Chrysler Group is introducing improvements to its Pentastar family of V-6 engines – the Pentastar Upgrade or PUG, sources told Automotive News. PUG will feature direct injection, turbocharging and other technologies that will allow Chrysler to use smaller displacement engines for its vehicles – a part of the carmaker’s strategy to comply with stiffening corporate average fuel economy standards.
According to sources, upgrades will result to higher power output as well improved fuel economy. The improvement may also include a possibility for turbocharging naturally aspirated engines. Sources said that for now, Fiat's MultiAir variable valve timing technology will still be used. The first 3.6-liter PUG V6 will make its debut in late next year in the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
An improved 3.2-liter PUG V6 will also be fitted on the redesigned Chrysler Town & Country minivan due 2016, people privy with the carmaker said. The current minivan is powered by a 3.6-liter V-6.
The improved 3.2-liter V-6, a nine-speed automatic transmission, better aerodynamics and weight cuts are seen to hike the minivan’s fuel economy by at least 25 percent.
Chrysler Town & Country is currently EPA-rated at 17 mpg city/25 highway. Introduced in the MY2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, the naturally aspirated 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 has been used across most of Chrysler Group’s lineup, including the Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee and Wrangler.