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With thanks to oh2o and redriderbob • updated 12/26/2017
The Viper V10, the last remaining engine dating back to the Chrysler Corporation, was dropped in 2017 along with the Viper itself, and no resurrection is likely.
A Hellcat upgrade to 840 hp arrived with the Dodge Challenger Demon, as we had predicted in 2016. Hellcat production is currently slated to last at least till 2021, outlasting the 5.7 Hemi. Chances are the standard Hellcat will gain a performance boost eventually, but probably not to 840 except in rare specialty cars. We may see some surprise users of the Hellcat; Ram already did a concept off-road pickup, the TRX, using one.
Production of the 5.7 Hemi V8 was reportedly to stop in calendar year 2018, with a large stockpile of Hemis to last through to 2020, but this may not happen after all. We have had scattered reports of a turbocharged 5.7 Hemi which might replace or supplement the 392. The future of the 6.4 liter truck engine is also fuzzy, but there is an upgrade planned for the near future, according to redriderbob.
FCA is looking to straight sixes again, based on the GME four-cylinder, according to several sources.
Straight sixes are inherently smoother-running than V-shaped engines, and their shape helps increased suspension articulation.
We should expect to see them in three to seven years. One source wrote, “The twin-turbo version is being treated like two separate 3-cylinders, each having its own intake, throttle body, and turbocharger.” Full story: Tornado Straight Six
Another small Pentastar update, “PUG,” is due around 2018-19. There will be changes to the valve setup and the heads. The turbocharged Pentastar appears to have been dropped from future plans, in favor of the Tornado straight six, because turbocharging doesn’t seem to have been as successful as it could be, and the engine is too large — this is all based on rumors and the accuracy is unknown.
Pentastar V6 engines were to spawn a 4.8 liter V8, but that was dropped years ago.
First, the Pentastar doesn’t seem to be inclined to have big power numbers. The Ferrari-Maserati version, re-engineered from Chrysler’s design, puts out 404 horsepower — but at a cost that Ram and Dodge can’t really support.
The lack of a direct-injected Pentastar may say something about FCA’s resources, or it may suggest that there are problems in development (we have not heard of any).
With thanks to “FGA Cheerleader” for gathering specs and updating information.
We started talking about these new engines back in 2014; they ended up as the GME (Gasoline Medium Engine) series. The Hurricane turbo four, officially called GME T4, is part of this new group. There is also a GSE (Gasoline Small Engine) series. The two series, which appear to have been independently developed, are quite different in design.
Jointly developed by USA-based and Italy-based FCA groups, and borrowing from the World Gas Engine, Fiat Twin-Air, and Pentastar V6, the GME will replace all current 2.0 to 2.4 liter engines used by FCA worldwide.
The Hurricane 2.0 shows up in the Jeep Wrangler, but not wearing that name; it’s hooked up to a mild-hybrid setup to stay responsive despite the Wrangler’s formidable weight. Reliable source oh2o said they will be the base engine for the revised Charger and Challenger, eventually. In 2016 we expected the 2.0 to run around 250-275 hp in the base turbo version, and 300 horsepower in the top tune; the hybrid version ended up being in the high range of our estimates, with torque easily beating the 3.6 liter V6.
Several sources have told us that there were late development issues with the Hurricane, in getting the desired performance and durability, partly due to management issues which have reportedly been resolved. One source recently told us there would still be delays and not to expect Hurricane production until mid-2018.
“MJAB” wrote that Alfa Romeo may use an electric supercharger combined with a traditional turbocharger, for faster reaction times, in the predicted 350-horsepower Alfa Romeo GME engine.
A smaller engine series, dubbed GSE (Gasoline Small Engine) and sold as the Firefly, has three and four cylinders; two are already present, and will replace the Fiat “FIRE” engines, and possibly the Brazilian E.TorqQ engines, which were derived from the old Neon 2.0.
The 1.6 liter E.TorQ engine is rated at 109 hp and 112 lb-ft. A 1.8 liter version may remain.
Far more information on the Firefly / GSE series, past and future, is on our permanent Firefly/GSE engine page.
The Cummins B-series straight-six diesel is still planned for future Rams.
The L424 Fiat diesel was reportedly being tested for US certification in the Wrangler; it has almost the same specs as the new VM 2.8 liter four-cylinder diesel, which was also designed to meet United States ULEV standards (but was not used, at least in the heavy Wrangler). Jeep has long used VM diesels in Europe, and VM is part of FCA now. Finally, there is a 2.2 liter Alfa Romeo diesel already showing up in Chrysler’s parts system, possibly for the Jeep Cherokee. The Wrangler will use the VM 3-liter V6 in the United States, with a VM four-cylinder in the EU; the Scrambler uses the V6 in both places.
ZF’s eight speed automatic transmission for rear wheel drive cars and nine speed ZF front wheel drive cars continues to spread across the line; a second generation is being used by pricier cars from FCA and others, and a new version of that second generation is reportedly being adapted to Chrysler-Dodge-Ram-Jeep needs for their exclusive use (Maserati already uses it).
The transmissions can be used with stop-start systems, which will be used in more cars, trucks, and SUVs, and with hybrids, the first of which will be the Pacifica. (845RFE, ZF HP8 • 928TE, ZF HP9).
The hybrid Chrysler Pacifica minivan is here, and other cars use a Chrysler-engineered start-stop system which shuts off the engine when the car is stopped. Expect to see more sophisticated belt-starter-generator (BSG) stop-starts, starting with the Jeep Wrangler, and more uses of the plug-in hybrid system, starting perhaps with the next Chrysler crossover — or with the 2019 Ram 1500, which will use a BSG stop-start system.
Finally, CNG is factory-installed on Ram Hemis for fleet use.
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