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This is a company that took an extra couple of years to get the Ducato converted beyond their first estimates and 3 or so years to get the diesel out the door even though it was in production in Italy. They couldn't manage the euro facelift in two years from start of production no speaking of introducing that instead of the bug eye (that I love). So my guess is we will see the 3.2 turbo with 9 speed in the Promaster in 2019-20. I know, I know, I am probably being optimistic.;)
 

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Careful what you wish for! Too many gears in heavy vehicles with heavy loads will cause constant shifting. For a short time I owned a 2013 Ram 1500 pick up with the V6 pentastar and 8 speed trans. No load it was awesome I loved the truck. Connect a light 3,000 lbs trailer. The 8spd trans could have received an academy award for shifts from Chicago to Wisconsin. A friend pulling the same trailer with a hemi V8, 8spd trans Ram 1500 same thing. LOTS OF SHIFTING WITH A LOAD!!!


The turbo would be very cool in a Promaster!
 

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I'd like to see one of the smaller diesels paired up with a straight up manual gearbox like they sell in Europe. You can get one in the UK that is good for 45 miles to the Imperial gallon (1.25 US gallons). That would work out to 36mpg here in the States. They'll tell us no one wants to put up with a low powered vehicle to get those numbers. I'd buy one in a heartbeat. Still on the fence with the current diesel model. Want to see more real world mpg figures and see how the whole package holds up after a couple of years and some high miles.
 

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If a small diesel with a full manual trans would come to United States would you have to wait several years to buy it? To wait for real world mpg and reliability reports? If everyone waits for that by the time you are ready to buy one they will stop selling it in United States because no one is buying them!
 

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I don't think it's worth waiting several years for, rather just settle for something now and then when it comes around, see how it does. You never know it could have flaws... putting you off another year from buying it.
 

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The turbo version would certainly be destined for the larger, heavier, more performance-oriented and higher-end vehicles - Challenger/300/Charger, Ram pickups, Jeep Grand Cherokee, basically anything lengthwise-engine. Due to the layout of this engine, it would likely need a turbo for each bank. For the longitudinal applications, that's easy. For transverse applications, not so much. Not saying it couldn't be done, it's just harder to package. The catalysts have to fit in there somewhere, too. Right now they're close-coupled directly at each cylinder head.

Besides, the transverse applications are mostly either smaller/lighter vehicles that couldn't really put much more power to the ground (200, Cherokee) or soccer-mom vehicles (minivan) or vehicles subject to the cost-sensitive fleet buyer (ProMaster ...) so I don't see a turbo version happening for those.

Direct-injection and/or MultiAir (variable valve lift) could easily be across-the-board, though. Should give a little more power and a little better fuel economy. In the ProMaster, I wouldn't be too troubled with having a non-turbo 3.2 with direct-injection and/or MultiAir so that the power stayed about the same but hopefully with better mileage.

As for the transmission ... The 62TE is likely to be phased out, and that means the 9-speed will replace it. I have a customer that builds parts for the 9HP. They are still putting in equipment to match the ramp-up in production rate ... Fiat/Chrysler is planning to build a lot of these transmissions.

As long as the transmission is designed to handle the more frequent shifting between the higher gears without going kaboom, it wouldn't trouble me.

I've heard quite a few reports that the 9HP isn't the best for shift refinement. There are two downshifts (8th to7th, and IIRC 5th to 4th) that are awkward for the transmission to do because of the way the internals are designed. In a heavy vehicle, the 8th-to-7th would likely be as common as the 6th-to-5th that we get now (every uphill). On the good side, the 9HP has the upper ratios much closer together, so the shift should be less of a bump.
 

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Hate turbos. Owned 3 of them. Turbo lag sucks and seems to get worse with miles. fords turbo loves premium fuel too.

A road we don't want to go down. Current 3.6 is simple and works great.
 

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As naturally aspirated gasoline engines have gotten more and more powerful for their size, it's inevitable that smaller engine displacements will be used to improve fuel economy. I don't own one yet, but from reports it sounds like the ProMaster is almost there with the 3.6L V6.

Since this engine can produce close to 300 HP, which is far more than normally needed for cruising, engineers then have to gear the vehicle extremely high so it gets decent fuel economy on the highway. The problem with this is that engines operate at too low an RPM during slower cruise. And this can also add to excessive gear hunting.

One possible trade off is using a smaller engine with commensurate lower gearing so it would operate at higher RPM much like vans of decades ago. As an example only (to make math simple to follow), let's say a PM with 3.6L V6 runs at 2,000 RPM at 65 MPH.

