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Does GME doom the Pentastar V6?

by Michael Volkmann on

The Pentastar V6 was highly praised when it first came out; it’s smooth, powerful, quiet, reliable (especially after the first year), and economical. It’s still a fine engine, but its long-term future may be in doubt.

First, the Pentastar doesn’t seem to be inclined to have big power numbers. The Ferrari-Maserati version, re-engineered from Chrysler’s design, puts out 404 horsepower — but at a cost that Ram and Dodge can’t really support.

The lack of a direct-injected Pentastar may say something about FCA’s resources, or it may suggest that there are problems in development (we have not heard of any).  We have heard, unofficially, of problems powering the Pentastar to desired levels.

What’s more, the company is, most likely, working on a straight-six that would be “in line” with other premium automakers’ engines.

There’s also the “Hurricane” turbo-four — which, sources claim, has been delayed for nontechnical reasons. This should debut in the next-generation Jeep Wrangler, generating what we believe will be 280-300 hp. That is in line with the current Pentastar 3,6, and much more than the 3.0 and 3.2 liter.

The most likely scenario is that the Cherokee moves to the 3.6 engine for a while, before dropping the V6 entirely; and the “Hurricane” replaces the 3.0. The Pentastar 3.6 then continues until the Hurricane and the new six eventually kill it off.

Hurricane engine

We will probably still see a turbocharged or supercharged Pentastar, in the meantime. It might not hit the full 5.7 Hemi power levels, but even if it does, it’ll be chasing a moving target. Sooner or later, Ram and Dodge will need more.

The end of the Pentastar V6 is probably about ten years from now, so it will have had a good, distinguished career — if our predictions are correct.

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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