FCA Upgrades 2016 Pentastar V-6

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In order to improve the fuel economy and power of the current Ram 1500 base-level V-6, the 3.6-liter DOHC Pentastar, Fiat Chrysler Automobile engineers took apart the current engine and rebuilt it from the ground up. They looked for every weight-saving technique and performance-squeezing strategy they could use. Depending on the application (to date, the engine is used extensively across the FCA lineup), it looks like they squeezed almost 15 percent more torque and 6 percent more fuel economy from the mild-mannered engine block.

Among the most significant enhancements to the updated engine is a new intake manifold with much longer runners; an increased compression ratio; all-new, faster, eight-hole injectors; an upgraded variable valve timing strategy; and a unique two-step variable valve lift to improve combustion events depending on the power needs of the engine.

Much of the improved efficiency is a direct result of making the intake, ignition, combustion and injection system better, and increasing the engine's computer power to include more usage parameters. Additionally, every part of the engine was put on a strict diet, reducing its weight by nearly 17 pounds. However, the final resting weight of the new Pentastar is about 4 pounds lighter than the previous version because there are about 13 extra pounds of new technology.

As you might expect, the computing power and speed is vastly faster and more sensitive than the last-generation engine, making throttle feel more responsive depending on the situation and allowing the engine to interpret when the driver is searching for maximum fuel economy. Finally, low-friction materials with diamond-like carbon coatings were used at every metal-to-metal contact point to make things as smooth and unrestricted as possible.

The new-and-improved Pentastar V-6 will debut in the 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee but is likely to eventually make its way into other brands, including the Ram 1500, we suspect, by 2017. Although EPA ratings for the new engine have not been released, we’re predicting a minimum of a 1 mpg improvement for a vehicle like the Ram 1500 High Fuel Efficiency model in city, highway and combined -- potentially getting 19/26/22.

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Glad they upgraded, hate to sell our 2011 GC Overland and get the same exact thing, which was pretty good to say the least. Wonder if the transmission is going to be upgraded?

So, this was the news we've been waiting for, where there was an embargo on the information from back in July. Supposedly, there was going to be some news released today on the 2016 RAM 1500 and it's scheduled refresh. I'm beginning to wonder if the scheduled refresh was nothing more than the reveal of the RAM Rebel and RAM Limited, and that the truck will essentially be a carryover from 2015. If this is true, then nothing new until the redesign in 2018. WOW! - I don't know that they can wait that long with Chevrolet and GMC's refreshes for 2016 and new trucks in 2018, along with the new Ford from last year and the upcoming new Nissan Titan (non XD/Heavy Half). C'mon FCA!

Ram Guy, hold on to your shorts, might be something coming out later today as this was posted at 7am cdt, big wigs are not up that early in the morning. Or at the Texas Fair..

I'm curious about revised power ratings. 15% more torque can't be a peak increase, that would be well over 300 lb-ft. It's probably a 15% increase down low (which would be nice) and more like 5% in the mid range. Still, it sounds promising because I've always felt like the 3.6L is too soft down low for something heavy like a Ram or Grand Cherokee.

The 2016 is essentially carryover. That's why they said 2015 calendar year minor update on the chart. Ram also delayed the major update. Don't go by what Ram says. They are usually bloviating with their future product charts.

Ram guy if you find the right sources you can find info on the 2016 changes. Not an update. Just changes to the frame and structure for better safety, the new center counsel from the limited is standard on all trims, and Bluetooth is available on all radios.

You act like the ram needs an update to compete with the gm refresh and ford redesign. It really doesn't. It still has the best interiors, and ride and handeling especially while towing and hauling. Not to mention best in class milage, and by a long shot. Ram could use an exterior refresh, but if they keep pricing it right it will be fine until the redesign comes in 2018.

The GM 4.3l is a superior engine.

I own a 2015 Ram 1500 Laramie - 4x4 with a pentastar and 3.55 gears and the pentastar, in my opinion, is THE best kept secret on the truck market today - markedly better than the "eco" boosts I dare say. Now before all the Ford loyalists start to wig out - I thoroughly considered the 2015 Lariat with a 2.7L motor but the mileage returns I have read have not been favorable - averaging 10% worse in actual owner experiences than the listed EPA estimates on the window sticker. I think the "eco" aspect of their motors is a marketing ploy - the mileage is only achievable if you drive exceptionally slow all the time - not real world. Furthermore, the long-term reliability of the turbos are suspect.

I ordered my truck from the factory and one of the principle reasons I did was getting the pentastar with the Laramie package. I am SO glad I did.

