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, though delays would not be entirely surprising. The Hurricane 2.0 has a strong resemblance to the current 2.4 and while it is likely to be widely used, it is probably a stopgap before a completely new cross-FCA four cylinder engine lineup.
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, and might be based on the current 2.0/2.4 family, with a possible 300 horsepower 2.4 liter.
Pentastar V6 engines: upgrades, V8
Pentastar V6 engines were to spawn a 4.8 liter V8 but that seems to have been dropped or postponed. Still, a power boost is due in late calendar-year 2015 or early calendar-year 2016, known as “PUG” (Pentastar Upgrade), with direct injection and parasitic loss reduction. There will almost certainly be changes to the valve setup and cylinder heads. There are rumors of a supercharged 3.2 and turbo 3-liter engines developed by Chrysler. How much of this we will get, is unknown. A four-cylinder based on the V6 does not appear to be in the cards, but some learning from the project might be making its way to new four-cylinders, just as Hemi aspects appeared on the late 4.7 V8 upgrade.
Other gas engines
An updated Apache 392 Hemi and Eagle 5.7 Hemi with higher power ratings are both set for calendar-year 2015, according to one source. Chrysler may work on a new, smaller, lighter 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 company may end up with Hemi V8s for trucks and key cars, and smaller V8s for other cars.
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 are being adopted by Chrysler in every possible vehicle, with Wrangler next for an upgrade to eight speeds and minivans next for nine. The transmissions can be used with transfer cases for all wheel drive, with stop-start systems, and with hybrid setups. Both have shift times below the limit of human perception, and can shift multiple gears at once; they can carry numerous shift maps for different uses, and Chrysler seems to be falling behind in programming them.
The ZF is used by Audi, Maserati, Rolls-Royce, and others as well. Transmissions. The Chrysler versions (some are made internally, some are purchased) have some differences due to different factory layouts, with most of the internal parts reportedly not being interchangeable (845RFE, 928TE).
The Cummins B-series straight-six diesel is still planned for future Rams. A Fiat diesel (possibly the L424) is reportedly being tested for US certification in Wrangler though they may use a newly revised VM 2.8 liter four-cylinder diesel in the US.
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. The last Chrysler hybrid system was part of a joint project led by General Motors.