Insider intel hints towards an updated Pentastar V6 that’ll see production reality on the mid-cycle refresh of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2017 Chrysler Town & Country. The latter has been confirmed to debut in January 2016 at the Detroit Auto Show with a 3.2-liter version of the Pentastar V6 coupled to the ZF-developed 9-speed automatic transmission of the Jeep Cherokee.
If anything, how will the recently patented intake air control system help the heavily reengineered Pentastar V6 mill? We’ll let inventor Kenneth D. Dudek take it from here:
“An intake control system for a multi-cylinder combustion engine with control valves positioned within intake passageways that can vary the cross-sectional area of the intake runners to increase air intake velocity at low engine speeds. The control system includes an inner frame that can be inserted into a lower manifold after manufacture.”
“The inner frame includes a plurality of flapper valves that are actuated by a four-bar link design, which is driven by a hypoid gear-set. The control system controls an internal DC electric motor that actuates a worm-drive gear-set, which in turn drives the hypoid gear-set to either engage or retract the flapper valves within the intake passageways.”
OK, but what do all those words mean?
I’m no engineer, but I can tell you that conventional intake manifolds deliver maximum efficiency at medium and high engine RPMs. Normal manifolds can’t change the air-fuel mixture on the go due to a fixed cross-section design. Put simply, that limits the air-fuel mixture at low engine RPMs.
As you can see from the patent drawing, Dudek’s “intake air control system or multi-cylinder combustion engine” is employing an inner frame assembly into the lower part of the manifold. Thanks to flapper valves controlled by a 4-bar link setup, the system can create efficient air-fuel mixtures for a broader RPM band compared to traditional intake manifolds.
The design ensures that the valves are closer positioned to the injectors, with each valve controlled by an electric motor for adjustments. Boiled down to its core, Dudek's design theoretically offers maximum get-up-and-go and efficiency at low RPMs.