounds. This is four pounds less than the current engine, despite adding 13 pounds of content.
Continue reading for the full story.
If you want to take a break from all the Paris Auto Show-related news, check out some of the new details we dug up on the next big auto show of the year: SEMA. Mopar has unveiled a series of teaser images for their upcoming line-up, which will be presented in Las Vegas from Tuesday, October 30, 2012, to Friday, November 2, 2012. These images only show five different vehicles, but the company has promised that more than 20 Moparized Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Fiat, and SRT vehicles will be at the show.
The teaser images show a widebody Fiat 500, a custom RAM pickup, an updated Dodge Charger,
a heavily modified Jeep, and - our favorite - a very nicely updated Dodge Dart. With its growing list of Mopar-first features, including Electronic Vehicle Tracking Systems (EVTS), Wireless charging, Vehicle-information apps, and Electronic owner manuals, we’re psyched to see what Chrysler’s service, parts, and customer-care brand has to offer at this year’s SEMA Auto Show.
"At Mopar, we always look forward to the SEMA season," said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand. "The show is an opportunity for us to inspire owners to customize their vehicles, and it’s the perfect place to showcase our vast portfolio of quality-tested performance parts and accessories."
Chrysler Introduces New 8-Speed Automatic
If you thought gearboxes fitted with seven-speeds had a few too many, hold on to your hats: starting this fall, 2012 300s and Dodge Chargers equipped with the 3.6-liter Pentastar VVT V6 engine will now have no less than 8 gears to choose from. Thank the heavens it’s an automatic.
The new transmission, dubbed the 845RE, is manufactured by German specialists ZF. ZF is known to do hi-tech transmissions for a variety of Audi, BMW, Bentley, Range Rover, and Rolls Royce models. Though the transmission will be initially supplied by ZF, Chrysler says that they will take over development of the eight-speed rower in their Kokomo, Indiana transmission plant sometime in the future.
The slick new transmission is slated to replace most of the five-speeds - which is an older version of a Mercedes-Benz designed transmission - in Chrysler’s lineup including V8s.
There are several reasons to move to an automatic eight-speed transmission, primarily fuel economy. Being able to keep the revs lower for a longer period of time will result in better - around 15% better - combined highway and city driving.
The 845RE is a fully electronic transmission that includes software featuring adaptive shifting characteristics depending on variables such as engine torque gradients, kick down, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, hill detection, friction detection, and downshift detection.
Chrysler hasn’t said much about performance upgrades that are in line with the new transmission, but we suspect that the new eight-speed will also keep you within torque band longer if you so choose to floor it. Of course, if the new transmission makes it to the V8 Chargers, we don’t have to convince you to floor it.
As part of their aim for 50,000 units sold per year, Maserati is keeping busy by trying to put together the perfect Quattroporte. Long since considered too big for a daily driver, but too small for a chauffeur’s car, the Quattroporte will need to be just right for customers’ consumption. Maserati’s answer to that dilemma is to create two new sedans - the Quattroporte and ’baby’ Quattroporte - at just the right size and to borrow systems and components from Chrysler sedans such as the Chrysler 300 and the Dodge Avenger.
So, will the consumers be force-fed re-badged Chryslers? Not according to Maserati. The company has maintained a clear picture of what they want the Maserati to look like and have therefore stuck to borrowing elements from Chrysler that will not be readily seen. Elements such as wiring, air conditioning, passive safety systems, and seat structures will find their way into to the Quattroporte, leaving the overall look purely Maserati.
Details for the future Maserati Quattroporte and ’baby’ Quattroporte after the jump.
We’ve been drowning in rumors about a Maserati SUV for a little while now - ever since the Maserati Kubang Concept came out in 2003 - so the thought of some semi-concrete evidence was rather inviting. A few months ago, the new Maserati SUV was finally confirmed by the brand, who set a launch for sometime in 2012. That confirmation was followed with rumors of a Ferrari-sourced engine, but as it turns out, Top Gear is hearing that Chrysler will actually be the ones powering the bulkier Maserati.
CEO of Chrysler Group and Fiat, Sergio Marchionne had said that the new SUV would carry a "rock and roll engine," possibly in both V8 and V12 variants. Current rumors suggest that the engine will actually be a Chrysler Hemi V8 with 465 HP and more torque than the original option. This engine will also fit better in the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee platform they have already confirmed for the Maserati model. Now, the future SUV will only be Italian on the badge, as the engine and chassis will be American made at Chrysler’s Jefferson North assembly plant. This should bode well for the SUV, since having a Ferrari engine would have undoubtedly hiked up the price.
