Industry sources say DaimlerChrysler AG is preparing an expansion of its Kenosha, WI, engine plant for high-volume production of its all-aluminum 3.5L DOHC V-6.

The company recently announced an expansion at Kenosha, and it is expected that the 3.5L V-6 will be one product to enjoy higher-volume production as a result. The apparent twist: The new Kenosha-built engines are rumored to be designed for transverse installation — currently, the only application for the engine, the LH large-car platform, employs the 3.5L V-6 in longitudinal configuration.

Sources at DC intimate that the transverse installation could be driven by a variety of new applications, including future hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs). Also, it is believed the 3.5L may be offered as the upgrade engine in the upcoming redesigned Chryslerbadged minivans, details of which should soon be available. The current generation of minivans relies on aged, overhead-valve V-6s that suffer from low specific output and heavy iron block construction.