A hurricane is brewing, but in this situation, it is entirely man-made. Precisely, the Hurricane that arrives this fall will not come from the Atlantic, although it will originate near the Gulf. The Gulf of Mexico, that is.
Stellantis, a maker of 14 brands including Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram, has a new made-in-Mexico engine in the works. Built in Mexico, the 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six-cylinder will power various large Jeep, Dodge, and Ram models and may eventually replace the Hemi family in its entirety.
Hurricane Performance Output
We do not have all the performance details yet about the new engine, but Stellantis says that the engine will produce at least 400 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque in its standard output design. Further, when tuned for high output, those numbers rise to at least 500 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque. Automatic transmissions are a given. If Stellantis is reading the market correctly, a 6-speed manual gearbox will find its appropriate place.
Certainly, these numbers are outstanding, although if you are a Hellcat fan, you may be disappointed. Indeed, the Hemi engines utilized in various models are in jeopardy. Specifically, the push-rod V8s may not comply with increasingly stringent emissions and fuel efficiency requirements in the U.S. and abroad. If that is the case, the new inline-six will take its place.
Hurricane and Electrification
Rolling out a new engine ahead of an electric future makes sense as Stellantis will need internal combustion engines for at least another decade. The company has a family of four-cylinder engines to tap, but for ultimate power, it needs V8-equivalent performance. The new engine should deliver as promised.
Even as Stellantis moves forward with electrification, the new engine most likely will find its way in hybrid models, including mild, standard, and plug-in variants. In its “mild” configuration, the powerplant may work with a 48-volt system with an electric motor managing certain components. These may include the alternator, cooling fan, and air conditioning compressor.
Moreover, the new engine will excel in a category no electric system can beat: towing. Indeed, when a full-electric vehicle such as the Rivian R1T is tasked with pulling a trailer, its electric range diminishes considerably, by up to 50 percent. That fact does not suit well for Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee owners, which means that ICE will be around in some form for many years. Even if battery technology improves considerably, it may not be able to match what a gas or diesel engine can handle.
With a new engine brewing, we will speculate where it will be utilized. We do know that Jeep will be the first brand to see the Hurricane. Among the Jeep models we believe will get the engine are the Grand Cherokee/Grand Cherokee L and the Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer. We also believe that the engine will eventually find its way under the hood of select Wrangler and Gladiator models.
Beyond Jeep, the Ram brand is a likely target. Specifically, the Ram 1500 is an ideal product for the engine. Indeed, it could supplement the 3.6-liter V6 base engine and eventually serve as the only two engine choices at some point. The big question, though is how Stellantis will eventually power the 2500/3500 models that rely on big Cummins diesels or a large V8 gas engine. Even a robust Hurricane is no match for the most powerful engines in the Ram portfolio.
Finally, the Dodge brand needs some love. We know that all-new Charger and Challenger models are in the offing. Likely, these will be scaled-down from the current offerings as Stellantis advances lightweighting. If so, the Hurricane along with hybrid choices seem likely. However, Stellantis needs to tread carefully here as Dodge enthusiasts are not about to sacrifice performance for anything less.
See Also — About the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer
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