• Apr 13th 2009 at 9:27AM
  • 75
While the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee wowed the crowds in New York, what lies beneath could be a key to Chrysler's recovery. The new 3.6-liter V6, called Pentastar after the company's five-pointed-star logo, replaces seven – count 'em, seven – of Chrysler's aging engines, and stands as the outcome of several years of development.
The all-aluminum DOHC Pentastar V6, as applied in the new Jeep, offers a 33% increase in power and 11% improvement in the torque department over the engine it replaces, for a husky 280 horsepower and 260 lb-ft -- all while returning 11% better fuel economy and helping Chrysler trim its overall, range-wide CAFE emissions by two miles per gallon by 2015. But the key to the engine's success could be its flexibility: not only is it designed as a flex-fuel engine, burning either gasoline or E85 ethanol with no effect on either output or emissions (no mean feat in and of itself), but the new Pentastar will find its way into a wide variety of vehicles, including Chryslers, Dodges and Jeeps, but also Alfa Romeos. That ought to serve as an extra bargaining chip in the vital negotiations between Chrysler LLC and the Fiat Group. Under the pending reciprocal arrangement between Detroit and Turin, the Pentastar could end up motivating several new Alfas, including the replacements to the 159 and Brera, to name just two, while Chrysler reaps the rewards in the form of Fiat Powertrain Technologies' advanced fours. Follow the jump to read more about the new Pentastar V6 in the press release and click the image on the right for a high-res pic.

[Source: Chrysler]


Chrysler LLC Introduces All-new Pentastar V-6 Engine

Refined, more fuel-efficient V-6 engine to debut in all-new 2011 Jeep® Grand Cherokee
  • The all-new Pentastar V-6 is the most advanced six-cylinder engine in the history of Chrysler, with an ideal integration of select technologies that deliver refinement, fuel efficiency and performance
  • All-new flexible-fuel 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 to replace seven current V-6 engines, resulting in flexibility, efficient operations and significant cost savings to the company
  • New Chrysler Pentastar V-6 to deliver fuel efficiency improvement of up to 8 percent on average compared with previous Chrysler V-6 engines
  • New Pentastar V-6 will contribute a 2 mpg increase to Chrysler's CAFE by 2015
New York, Apr 8, 2009 - Chrysler LLC introduced today an all-new line of V-6 engines that will improve fuel efficiency across the Chrysler, Jeep® and Dodge lineup by 8 percent on average compared with previous Chrysler V-6 engines. This more refined and fuel-efficient V-6 engine will ultimately replace seven current Chrysler V-6 engines.

The new 3.6-liter V-6 engine-named Pentastar-is part of the company's overall $3 billion powertrain offensive. It will first be offered in the all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, unveiled today at the New York International Auto Show and at the Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah.

"Chrysler's all-new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine will offer our customers improved fuel economy, refinement and increased performance across the Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicle lineup," said Frank Klegon, Executive Vice President-Product Development, Chrysler LLC. "At the same time, replacing seven current engines with one engine will result in increased flexibility, more efficient operations and significant cost savings to the company."

The Pentastar is an all-new design, featuring double-overhead camshafts (DOHC) and a high-pressure die-cast aluminum cylinder block in a 60-degree configuration.

In the all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, the all-new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine will deliver 280 horsepower (209 kW) at 6,400 rpm and 260 lb.-ft. (353 N•m) of torque at 4,800 rpm-an increase of 33 percent in horsepower and 11 percent in torque over its predecessor-while providing an 11 percent fuel economy improvement.

"The all-new Pentastar is the most advanced six-cylinder engine Chrysler has ever offered," said Bob Lee, Vice President-Powertrain Product Team. "This new family of engines uses an architecture conceived with future technology growth and integration in mind."

The new Pentastar V-6 also will contribute a 2 mpg increase to Chrysler's CAFE by 2015, resulting in fewer greenhouse gas emissions and a reduction in oil dependence.

