Ram 1500

Pentastar V-6 with eTorque repeats as Wards ’10 Best’ engines winner


For the second consecutive year, the fuel-saving 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine with eTorque in the Ram 1500 pickup has been named to Wards 10 Best Engines and Propulsion Systems list.

The Pentastar V-6 engine with eTorque electrification, rated at 305 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque and paired with the TorqueFlite 845RE eight-speed automatic transmission, is the standard powertrain in the popular Ram 1500.

“The Pentastar V-6 with eTorque is a great example of giving consumers electrified powertrain technology that seamlessly works with their daily lives,” Micky Bly, Head of Global Propulsion Systems, said. “The standard eTorque system delivers better fuel economy without compromising power or capability.”

The eTorque mild-hybrid system replaces the traditional alternator on the engine with a belt-driven motor generator unit that performs several functions. The motor generator unit works with a 48-volt battery pack to enable improved fuel efficiency, drivability, performance and value. Six different modes of operation include quick, seamless stop-start functions and energy recovery with brake regeneration used to support increases in towing capacity and payload.

eTorque delivers nearly unnoticeable engine restarts by sending up to 90 lb.-ft. of supplemental torque to the engine crankshaft during stop-start maneuvers. Torque to the wheels travels within 400 milliseconds, more than twice as fast as many starter-motor-actuated engine stop-start systems.

“There are lots of drivers who dislike stop-start systems because the engine may turn back on with a shudder, or they might think the engine won’t restart at all. But the Ram 1500’s 48-volt eTorque system is so smooth, quiet and consistently reliable that truck owners will appreciate the technology—and the money they can save at the pump,” Tom Murphy, WardsAuto managing editor, said.

The 2020 Ram 1500 with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine and eTorque is rated at 20 (city)/25 (highway)/22 (combined) miles per gallon (mpg) in rear-wheel drive and 19 (city)/24 (highway)/21 (combined) mpg in four-wheel-drive models by the U.S. EPA. The city mpg rating is an 18 percent improvement and the combined mpg rating a 10 percent improvement from the previous-generation model.

The 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine with eTorque is also available in the 2020 Jeep® Wrangler Sahara four-door.

With the engine running, eTorque’s motor generator unit feeds 48-volt current to a 430 watt-hour lithium-ion nickel manganese cobalt graphite battery. The battery pack includes a 3-kilowatt DC-to-DC converter to maintain the battery’s state of charge and convert 48 volts to 12 volts to power the Ram 1500’s accessories and charge its conventional 12-volt lead-acid battery.

In addition to spinning the engine for restarts to help launch the vehicle, eTorque also recaptures energy during deceleration and braking to charge the battery pack. eTorque also enhances the driving experience by adding torque to the crankshaft during gear changes to minimize noise, vibration and harshness.

3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 with eTorque 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 with eTorque

Wards 10 Best Engines honors for FCA

In the 26-year history of Wards 10 Best Engines, renamed Wards 10 Best Engines and Propulsion Systems for 2020, nine engines/systems produced by FCA US and its predecessor companies have accounted for 20 winners, including (engine/latest vehicles tested/years listed) in reverse chronological order:

  • 3.6-liter Pentastar engine Upgrade with eTorque (Ram 1500): 2019-2020

  • 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine hybrid (Chrysler Pacifica): 2017-2018

  • 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 engine (Ram 1500): 2014-2016

  • 6.2-liter Hellcat supercharged HEMI® V-8 engine (Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat): 2015

  • 83-kW electric motor (Fiat 500e): 2014

  • 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine (Dodge Avenger, Chrysler 300S, Ram 1500): 2011-2013

  • 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine (Dodge Charger R/T, Chrysler 300C, Dodge Challenger R/T, Ram 1500): 2003-2007, 2009

  • 5.9-liter Cummins turbodiesel I-6 (Ram HD): 2004

  • 4.7-liter SOHC V-8 engine (Jeep Grand Cherokee): 1999

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