Chrysler Upgrades Pentastar V-6 For Fuel Efficiency; Lack Of Direct Injection A Hint Of Future EPA Rules?

Automotive engineers are very good at incremental improvements to existing technologies, and that skill will be much tested in meeting increasingly stiff fuel-economy rules between now and 2025.For the 2016 model year, Chrysler has extensively re-engineered its Pentastar V-6 engine, a mainstay powerplant in the light trucks that comprise the majority of its sales.

From Jeeps to minivans to crossover utility vehicles to sedans, the Pentastar has to get more fuel-efficient to keep Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in compliance with the Corporate Average Fuel Economy mandates.

Starting in 2017, the EPA will move to “Tier 3” standards that tighten limits on particulate emissions from all engines–meaning that gasoline engines in the U.S. may have to adopt the same particulate filters that diesels now employ.

Combined with potential EPA changes to fuel-economy ratings to make them more accurate for vehicles with turbocharged, direct-injected engines, Chrysler’s strategy of forgoing either technique for its mainstay V-6 may prove prescient.

It also saves the newly combined Fiat Chrysler company some development cash it sorely needs to continue updating and renewing its products, while its CEO Sergio Marchionne seeks a merger partner to spread those development costs over a larger production volume.

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