Chrysler Will Build Fiat-Sourced I-4 Engine in Michigan

Chrysler announced today that it will soon begin production of the Fiat’s 1.4-liter I-4 engine in Dundee, Michigan. Chrysler will be investing $179 million into the facility — once known as the Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance — to update and retool the production lines.

The four-valves-per-cylinder I-4 will utilize Fiat’s Multiair system, a variable valve timing system. The new technology is said to increase fuel economy by 10 percent, while decreasing emissions by the same amount. Valve lifters are designed to allow late opening or early closing of the intake valves depending on the needs of the engine. Power output is a modest 100 hp and 95 lb-ft of torque, but a turbocharged variant will is in the works and will enter production shortly after the naturally aspirated version rolls off the line.

The announcement comes as good news for the state of Michigan. Not only does it help create some 573 jobs, but it also meant GEMA managed to beat a facility in Mexico that was also being considered as a production locale.

“This is one more important step forward that demonstrates our intent to deliver on the promise of the Fiat-Chrysler strategic alliance,” said Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne.

Production of the 4-cylinder engine will commence in late 2010. The engine will first be mated to the Fiat 500 and a number of future compact Dodge and Chrysler cars we’ve yet to see.


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