Chrysler is revamping its powertrain lineup with technology the automaker claims will help contribute to an overall fuel-efficiency improvement of more than 25% during the 2010-2014 period. In fact, by 2014, more than 80% of Chrysler’s current powertrain lineup will undergo a complete makeover.
Of course, Chrysler will be enlisting the help of its new parent company Fiat, which recently revealed a five-year business plan that included a progressive vehicle electrification strategy.
Some of the technologies making their way into Chrysler vehicles from this year onwards include Multiair variable valve adjustments, direct injection, turbocharging and new dual-clutch transmissions.
In the immediate future, we will see a new range of four-cylinder engines make their way into Chrysler Group vehicles.
Two 1.4-liter engines will be available, one naturally aspirated and one turbocharged. Both will feature four valves per cylinder and Multiair variable valve adjustments. The naturally aspirated 1.4-liter engine will be rated at 100-horsepower and 95-pound-feet of torque, and the turbocharged unit will be rated 170-horsepower and 170-pound-feet of torque.
A 2.4-liter four-cylinder unit with Multiair technology will also be offered. It will output 190-horsepower and 175-pound-feet of torque. A turbocharged version of this engine is also under development.
Chrysler Pentastar V-6 engine
Chrysler’s recently announced Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 will also start appearing in more models, the first being the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee due in the second quarter this year. The engine is designed to use technologies such as Multiair, direct-injection and turbocharging for future applications but in its base form will deliver 280-horsepower and 260-pound-feet of torque. Importantly, 90% of this torque is available torque from 1,800-6,400 rpm.
In addition to the new engine lineup, Chrysler will also start introduction a Fiat-sourced 6-speed dry dual-clutch gearbox. The quick-shifting gearbox is said to deliver a 10% saving in fuel consumption over a regular automatic.
Finally, Chrysler also has an extensive vehicle electrification plan that includes a hybrid Ram 1500 pickup and an all-electric commercial van.