Just 18 months into production, Chrysler builds millionth Pentastar V6

The 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee was the first home for Chrysler's Pentastar V6 engine. As you may recall, the powerplant was codenamed "Phoenix," and it was charged with replacing seven other engines in 11 models in the Chrysler and Dodge lineups. Along with it being a well-regarded piece of engineering, its sheer ubiquity goes a long way toward explaining how in just 18 months the Trenton, Michigan plant that produces it has cranked out a million of them.
The 3.6-liter V6 is rated from 283 horsepower up to 305 hp, and can be found under the hood of front-, rear- and four-wheel drive vehicles in varying transmissions. Another signal of how much Chrysler thinks of the Pentastar: after being finagled into the 2012 Jeep Wrangler, rumors last year suggested a twin-turbo version of it could go into the Maserati GranTurismo.

Follow the jump for Chrysler's press release on the seven-figure milestone of a lump voted one of Ward's " 10 Best Engines."
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One Millionth Chrysler Pentastar V-6 Engine Produced at Trenton Engine

- State-of-the-art Chrysler V-6 engine reaches milestone in just 18 months
- Pentastar engine now offered across 11 Chrysler Group models
- Truly diversified engine is available in front-, rear-, and all-wheel drive models including new Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger with eight-speed transmission

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Jan. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Just 18 months following the start of production as the standard engine for the 2010 Jeep® Grand Cherokee, the one millionth Pentastar V-6 engine was assembled today at the Chrysler Group's Trenton (Mich.) Engine Assembly Plant.

"The Pentastar engine is a cornerstone of Chrysler Group's effort to reinvent its business model with world class quality products. This award-winning engine is proof that the Company is transforming its products to meet the needs of our customers," said Brian Harlow, Vice President, Head of Powertrain Manufacturing, Chrysler Group LLC. "To build one million of anything, and in an impressively short amount of time, is a significant achievement. But to do it with such a high degree of quality is a testament to our skilled and dedicated workforce at both Trenton South and Saltillo engine plants."

The 60-degree, V-6 engine, the most advanced six-cylinder ever produced by Chrysler, is now available in 11 vehicles across the Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep® lineup and available in front-, rear-, and all-wheel-drive configurations. Depending on the vehicle, engines are tuned for specific applications with horsepower ranging from 283 on front-wheel-drive models and up to 305 horsepower on the sporty Dodge Challenger. The all-aluminum engine is standard or available on the Chrysler, 200, 300 and Town and Country; Dodge Avenger, Challenger, Charger, Durango, Journey and Caravan.

For 2012, the 3.6-liter engine also is standard with Jeep® Wrangler and provides 285 horsepower – an increase of 40 percent over last year's model. Torque is up 10 percent to 260 lb. ft. and highway fuel efficiency is improved to 21 miles per gallon (mpg) on the 2012 model.

Engineered to meet a variety of requirements, the Pentastar V-6 engine also is the exclusive engine used with the new eight-speed automatic transmission on the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 models. The new engine and transmission combination deliver 31 mpg on the highway.

Just recently, the Pentastar V-6 repeated as one of the "10 Best Engines" following evaluation and testing by editors of Ward's Automotive magazine.

Despite the impressive gains in power, the engine is designed to run on regular 87 octane gasoline. It also is capable of running on alternate fuels including E85.

Designed for the future
Since its introduction, the new engine has replaced six legacy V-6 engines ranging from 2.7-liter up to 4.0-liters in the Chrysler Group LLC product portfolio. Overall, the new Pentastar has enabled Chrysler's Powertrain organization to reduce major engine components from 189 parts to just 32, greatly simplifying the build process and improving quality.

Some parts, including exhaust manifolds, have completely disappeared by virtue of being cast directly into the cylinder head. Previously, 32 different exhaust manifolds were used on a variety of V-6 engines. Upper- and lower- intake assemblies, which accounted for 21 and 11 different part numbers (respectively), have been reduced to two upper and two lower assemblies.

Camshaft variations have dropped from 14 to four and just two fuel-rail assemblies are now required rather than the previous 14.

Weight reductions are equally impressive. Fully dressed, the new Pentastar V-6 is 94 pounds lighter than the 3.7-liter engine it replaced on the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Similarly, while larger in displacement, the Pentastar is 42 pounds lighter than the 3.5-liter it replaced in the Chrysler 300.

The engine also is extremely efficient with advanced emission technology.

The V-6 requires no Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) which helps reduce the mass and complexity of the engine. The engine meets Federal Tier 2 BIN 5 emission requirements and Ultra-low Emissions Vehicle II (ULEV II) standards, and was designed to meet all known future worldwide standards including LEV III and PZEV Californian standards. For export, the engine is capable of meeting Euro6 emission standards.

In addition to Trenton South, the Pentastar V-6 also is produced in Saltillo, Mexico.

More than 1,300 workers are employed at the two engine assembly plants with two shifts at each location. The Trenton Engine Plant, one of Chrysler group's most modern plants, was the first engine manufacturing facility to receive the U.S. Green Building Council LEED Gold Certificate for environmental excellence in building design.

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