Future Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep Powertrain: Engines and Transmissions

Hurricane: turbocharged four cylinders

Ralph Giles announced a “new family” of four cylinder engines to appear in 18 months, during an Autoline After Hours appearance. That would set the calendar date at around August 2015, corresponding roughly to the appearance of a refreshed 2016 Dodge Dart.

To put this into context, Fiat is working on small engines with three and four cylinders, ranging from around 65 to 185 hp (with turbocharging). The “medium sized” Hurricane engine from Chrysler is expected to be a 2.0 liter with 220-250 horsepower, which might be based on the current 2.0/2.4 family, with a possible 300+ horsepower 2.4 liter. There has been cross-company cooperation on each design, according to vague reports.

We now believe that the Hurricane Four is not the next generation but is an adaptation of the current engines.

Eight speed and nine speed automatics

ZF’s sophisticated eight speed automatic transmission for rear wheel drive cars and trucks has a maximum torque rating of 650 pound-feet (in 8HP90 form). It uses several planetary gearsets, each of which may cost about as much as a light duty transmission. A nine speed ZF is used in the Jeep Cherokee, and is slated for front wheel drive and AWD cars and minivans.

Both transmissions are designed to be used with transfer cases for 4x4 or all wheel drive, with stop-start systems, and with hybrid setups. Both have shift times below the limit of human perception, so that shifting can take place extremely rapidly, going up a few gears in the time a normal transmission would take for part of a single shift; the large number of gears and quick shifting will raise gas mileage and responsiveness, and can allow engine tuners to optimize more for particular rpms.

ZF 9-speed automatic

Chrysler is buying some eight speed transmissions from ZF while ITP (Kokomo) builds others; the ZF is used by Audi, Maserati, Rolls-Royce, and others as well. Transmissions.

The Chrysler versions of the transmissions have many differences, with most of the internal parts reportedly not being interchangeable. These are made by Chrysler in Kokomo, where the old four-speed automatics were made (845RFE, 928TE).

Pentastar V6 engines (Phoenix)

Pentastar V6 engines (née Phoenix) include a higher-mileage (lower internal friction) 3.2 powerplant and a Euro-tax-friendly 2997cc variant, with a rumored supercharged 3.2, direct injection, and possibly turbo 3-liter engines. A 4.8 liter V8 was rumored back in 2006; its fate, along with the turbo sixes, is unknown. A power boost is due around calendar year 2015 and is known as “PUG” (Pentastar Upgrade).

Other gas engines

A revised, naturally aspirated Apache 392 Hemi with higher power ratings is under wraps for calendar-year 2014-2015, according to one source, along with an Eagle 5.7 Hemi upgrade slated for 2014.

Chrysler may work on a new V8 family once it finishes work on the new four cylinders and on power boosts to the V6 and Hemi V8. The Hemi itself will continue for the foreseeable future, with a power boost rumored in the next year or three.


The Cummins straight-six diesel is still planned for future Rams; power was boosted to 800 lb-ft of torque.

VM powers Chrysler/Jeep in Europe, and now has V6 diesels in Ram 1500 and Grand Cherokee. A Fiat diesel is being tested for US certification in Wrangler. Some believe a revised-again VM 2.8 liter four-cylinder diesel will end up in Wranglers in the US (it is already used in Europe).

Hybrid cars, electric cars

A hybrid minivan is planned, 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 available on Ram Hemis for fleet use.

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Upcoming Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep engines and transmissions - rumors, news.