Following Automotive News' report last week of Chrysler's plans to idle its Mack II plant with the end of production for the 3.7-liter V-6, it looks like the engine's V-8 relative could be headed for the chopping block as well. Demand for the Pentastar V-6 is so strong that the company is reportedly in discussions with the City of Detroit on an incentive package to switch the Mack I line that currently builds the 4.7-liter PowerTech V-8 to build Pentastar V-6 engines. The proposed investment could approach $200 million and add 250 manufacturing jobs.

The overhead-cam 4.7-liter V-8 was originally introduced in the 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee as a replacement for the OHV 5.2-liter V-8. The engine got a substantial power boost in 2008 with twin-spark heads and a higher compression ratio. However, even in that iteration, the engine barely makes more power than the highest-output Pentastar V-6, which makes 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque in the upcoming 2013 Ram 1500. Customers looking for more power usually opt for the popular 5.7-liter Hemi V-8.

The 4.7-liter V-8 used to serve in a variety of Chrysler vehicles including the Dakota pickup and the Jeep Grand Cherokee. However, following launch of the latest-generation of the latter in 2010 and the discontinuation of the former in 2011, the engine has only been available in the Ram 1500 .

If Chrysler receives the incentive package it is seeking from Detroit, production of the Pentastar on the Mack I line could begin in late 2013.

Source: Automotive News (subscription required)