Old faithful had to go sometime.
It seems that there’s a storm brewing at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, with the long-toothed Pentastar V6 engine (utilised in everything from RAM utes to Dodge Chargers to Jeep Grand Cherokees) set to go the way of the dodo. In its place will be an inline-6 engine it seems, with turbocharging as standard, and it’ll be called the ‘Tornado.’
The move to a blown inline-6 is likely down entirely to emissions regulations, as the old Pentastar mill probably had little left to give in that department. Additionally, inline-6 mills are inherently smoother in operation, and with the addition of turbocharing, the new engines that are being nicknamed ‘Tornado’ will likely offer significant fuel consumption benefits.
There’s a packaging thing at play here too. It’s reported on Allpar that the brief to the engineers is to stay within 3-inches in length to the current 2.4-litre mill. As such, it’s possible that the new engine will drop steel in favour of a hardened-aluminium block instead. The displacement of the new mill is said to also sit below 3,000cc was so skirt displacement-tax thresholds in some markets.
It’s expected that on the American brands like Jeep, there’ll be twin-scroll turbochargers to get power up and fuel economy down to acceptable levels, while Alfa Romeo & Maserati applications of the engine will utilise dual turbochargers instead. It’s also likely that while the general design will be shared, the Italians will benefit from Ferrari-engineered heads and perhaps a different block.