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New engine rumors

by David Zatz on

With Fiat and Chrysler combined into one legal entity, one would expect to see a great deal of duplication of effort with regard to engines and transmissions, but there has so far been little overlap between Chrysler and Fiat powertrains. That is expected to continue into the future, even as Sergio Marchionne works to reduce the amount of variation within companies.

So far, word from inside the Auburn Hills Tower of Power and the hallowed halls of Turin has provided us with enough information to provide a sketch of the future. There has been remarkably little leakage from people in Michigan and Italy, though, so there might be some mistakes; and plans do change, frequently, as Sergio Marchionne has proven himself willing to drop, add, and modify projects as new information comes in.

Four cylinders: We foresee three engine families in the future. First, small engines from Fiat, with both three and four cylinders, ranging from around 65 to 185 hp (with turbocharging).  Second, a medium sized engine from Chrysler, a turbocharged “Hurricane” 2.0 liter with 220-250 horsepower, which might be based on the current 2.0/2.4 family. Third, the large engine from Chrysler, the 2.4 Tiger Shark.

There has been cross-company cooperation on each design, according to vague reports.  The Chrysler “Hurricane” is due for the 2016 model year, and many expect it to be added to the Dart.

V6 engines: The Chrysler V6 appears to be Fiat-Chrysler’s sole mass-production six for the future, with a heavily modified version (with incompatible blocks) used by Maserati, and twin-turbo and single-turbo-or-supercharger versions coming to Chrysler and Alfa Romeo.

Direct injection is coming; we don’t know if it will make it for the Pentastar’s rumored model-year-2016 power boost. Chrysler may hold off on direct injection until the U.S. mandates ultra-low-sulfur gasoline, starting with a 10ppm standard in 2017.

V8 engines: There were once (and may still be) plans for a Pentastar 4.8 engine; it would be an odd layout for a V8, but other companies have used such V6-based V8s. It would provide an entry level Ram V8, and help with fleet fuel economy.

Chrysler will probably work on a new V8 family once it finishes work on the new four cylinders and on power boosts to the V6 and Hemi V8. The Hemi itself will continue for the foreseeable future, with a power boost rumored in the next year or three.

V10: The Viper V10 is used in a single low-production car and the expense is likely starting to hurt Viper sales. Some have called for the Viper to switch to the Hellcat V8. In the meantime, rumors have us believe there will be another power boost for the venerable V10.

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