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. 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.
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.
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.
A power boost is due in late calendar-year 2015 or early calendar-year 2016, known as “PUG” (Pentastar Upgrade), with more parasitic loss reduction and direct injection. There are still rumors of a supercharged 3.2 and turbo 3-liter engines developed by Chrysler (not the Maserati versions). How much of this we will get, is unknown. There will almost certainly be changes to the valve setup and cylinder heads.
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
A revised, naturally aspirated Apache 392 Hemi with higher power ratings is under wraps for calendar-year 2015, according to one source, along with an Eagle 5.7 Hemi upgrade slated for calendar-year 2015.
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.
Seven speed Fiat transmissions
Fiat is releasing a seven speed version of its automated manual transmission (or DDCT, for Dual Dry Clutch Transmission), which is used with the 1.4 liter engine in the American Fiat 500 and with the 1.4 turbocharged engine in the Fiat 500L. This appears to debut with the Chinese version of the Fiat Viaggio, which is based on the Dodge Dart but with a less expensive suspension.
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. 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 wide range and quick shifting raise gas mileage and responsiveness, and can allow engine tuners to optimize more for particular rpms.
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).
The Cummins straight-six diesel is still planned for future Rams.
VM V6 diesels are in Ram 1500 and Grand Cherokee, along with export 300s. A Fiat diesel is reportedly being tested for US certification in Wrangler. Some believe a newly revised VM 2.8 liter four-cylinder diesel will end up in Wranglers in the US; an older version is already used in Europe. The new VM diesel, part of a family which is ancient in automotive terms, would meet US emissions standards. A new VM 2.4 liter (L424) was planned for a 2013 debut but has since fallen off our radar.
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.