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New straight-six diesels, too?

by Michael Volkmann on

Alongside new gasoline straight-six engines from FCA Corporate, we have seen some evidence that Fiat Powertrain is working on straight-six diesel engines, possibly based on a new generation of the FPT four-cylinders used in the Ram ProMaster and Fiat Ducato vans.

Fiat four cylinder diesel

What would the diesel be good for? We can think of a few uses within the American brands, quite aside from Fiat commercial applications.

For one, it could replace the expensive VM 3-liter V6 diesel used in Ram 1500 pickups, reducing the pressure on VM to produce ever-increasing numbers of those engines. That would allow more of the engines to be used in more Maseratis, Alfa Romeos, Grand Cherokees, and such. It could even be a base diesel for the Ram 2500, at much lower cost than the top-range Cummins.

Another use could be in the Jeep Wrangler and the upcoming Wrangler-based pickup; standardizing on inline engines could help engineers to dramatically improve the off-road abilities of both, by providing more room for suspension movement.

That alone would be justification enough, but chances are there are numerous places for such an engine in the Fiat Chrysler empire.

Michael Volkmann, a mechanical engineer in the steel industry, autocrossed and road-raced Neons. Michael has drag raced his 1971 Duster 340, 2009 Challenger R/T, and Neons, of which he’s owned seven — one SRT4, three ACRs, and three Sport Coupes.

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