The venerable Fiat-Chrysler Pentastar V-6 will get a host of upgrades for 2016 aimed at upgrading fuel economy and improving low-end torque.
The improvements add up to a 6% increase in fuel economy and a 14.9% increase in torque at a low 3,000 RPM.
The Pentastar’s variable valve lift (VVL) is a two-step system that keeps the engine in low-lift mode until power is needed, when it will switch to high-lift mode.
The engine will also have a cooled EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) system that improves emissions and also reduces engine knock.
Variable valve timing (VVT) was also enhanced, which largely counts for the torque increase over past Pentastars. The increased torque also occurs during lower RPM – 1,000 to 3,000 RPM – for better low-end response.
The valve timing enhancements also help prevent knocking when the engine is restarted hot, which happens when the engine start stop (ESS) system is used.
Compression has increased from 10.2:1 to 11.3:1, and friction has been reduced throughout the engine to make it more efficient. The new Pentastar is the first engine to use HG-R1, a low-friction material that is used on the timing drive guide faces.
The engine has also been put on a diet to eliminate the added weight of some of the new components. Weight was cut from the driveshaft to the tune of six pounds, and thin-wall construction was used on many die-cast components of the engine.
The weight saving means the new engine weighs, at a minimum, 326 pounds, four pounds less than the old one, despite having 13 pounds of new components added.
The new Pentastar will debut in the 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee, where it will make 295 horsepower, and increase of 5 horsepower over 2015. The V-6 will be E15 compliant, as will all FCA engines for 2016. This allows the use of E15 fuel, which is gasoline mixed with 15% ethanol.
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