Battle of the V8 replacements


Toyota shocked the world when it rolled out its redesigned 2022 Tundra: the automaker opted to toss its naturally aspirated V8 in favor of a twin-turbocharged V6 similar in displacement and horsepower to the Ford F-150’s EcoBoost . Then in March 2022, Ram unveiled its “V8 replacement”, a twin-turbocharged inline-six. Here’s how these next-generation truck engines compare.

i-FORCE V6 “Hurricane” I6 i-FORCE MAX Hybrid HO “Hurricane” I6
Shift 3.44 liters 3.0 liters 3.44 liters 3.0 liters
Power 389 horsepower 400+ horses 437 horsepower 500+ horses
Couple 479 lb-ft 450+ lb-ft 583 lb-ft 475+ lb-ft
Increase 18psi 22psi 18psi 26psi
electric motor N / A N / A 48 hp / 184 lb-ft N / A

What is an i-FORCE Max motor?

The top-of-the-line version of the twin-turbo V6 in the 2022 Toyota Tundra is the i-FORCE MAX hybrid version. With a 184 lb-ft electric motor sandwiched between the 3.44-liter V6 and 10-speed automatic, it produces more torque than the Ford F-150 Raptor.

2022 Toyota Tundra Edition 1794 | Toyota

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The new Toyota Tundra’s V6 comes in three distinct versions, depending on the trim level. But every Tundra will have the same engine. The Tundra SR’s 3.44-liter V6 produces just 348 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque. All other non-hybrid trim levels produce 389 horsepower / 479 lb-ft of torque.

If you buy a 2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, Tundra Capstone or choose to upgrade the engine from a mid-size truck, you get the i-FORCE MAX hybrid powertrain. MotorTrend was very impressed with the hybrid’s flat “diesel-like” torque curve. Toyota achieved this by carefully tuning the i-FORCE MAX to smoothly transition from all-electric launch, to electric/V6 acceleration, to turbocharged V6 cruise.

What is a Hurricane engine?

Stellantis’ new Hurricane engine is a turbocharged straight-six aimed at making the HEMI V8 obsolete. It’s only 3.0 liters, but with 26 psi of boost, the high-output variant will produce over 500 horsepower.

Two red Ram 1500 pickup trucks parked in front of a barn.

2022 Ram 1500 Rebel and Ram 1500 Limited

RELATED: Storm Warning: Dodge’s “Hurricane” I6 Engine by the Numbers

Inline six-cylinder (also called “inline-six”) engines were once extremely popular. From the 1920s through the 1980s, straight sixes dominated Chrysler Corporation’s lineup. The Flathead Six and later the later Slant Six were the base engines for most mid-century Chrysler products.

But straight-six engines are a bit long for some engine bays, can be heavy and expensive to build. V8s have become the most popular engine for trucks. But now reliable turbocharging promises to boost straight-six engines to V8 power levels.

Stellantide claims the standard output variant of its new turbocharged 3.0-liter I6 will outperform the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 with over 400 horsepower and over 450 lb-ft of torque. He also claims the high-output variant will beat the 6.4-liter (392 cubic-inch) HEMI V8 with its 500-plus horsepower and over 475 lb-ft of torque. It’s no surprise that the automaker claims its “biturbo I-6 is North America’s leading internal combustion power plant of the future for vehicles using the STLA Large and STLA Frame platforms.”

The Ram 1500 versus the Toyota Tundra

Texas factory workers assembling Toyota's i-FORCE turbocharged V6 engine for the Tundra.

Toyota factory workers | Toyota

RELATED: Before the Ram 1500 TRX, there was the supercharged TRD Toyota Tundra

The Toyota Tundra dropped its V8 for the 2022 model year, and the Ram 1500 may not be far behind. Although both trucks are switching to six-cylinder engines, the two automakers have opposing approaches.

The Tundra’s powertrain is a turbocharged V6 with a hybrid option, similar in spec and power to Ford’s PowerBoost. The new Ram engine is an inline-six with twin turbochargers.

There are no long-term test results for either new truck engine. That said, even the high-output melody of the hurricane should be easier and cheaper to work with than the i-FORCE MAX hybrid. On the other hand, with a slightly more powerful electric motor and larger battery, the next-generation i-FORCE MAX could be a fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid.

See the 2022 Toyota Tundra and the 2022 Ram 1500 (V8) go head-to-head in the video below:

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RELATED: Did the 2022 Toyota Tundra Copy the Ford F-150 and Ram 1500?

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