Report: 2012 Jeep Wrangler, Ram 1500 Latest Chrysler Models to Receive Pentastar V-6

Chrysler’s steady rollout of the lauded Pentastar V-6 engine will apparently continue with both the 2012 Jeep Wrangler and 2012 Ram 1500. According to new reports, the new 3.6-liter engine will soon serve as the base V-6 engine offering in bothJeep’s iconic off-roader and the base Ram truck.

The news is hardly surprising, seeing as Chrysler has aggressively replaced outmoded engines with the new Pentastar across its lineup; in fact, the company claims the Pentastar will account for more than one-third of its engine volume by 2014. We believed the special Wrangler Mojave model served as a swan song of sorts for the outgoing 3.8-liter V-6 before the model scored the Pentastar mill, and it was expected that the Ram 1500 would gain more power in response to the new V-6 engines available in the Ford F-150.

The Toledo Blade reports that Pentastar bound for the 2012 Wrangler will be rated at the same 290 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque as that found in the 2011 Grand Cherokee. That’s a much-needed dose of power for the Wrangler, which currently struggles with a minivan-sourced 3.8-liter V-6, which produces just 202 hp and 237 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission allegedly replaces the Wrangler’s current four-speed automatic. The Blade suggests 2012 Wrangler fuel economy could climb to 16/23 mpg (city/highway), whereas the 2011 model is EPA-rated at 15/19 mpg.

It also appears that the Pentastar will find its way under the hood of the Ram 1500 pickup truck, according to Ward’s Auto. Switching the old base engine -- a 3.7-liter V-6 good for 215 hp and 235 lb-ft -- for the new 3.6-liter V-6 should imbue the Ram with more performance and mildly improved fuel economy. The current V-6, only offered in rear-drive trucks, returns an EPA-estimated 14/20 mpg (city/highway.)

The all-aluminum, 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 made its production debut in the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee. It is more fuel-efficient and more powerful than the outgoing Chrysler V-6 engines it replaces. Headlining technologies include variable valve timing, lightweight integrated exhaust manifolds, and a 10.2:1 compression ratio. In the future, it’s rumored that the engine may be upgraded with turbocharging, direct injection, or a variant of Fiat’s MultiAir system.

When Chrysler first introduced the Pentastar in 2010, officials asserted that replacing dated V-6 engines with the new Pentastar would raise the company’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) rating by two mpg. More power and improved fuel economy? Sounds like a win-win to us.

Sources: Ward's Auto, Toledo Blade

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