If the same van had 4/6 of the engine, or a 2.4L I-4, it would need to run at 3,000 RPM at same 65 MPH in order to have same BMEP, which is required to maintain equal fuel efficiency.

A smaller engine would obviously have less max power (although same as diesel), but by operating at 3,000 RPM instead of 2,000 RPM at cruise, the torque curve would be at a flatter point and closer to maximum, rather than the V6 being way below its max torque RPM. So if the vehicle slows from 65 to 50 or worse to 40 MPH, the V6 would be just above idle forcing a downshift. The smaller engine with much lower gearing would still be in the 2,000 RPM range or higher, so it could hold top gear easier.

The biggest disadvantage with the existing 6-speed transmission with its wide ratios is that if a hill at 65 MPH forced a downshift, RPM would jump from 3,000 to around 4,500 instead of from 2,000 to 3,000. Most owners wouldn't like that.

So an engine in the middle of these two examples, around 3.0L but with a 9-speed transmission with close ratios, might be OK as long as final drive ratio is made much lower.

For me personally, I'd drive at 60 to 65 MPH so a 2.4L I4 with a 9-speed would be great as long as the final ratio is low enough -- like around 5:1.
 

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Seems to me that ALL applications of gas turbocharging dont get better mileage in the real world. This is a very common complaint on the ecoboost engines; far less than advertised mpg. More power yes, better mileage no.

On the transmissions, im on the fence. I dont feel the 62te shifts excessively. More than a torquflite from 1968, but not a deal breaker or even noticeable to the average buyer. In fact, when on an interestate in 90% of the country, it stays in top gear 90% of the time, exactly like it did in 1968, 1938, and probably 2048. What im saying is that we only care about gears as they relate to highwsy mileage, and for max mileage you only really need one gear - the right one. 10 gears that are wrong do you no good. Even class 8 semis use 1 gear for highwsy, the other 17 are just to get you moving.

Rememver too that in 2017 theres a big halftime conference between nhtsa, carb, the oems, and epa to evaluate cafe progress. Cafe was purposely designed to be reevaluated, so with low gas prices, domestic oil, hybrids, less young people driving, and uber/zip car its entirely possible that cafe will get watered down or rejiggered. Remember, ALL cafe was predicated on $7 gas and 90% foreign oil.

My own feeling is that government doesnt have the political spine to scrap cafe, but they are plenty enough in the pocket of powerful interests to castrate it.

All that said, a major refresh of the pm will be in the pipe around the time all this happens. Fca may well decide that $5000 on the sticker price and 500 million in development costs arent worth it for 2 mpg more on the window sticker. Support for my arguement is that ford looked at it and decided aluminum was a better strategy. Chevy looked at it and decided smaller was a better strategy (colorado). Fca looked at it and decided diesel was a better strategy. These plans beat out hybrids, electrics, hydrogen, and natural gas hands down.

Fun stuff.
 

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Careful what you wish for! Too many gears in heavy vehicles with heavy loads will cause constant shifting. For a short time I owned a 2013 Ram 1500 pick up with the V6 pentastar and 8 speed trans. No load it was awesome I loved the truck. Connect a light 3,000 lbs trailer. The 8spd trans could have received an academy award for shifts from Chicago to Wisconsin. A friend pulling the same trailer with a hemi V8, 8spd trans Ram 1500 same thing. LOTS OF SHIFTING WITH A LOAD!!!


The turbo would be very cool in a Promaster!
With the flappy paddles, can't you just manually kick it down a gear or two when you're pulling a load? That would keep it from shifting back and forth from 8th to 7th under load. Then if you see if you have a long stretch downhill, you could put it in 8th.
 

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The cheapest way to get better fuel economy is to accept smaller power train and associated lower performance (this actually reduces cost). The second option is to drive slower thereby requiring less power. Combine the two and we'll save a lot, including upfront cost and later on fuel.

But since buyers don't want less power or performance, the above two options are not viable business plans. So we get the promise of both power and economy like EcoBoost but at a higher initial price. And maybe higher maintenance and fuel consumption versus naturally aspirated engines of equal size but less power.

As a group we are getting what we want. Power levels from the 70s or 80s are completely unacceptable today. An engine with 150 HP got the job done a few decades ago, and still does in many parts of the world, but in US today we all need twice that for starters. And for many even 300 HP is not enough.
 

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Mark my words, the 9-speed instead of the 62TE and an upgraded, but still non-turbo, version of the Pentastar won't cost $5000 extra!

