In 2010, Chrysler introduced the new Pentastar V-6 engine, which features a lighter weight aluminum block with variable valve timing that improved fuel efficiency an average 7% over predecessor engines. Ward’s Auto has recognized the Pentastar engine among the “10 Best Engines for 2011” and as one of the “10 Best Engines for 2012” for its refinement, power, fuel-efficiency and low emissions.
The Pentastar V-6 was introduced on the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee and has since been launched on 11 other vehicles. Because of the engine’s flexible architecture, it can be used on a wide range of models and with a variety of advanced technologies, such as the Fiat MultiAir, direct injection and turbo-chargers. The Pentastar V-6 engine is manufactured at the Trenton (Michigan, U.S.) and Saltillo (Mexico) plants. Despite its recent 2010 launch, high demand for this engine resulted in production of one million Pentastar engines by January 2011 and steps were taken to further expand production capacity. In 2012, the Ram pickup will also be offered with the Pentastar V-6.
In connection with the launch of the Fiat 500 in North America in December 2010, manufacture also began of Fiat’s 1.4L FIRE engine which incorporates Fiat’s proprietary MultiAir technology. This has added an eco-efficient small engine to the portfolio. Chrysler has adapted MultiAir technology to the new 2.4L 4-cylinder Tigershark engine, which will be used in future C- and D-segment vehicles starting in 2012. This engine, utilized on the new Dodge Dart, provides better fuel economy and refinement than the current World Gas Engine which it will replace by 2015.
As intended, engine mix is moving increasingly toward smaller, 4-cycliner engines. In 2011, 24% of vehicles incorporated a 4-cylinder engine, as compared to the 19% mix in 2010. Engine downsizing is expected to continue through 2014.