DETROIT -- The replacement for the Jeep Liberty will be powered by a smaller-displacement version of Chrysler Group's 3.6-liter V-6, two sources say.
The Liberty replacement will have a 3.2-liter version of the Pentastar V-6, said Bruce Baumhower, president of UAW Local 12 in Toledo, in a TV interview. A second source confirmed the vehicle's 3.2-liter engine.
The engine likely will be built in Trenton, Mich., in a Chrysler engine plant that is now about 80 percent vacant, said the second source, who is familiar with the Trenton plant.
Chrysler-Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has said the Liberty successor, derived from a Fiat platform, will debut in January at the Detroit auto show. It is expected in showrooms in mid-2013.
A Chrysler spokesman said the company would not discuss future product or production plans.
Work has begun on a $500 million renovation of the Toledo North assembly plant to produce the successor to the Liberty. The plant will close in early August for at least five months for retooling, said Baumhower.
Chrysler aims to improve its corporate average fuel economy in part with new or revised engines and transmissions. The Liberty replacement will also have a nine-speed automatic transmission developed by ZF Friedrichshafen AG. The four-wheel-drive version of the Liberty is rated at 21 mpg on the highway and 15 mpg in city driving.
Marchionne has conceded mid-sized SUVs were a weakness in Chrysler's lineup but said the Liberty's replacement would fix that. c