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


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. Allpar has been unable to clarify, so far, whether these new engines would be the rumored “Hurricane” series of turbocharged engines, and if so, their basis.

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) now have 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 and twin turbo 3-liter engines. A 4.8 liter V8 was rumored back in 2006, and may yet appear but not until 2014 at best. A new four-cylinder that draws on Pentastar principles might be on the drawing boards for 2018 or later.

The 3.0 liter (2997 cc) engine for Europe is for the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Wrangler, and Lancia Thema/Chrysler 300. Our prediction that buyers would have to wait for direct injection and/or MultiAir was accurate — it has neither.


MultiAir is a valve control system providing separate intake valve timing and lift for each cylinder using solenoids and oil. It will be used on all Chrysler four cylinder gasoline engines, and possibly diesels and the V6 line. MultiAir improves low end torque and gas mileage. (MultiAir on the Hemi.) The new MultiAir II system goes even further, adjusting both intake and exhaust valves.

World Gas Engines (four cylinders) and Tiger Shark

MultiAir is on the Tiger Shark version of the 2.4 liter “WGE”. The 2.0 sticks with the old Mercedes dual-VVT system. Direct injection is still a ways off but might be part of the Hurricane upgrade. A turbocharged 2.4 is reportedly under development.

Tiger Shark costs more to make than the standard (inexpensive) WGE and includes revised VVT tuning (sacrificing top end for better overall performance and economy) on the 2.0, MultiAir on the 2.4, roller cams, and swapping intake and exhaust positions.

Other gas engines

Expect a 6.2 liter supercharged Hemi engine. We expect anywhere from 620 to 680 horsepower, with several sources claiming 700 horsepower (we suspect that won’t happen). A supercharger for the 6.4 Hemi is said to be on the way, as a Mopar aftermarket kit, once the 6.2 is out. This engine will debut in model-year 2015 with the revised Challenger; it will be shown in March 2014, and production is set to start around July 2014.

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.

Our early mentions of 6.4 Hemis in trucks have been validated, with the big gas engine available from Ram 2500 to 5500, as an option in the lighter models and standard engine in the heavier ones. Our prediction of a more capable Aisin automatic has also been verified.

Side notes: the Alfa 1.8 is not based on the World Engine. RVC wrote, “The new Alfa Romeo engine being developed at Pratola Serra is not derived from the WGE at all. It is a new design, starting from the Alfa Romeo 1750, with a redesigned block, cast in aluminum.” Likewise, Maserati representatives said that the 3.0 V6 in the Levante, Ghibli, and Quattroporte is not based on the Pentastar V6, but is a fresh Maserati engine. Some sources say it shares a block with the Pentastar while others say it does not.


The Cummins straight-six diesel is still planned for future Rams; power was boosted to 800 lb-ft of torque. The eight-speed automatic once said to be slated for this engine is a while off, if it's still in the cards at all, given the Cummins’ torque, which exceeds the eight-speed’s design parameters.

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 VM 2.8 liter four-cylinder diesel will end up in Wranglers in the US (it is already used in Europe), the main question being “when” — before or after the redesign.

Hybrid cars, electric cars

The Ram 1500 hybrid has changed to a limited production plug-in Ram hybrid; a hybrid minivan may still be made. Other cars might use Fiat's start-stop system which shuts off the engine when the car is stopped. Chrysler will be Fiat’s headquarters for electric and hybrid car development, with an electric Fiat 500 first. Some projects are likely to be held until 2016 as the company works on regaining its market share. CNG is available on Ram Hemis for fleet use.

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