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Chrysler's 3.2 liter V-6 engine was a new design, using aluminum blocks and heads, based on the original 3.5 liter V6; it was discontinued in 2002 to simplify the engine lineup.
The 3.5 litre V6 engine was, at the same time, modified and switched to an aluminum block, to produce between 242 and 253 hp; a re-engineered 3.8 liter engine, related to both, was released later.
These engines could be shipped with a variable intake system, building on Chrysler's work back in the 1950s and 60s (to be fair, other automakers have used variable intake systems). It varies the length of the intake manifold tubes to create a small, but useful, supercharging effect at different engine speeds. In the past, tuning the air tubes for a boost at one engine speed sacrificed power at another; this is similar to variable valve timing in that it avoids choosing one engine speed over another for performance increases.
Both the 3.5 and 3.8 liter engines are being phased out in favor of the new Pentastar V6, engineered by Chrysler, and appearing first in model-year 2011.
Bob Sheaves suggested that these engines are derived from the larger 3.3/3.5/3.8 family, with creation in this order ("I refer to the development design and components, and not what eventually became production.")
According to Bob, the 3.2 was developed from the 3.5. Willem Weertman’s Chrysler Engines book suggests that the 2.7 was based directly off the 3.5, but should be considered to be in its own engine family.
The following information was provided by Chrysler.
For those who think the Chrysler 3.5 is made by Mitsubishi, here is a comparison:
Competitive information from manufacturer's press kits and data books - sorted in order of output per liter. Fuel mileage not available. Note that the most powerful engine in this list, the Mercedes 4.2 liter, requires premium gas, comes in a car that costs twice as much as the Intrepid, and is considerably larger.
Emissions: all use at least one three-way catalytic converter, quad-heated oxygen sensors, EGR, and internal engine features. 3.8 meets Tier 2 bin 5 (federal) and LEV 2 (CA) specs; 4.0 meets Federal tier 2, bin 8 and ULEV1 (CA) specs.
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