The 10-millionth Pentastar engine, which powers 16 current and future FCA U.S. vehicle models, came off the assembly line at the automaker’s Trenton Engine Complex Wednesday.
Introduced as a 3.6-liter V-6 in 2010, the Pentastar engine family currently comprises six fuel-saving variations that feature technologies from variable valve lift to hybridization.
Known for a 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.
Pentastars currently account for half the combined total of engines that power Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, and Ram Commercial vehicles. It also will be the powerplant of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator pickup.
“The Pentastar family has all the hallmarks of an enduring icon,” says Bob Lee, head of engine, powertrain and electrified propulsion, and systems engineering for FCA – North America. “We upped the ante among high-volume, mainstream-market, V-6 engines.”
The Pentastar design offers an integrated exhaust manifold and environmentally friendlier oil-filter cartridges made from paper. 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.
Within four years of launch, the 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. The two attributes were key targets for the 2015 introduction of an upgraded 3.6-liter Pentastar, which boasts cooled exhaust-gas recirculation 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. FCA U.S. also enhanced fuel economy and refinement with the addition of two-step variable valve lift, according to the company.
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.