The gasoline engine is dead, long live the gasoline engine.
In a nod to the uncertain road ahead for EV adoption, Stellantis announced an all-new lineup of internal combustion engines on Friday, even as the automaker targets 50% of EV sales in the States. States by 2030. Called Hurricane, the high-performance, 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-6 will replace V-8 engines for the company’s rear-drive platforms that the profitable lineups rely on. Ram pickups, Jeep SUVs and Dodge sedans.
Governments are pushing automakers toward battery-powered transmissions, but consumer adoption has struggled at 3% market share due to issues with range, charging infrastructure and affordability. The Hurricane transmission ensures that Stellantis will be able to meet draconian EPA emissions rules from 2026 while testing the market with new electric vehicles and satisfying customer demand for gasoline engines for trucks and trucks. high-powered cars.
“Internal combustion engines still matter,” said Stellantis propulsion system chief Micky Bly during the Hurricane presentation. “There aren’t many people talking about new ICE engines these days, but we have a need.”
This need centers on the automaker’s crown jewels: Ram and Jeep as well as its iconic performance brand Dodge. Their signature models are applications of RWD pickups and truck-based SUVs (Ram pickup, Jeep Grand Wagoneer, Jeep Grand Wagoneer) and large unibody SUVs and sedans (Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger, Dodge Durango). They feature high-performance V-8 engines with popular versions such as TRX, SRT and Scat Pack, as well as standard models powered by the workhorse, normally-aspirated Pentastar V-6.
V-8s, however, are in the crosshairs of the EPA’s carbon dioxide rules set to intensify in 2026 and punish heavy gas guzzlers.
Hurricane is an old surname dating back to the 1950s Willys inline-4 performance engines found in Jeepsters and station wagons. The new forced-induction aluminum-block motor follows in those footsteps with an inherently smooth inline-6 architecture that Bly says will produce peak performance. A Standard Output version is capable of over 400 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque, while a High Output six is performance-tuned and will be capable of over 500 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque.
Those are performance numbers to rival a twin-turbo straight-6 BMW M3. The SO and HO deliver class-leading 133 and 166 horsepower per liter respectively, while reducing CO2 emissions by around 15%.
“Internal combustion engines will play a key role in our portfolio for years to come,” Bly said. “Hurricane is a no-compromise engine that delivers significant greenhouse gas reduction without asking our customers to give up performance.”
The abandonment of the V-8s was telegraphed by former Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley, who told the Detroit News at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show“The reality is these platforms and this technology that we’ve been using has to evolve. They can’t exist in the mid-2020s.”
The Hurricane promises more power than the 5.7-liter and 6.4-liter V8s it will replace, but it won’t use the “Hemi” cylinder construction that has been synonymous with Jeep-Ram-performance marketing. Dodge.
Instead, Plasma Transfer Wire Arc cylinder technology – popularly known as “spray bore” – is the new buzzword for the I-6’s impressive numbers. The technology was pioneered by Ford in the high-output Mustang GT350 and GT500 V-8 engines.
Stellantis’ strategy echoes that of Ford’s twin-turbo 2.7-litre/3.0-litre Ecoboost V6 engines that debuted in 2015, as well as Toyota, which just replaced the Tundra pickup’s V8 with a biturbo V6. . Ford’s twin-turbos now anchor the F-150 pickup line, replacing V8s while offering more power and efficiency.
“Ford has been down this road before,” said Autoweek editor Tom Murphy, who for years ran Ward’s respected 10 Best Engines awards. “The Ecoboost V-6 took over the vast majority of F-150 sales. They proved you don’t need a V-8.
Still, Ford customers are having a stomach ache about the V-8’s visceral lack of appeal in the F-150 Raptor, and the brand should put a V-8 in the next Raptor R.
While V-8s may still play a role in Stellantis’ future, Dodge is expected to focus on electrified muscle in the near future, starting with replacing the older 6.2-liter supercharged Hellcat V-8.
“I think electrification will definitely be part of the formula that says what American muscle is going forward,” Manley said in 2019. “What it won’t be is a V-8 engine supercharged with 700 horsepower.
Autoweek’s Murphy speculates that the Hurricane’s rear-drive application could open up the front axle for an electric motor to create electrified, plug-in versions of future Stellantis models. Stellantis says the Hurricane will also be the primary internal combustion power plant using future STLA Large and STLA Frame electrified platforms.
In addition to its Ram workhorses, Jeep and Dodge have stuffed V-8s under the hoods of everything from the 392 Wrangler to the Dodge Durango Hellcat. Look for Hurricane variants – including with electrification – to replace them.
Expect branded announcements in the coming months detailing Hurricane applications, with engines focused on the North American market with its high truck sales and lower cost fuel and regulations. The hurricane makes less sense in overseas markets like Europe where Stellantis expects to be 100% electric by 2030 amid a brutal regulatory environment. Expect the Pentastar V6 engine and turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 engine (a close relative of the Hurricane) to anchor the Wrangler and Cherokee models in the United States.
“I wonder about the Ram pickups going electric” in North America, Murphy said. “Towing with an electric vehicle can be disappointing, especially if you’re towing between 7,000 and 10,000 pounds. Ram is going to need gasoline engines to handle the migration to electrification.
Stellantis’ Bly said the Hurricane engines are capable of hybridization. The I-6 is already in production in Saltillo, Mexico alongside the Hemi V-8 line. Hurricane models are not only more fuel efficient; they are more efficient to assemble with the SO and HO engines sharing most parts. HO versions benefit from larger intercoolers and turbochargers.
Henry Payne is an auto critic for The Detroit News. Find him at [email protected] or Twitter @HenryEPayne.