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Future Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep Powertrain / Engines

Viper V-10 and Hemi Engines

The Viper V10 is the last remaining engine that dates back to the Chrysler Corporation — and it will be dropped in 2017, at the same time as the Viper itself.

A Hellcat upgrade is expected in the Dodge Challenger Demon, in 2017 (we had predicted this in 2016, though not with the Demon). Hellcat production is currently slated to last at least till 2021, outlasting the 5.7 Hemi.

engine bay

We have not heard about the 6.4 V8, but production of the 5.7 Hemi V8 is to stop in calendar year 2018. The company is stockpiling Hemis, so sales will continue even after production stops. We have had scattered reports of a turbocharged 5.7 Hemi which might take the place of the 392, or at least supplement it.

As for the 6.4 liter truck engine, the future is fuzzy, but there is an upgrade planned for the near future, according to redriderbob. The 6.4 may replace the 5.7 in some pickups.

New straight sixes?

AMC 4 liter straight six

Rumors suggest that FCA may be looking to straight sixes again, possibly based on the GME four-cylinder. Straight sixes are inherently smoother-running than V-shaped engines, and have packaging advantages where suspension articulation is important. At this stage, we only have rumors, but if the engines are “for real,” we should expect to see them in around five to seven years. One source wrote, “From what I have been told, don’t expect a traditional inline 6 arrangement (e.g. 4.0 Jeep style ). This will be an inline six, but with some differences to help overall packaging. The twin-turbo version is being treated like two separate 3-cylinders, each having its own intake, throttle body, and turbocharger.”

Pentastar V6 engines, V8, turbocharging, and more

A small Pentastar power boost (with the new engine code of “PSU,” for PentaStar Upgrade) came in 2015, but another is due in 2017 — this time, with direct injection and parasitic loss reduction. There will be changes to the valve setup and the heads — maybe using the space-saving design (which also cuts costs by having valve controls within the head) shown in a patent application.

pentastar heads

More to the point, a turobcharged 3.6-liter Pentastar (possibly 3.0 liter as well or instead) appears to be on the way, after long delays. It may have a twin-screw turbocharger, or may have two versions, one for a relatively light power boost and one for a larger boost; the goal remains beating 400 horsepower, to replace the 5.7 Hemi V8 in cars and trucks.

Pentastar V6 engines were to spawn a 4.8 liter V8, but that seems to have been dropped.

We have gotten hints that someone is looking at a straight-six, likely based on the GME four-cylinder. This would likely be primarily for Alfa Romeo or Maserati, but a straight six could allow the Wrangler to increase its suspension articulation, even if it adds to the SUV’s length.

On the more mundane side, the 3.2 will be dropped, and the 3.0 used for European export will be joined by a 2.8 liter V6. The 3.2 produces 271 hp and 239 lb-ft of torque from 198 cubic inches, but fuel and space savings are apparently minimal.

Future of the Pentastar

The Pentastar V6 was highly praised when it first came out; it’s smooth, powerful, quiet, reliable (especially after the first year), and economical. It’s still a fine engine, but its long-term future may be in doubt.

First, the Pentastar doesn’t seem to be inclined to have big power numbers. The Ferrari-Maserati version, re-engineered from Chrysler’s design, puts out 404 horsepower — but at a cost that Ram and Dodge can’t really support.

The lack of a direct-injected Pentastar may say something about FCA’s resources, or it may suggest that there are problems in development (we have not heard of any). We have heard, unofficially, of problems powering the Pentastar to desired levels.

What’s more, the company is, most likely, working on a straight-six that would be “in line” with other premium automakers’ engines.

There’s also the “Hurricane” turbo-four — which, sources claim, has been delayed for nontechnical reasons. This should debut in the next-generation Jeep Wrangler, generating what we believe will be 280-300 hp. That is in line with the current Pentastar 3,6, and much more than the 3.0 and 3.2 liter.

The most likely scenario is that the Cherokee moves to the 3.6 engine for a while, before dropping the V6 entirely; and the “Hurricane” replaces the 3.0. The Pentastar 3.6 then continues until the Hurricane and the new six eventually kill it off.

Hurricane engine

We will probably still see a turbocharged or supercharged Pentastar, in the meantime. It might not hit the full 5.7 Hemi power levels, but even if it does, it’ll be chasing a moving target. Sooner or later, Ram and Dodge will need more.

