Two new engines are getting much closer to production for American Mopars. Each replaces an engine which has been around for quite some time, but isn’t quite living up to its potential.
1.5 turbo should be a good drop-in replacement for the 2.4
First we have the long-awaited turbo six-cylinder, based on the GME architecture which drives the Jeep 2.0 four-cylinders. Not just a standard six, it’s an inline engine (since some readers missed that, let me reiterate: it is a straight six) that was engineered to be packaged into roughly the length of a normal four-cylinder. Originally, the goal was to have this powerplant replace the “Eagle” 5.7 liter Hemi V8 in trucks and Jeeps; conflicting scuttlebutt at this point suggests that, maybe, it’s going to be used as a more powerful Pentastar replacement and as a 5.7 Hemi replacement in Grand Cherokees and cars as well. That might explain the delay: vibrations and noise levels that are acceptable in a Ram 1500 may not work in a Grand Cherokee.
The goal is to have more torque in normal driving bands, which turbocharged engines can be tuned to maximize, and better fuel economy than the Hemi. In addition, it would have greater power and torque than the Pentastar V6 without a large economy penalty.
Second is a potential replacement, at long last, for the largely-unloved 2.4 liter four-cylinders, which some readers may recall have blocks originally created by Hyundai which were then reworked by engineers from Mitsubishi, Chrysler, and Mercedes, with each company putting on their own top ends—valvetrains, fuel injection, and so on.
The replacement comes from the global small engine (GSE) line; like the GME series, these were developed by Chrysler and Fiat engineers working together, and they have aspects and features of engines from both companies (and from Fiat in Brazil, with its reworked Neon engines). Low-end Jeep buyers can already get the 1.3 turbo version of this series; a 1.5 liter turbo is reportedly coming to other compact Jeeps and possibly the Cherokee. The 1.5 GSE would produce about the same power as the 2.4 liter engine, but with much better economy and with a wider power band.