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Stellantis Tools Up Plants for New ICE Engine Production

At a time when many automakers are boasting about their commitments to transition to fully electric fleets, Stellantis is doubling down on internal combustion engine technology. The company announced that it’s committing $99 million to a new 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine to be built using three North American plants.
Stellantis pumping millions into new ICE engine 5 photos
Stellantis pumping millions into new ICE engineStellantis pumping millions into new ICE engineStellantis pumping millions into new ICE engineStellantis pumping millions into new ICE engine
But that’s only part of the story since the engine is earmarked for hybrid applications, which underscores the increasing importance of offering electrified vehicles. Currently, the only plug-in hybrid offerings by the company are versions of its Chrysler Pacifica minivan, Jeep Wrangler and Grand Cherokee SUVs. Mild hybrid eTorque transmissions are employed by Ram pickups.

The investments include $83 million at the company’s Dundee Engine plat in Michigan, $14 million in Indiana at the Kokomo Casting Plant, which will make the blocks, and $2 million at the Etobicoke Casting Plant in Canada. That investment will support a line making the oil pan. The engines are expected to go into production in early 2025.

The engine is based on one Stellantis is currently producing in Europe. It’s designed to be used in two hybrid vehicles for the North American market. Among the candidates for this non-plug-in hybrid drivetrain are the Jeep Cherokee and Compass, both of which are built at the company’s Belvidere assembly plant in Illinois. The compact Cherokee currently utilizes a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine or a 3.2-liter V6 engine. The smaller Compass employs the Tigershark 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine.

Both the V6 and 2.4-liter engines are being built at the Dundee engine plant, however, Stellantis says that the Tigershark production is scheduled to conclude during the first quarter of 2023.

An all-new 1.6-liter hybrid powertrain would slot neatly into both product ranges and give Jeep high mileage alternatives to hybrids from competitors that include the Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape, Kia Sportage and Sorento, Hyundai Santa Fe and Tucson.

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