Some time ago, we were told that a small number of unfinished Pentastar blocks had been sent out to Europe. We assumed then that they were to be used by Maserati, but additional information, including being able to examine the new Maserati V6, voids that assumption.
Based on the information we have now, the blocks are for the upcoming 3.0 liter Pentastar V6, which Allpar first discussed years ago. The 2.997 liter V6 was designed to avoid higher European displacement-based taxes (2.997 is under 3 liters), and is likely to be used in European versions of Chrysler/Lancia cars and to be an option for Alfa Romeos.
While it would likely be cheaper to engineer and finish them in the United States, American engineers have been running full tilt on other projects, and production facilities are equally booked; indeed, the twin Pentastar engine plants have been running on overtime and the refitting of Trenton North to also built the V6 will likely be needed just to fill the demand for Ram engines, especially if fuel prices rise and the V6 option becomes more popular (the Hemi is currently the overwhelming favorite of Ram buyers.)
Instead, the 3.0 is being finished and assembled in Europe, according to our sources, using Fiat’s generous excess capacity. The move puts European Fiat employees back to work, uses existing facilities that would otherwise lay fallow, and finishes the engines in the general region where they are needed anyway — if the rumors and our connecting of dots are accurate.
This would also explain the recent suggestion that MultiAir 2 is being adapted to the Pentastar V6. We were aware that this was being done in the lab, to see if there were significant contributions beyond the highly efficient, cost-effective dual cam phasing system created by Chrysler; while it might not pay in the United States, where fuel is relatively inexpensive and larger displacement is a good solution for adding power, it would be a far more favorable tradeoff in Europe, where larger displacements mean higher taxes, and where fuel is far pricier. The 5%-10% gains in efficiency would be worth the extra money for what will be a premium engine.
For the same reasons, we expect to see direct injection introduced on the 3.0 liter V6 first. The original plans for the engine called for a 3-liter direct-injection version.
Allpar’s informal sources have agreed that there are plans for a new Dodge Viper ACR, debuting for the 2016 model year, possibly replacing the current TA (Time Attack) model. Artist suzq044 provided the following rendering, which uses SRT’s trademark black wheels and a Dodge concept-car semi-rendering. The Viper ACR may have a mild power boost, but will be mainly a suspension and/or airflow upgrade, to increase track [...]
Months after unconfirmed reports made it to Allpar’s pages, the power of Automotive News, in the person of reporter Larry Vellequette, pried a key fact from Chrysler executives — that they cast and build “Ferrari” engines for Maserati. As our sister site pentastars.com reported, the engines are actually cast in Kokomo, and machined in the Trenton Engine plant, using a mixture of [...]
Dodge has released pricing for the full Charger lineup, starting with the V6/eight-speed Dodge Charger SE at $28,990 (all prices include $995 destination for the “49 states”). Charger was thoroughly renovated for the 2015 model year, with a new look, suspension and electronics revisions, a standard eight-speed automatic for ever engine, and other upgrades. The top Charger, the SRT Hellcat, has [...]
The 2017 Jeep Wrangler may leave its historic steel body-on-frame construction and Toledo plant behind, according to Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, as quoted by Automotive News’ Larry Vellequette. The current Wrangler has good mileage for rugged four wheel drive vehicles, but poor economy overall, at around 17/21 mpg (depending on model and transmission). Mr. Marchionne said the Wrangler will need to lose weight [...]
Keeping a years-long tradition, Chrysler today released a number of “teaser images” for concepts to be revealed at the SEMA aftermarket show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Each brand is covered, though Chrysler has but one car — the 200S. That can be explained by the status of the brand’s three cars: the 2015 300 has yet to be launched, and the [...]