Chrysler to make smaller Pentastar V6 engine versions

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 15, 2012

Chrysler Group intends to manufacture a 3.2-liter variant of its 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine, possibly at a Detroit facility, a union official and an insider have disclosed. The smaller Pentastar powerplant will be launched in the upcoming replacement for the Jeep Liberty, according to a union official. Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of Chrysler and Fiat, has stated that the Liberty successor will be launched at the Detroit motor show in January. 

Bruce Baumhower, who is the president of UAW Local 12 in Toledo, Ohio, revealed that the Liberty replacement is expected to be equipped with a 3.2-liter V-6 Pentastar and a nine-speed transmission. ZF Friedrichshafen AG developed the transmission. It also supplies the eight-speed transmission for the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger sedans.

Baumhower disclosed the information to Automotive News as well as to Toledo TV station WTVG this week. His information was verified by another source familiar with the project. On the other hand, a spokesperson for Chrysler stated that the automaker would not talk about future product or production plans. 

A $500 million renovation has started at the Toledo North Assembly facility in order to assemble the Liberty successor. The factory will close in early August for more than five months in order to retool for the new SUV, Baumhower explained. The automaker is aiming to enhance its corporate average fuel economy, in part with new transmissions.

Marchionne commented at the Geneva auto show this month that one should not underestimate the weight of transmissions in order to improve fuel efficiency. He added that if they had known the eight-speed automatic transmission was coming, they would have developed a 3.2-liter Pentastar powerplant instead of the current 3.6-liter variant. 

Last year, Chrysler has been removing equipment and tooling from the Trenton North Engine facility in suburban Detroit, a Trenton city official has disclosed. Around 80% of the 2.1-million-square-foot factory is vacant, with the remaining area utilized to manufacture engine components for the 3.6-liter Pentastar.

Inside the 2011 Chrysler 300, there is no doubt that the goal in designing it was to make it have that luxurious atmosphere. Thus, both the door panels and the instruments panels have cast skin. Further, with the application of dual gloss three-dimensional graining, it allows for a more premium look and makes it agile. This section also has a look similar to milled aluminum given the use of satin chrome which contrasts with that of bright chrome.

However, this is not all as the instrument cluster has those two large gauge faces, both of which have chrome ring accents and are illuminated in Sapphire Blue. This is the same color used for the ambient lighting on the interior, giving it a more modern and premium environment. Given how the interior of this new sedan manages to have an American style mixed in with first class accommodations, the Chrysler 300 is able to have that precise fit and finish, aside from the fact that it makes use of genuine materials, display a truly expressive style, and offer passenger comfort.

Other significant upgrades on the interior include the use of real wood appliques not only on the instrument panel but even on the doors, steering wheel, and center console. New to the Chrysler 300 as well are the Nappa leather seats, which come with ventilation and heating. Then there is the premium trim for the interior and the use of soft-touch materials.

One highlight of the predecessor of the Chrysler 300 was that it had proportions that were truly unique. This is still present in the latest version, especially when looking at the profile, with the exception that some of the design was refined to give it a more custom-made feel.

The front-fender forms for instance go on top of its sculpted hood and these are mirrored by the rear-quarter forms, which they themselves not only go up to the deck lid but after then go downwards to the vertical taillamps. This results in the well-known trademarked silhouette of this model. With the raking back of the windshield by as much as 3 inches, the aerodynamics of the Chrysler 300 is improved. It also enhanced visibility.

In addition, by utilizing thinner pillars for the rolled-framed doors, it improved visibility even further, by as much as 15%. Meanwhile going to the rear section, the look is made by adding a deck-lid lip spoiler. There is also the Chrysler wing badge just below it. The taillamps in particular make use of LEDs for its illumination and thus give it a jewel-like appearance. Present as well is that attractive nighttime look made possible by the celebrated light pipes.

While the rear fascia is already straddling the Chrysler 300’s vertical lamps, integrated to it is a chrome appliqué which manages to connect all of the elements of the taillamp in a smooth manner. This combination also results in the Chrysler 300 sedan putting focus on its road-holding presence. As if to give a hint of what it is capable of, this new sedan comes with two oval dual exhaust tips mounted on its fascia.

Topics: chrysler, engine, v6

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