Customers Benefit: Fuel Efficiency, Refinement, Quality, Low Cost of Ownership

During the initial goal setting for the Pentastar program, Chrysler engineers benchmarked the industry's leading engines to set functional targets. The result is an all-new engine that delivers truly world-class customer attributes.

Chrysler's all-new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine design features a double-overhead cam (DOHC), narrow included valve angle, cylinder head and high-flow intake and exhaust ports. This design, combined with dual independent cam phasing, allows optimum volumetric and combustion efficiency over the full speed and load range, resulting in an exceptional, flat torque curve along with high specific power-the engine's torque exceeds 90 percent of its peak value from 1,600 to 6,400 rpm-which will provide customers with outstanding drivability and responsiveness, without the need for premium fuel.

"Similar to what we did with the HEMI® engine, our engineers used the best combination of design features and technologies to create an engine that satisfies customer requirements," Lee added. "The elegantly simple design maximizes the functionality of each design element rather than adding technology to claim a feature. The result gives our customers everything they demand from an engine today-class-leading levels of refinement, fuel-efficiency, performance and cost of ownership."

The advanced oil filter system eliminates oil spills and contains an incinerable filter element-more efficient disposal than the typical spin-on filters, which are disposed of in landfill sites. The use of long-life spark plugs and a high-energy coil-on-plug ignition system also helps to reduce cost of ownership.

The Pentastar V-6 is designed to run on regular gasoline, offering a 10 percent reduction in fuel cost compared with premium fueled engines. The engine also is fully flex fuel capable, offering consumers the choice of gasoline or E85 fuel without any degradation in performance or emissions.

The new state-of-the-art Trenton (Mich.) Engine South Plant will be the lead facility for production of the Pentastar V-6 engine. A duplicate, new facility in Saltillo, Mexico, will ramp up for the 2012 model year.

All-new Chrysler 3.6-liter, DOHC, 24-valve Pentastar V-6 Technical Specifications
Displacement: 3.6 liters
Bore x stroke: 96 x 83 mm
Valve train system: Double-overhead cam with roller finger followers and hydraulic lash adjusters. Dual independent cam-torque actuated phasers
Fuel injection: Multi-point port fuel injection
Construction: High-pressure die-cast aluminum cylinder block and semi-permanent mold aluminum cylinder head
Maximum engine speed: 7200 rpm
Fuel requirement: E85 (Ethanol) or unleaded regular, 87 octane (R+M)/2
Emission capability: PZEV

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      I can't wait to see this in the base Challenger SE. Better performance and mileage than the old V6 for those who don't want to spring for the V8. I also read that these motors are extremely quite running.

      From the Allpar link above:

      "This report came on November 3, 2008:

      A supplier (identity confirmed) reported on Chrysler’s upcoming Phoenix V6 engines, saying that they would be certain to survive any takeovers or mergers. “They’re good on mileage and power, and they’re very quiet,” said the supplier.

      According to Chrysler presentations, even the most powerful Phoenix, displacing 3.6 liters and producing (in preliminary tests) over 280 horsepower, is quieter than Toyota’s 3.3 liter V6 - and far quieter than the Toyota 3.5 liter V6. Gas mileage is said to be good, partly due to the use of high-pressure, die-cast blocks, which save on labor and allow for thinner walls and less use of aluminum. These blocks are 20 pounds lighter than General Motors' V6 blocks, saving around $40 per engine on aluminum alone; an independent firm estimated that these engines are at least $300 cheaper to build than GM’s current V6 line..."
        • 6 Years Ago
        Just one clarification: BMW only uses inline 6s, no V6s. Inline 6s are one of their engineering hallmarks and it's one of the reasons their engines are so smooth. I've never driven a V6 that I could really call smooth in comparison to an inline 6, but V6s make sense for packaging efficiency in a lot of cars.
        • 6 Years Ago
        This should be in the Challenger immediately.
        With w5a580 & 3.06 axle ratio, the challenger V6 can now be a 15@95 in the 1/4 mile car.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Sorry -- posted to wrong thread
      • 6 Years Ago
      Where the heck is the direct injection? I can't imagine introducing a new engine design without it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Seems to be quite a flexible engine.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Finally the death of the 2.7.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think it would take more than an engine for Chrysler's recovery ...
        • 6 Years Ago
        It's a little naive to imply that the engine is the only thing in their recovery plan, but for an automobile company, yes, good, efficient engines are extremely important.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The heart of any successful vehicle manufacture is the engine. An engine is the heart of a vehicle. Almost every manufacture has an engine they can hang their hat on but its not the high end engines but the engines serving duty in the bread winners that count. All 3 of the Detroit manufactures refused to use new technology until it is almost to late. GM high-output V6 came after a long over due hiatus of the 3.8. Ford is just not starting to use its eco-boost, and Chryslers line of V6 has been terrible for as long as I remember.

