For 2011, Dodge has redesigned the rear-wheel drive Charger Pursuit in two different configurations: a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 and a 3.6 Pentastar V6.
The 2011 rear-wheel drive Charger Pursuit is available in two different configurations: a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 and a 3.6 Pentastar V6.
Chrysler's 5.7-liter Hemi is one of the most powerful engines available in an American sedan. At the 2011 MSP evaluations back in September the 5.7-liter Hemi Charger Pursuit ripped around the track at a top speed of 146 mph and scored a 0-100 mph acceleration time of 14.99.
The 5.7-liter Hemi in the Charger Pursuit is a true 21st century engine. It maximizes fuel efficiency by using variable valve timing to drop out four cylinders when they are not needed. But all the driver has to do is punch the pedal and the Charger's Hemi springs to life in all its glory. And it's a beast, generating 370 horsepower at 5,150 RPM and 397 foot-pounds of torque at 4,250 RPM.
For those agencies that prefer a less powerful squad but with plenty of ponies on demand, Dodge is offering the Charger with a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6.
The Pentastar offers all of the best features of a next-generation V6 and then some. It feature dual overhead cams, variable valve timing, and an innovative oil filter system. "It's certainly a lot more fuel efficient, a lot more powerful, and much more refined than our previous V6," says Alan Falkowski, manager of Chrysler's advanced engine engineering group.
Falkowski says his team of engineers had two basic goals at the beginning of the Pentastar development process: to maximize fuel economy and boost performance. They also wanted to minimize friction and simplify the engine.
"One of the technologies we applied was an oil pump that can vary its displacement," says Falkowski. "When the engine is idling and doesn't need a lot of oil, it makes a small oil displacement. When the engine needs more at high speeds, it pumps more. It also runs at different pressures."
The Pentastar's lubrication system is so sophisticated that it even regulates the piston cooling jets based on need. "We don't want to use those oil jets and waste oil at lower speed," explains Falkowski. "This has two advantages: It lets us run a higher compression ratio and it improves the durability of the pistons."
Chrysler's engineers were able to generate 40 more horsepower with the Pentastar than the previous generation of Charger V6. Yet the Pentastar is quieter and smoother running.
Falkowski says the engineers went out and tested all of the V6s on the market and set out to make the Pentastar even quieter than the best. "We made the engine structure very stiff and very light and were able to reduce the amount of noise that it radiates," he says.
The Pentastar is also smaller and lighter than the previous Charger V6. Falkowski says the size of the engine could literally save the lives of the customers. "The size and the north-south configuration allowed us to give the occupants more protection from impact," he explains. "The best way to manage an accident is to provide more crush space."
Chrysler rates the Pentastar for a 150,000-mile lifespan, but Falkowski considers that conservative. He and his engineering team made a serious effort to eliminate failure points. For example, they integrated the exhaust manifold into the cylinder head, eliminating the need for a gasket. They also mounted the oil cooler directly to the engine, eliminating connector hoses. "From the very beginning, we wanted to design out as many potential problems as possible," he says.
The 2011 Dodge Charger Pursuit with 3.6-liter Pentastar engine produces 291 horsepower at 6,400 RPM and 260 foot-pounds of torque at 4,400 RPM. At the MSP evaluations it ran 0-100 mph in 23.85 seconds.