Possible Inline-Six Engine in the Works at FCA
Engine changes as we gear towards a more regulated future are to be expected, and a speculative Allpar report states that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is currently working on developing an inline-six engine. Of course, since this is all part of the rumor mill, for now, we’ve got to take it with a grain of salt, but industry experts explained why such a move would make sense for the American automaker. If true, it’s likely that a new inline-six will power the next generation of Alfa Romeo luxury sedans to the up and coming Ram 1500 models.
Allpar’s sources note that an inline-six engine could easily be based on FCA’s current Global Medium Engine inline-four – found on the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio models, and on the Jeep Wrangler and Cherokee models as well. Of course, there will be more to it other than just slapping on two extra cylinders to the automaker’s existing inline-four, but not being forced to start from scratch will save FCA both time and money concerning engineering and design. FCA already has a facility in Trenton, Michigan that’s devoted to engine production, and the inline-six can be assembled alongside the inline-four that it’s likely to be based on.
An inline-six would also allow the automaker to downsize the engine without having to step down to a four-cylinder engine. Allpar suggests that an FCA-designed inline-six engine would displace as little as 2.9 liters to comply with European regulations, but could be offered with a different number of displacement options that may even be suitable for SUVs and trucks.
There are other advantages to an inline-six engine – it would be significantly lighter and narrower than a V8 engine, and Chrysler’s recently patented compact head design could also help shave off some of the height that inline-six engines are notorious for. The Chrysler brand has plenty of experience with inline-six engines – the Chrysler Slant-6 was in production from 1959 to 1983 (and 1987 for trucks) and got its name due to its tilted position on its side to better fit inside the engine bay.
Industry experts agree that there’s just something special about inline-six engines – general consensus is that no V6 engine can match the smoothness and refinement that an inline-six engine offers. The added torque that the inline-six engine offers can also be further developed with FCA’s eTorque mild hybrid system, making for a seamless launch when stopping and starting. That smoothness isn’t just good for luxury vehicles; it could power everything from family-haulers to pickup trucks – whose high-tier trims are practically luxury vehicles in their own right.
This is all speculation for the time being as FCA does not comment on any ongoing projects, but it’d be interesting to see FCA, and the Chrysler brand specifically channel that nostalgia that’s taken over the market. All that’s old is new again, and who is to say that a classic Chrysler engine isn’t primed for a comeback.
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