FCA recently revealed their upgrades to the Pentastar V6 for 2016. Missing is direct injection but Chrysler engineers have still managed to make the Pentastar more efficient and more powerful. Allpar has the details.
The majority of work on the V6 went into reducing pumping loses and internal friction. One of the changes they made was switching to a new two-stage valve lift control. Low valve lift for more efficency at regular speeds and conversely, high lift for when power is demanded. Other work includes changes to valve timing and a new low friction coating.
FCA also invested in new components internally in an effort to lighten the engine. They installed a new manifold that they say boosts torque 15% below 3,000 RPM. In addition to a new cooled EGR, upgraded injectors and a higher compression ratio (11.3:1 from 10.2:1).
Interestingly it seems that FCA is attempting to get around adding direct injection by using platinum tipped spark plugs and high energy spark discharges to ignite leaner air/fuel mixtures. If true this would give FCA a boosted CAFE rating while sacrificing spark plug life.
As of now the new Pentastar has only been confirmed for the 2016 Grand Cherokee but we expect the RAM 1500 to gain it shortly, either before MY16 is up or surely for MY17.