Chrysler Confirms Pentastar V6 and 8-Speed Auto for Ram Truck, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango

Not that we weren’t expecting it, but the Chrysler Group officially confirmed through a voluntary annual report with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which was first discovered by Autonews, the availability of its 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 combined with an 8-speed automatic transmission on the Ram pickup truck.

The Pentastar V6, which should produce around 280-horsepower in this application, will replace the Ram truck’s current 210hp 3.7-liter V6 that is linked to a 4-speed automatic transmission.

The new and more powerful Ram model will be presented next month, possibly at the New York International Auto Show.

We scooped in a little deeper into the filing and found out that the Chrysler Group also confirms the introduction of the ZF 8-speed automatic in the V6 versions of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and its sister model, the Dodge Durango, both of which are currently offered with a 5-speed auto.

“Starting in late 2012 through 2013, we plan to include this transmission in the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Dodge Durango and Ram 1500 pick-up truck,” Chrysler said in the report.

“This transmission reduces fuel consumption by up to 12 percent over our current 5-speed transmissions. We ultimately plan to use this transmission in all of our rear-wheel drive vehicles except the heavy-duty versions of the Ram truck,” the company added.

There’s also some news on the upcoming 9-speed automatic for use on front-wheel drive models, which is being co-developed with ZF.

“This transmission is expected to reduce fuel consumption by up to 11 percent over our current 6-speed transmissions. We plan to use this transmission in many of our next generation C- and D-segment front-wheel drive vehicles starting in 2013,” Chrysler stated.

Finally, the Detroit automaker mentions that it is planning to replace both the Chrysler 200 series and the Jeep Liberty (called Cherokee in markets outside North America) through the course of 2012 and 2013. Both replacements will be based on the same CUSW platform used on the Dodge Dart and which has been jointly-developed with Fiat.

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