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Pentastar Engine Production Hits 10 Million


February 18, 2019 - The Trenton (Mich.) Engine Complex celebrated an impressive milestone, having produced the 10-millionth Pentastar engine.

Introduced as a 3.6-liter V-6 in 2010, the Pentastar engine family has accounted for six placings among the prestigious annual list of Wards 10 Best Engines and currently comprises six fuel-saving variations that feature technologies from variable valve lift (VVL) to hybridization.

The Pentastar is built at the Mack Avenue Engine Complex in Detroit and the Saltillo South Engine Plant in Mexico, in addition to the Trenton complex.

Acclaimed for it silky, torque-rich performance, today’s 3.6-liter Pentastar is the common denominator among 11 current best-in-class fuel-economy ratings for U.S.-market, gasoline-powered vehicles equipped with V-6 engines. These are in addition to its ownership of the all-time minivan-efficiency mark, achieved in the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.

Pentastar engines currently account for half the combined total of engines that power Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep®, Ram and Ram Commercial vehicles. And with this year’s launch of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator pickup, they will be available in 16 models across 10 vehicle segments*.

“The Pentastar family has all the hallmarks of an enduring icon,” Bob Lee, Head of Engine, Powertrain and Electrified Propulsion, and Systems Engineering, FCA–North America, said. “We upped the ante among high-volume, mainstream-market, V-6 engines. And our customers won big.”

The Pentastar design distinguishes itself with innovative features ranging from a completely integrated exhaust manifold, to environmentally friendlier oil-filter cartridges made from paper. And with little or no modification, Pentastar engines can accommodate longitudinal or transverse mounting; front-, rear-, and all-wheel-drive architectures; as well as automatic and manual transmissions.

“Trenton has been the company’s Pentastar lifeline from a V-6 perspective for over a decade, and producing the 10 millionth engine is an historical event for us,” Lamarcus Keels, Plant Manager–Trenton South Engine Plant, said. “It shows the collaboration and willingness to work together of three different engine plants throughout NAFTA—Trenton South, Saltillo South and Mack Engine plants.”

Trenton Engine Complex peopleTrenton (Mich.) Engine Complex celebrate the production of the 10 millionth Pentastar engine.

Within four years of launch, this flexibility helped FCA replace seven six-cylinder engine families with a single V-6 design that lends responsiveness and fuel efficiency to every vehicle in which it is offered. These two attributes were key targets for the 2015 introduction of an upgraded 3.6-liter Pentastar, which boasted cooled exhaust-gas recirculation (EGR) for greater efficiency, particularly under high load situations.

Further, the second-generation 3.6-liter Pentastar delivers a torque boost of up to 14.9 percent at engines speeds below 3,000 rpm—where torque really counts. FCA US also enhanced fuel economy and refinement with the addition of two-step variable valve lift (VVL).

“Pentastar engines do exactly what they were engineered to do,” Lee said. “They deliver satisfying experiences in a wide range of driving conditions.”

In Canada, where most of the country’s climate is classified as subarctic, the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 is the best-selling engine for six years running.

“The Pentastar started here, and we’ve produced more engines at this facility than anywhere else,” Austin Young, Joint Team Leader Selection Committee–Trenton South Engine Plant, said. “I’m proud of the work my coworkers have done here at Trenton – I’m proud of the people.”

For the 2019 Ram 1500 full-size pickup, the second-generation 3.6-liter Pentastar was adapted to accommodate the eTorque mild-hybrid system. It not only adds fuel-saving stop-start functionality that is seamless, it increases available torque, in short bursts, by up to 90 lb.-ft.

“I’m so appreciative of being part of this great accomplishment,” Latoya Bradford, Business Unit Leader–Trenton Engine Plant South, said. “Here’s to 10 million more.”

The eTorque-equipped Pentastar is also the latest member of the celebrated V-6 family to be named one of Wards 10 Best Engines. The remaining Pentastar family members are:

  • 3.6-liter V-6 hybrid in the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

  • 3.6-liter V-6 (first- and second-generation)

  • 3.2-liter V-6, which is exclusive to the Jeep Cherokee

  • 3.0-liter V-6, which is exclusive to China

Fuel-economy achievements
Among model-year 2019 U.S.-market gasoline-powered vehicles with V-6 engines, the 3.6-liter Pentastar contributes to best-in-class, miles-per-gallon (mpg) ratings in these vehicle segments*:

  • Middle Specialty Car

    • Dodge Challenger, combined city/highway cycle (23 mpg)

    • Dodge Challenger, highway cycle (30 mpg)

      • Large Regular Car

      • Dodge Charger/Chrysler 300, combined city/highway cyle (23 mpg)

      • Dodge Charger/Chrysler 300, highway cycle (30 mpg)

      • Dodge Charger/Chrysler 300, city cycle (19 mpg)

    • Small Sport Utility

      • Jeep Wrangler, combined city/highway cycle (20 mpg)

      • Jeep Wrangler, highway cycle (25 mpg)

      • Jeep Wrangler, city cycle (18 mpg)

    • Middle Sport Utility

      • Jeep Grand Cherokee/Dodge Durango, combined cycle (21 mpg)

      • Jeep Grand Cherokee/Dodge Durango, highway cycle (26 mpg)

      • Jeep Grand Cherokee/Dodge Durango, city cycle (19 mpg)

Trenton (Mich.) Engine Complex employeesTrenton (Mich.) Engine Complex employees sign a banner commemorating the production of the 10 millionth Pentastar engine.

Among current U.S.-market gasoline-powered vehicles with V-6 engines, the 3.6-liter Pentastar contributes to unsurpassed fuel-economy ratings in these vehicle segments*:

  • Middle Specialty

    • Dodge Challenger, city cycle (19 mpg)

  • Small Van

    • Chrysler Pacifica, combined mpg (22)

    • Chrysler Pacifica, highway mpg (28)

    • Chrysler Pacifica, city mpg (19)

  • Large Pickup

    • Ram 1500 (with eTorque mild-hybrid technology), combined city/highway cycle (22 mpg)

    • Ram 1500 (with eTorque mild-hybrid technology), city cycle (20 mpg)



*2019 WardsAuto segmentation

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