Officially unveiled at the New York Auto Show in 2009, the Chrysler Dragon engine will make its debut in 2010 vehicles from Dodge and other Chrysler brands. The Dragon series of engines are made of a lightweight aluminum that helps reduce vehicle weight and shipping costs, and come in four different displacements: 3.0L, 3.3L, 3.6L, and 4.0L. Each of the four engine sizes come in different levels of tune, including plans for turbo, twin-turbo, and intercooled turbo/twin-turbo variants.
By incorporating dual-overhead cam technologies, variable displacement, dual variable valve timing, and cylinder deactivation in lightweight V-6 motors, vehicles such as the Dodge Charger and Dodge Avenger can be lighter and more powerful. All Dragon series V6 motors are designed to run on either 87 octane pump fuel or E85, which is a more environmentally sound alternative to standard petroleum.
While specific performance information for all models remains to be disclosed, the 3.6L V6 that will find its way into the mid-2010 Chargers is reputed to be rated at 280 horsepower @ 6400 rpm and 260 lb/feet of torque at 4800 rpm. The forthcoming 4.0L intercooled twin-turbo Dragon is alleged to have a Hemi-like 420 horsepower and may find its way into a number of high-performance Dodge vehicles.
The combination of lighter weight, increased power, cylinder deactivation, and advanced combustion chambers allows the Dragon series V6 to efficiently power vehicles that once nearly demanded the grunt that only 8-cylinder motors could provide. Dodge expects to replace their entire array of aging SOHC V6 engines with Dragon V6s by the 2013 and their limited selection of older DOHC V6 engines by 2014. The question is: Will Dodge being replacing any of their V8 engines with Dragon V6 models?