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Three cylinders in the works?

by David Zatz on

Could FCA be planning to build three-cylinder engines in the United States? One long-time Allpar source claimed the answer is “yes.”

The diminutive motor, built on the GSE (Global Small Engine) architecture, would almost certainly be coupled with a turbocharger and possibly a hybrid (for the responsiveness Americans prefer). The three-cylinder would replace the normally aspirated 1.4 liter used in the Fiat 500, and could replace  the turbo-1.4 liter “FIRE” engine  in the Renegade, Compass, and ProMaster.

These four-cylinder GSE engines are the basis for the three-cylinders

The three-cylinder is reportedly a better driver’s engine than the current 1.4/1.4 turbo, thanks to extensive work from engineers in both Auburn Hills and Turin.  Like all the new FCA engines, it draws from past Chrysler and Fiat experience.

There’s no shortage of engine-building expertise or factory space in Michigan, especially with only one Dundee plant in use (out of two built). Dundee is also likely to build the GME four-cylinder and the GME straight-six (in around two or three years).

FCA has built up its engine capacity quite a bit, re-using existing plants rather than creating brand new ones, and there is no sign that the company will be cutting back. Most of its engine plants are within a relatively small area, so technicians, engineers, and mechanics can travel as needed to launch or maintain. Only the Hemi V8, made out in Mexico, requires air travel for a visit.

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