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Chrysler 3.0 is coming

by David Zatz on


Long before the new 3.6 liter Pentastar V6 was unveiled — indeed, when it was still the “Phoenix engine” — insiders told Allpar that there would be 3.0, 3.2, and 3.3 liter variants. The 3.3 appears to have been killed off, but the 3.0 lives, according to reports from Michigan.

The engine, cleverly sized with 2998 milliliters of displacement to avoid excessive European taxes (based on displacement, and using 3.0 liters as a dividing mark), would primarily be used in Europe. Whether Americans ever see the normally aspirated 3.0 is still an open question; it would make a sensible option for a midsized car, but the mainstay for future North American cars is said to be the 3.2.

Some believe the 3.0 will have MultiAir 2, which is expensive but can increase efficiency somewhat over the dual independent cam phasing on normal Pentastars. It also might have direct injection. The reason for using these technologies on the European 3.0 would be to make up for the loss in displacement, and because of the much higher price for fuel in Europe. Since a gasoline V6 is more of a luxury item in the EU, the extra cost could also be passed on to customers more easily. Direct injection would be easier to implement in the Europe because of the lower sulfur content of local fuel.

We currently believe that the 3.0 will, however, have the standard dual cam phasing and fuel injection, with direct injection still in the future.

The 3.0 liter engine would replace the 3.6 in European versions of the Grand Cherokee, Wrangler, and Thema/300C, and would both increase gas mileage and slash taxes on those cars. Because it will be paired with the eight-speed automatic in Grand Cherokee and Thema/300C, the acceleration penalty will be manageable.  Torque is likely to take a bigger hit than horsepower, as with the 3.2.

The addition of a 3.0 liter gasoline V6 may create some confusion, as it will join a VM 3.0 liter diesel V6 in the Grand Cherokee and Thema/300C, and will join Fiat’s 3.0 liter four-cylinder diesel in the Chrysler-Fiat engine panoply. Bar bets may also be affected as future enthusiasts get the Chrysler 3.0 confused with the old Mitsubishi 3.0.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304

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