Company CEO Sergio Marchionne announced yesterday at a media event that the Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited will be losing their 3.8L V6 in favor of a Pentastar V6. Should the Wrangler lineup get the same 3.6L Pentastar used throughout the rest of the Chrysler lineup, we can expect the topless Jeep to offer somewhere in the neighborhood of 283 horsepower and 260lb-ft of torque but there have been unconfirmed rumors that there could be new Pentastar variants coming in the near future. However, regardless of the size of the Pentastar V6 used in the upcoming Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited, we can expect it to be more powerful and more efficient than the outgoing 3.8L mill.
Chrysler expects that the Pentastar-powered Wrangler will be roughly 10% more efficient than the current V6 even without the help of one of the new eight-speed transmissions, as the Pentastar Wrangler will come with a 5-speed automatic transmission at first.
During the briefing where Marchionne discussed the new Wrangler engine option, the company also showed a graphic detailing the growth of diesel engines over the next three years from 9% to 14%. The Chrysler Group is currently offering diesel-powered minivans in Europe badged as Lancia models and the Jeep Grand Cherokee is already offered as a diesel model in other markets. Over the past few months, TorqueNews.com has captured both a diesel Grand Cherokee and a diesel Lancia Grand Voyager (known in this country as the Chrysler Town & Country) and while both of these vehicles were passed off as being nothing more than test vehicles for other markets – perhaps those provided a glimpse into what the Fiat-controlled Chrysler Group has in plan for the diesel segment over the next few years. Chrysler has also played with a diesel powered Wrangler on and off over the past decade or so and with the Jeep enthusiast world clamoring for a oil-burning Wrangler, perhaps one of Fiat's compact diesel engines could power the topless Jeep without adding a ton of weight to the front end.
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