FCA clarifies Mack Jeeps, still making old stuff
A new FCA press release clarified what Jeeps will be made at the new Mack Avenue (Detroit) factory, as well as their range of old and obsolete engines and transmissions.
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First, the good news: Mack Avenue is to make a “three-row, full-size Jeep SUV,” presumably replacing or supplementing the current Dodge Durango, along with the next generation Jeep Grand Cherokee. Production will start in the fourth quarter, otherwise known as October-December, 2020. That’s actually pretty quick turnaround for replacing a plant and getting it running.
Now, for the oddities and old stuff. The old Daimler-era, pre-Tigershark, Hyundai-originated “WGE” engines are actually still being made, over in Dundee, Michigan, in an ironically new plant; they also make the Tigershark version, and the upgraded version of the current Pentastar V6. Yes, FCA still makes both versions of the Pentastar, but to see both made at once, you have to go to the Trenton (Michigan) plant, which also makes the brand new 2-liter turbo four.
The Pentastar PHEV engine, which is only used in Canada, is ironically made in Saltillo, Mexico. Not just Saltillo, but Saltillo South; there’s an engine plant north of it, too, but that one makes (deep breath) the old 2-liter Tigershark four, the 2.4 Tigershark four, ethanol versions of both engines, and every Hemi… no need for a list, right? You know what the Hemis are.
When will these old, replaced engines (the pre-Tigersharks, 2.4 Tigershark, and pre-upgrade Pentastar) finally leave? The Dodge Journey is probably the big holdup, and until something replaces it, or they decide that there are enough of them (with roughly three months’ worth waiting to be sold), those old engines will still be made.
Clark Westfield grew up fixing up and driving past-their-prime American cars, including various GM and Mopar V8s. He has ghostwritten auto news for the last few years, lives in Farmingdale, New York, and can be reached at +1.516-531-4021.