Chrysler Group wants to erase its reputation of building gas-guzzling vehicles and is now taking the first steps to retool its powertrain lineup and improve fuel economy by 25% by 2014.
Of course, Chrysler also wants to conform to stiffer US fuel economy standards. At the North American International Auto Show, make sure to take a look at Chrysler's new engines and transmissions.
Chrysler's new engines will incorporate technology from Fiat S.p.A., which took control of Chrysler management after the US carmaker emerged from bankruptcy on June 10. The first engine is the Pentastar V-6, which replaces six Chrysler six-cylinder engines.
The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee due to arrive in the second quarter will be where the Pentastar, formerly known as the Phoenix V-6, will debut.
Chrysler claims that the new engine will improve fuel economy 8% over previous Chrysler V-6s. The engine will produce a 33% increase in horsepower and an 11% improvement in torque compared with the current Grand Cherokee V-6.
The new powerplant is able to produce 280 hp at 6,400 rpm and 260 lbs.-ft. of torque at 4,400 rpm. The Pentastar V-6 can be adapted to other Fiat technologies such as Multiair, direct injection and turbocharging.
Multiair is useful as it allows an engine to breathe more efficiently and achieve maximum horsepower across a broader rev band. In addition, Fiat claims that the technology will raise power and reduce emissions. Chrysler will also show off its existing 2.4-liter I-4 world gasoline engine with Multiair.
The powerplant, which will be made at a Chrysler factory in Dundee, Mich., will turn out an estimated 190 hp at 6,000 rpm and 175 lbs.-ft. of torque at 4,200 rpm.
This figure compares with the current I-4's output of 172 hp at 6,000 rpm and 165 lbs.-ft. at 4,000 rpm. Chrysler has yet to announce when the new version of the I-4 will appear or on what vehicles. The current engine is offered in the Chrysler Sebring, Dodge Caliber and Avenger and Jeep Compass and Patriot.