If one considers all aspects - upfront cost, power, acceleration, ease of maintenance, reliability and fuel economy this motor is the across the board winner. It is $1,100 cheaper than Hemi, and $4,500 cheaper than the diesel; acceleration is just over 7 sec.; I can tow up to 7,000 lbs. with a higher payload rating the Hemi; it runs on regular gas with no special oil or filters at oil change time; has a timing chain and not a belt; the gas mileage is astounding for a truck of this size and weight - I am averaging 19-20 mpg in mixed driving with an average speed of 32 MPH.

If they make this motor even more economical - it will be even better! Good job Ram!

One very happy pentastar owner

There has been talk of "PUG" since the spring time. PUTC asleep at the wheel or just waits for the press releases from the car companies?

I test drove a Pentastar Ram last year when I was looking for a Ecodiesel to test. The engine has decent power. The only real problem was the transmission. Several times as it shifted in to first it was rather rough and sent a shudder through the truck. On a gravel road it had a rattle coming from the tailgate.


The 4.3 might be better stand alone engine but because it takes more then an engine alone to move a vehicle, the 4.3 6 speed isn't a better powertrain. If you compair the 3.6/ 8 speed combo to the gm 4.3/6 speed combo, the pentastar combo has shown to give better performance with better fe then the 4.3 6 speed combo.

So until gm offers the 8 or 10 speed, don't act like the gm power train is superior. Because it isn't. This is coming from a guy who prefers gm vehicles.


"The GM 4.3l is a superior engine."
-- Posted by: Chevrolet.com | Sep 1, 2015 9:44:40 AM

It's also a bigger engine, which means it can't be compared on a level playing field.

Speaking of EcoBoost, anyone want to try sticking a 2.7 EcoBoost under the hood of my '97 Ranger? I'm willing to bet I'd see a 20% minimum fuel economy improvement as well as torque and horsepower even if I didn't change it over to a 6-speed transmission from the 5-speed it carries.

That said, with the tune-up and hi-flow air filter, it shows a marked improvement over when I picked it up.

Here is little video for new two-stage valve lift control setup design patented by Chrysler a while ago.
Direct injection is coming, but still waits for low sulfur gasoline in US.


Pentastar upgrade is great engine. They should make V8 from it and be done with any competition. No turbo needed.
Imagine 4.8 V8 Pentastar Upgrade with 406 Hp and 8 speed.

When this truck has the PUG in 2018 for the update and full redesign with aluminum in 2021, call me. Until then it's just an over-priced Ram 1500.

Here is a patent I was talking about.

According to the patent, the rocker arm assembly can either reduce valve lift or shut off the cylinder entirely; in one position, inner and outer portions are locked together to provide traditional valve lift, while in another, the inner portion can rotate to cut lift or shut it entirely.
4.8 V8 DOHC with timing chains , Direct Injection, MDS and reduced valve lift for low end torque and efficiency , best Mpg, 8speed, best drive... I can't wait.
I don't need aluminium.


The big news of the day is confirmation that the next generation Wrangler (going on sale in 2017) will be offered in a pickup version.

Actually, that's the biggest news of the year. People have waited 20 years for this, if not longer. The PUG engine and a small diesel both will likely be offered too. The auto media will go nuts soon.

Not confirmed by FCA. It is a rumor and is only likely for 2017 or 2018. I'll believe it when I see it. It has been 10 years since the 2005 Auto Show with the Jeep pickup that never happened. Sergio is getting desperate for a bailout. Will a Fiat-Jeep pickup still be in the plans in 2018?

@2015 er, The Borg Warner KO3 Turbocharger which is used by the F150 Ecoboost 3.5L engine, very durable!! Borg sales about 400,000 of them each year to autos such as VW, Audis, and many other makes. I can't see Ford putting its best selling vehicle in danger by using inferior supplier parts, also consider 99% of Class 8 trucks use turbochargers. Many averaging 1 millions miles with the same turbo!!! In the 70's and 80's turbos for autos gain a bad reputation for failure, but the failures where most cause by poor lubrication not the design of the turbo. Modern auto turbos are design to last 350,000 miles or more. The most important fact of all turbochargers use the same metallurgy of modern jet engines for reliability!!! Ford has been building Ecoboost engines since 2007 and I have yet to see massive failures with the turbos. MOST PEOPLE FEAR WHAT THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND.

Keywords: confirmed a PLAN, LIKELY, OR 2018, UNDER DEVELOPMENT.