Expect to see the official launch of the Maserati SUV at one of the major auto shows in 2012.
The Chrysler PT Cruiser is – or should we say, was – a car that you would never mistake for being a powerhouse. Retro-looking, sure. Snorting horsepower? Hardly.
The only way you could give the PT Cruiser some street rep is to take out its four-cylinder mechanical guts and place something akin to a Dodge Viper’s powerhouse V10 in it, which, fortunately, is exactly what someone did to their beloved, little hatch. The result is a vehicle that epitomizes substance over style. On the outside, the first thing you’ll notice is the fact that this PT Cruiser was turned into a pick-up, which is weird enough on its own considering the retro hatch’s unmistakable profile. So without the rear doors and a hatch that has since been replaced with a pick-up bed, the PT Cruiser’s new profile lends itself a curious look.
That is until you pop open the hood.
Where a 2.4-liter four-cylinder, naturally aspirated engine that produces 150 horsepower and 165 lb-ft of torque once resided is now an old 8.0-liter V10 engine that produces 500 horsepower to go with the Viper’s six-speed transmission, rear suspension, and steering rack. The car is said to have been built some years back, but given it’s uniqueness and downright peculiarity – not to mention the insane power under its hood – it’s still something that will catch your attention.
Now is it enough to warrant a bid on eBay for more than the $13,100 price tag currently on display? We say absolutely only because something this weird with that much horsepower is bound to make anyone stand out in a crowd.
The Performance Racing industry show came and went with a series of new parts for all of our racing needs. Among the most notable of these items was Mopar’s new 426 ’Elephant’ Hemi V8 engine. This engine is all aluminum and delivers an impressive 540 HP and 530 ft.-lbs. of torque, all for a bargain price of $13,675. Production for the engine has already started.
Along with the new 426 engine, Mopar brought out the new 2011 Mopar Challenger V-10 Drag Pak. The drag pak comes with a 8.4-liter 512 cubic-inch engine with a 2-speed automatic transmission. Based on the 2011 Dodge Challenger and finished in a Stock Eliminator and Super Stock configuration, the 2011 Mopar Challenger V-10 Drag Pak is the first and only 500-plus cubic-inch V-10 drag-race package car.
Alongside the 426 ’Elephant’ Hemi V8 engine and the V10 Drag Pak, Mopar also brought valvetrain tie bars, a rear strut tower, midget race cylinder head, aluminum engine blocks, cylinder head stud kit, cold-air intake, W2 heads, and a Gen III distributor kit to the show. All of these parts can be ordered individually to increase your car’s performance.
Press release after the jump.
Mopar® announced today that it will launch uconnect web™, Chrysler LLC’s in-vehicle wireless Internet connectivity for Chrysler, Jeep® and Dodge consumers in the U.S. uconnect web, powered by Autonet Mobile, delivers continuous Internet connectivity to all vehicle passengers for entertainment and real-time information access on the go.
uconnect web will be available in August as a dealer-installed Mopar Accessory. Mopar is Chrysler LLC’s original equipment parts manufacturer and distributor.
The industry-first technology provides high-speed data transfer, combining WiFi and 3G connectivity. uconnect web transforms the vehicle into a mobile “hot spot,” delivering unlimited, reliable and uninterrupted Internet connectivity for all passengers in and around the vehicle. The “hot spot” connection radius is approximately 100 feet—making it convenient to access the Internet at a soccer field or family picnic.
Developed in cooperation with Stillwater Designs, Mopar; Performance Parts announced the availability of exclusive OEM-engineered Kicker; audio system upgrade kits for Chrysler, Jeep(r) and Dodge vehicles. Mopar is the Chrysler Group’s original equipment parts manufacturer.
The Mopar/Kicker audio system upgrade kits – the highest-output system from an OEM – deliver enhanced clarity and add power, weight, realism, detail, depth and impact to the sound. The kits pack from 400 to 768 watts of (...)
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For the first time, live TV programming from the most trusted brands in family entertainment—Nickelodeon, Disney Channel and Cartoon Network—will be available through SIRIUS Backseat TV in select 2008 model Chrysler, Jeep(r) and Dodge vehicles, beginning with the all-new 2008 Chrysler Town & (...)
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