Chrysler's powertrain chief, Paolo Ferrero, has confirmed that the Ram 1500 half-ton pickup will receive the all-new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 in 2012, according to a tweet by WardsAuto.
The move isn't unexpected, but it remained unofficial until now.
The Pentastar six-cylinder features aluminum construction for weight savings, dual overhead cams and variable valve timing. It will replace the Ram's 215-horsepower (235 pounds-feet of torque), single-overhead-cam 3.7-liter V-6 that was introduced for the 2002 model year.
Power output varies by application, and it's still unknown how much grunt the compact six will put to the ground in the Ram 1500. The Jeep Grand Cherokee with the 3.6 is rated at 290 hp and 260 pounds-feet of torque, while the Dodge Challenger V-6 is rated at 305 hp and 268 pounds-feet.
Other Pentastar features include torque-activated cam phasers, a standard oil cooler and improved fuel economy. It's likely we'll see Fiat's sophisticated Multi-Air valve timing system added to the engine down the road.
The Pentastar Ram 1500 will compete directly against the Ford F-150 with the new 3.7-liter Duratec V-6, updated 4.0-liter V-6 in the Toyota Tundra and GM's full-size Chevy Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 with the ancient 4.3-liter V-6.