"Separately, Automotive News has confirmed that the plan includes building a long-sought Wrangler-based pickup, likely in 2017 or 2018. That vehicle is under development."


Ask ecoboost owners about intake valve carbon build up and get back to us about people fearing what they don't know.




"including the Ram 1500, we suspect, by 2017."

This will be my next truck!

@Somar, I haven't heard of a 4.8L Pentastar V8 even being talked about, I know that's what you get when you add 2 cylinders to a 3.6, but I doubt they would come out with a 4.8. Nobody seems to be competing in the 4.5-4.9L V8 displacement area anymore. 6.2L seems to provide a good balance between power, torque, and efficiency. It makes more sense for marketing purposes too.

Chevy just built a 3500 dually that gets 40MPGs with a real v8! It's 20 times lighter then the 2015 AL F150. It even comes built with a fast exit so the Ford girls can jump out when they feel real HP/TQ, cause there is no oh sh$% handles HAHA!


Yes, the RAM 1500 might have the best fuel milage but it's also the least capable half ton truck!

96% of half ton buyers don't exceed Ram's payload numbers.

Ignorance is bliss

ANOTHER sad announcement for Ram. When Ram gets the PUG and full redesign, not just consoles and grille changes and lettering, call me.

I did read during the development phase of the Pentastar, Chrysler did look at a V8 Pentastar as a replacement for the Hemi.

It's good to see that the Pentastar is actually improving.

One of the original goals of the Pentastar was to make a 10% improvement on FE over equivalent engines of the time. I think back at the turn of the Century. Chrysler could only find less than 7%.

The lift in torque will make it competitive with the 2.7 EcoBoost on paper. I do think where and how the torque is delivered will be a different story.

Good work by FCA.

"96% of half ton buyers don't exceed Ram's payload numbers."

"Ignorance is bliss"

True because most assume a 1/2 ton is rated for just that..... one half of a ton.

People also are clueless as to how much things weigh. Out of curiosity I weighed my tool box and gear. It was slightly over 500 lbs. I would of guessed 350-400lbs.

Another issue is people often think capacity rating do not include passengers.

Finally, tongue weight. I routinely see pickups over their GCWR's when towing.
Example: A crew 4x4 1/2 ton with a 1,251lb cargo rating and a 9,850lb tow rating means that with a 10% tongue weight that sucks up 985lb of truck capacity. An equalizer can chop 15% so you still have 838 lb on the hitch. That leaves 413 lbs.

Ignorance is NOT bliss.... it scares the sh!t out of me when I see those types at 65-70 mph on the freeway or in a mountain pass.

It handles still safer than Ford , thanks to multilink rear axle coil suspension or air ride.

WOW was that the craziest comment of the year!!! Handles good and safer than a Ford. gm and Ford both are safer than any ram on the road today. Ignorance is bliss!!

Yes, the RAM 1500 might have the best fuel milage but it's also the least capable half ton truck!

Posted by: woopud | Sep 1, 2015 12:27:00 PM

Compared to what? Better check your numbers again. 3.0 Diesel not only out tows Fords 2.7 but spanks it in MPG while doing so.

Consumer Reports say's buy the better trucks from Ram and G.M. Isn't Ford the newest design compared to Ram and G.M? lol

WOW was that the craziest comment of the year!!! Handles good and safer than a Ford. gm and Ford both are safer than any ram on the road today. Ignorance is bliss!!

Posted by: Truck crazy | Sep 1, 2015 2:36:28 PM

I just look at who sells the most defective vehicles. G.M. followed by Ford. "Ignorance is bliss!!"

Hemi V8, Do yourself a favor and actually subscribe to Consumer reports and actually look at the reports before you look stupid. I have the latest issue of CR and in the Best and Worst for 2015 the F150 is in the Best section. Not GM or Ram. When you look at the comparisons on their website all the trucks are really equal in many areas including the Ram. However the Ram is still below average for reliability in 2015. F150 and Ram are similar in maneuverability but the Ram does score higher in "ride" but when you give up capability in load that tends to happen. OH, BTW, Ram is scored lower in almost all the crash test results in their scoring data vs Ford.

Will this also be put into the 2016 Wrangler Unlimited?

I'm a very happy 2015 Ram QC Pentastar owner. 21.5mpg city/hwy combined average.

@ LMAO, I subscribe to real world experience. My Ram has been flawless. My Ford burnt to the ground. Which one do you think I am going to buy?

Mine Ram's been flawless as well.

