The new engine is said to debut in the replacement for the Jeep Liberty next January at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show.
The information was revealed to Automotive News (subscription required) by company insiders familiar with the project as well as union official Bruce Baumhower.
Baumhower also revealed that the new engine will be matched with a nine-speed automatic supplied by Germany’s ZF. With the extra gear ratios, the smaller 3.2-liter engine is said to be comparable in performance with the current 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6.
The new engine is expected to be built at the same Trenton North Engine plant in suburban Detroit that recently built the one millionth Pentastar V-6.
The Jeep Liberty replacement, meanwhile, will be built at Chrysler’s Toledo North Assembly plant in Ohio. The plant is currently undergoing renovations to retool it for the new SUV.
Further down the track, Chrysler is expected to replace its entire six-cylinder gasoline range with Pentastar V-6 engines. Another variant with Fiat’s Multi-Air valve-adjustment technology is also planned. On top of this, there have been reports that a high-performance twin-turbocharged Pentastar V-6 is also planned and could feature in Maserati’s upcoming ‘baby’ sedan.