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Phoenix: Chrysler Pentastar V6 Engines for 2010 and Beyond

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Pentastar Engine tech and specifics
Pentastar Upgrade (PSU)
Inside the Trenton engine factory

Power ratings for the Dodge Challenger are 305 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque (353 N•m) @ 4,800 rpm, without direct injection. At least 440,000 Pentastar engines are to be made each year, hooked up to the 6xTE, WA580, and Fiat's dual-clutch automatics.

90% of torque is available from 1,600 to 6,400 (1,800 to 6,360 on the Challenger), so it's not a "peaky" or "paper horsepower" engine.

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A twin turbo and single-turbocharger version are planned, for introduction by 2015; both would be based on the smallest size (3.0 liters) and might be slated for limited-production models (e.g. a new Viper based on a Maserati or an SRT mid-sized car). The twin-turbo version appears to projected for a whopping 420 horsepower while the single-turbo appears to be set for 370 hp.

A 3.2 liter direct-injection version is planned, with projected output of 280 hp, along with the current 3.0, 3.2, and 3.6 liter versions.

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Here are some of the major innovations, as far as we can tell:

  • Variable cam timing with dual independent cam phasing to flatten the power output
  • Exhaust manifold integrated into the head itself (this might lead to heat issues)
  • Chain drive
  • Canister-free oil filter element on top of the engine - prevents landfill, allows incineration, eases oil changes
  • Oil to antifreeze oil cooler in the "V"
  • Lightweight block - saves on aluminum and reduces overall vehicle weight (improving balance, too); reportedly 20 lb lighter than GM's V6 block, saving $40/engine on aluminum

Early Pentastar V6 engines do not have direct injection, but it is in the works for the future.

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The engine can take regular gasoline or E85 fuel. As used in Grand Cherokee, it meets California LEV II+ evaporative emission requirements, Tier 2, meets Federal Bin 4+ emission requirements, and Clean Fuel Fleet Certification (CCF-LEV) in all other states.

MaterialLiquid cooled 60-degree V6 with deep-skirt aluminum block and heads
ValvesChain driven DOHC with 24 valves. Roller finger followers and hydraulic lash adjusters.
Dual independent cam-torque actuated phasers.
Displacement220 cid / 3.6 liters
Bore x Stroke3.78 x 3.27 (96 x 83 mm)
Compression10.2:1 (all 2011 variants)
Fluid6 quarts 5W20 oil; 14 quarts antifreeze; regular gas
Redline6,400 rpm (stated elsewhere as 7,200 rpm)

Spark plugs are installed at the end of a length tube. There is a spring running through the length of the tube, from the conventional-looking plugs up to the coils; we do not know whether the entire tube is removed, or (as we believe) the plug is removed via the spring, which is attached to the contact.

The Pentastar V6 is an interference design; it has valve reliefs but only for clearance under normal conditions. It does have a timing chain, reducing the possibility of heavy damage from a snapped belt. (Thanks, Keith.)

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The engine accessories have no brackets; they are bolted directly to the block, cutting vibration. Since the air conditioner compressor and alternator are both bolted to the block, a tensioner is used with the serpentine belt. The Phoenix engine was designed to be used in either a North-South and East-West configuration.

The Trenton Engine South plant in Michigan is the lead facility for production of the Pentastar V-6 engine. A duplicate facility in Saltillo, Mexico, ramped up during the 2012 model year but has lagged in production. Production started in March 2010.

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When he was head of Chrysler, Dieter Zetsche said the new engine family would operate on a modular base. The world's best V6 engines were benchmarked; and Mercedes has a camless design that may have been integrated into Auburn Hills' work. Indeed, the plan at the time, according to insiders, was for Mercedes to quietly use the same basic engine design. It appears, based on the timing of the new Mercedes 3.5 liter V6, that they have done so.

For more, see our dedicated Pentastar Engines site.

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The Phoenix engines were first discussed by "superduckie" way back in March 2006.

oh20 (who has been accurate on the Ram, Challenger, Caliber, and Sebring) provided a table of the engines and cars they'd go into back in July 2006.

TB007 wrote: "The mystery item behind the oil filter is probably an oil to water oil cooler. The engines do not seem to have exhaust manifolds, but rather the head is cast with an exhaust flange to one side." (This turned out to be right.)

For more, see our dedicated Pentastar Engines site.

Pentastar Engine tech and specificsRumors/Future EnginesInside the Trenton engine factory

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