Fiat Chrysler’s already-formibadle 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine has been reworked for the 2016 model year, with an impressive feature set that improves fuel economy by more than 6 percent in certain applications, and boosts torque below 3,000 RPM by as much as 14.9 percent.
The biggest change for the new, 2016 Pentastar V6 is the addition of variable valve-lift. Fiat Chrysler’s is a two-step system, offering low valve-lift when torque demand is low, and a relatively high lift as soon as the driver really digs into the throttle. Combined with the new Pentastar V6’s improved variable valve-timing, this allows for a large degree of optimization and control over the intake and exhaust strokes.
The compression ratio has also been raised for the 2016 model year Pentastar V6, from 10.2 to 11.3:1, and lengthened intake runners further contribute to low-end torque. Minimizing pumping losses was a chief concern for Fiat Chrysler as well; that’s been accomplished partly through the new variable valve-lift and valve-timing systems, and partly through a new, cooled exhaust gas-recirculation setup.
All that really only scratches the surface of the long list of improvements made to the new Pentastar V6. Additional features include:
- High-tumble intake ports, and shrouded combustion chambers
- Eight-hole fuel injectors for improved fuel atomization and targeting
- Friction reduction through low-tension piston rings, carbon-coated piston pins, and the first-ever use of a material dubbed “HG-R1” on the timing guide drive-faces
- An overall reduction in engine mass, despite all the added content
The new, 2016 Pentastar V6 debuts in the new Jeep Grand Cherokee, before hopefully trickling down to the rest of FCA’s V6-powered lineup. With an additional 15 percent or-so of torque below 3,000 RPM, where you drive the most, chances are you won’t even have to pop the hood to know it’s there; you’ll feel it.