The flow of technology under the Fiat umbrella typically moves from Ferrari to the other brands. After all, between its road and race car programs, Maranello spends an inordinate amount of time and money on research and development. But it looks like the latest bit of technology in Italy is about to go the other way.
What did we tell you? It's all about synergy, people. Automakers around the world are aligning themselves into a constricting cadre of corporate groups, all in the aim of sharing resources. So when Fiat, for example, has a winner on its hands – be it a new platform, a new transmission or anything in between – you know it'll only be a matter of time before it finds its way to Chrysler headquarters in Auburn Hills. Likely in Sergio Marchionne's hand luggage.
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.
Dual-clutch transmissions are emerging as the latest trend in automotive gearboxes, and the Italians aren't about to miss out on the newest fashion. Fiat announced earlier today a new family of six-speed transmissions, called C635, that will premiere as a manual in June 2009, followed by a dual-clutch version in September 2009 before the automated manual comes out in 2010.