      Toyota, Honda, Nissan, BMW, etc. all have a great line of middle V6's that excel at least at 1 area or another. The Americans have not been able to say the same for a while. For Chrysler to have a commendable V6 in its lineup and for the Detroit 3 to finally have engines that compete is a giant step in the right direction.

      Maybe this engine alone won't save the company but, it makes a statement about where they intend to go, whether or not they get there is still in the air. I have always faired that the Detroit 3 have engineers that are as good as any in the world. Its the men in position that run the company that have driven them to the ground. I hope GM, Chrysler, and Ford survive, do well, and finally showcase the talents they've kept cooped up for so long.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Just one clarification: BMW only uses inline 6s, no V6s. Inline 6s are one of their engineering hallmarks and it's one of the reasons their engines are so smooth. I've never driven a V6 that I could really call smooth in comparison to an inline 6, but V6s make sense for packaging efficiency in a lot of cars.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Back when Daimler had all of Chrylser in it's clutches, this engine was supposed to find it's way into Mercedes. Don't know it that will happen now. If it does they will put a different head on it, slap a big plastic cover that says Mercedes, and never admit it came from Mopar.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @MikeW, Frank & Jim are both correct. Automotive News had long ago reported this engine as a collaboration between Chrysler adn Daimler, and the engine was supposed to eventually end up in use at Mercedes. In absolute, indisputable fact, Daimler verified this very fact when sold the 80.1& of Chrysler to Cerberus two years ago.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "What would Mercedes want with a tall engine (European pedestrian rules) with no bottom end torque?"

        why don't you ask them, given that this engine is a joint project (just like the '11 Grand Cherokee/ML.)
        • 6 Years Ago
        oh and the direct injected MB 3.5
        288hp@6400, 269ft-lbs@3000-5100

        and if MB wants a larger V6, can't they just use a V6 off their 5.5 V8 for a 4.1 liter V6. (say if they were planning on dropping their 4.7)
        • 6 Years Ago
        "and if MB wants a larger V6, can't they just use a V6 off their 5.5 V8 for a 4.1 liter V6. (say if they were planning on dropping their 4.7)"

        90° V6s are:

        1) fail
        2) lulz.
        • 6 Years Ago
        What US Mercedes product would this go in? (that 4.1 V6 could be the base engine in the GL)

        The germans were probably lying when they 'lets go half-sies on a new engine'
        It worked the other way, when the Crossfire use the old 3 valve 3.2 V6.

        Sure this is a BIG improvement over what Chrysler has, but it maybe too little, too late.
        If only the LX launched with this.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You do know that MB's V6s for the last decade have been 90 degree Vees
        Audi's V6 for the last 15 years to.
        and GM's 3800 and 4.3 V6 (3/4 of the 350)
        • 6 Years Ago
        "You do know that MB's V6s for the last decade have been 90 degree Vees
        Audi's V6 for the last 15 years to.
        and GM's 3800 and 4.3 V6 (3/4 of the 350)"

        yes. that doesn't mean I have to like it ;) yes, you get to share architecture and tooling with a V8, but then you need a split-pin crankshaft (theoretically weaker than shared-journal) and balance shafts in order to tame NVH. At least a 60° V6 has even firing intervals.
        • 6 Years Ago
        What would Mercedes want with a tall engine (European pedestrian rules) with no bottom end torque?

