Boiling Springs, South Carolina, United States
It was reported in Automotive News a few months ago, but a new report on Allpar.com adds some details to news that the 2014 Jeep Compass and Patriot will get a six-speed automatic to replace the CVTs they currently use. According to a tip provided to Allpar, the 2014 models will begin production in March and be on sale sometime in the summer. The Jatco-sourced CVT in use until now - Jatco is owned by Nissan and Mitsubishi - has been often criticized, and many won't be sad to see it go.
The incoming six-speed automatic is said to be an all-wheel-drive cog-swapper that's the work of Hyundai and Magna and has been paired with the DynaMax AWD system used in the Hyundai ix35 and Kia Sportage. It won't be the only Chrysler product using a transmission with ties to Hyundai: the six-speed automatic in the Dodge Dart comes from Powertech, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hyundai. With the Patriot and Compass said to be driving down the trail for the last time this year, it will be a short run for the new tranny and the rumored addition of a backup camera and power rear liftgate on the Compass.
Old technology has a way of lingering on, particularly at Chrysler headquarters in Auburn Hills. So while the Pentastar V6 has replaced the older engine architecture in just about every application, it still soldiered on in some export markets. But the introduction of a new 3.0-liter Pentastar V6, produced in Michigan and meant only for the Chinese market, has put the final nail in the old engine's coffin.
Fitted into the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Wrangler just introduced to China at the Chengdu Motor Show, the downsized six uses the same architecture as the larger 3.6-liter Pentastar V6. But because of its 2,997cc capacity, it can be exported to China without the increased duty the 3.6-liter or even 3.2-liter Pentastar engines would incur. The 3.0-liter V6 develops 230 horsepower at 6,350 rpm and 210 pound-feet at 4,400 rpm.
Admittedly, it's unlikely, but even though the engine was said to be created solely to undercut tax thresholds in China and Europe, the 3.0-liter Pentastar has recently surfaced in rumors of an application here: as the boosted heart of a potential Cherokee SRT with anywhere from 375 to 410 hp.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Chrysler is recalling 91,559 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs from the 2014 model year due to some serious electrical issues. All of the affected models were built between January 8 and August 20, 2013.
The NHTSA report states that, "Due to a disruption of computer communications and loose alternator ground wires, the affected vehicles may experience random illumination of multiple instrument cluster warning lights, loss of cluster illumination and loss of anti-lock brake system (ABS) and electronic stability control (ESC) function." The loss of ABS or ESC would greatly reduce a driver's ability to control the vehicle if things get squirrely, and since these failures would not be illuminated on the dashboard display, drivers would not be warned of the issue, increasing the risk of a crash.
The recall is expected to kick off sometime this month. Chrysler will notify affected Jeep owners and dealerships "will update the ABS and instrument cluster module software and tighten the alternator ground wire," according to NHTSA.