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V8s will stay; 9-speed is fixed

by David Zatz on

Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Chrysler spoke with Automotive News reporter Larry Vellequette about the future of V8 engines and the ZF 9-speed automatic made and used by Chrysler. Many customers and critics have complained about this transmission, particularly in the popular Cherokee.

sergio marchionneMr. Marchionne said they and ZF had been working hard to fix issues, and that “There were some things that were built in …. that proved to be, in hindsight, unwise…” resulting in changes for the 2016 cars.

Mr. Marchionne said that V8 engines would continue, though he did not specify that they would stay in passenger cars. Scuttlebutt at Allpar had been that V8s would continue in trucks but that the Hemi would be phased out of cars around 2019-2020. Some sources claimed all V8s would leave cars while others specifically said the Hemi would, but not necessarily all V8s. There has been speculation that they would remain in the Challenger, which may take over from Viper as the Dodge flagship, but not in the Charger or 300.

FCA has Italian V8 engines,  but these are unlikely to be Americanized. Instead, if V8s are to stay in cars as NOx emission rules tighten, the company may use a Pentastar-based V8 (in formal plans in 2008), or the Hemi could be “re-headed” as the 4.7 was late in its life. The Hemi’s design tends to have high nitrogen oxides emissions, which engineers have cleverly and successfully cut back, but not to the standards required years from now.

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