Chrysler announced the 1 millionth Pentastar V-6 rolled off the assembly line last week at its plant in Trenton, Mich. The milestone comes 18 months after the start of Pentastar production, when the engine was introduced for the 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Today, Pentastar engines can be found in 11 different Chrysler Group models, a move that simplifies the company’s powertrain strategy while offering the customer both increased power and fuel efficiency.
“The Pentastar engine is a cornerstone of Chrysler Group’s effort to reinvent its business model with world class quality products,” said Chrysler Group’s Vice President of Powertrain Manufacturing Brian Harlow. “This award-winning engine is proof that the company is transforming its products to meet the needs of our customers.”
In addition to the Trenton South plant, Chrysler also produces the Pentastar in Saltillo, Mexico. Between the two plants, Chrysler employs more than 1300 workers split in two shifts at each location. Chrysler says Trenton South is its most modern plant, being the first engine manufacturing facility to be awarded the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Gold Certificate for environmental-friendly building design.
The 60-degree Pentastar has replaced six older V-6 designs, which range in displacement from 2.7-liter to 4.0-liter. By reducing the number of different engines offered in its vehicles, Chrysler was also able to reduce major engine component production from 189 parts to just 32. With the Pentastar’s integrated exhaust manifold design, Chrysler saves by not producing the previous 32 different manifold designs used on various V-6 engines. Camshaft designs are reduced from 14 to only four, while the number of fuel rail assemblies required drops from 14 to two. Chrysler says the Pentastar is also lighter than the engines it replaces, weighing 94 lbs less than the previous Jeep Grand Cherokee’s 3.7-liter V-6, and 42 lbs less than the 3.5-liter used in the likes the previous Chrysler 300. The Pentastar’s design also eliminates the need for an exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system, which reduces both weight and complexity for the engine.
Now that Chrysler has phased out its old V-6s, and seeing as it’s already produced 1 million Pentastars, perhaps it’s time to dust off that Dodge Demon concept and shoehorn the new V-6 into the forgotten roadster. Yeah, that'll never happen -- but we can dream, right?