The end of the Pentastar V6 is probably about ten years from now, so it will have had a good, distinguished career — if our predictions are correct.

Four cylinder engines

With thanks to “FGA Cheerleader” for gathering specs and updating information.

Ralph Gilles announced a “new family” of four cylinder engines to appear in late 2016 — the GME (Gasoline Medium Engine) series. He said that the Hurricae turbo four would be part of this new group. There is also a GSE (Gasoline Small Engine) series. The two series, which appear to have been independently developed, are quite different in design.

GME and Hurricane (turbocharged 2.0) engines

Jointly developed by USA-based and Italy-based FCA groups, and borrowing from the World Gas Engine, Fiat Twin-Air, and Pentastar V6, the GME will replace all current 2.0 to 2.4 liter engines used by FCA worldwide. The Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep version is lagging the Alfa Romeo one by quite a time: it’s not expected until calendar-year 2018.

hurricane engineThe Hurricane 2.0 will, according to Automotive News, show up in the Jeep Wrangler. Reliable source oh2o said they will be the base engine for the revised Charger and Challenger, eventually. Power ratings from the 2.0 are expected to be around 250 hp in the base turbo version, and 300 horsepower in the top tune; lower-power models may have the MultiAir system, but the higher-power ones will not. In Europe, the Alfa Romeo turbo 2.0 is rated at 200 and 280 hp.

“MJAB” wrote that it may use an electric supercharger combined with a traditional turbocharger, for faster reaction times. This is the setup rumored for the predicted 350-horsepower Alfa Romeo GME engine, which will have a 48-volt electrical system.

Several sources have told us that there were late development issues with the Hurricane, in getting the desired performance and durability, partly due to management issues which have reportedly been resolved.


GSE engines

A smaller engine series, dubbed GSE (Gasoline Small Engine) and sold as the Firefly, has three and four cylinders; two are already present, and will replace the Fiat “FIRE” engines, and possibly the Brazilian E.TorqQ engines, which were derived from the old Neon 2.0.

 From (FIRE)To (GSE) From (FIRE)To (GSE)
Size 1.2 1.0 (3-cyl)1.41.3

The 1.6 liter E.TorQ engine is rated at 109 hp and 112 lb-ft. A 1.8 liter version may remain.

 From (FIRE)To (GSE)To (GSE)
Size 1.4 turbo1.3 turbo1.0 turbo

Far more information on the Firefly / GSE series, past and future, is on our permanent Firefly/GSE engine page.


The Cummins B-series straight-six diesel is still planned for future Rams.

The L424 Fiat diesel is reportedly being tested for US certification in the Wrangler; it has almost the same specs as the new VM 2.8 liter four-cylinder diesel, which was also designed to meet United States ULEV standards. Jeep has long used VM diesels in Europe, and VM is part of FCA now. Finally, there is a 2.2 liter Alfa Romeo diesel already showing up in Chrysler’s parts system.

 Fiat L424VM 2.8 Gas. V6Alfa 2.2 diesel
Horsepower200197~ 292up to 210
Torque (lb-ft)368368260up to 347

FCA reportedly has plans to use diesel engines in more American cars and trucks, to meet increasing fuel economy rules; and the company certainly has some good choices. (The VM 3-liter V6, incidentally, produces 241 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque, making it ideal for heavier cars and SUVs; one can see it in the Dodge Durango and Charger, for example, and even in minivans.)

Eight speed and nine speed automatics

ZF’s eight speed automatic transmission for rear wheel drive cars and nine speed ZF front wheel drive cars continues to spread across the line; a second generation is being used by pricier cars from FCA and others, and a new version of that second generation is reportedly being adapted to Chrysler-Dodge-Ram-Jeep needs for their exclusive use (Maserati already uses it).

The transmissions can be used with stop-start systems, which will be used in more cars, trucks, and SUVs, and with hybrids, the first of which will be the Pacifica. (845RFE, ZF HP8928TE, ZF HP9).

ZF 9-speed automatic

Hybrid cars, electric cars

The hybrid Chrysler Pacifica minivan is here, and other cars use a Chrysler-engineered start-stop system which shuts off the engine when the car is stopped. Chrysler is supposedly Fiat’s headquarters for electric and hybrid car development, with an electric Fiat 500 already launched. CNG is factory-installed on Ram Hemis for fleet use.

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