We’re celebrating manufacturing of the 10-millionth Pentastar V-6 engine. It took lower than 10 years to get to this quantity and just a bit over seven years to get from 1 million to the 10 million mark! Lots of the individuals who helped make it occur are nonetheless right here right this moment – together with me.
Being part of the Pentastar crew will all the time be one of many highlights of my engineering profession – the engine has earned six Wards 10 Finest Engines awards, to date. It powers vehicles, SUVs, minivans, pickup vans and is a key a part of our full hybrid and eTorque delicate hybrid powertrains.
I believe it’s simply as spectacular that we ever obtained so far. As with all massive mission, there are such a lot of tales!
There have been many instances it appeared just like the Pentastar V-6 wasn’t going to occur. At present, the engine’s unique mission title, Phoenix, appears slightly prophetic.
We began work in 2005 and earlier than manufacturing began in 2010 there have been a number of shocks to the crew and the mission – the separation of Chrysler and Daimler, a recession and collapse of auto gross sales, after which chapter and Cerberus possession. Whereas we unveiled the Pentastar V-6 on the New York auto present in April 2009, we needed to make our case once more when FIAT and Sergio Marchionne arrived. Chris Cowland and I pitched the mission to Sergio in July and gained approval to remain on monitor.
The Pentastar V-6 is an incredible engine, an actual workhorse for FCA. It changed seven legacy V-6s in our lineup, dramatically lowering our components rely and manufacturing prices and delivering considerably higher efficiency and gasoline economic system.
It’s compact and simply suits in all kinds of automobiles world wide. We use it in rear-drive, front-drive and all-wheel-drive configurations.
It’s high-tech with a die-cast aluminum block and exhaust manifolds built-in within the cylinder heads; highly effective and gasoline environment friendly; and among the many world’s greatest in smoothness and refinement with design options reminiscent of block-mounted equipment. The structure is used for 3 displacements – three.zero, three.2 and three.6 liters. We designed it to simply adapt to future applied sciences, enabling us to effectively add two-step variable valve raise and cooled exhaust fuel recirculation.
Pentastar was extra than simply making a world-class engine. We additionally constructed and launched two completely new meeting vegetation, carbon copies of one another in two totally different international locations, to make sure we may meet the quantity demand and preserve high quality.
That’s rather a lot to anticipate from a single engine program.
Now, think about the thrill our designers and car engineers really feel once they get the nod to start out work on a brand new automobile, truck or Jeep® car. It occurs each few years. Nevertheless, should you’re a powertrain designer or engineer, the chance comes a lot much less often because the “bones” of an engine are anticipated to final 10-15 years – and in some instances even longer e.g. the fashionable HEMI®, which launched in 2002. Consequently, engaged on a very new engine and engine plant could be a a few times in a profession sort of an occasion.
Though we now have all usually wished for the liberty of a clear sheet of paper, when it comes alongside it may be exhilarating and daunting each! What did we get ourselves into and what is going to the market consider our work 10 or 15 years down the street?
So to make sure we have been all on the identical web page, firstly the Phoenix/Pentastar program, I requested the crew to jot down down what they wished to see within the press launch and in automotive magazines (sure, there have been magazines in these days!) introducing the engine. It was an awesome team-building train that targeted us on what we wished the engine to realize. Among the many objects have been:
- Compact dimensions
- Refinement of a V-Eight in a V-6
- Twin overhead camshafts
- Considerably higher gasoline economic system
- Excessive horsepower for low value
- Appropriate with future applied sciences reminiscent of turbocharging and direct injection
After all, there have been many different objects about high quality, plant effectivity, value, and many others. Probably the most inspiring was the crew’s goal of attaining a High 10 Finest Engine award from Wards.
Six Wards 10 Finest Engine awards and 10 million engines later, the crew and I are proud to say the Pentastar V-6 is simply getting warmed up.