Chrysler Group will pour $450 million into its engine plant in Kenosha, WI – the third of three sites that will supply the auto maker with a new generation of V-6 powerplants.

The plant will be retooled to accommodate an annual capacity of 400,000 units. Production is slated to begin in 2011, two years after the other sites have ramped up.

Trenton, MI, and Saltillo, Mexico, also will be home to the new engine, dubbed Phoenix. Each of those plants is expected to have an annual capacity of 440,000 units.

The investment is part of a $3 billion powertrain strategy announced in February. Chrysler is developing Phoenix – scheduled to come to market in displacements of 3.0L, 3.6L. and 4.0L – to reduce its V-6 architectures from four to one.

Similar consolidation is planned for the auto maker’s axles and transmissions. The auto maker broke ground last month in Marysville, MI, site of a plant that will replace its aging axle plant in Detroit.

And in February, Chrysler signed a memorandum of understanding to partner with Germany’s Getrag GmbH & Cie KG on the development of a dual-clutch transmission.