        Their 3.5 (standard output) is 268hp@6000, 258ft-lbs@2400-5000
        The 3.5 (high output) is 300hp@6500, 265ft-lbs@4900
      • 6 Years Ago
      The idea of this engine under the hood of an Alfa is a sacrilege.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yes, it is as well.

        If this is an improvement on the current one, then I can't really complain too much, but it doesn't alter my opinion. An Alfa engine should be Italian sourced.

        I thought that the current Alfa V6 was based on a Holden design?
        • 6 Years Ago
        The current Alfa V6 only uses the block from Holden / GM. All the internals including pistons, cylinders, crankshaft as well as heads, fuel management systems and intake and exhaust manifolds were designed by Alfa. It's a nice engine, and even sounds like an Alfa V6 should, but I still mourn the passing of the Arese V6 it replaced. If the Pentastar is used in future Alfas, I hope Alfa does it own heads and internals again. The engine is the heart of a car, and in an Alfa, that is especially important.
        • 6 Years Ago
        its not heavy
      • 6 Years Ago
      Is the Pentastar electric? .......sigh.
        • 6 Years Ago
        And Chrysler couldn't put more energy behind their EVs (pun intended!) 10 years ago, rather than "all of a sudden" due to bailouts and potential closure because ...?
        • 6 Years Ago
        I hate rabid greenies who have no idea what they are talking about. It is different to be a sweater wearing hippie with some wisdom. Maybe you will graduate to dog-hair covered sweater status someday K.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Electrical vehicles are at least a decade, and probably much more, from being volume products. If any company wants to stay alive, they must develop new engines in the the interim. Developing a more efficient V6 is not against plans for recovery, it's vital to it.

        As pointed out by thomas, Chrysler is also working on EVs, so this news isn't mutual exclusive with "focusing on the future." Chrysler would go out of business far faster if they focused exclusively on EVs. They cannot survive serving a niche market as Tesla can; their structure and workforce is orders of magnitude bigger.
        • 6 Years Ago
        ............. WHAT?!?! its clearly a gas engine.......

        ENVI = Chrysler's electric program
      • 6 Years Ago
      This engine is going to be terrific. Chrysler has always made smooth engines; and this one witll be a great driver.

      Perfect for the Challanger V6 (Camaro, which probably bests the Challanger in many areas, wishes it had this engine).
      • 6 Years Ago
      Great name for the engine. That is heritage that I can get behind.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Looks good on paper, too--DOHC, all-aluminum, 280 horses, and not too big. This could be the Honda- and Toyota-competitive V6 Chrysler has needed so desperately this past decade.
        • 6 Years Ago
        now, if they can only replace the 4-speeds with 6-speeds, they will increase their CAFE even more
        • 6 Years Ago
        Even better, you will see 8-speeds with HEMI engines.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @K, you have zero clue what you're talking about. Ten years ago, EV technology was so in it's infancy, that it wasn't high on most automakers list of research projects. And that, in addition to the Big Three, included Nissan, and all of the European automakers. Nissan's Carlos Ghosn was record as recently as 2006 as being against both EV's and hybrid's, and Altima's hybrid program was an after-thought. Ten years ago, Chrysler's product development was under 100% control of the Germans as a part of Daimler - see any Mercedes EV's running around? I think not.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The engine will not be put in an alfa, the company is already developing 2,7 3,0 and 3,3 petrol engines, for the next models milano and giulia, that are going to replace the 3.2 (is australian holden i think with some alfa components).The 2,7 will be around 300hp.Plus they already have a 240hp 1,75liter turbo L4. The fuel flexibility is not a prerogative of the automaker, it's more on the technological/sophisticated thing(they have a 190hp 1,9liter biturbo diesel engine with very good fuel economy).
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