Right now, the minivans and the Journey, and the ProMaster, are the only applications left for the 62TE. The minivans switch to the 9HP with the next generation in 2016, that's already known. The Journey is also scheduled to be replaced with a new crossover (might not keep the same name) in the same timeframe. That would leave the ProMaster as the only remaining application. That's not gonna happen. They will stop making the 62TE and the 9HP will replace it ... The 9HP bolts up to the Pentastar already, and changing the subframe to accommodate transmission mounts (if needed) is a trivial exercise, that's what they'll do. The tooling that I've seen with my own eyes indicates that Fiat/Chrysler is planning to build the 9HP in very large quantities. The switchover will likely be somewhere near the same time that the minivans and Journey switch.

As for the engine itself, the existence of new turbo, direct-injection, and MultiAir variations doesn't preclude the current version continuing as is. Turbo won't happen for the ProMaster and quite likely not for any transverse application. MultiAir is not expensive to implement and the Pentastar engine was designed to allow it. Direct-injection is a bit expensive. I'm not sure if Fiat builds an engine with both MultiAir and direct-injection.
 

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I agree about the shift (pun!) from 62te to the 9 speed. You are correct; not a question of if but when. Am i wrong or will the 9 be the last chrysler designed/produced tranny? The 8 is the same ZF auto found in benz, chevy, etc and the manuals are all Tremecs or Aisins in the jeeps?

The big picture view is that 9 speeds are more a marketing gimmick than anything else. Did you know back in the 20s and 30s, a car was considered luxury if it had less gears. Less was considerred better because in a world before automatics everyone was sick of shifting. I think this may (or may not) be the reason the first autos were mostly 2 speeds.

The modern fixation on numbers is out of hand. I have a 1965 motorhome built on a 65 chevy van. 6000lbs, 250 straight six with maybe 100 horse on a good day, 2 speed powerglide, and manual drum brakes. Youd think it would be undriveanle, but in fact its fine. It wont win any races, but it mostly keeps up with traffic. The brakes ate marginal, but i wouldnt call them unsafe.

Turbos: In 20 years , some punk kid will start hanging turbos on promasters for kicks. I dont particularly want a turbo pm, but theres plenty of room under the hood for those kind pf shenanigans. A blown pm might be fun.

Multiair: i cant remember where i picked this up, but i recall reading that grafting multiair onto anything but the tiny engines was a big engineering project, or that the design as fiat did it wasnt scaleable to big engine. Its interesting technology though.

One thing that i have to keep in mind is that the pm and its particulars are an afterthought for fca. They make their nut in trucks, jeeps, and minivans. So the upside is the pm gets some of those highly engineered components, but the downside is the pm isnt necessarily a top priority.
 

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I agree about the shift (pun!) from 62te to the 9 speed. You are correct; not a question of if but when. Am i wrong or will the 9 be the last chrysler designed/produced tranny? The 8 is the same ZF auto found in benz, chevy, etc and the manuals are all Tremecs or Aisins in the jeeps?

.....cut....
As far as I know, the front-wheel-drive 9-speed is a ZF design, just like the rear-wheel-drive 8-speed. Although it's possible Chrysler may be manufacturing under license, I'm fairly sure they did not design it.
 

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In my post I was referring to ZF as a company name. Below is from their web site:


"ZF is a global leader in driveline and chassis technology with 122 production companies in 26 countries. In 2013, the Group achieved a sales figure of presumably EUR 16.8 billion with 72 643 employees. ZF is among the top 10 companies on the ranking list of the largest automotive suppliers worldwide.
The company was founded in 1915 for the development and production of transmissions for airships and vehicles. Today, the group's product range comprises transmissions and steering systems as well as chassis components and complete axle systems and modules. As stockholders, the Zeppelin Foundation - which is administered by the City of Friedrichshafen - holds 93.8 percent and the Dr. Jürgen and Irmgard Ulderup Foundation Lemförde holds 6.2 percent of shares."
 

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My prediction, we will not see a trans with more than 6 speeds in the promaster! Just a prediction.
The problem with the PM automatic 6-speed is not so much that it has only 6 forward gears (or seven), but that gear spacing is not very good. Modifying from 4 to 6 speeds required too many compromises compared to a clean-sheet design.

By comparison the Ford Transit 6R80 automatic has much better gear spacing. And since I doubt that Chrysler would design a new 6 speed automatic today when 8+ speeds are common, it follows that the 9 speed is a probable replacement. Once production exceeds future volume for minivans and other vehicles, I think the PM will get the 9 speed. I doubt Chrysler would continue existing 6-speed auto manufacturing for just the PM. Volume seems too low to me to justify keeping the lines running. Just my guess though. Of course it's possible another drivetrain leap frogs the V6 and 9-speed scenario.
 
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