Maybe your ram has been but many have not. I manage over 250 vehicles and FCA vehicles are the least reliable. We get about half the service life compared to similar GM and Ford vehicles. We no longer ask for a bid on FCA vehicle because we will not buy them. Cost of ownership is to high and reliability is to low compared to other like vehicles. Several local law enforcement agencies locally got together to go on a large group bid for the new Ford Interceptor vehicles. They are dropping the Chargers early in their calculated expected service life because of major failures and reliability issues. V6 and V8 engine failures. That is real life based on are much larger scale than your single biased opinion. OBTW, a fire in the 90s from a recall is hardly a fact to use anymore.

"It handles still safer than Ford , thanks to multilink rear axle coil suspension or air ride."


This is what PUTC said about 4th Place Ram:

"Ram lost most of its points was in its limited payload, braking numbers and the ride quality of the air suspension when towing or loaded."

HEMI V8 - your Ford Mustang burnt to the ground and you were too cheep to have it properly insured.

I don't blame you for having a "hate on" for Ford but as LMAO pointed out, statistically one has better odds with virtually any brand beyond FCA.

BTW - FCA recently scored the worst with owner satisfaction.

Ram has gotten better. The 2012 Ram finally made Top 3 in durability on JD Power stats.

If you are truly "cross-shopping" your best bet is a GM HD with 6.0. You'd be better off with that and put some mods into it to improve offroad capability. That truck is tough and can actually carry ot tow what you want. The Power Wagon is basically a 1/2 ton with skid plates and a winch.

@Lou_BC, You are drunk on the jim jones juice bud. Just compare Recalls From Ford F series and Ram trucks. You will see you are more likely to suffer from a total loss of vehicle with Ford telling you to take a hike. Fords Fire Recalls have nothing to do with insurance. Thats a defect Fords car and trucks share since the Pinto.

Please don't take my word for it do some research. Check it out!

Nothing shows more ignorance then people who post the one article over and over again that backs their opinion. Then they ignore every other article that states different.

Once again I prefer gm, but because I'm also an engineer, I have to recognize how much more superior the ram's 5 link rear suspension is over the competition. It gives the ram better ride and handeling especially while hauling/towing because it does a much better job at keeping the axel centered under the truck. There is a much smaller chance of "the tail waging the dog" when towing with rams. I always try to get my company's ram when I have to tow, it is so much less stressful when worked then our fords and chevy.

Hemi V8,

If you look at most of the recalls from GM or Ford the recall is based on a possibility of failure or a few reports so they took action right away to take care of it. Knowing that should make most feel safe because the companies are keeping an "eye" out for issues and taking care of them. Sometimes it takes longer than you would expect but if the companies don't get the reports it is hard for them to know there is an issue. Especially since fire related failures are covered under insurance and does not go back to the auto makers. FCA just does not do anything until they get caught and get the largest fine in automotive history.

"Ram lost most of its points was in its limited payload, braking numbers and the ride quality of the air suspension when towing or loaded."
Posted by: Lou_BC | Sep 1, 2015 3:59:49 PM

Last time I checked RAM with coils won and Ford with leafs was third.


First Place: 2014 Ram 2500 HD

The Ram HD 2500 is our pick for best overall three-quarter-ton pickup equipped with a gas engine.

It dominated our test events, winning 10 of 16 events and scoring a first-place finish with each of our judges. The Ram definitely offered the best interior and had the best ride of the three, comfortably traversing just about every smooth and broken tarmac surface.

Third Place: 2015 Ford F-250 Super Duty
However, we found the most problems surrounding the truck were underneath in the form of the suspension's challenged ride quality, both when loaded or empty. None of the other trucks sagged as much as the F-250, which showed a pronounced droop in the rear end when loaded. Likewise, when loaded, the ride was floaty and wobbly — especially when taking corners.

That is real life based on are much larger scale than your single biased opinion. OBTW, a fire in the 90s from a recall is hardly a fact to use anymore.

Posted by: LMAO | Sep 1, 2015 3:55:00 PM

2015 Ford F-150 Recalled for Fire Risk!!!


Ford forced to recall Escape over fire risk yet again.

2015 Ford Mustang Recalled for Fire Risk!!!

2015 Mustang GT Goes Up in Flames After Dealership Visit



No need to go back to the 90's bud.
This 2016 Ford Super Duty prototype burned to the ground
The upside? Aluminum bodywork confirmed.


The list goes on and on and on.

@LMAO, Right right right,


Posted by: HEMI V8 | Sep 1, 2015 4:34:31 PM

anything that has a test based on 60,000 miles or more? From what I can see these test were based on 60k or less. Not a lot to go by.

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