After years of development rumors, Stellantis has unveiled its new family of six-cylinder engines. The twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter “Hurricane” I6 will deliver V-8 power, forced-induction torque and six-cylinder efficiency in a package designed to fit all rear-drive North American platforms back of the business.
What is “V8 power”, exactly? Well, in standard output form, the new I6 is good for over 400 horsepower (the specific figure will vary by application) and 450 lb-ft of torque, while the high-output variant is good for over 500 horsepower and 475 lb-ft. Final numbers will depend on the application. We’ll save you a bit of work: In current Ram, Jeep, and Dodge products, the 5.7-liter Hemi hits around 395 hp and 410 lb-ft, more or less, and the 6.4-liter around 485 hp and 475 lb-ft.
It’s a clean-sheet design that’s only related to the company’s turbocharged four-cylinder by some common metrics. The I6 is exclusively direct injection (not hybrid/port-injection here) and the two I6 variants share 96 common parts, including the block and oil pan design. The differences are in their internal components, intake plumbing, valve train components and the turbochargers themselves. Stellantis isn’t ready to share specs or vendor information for the turbos just yet, but says announcements will be coming soon from its partners.
Standard output I6 has a compression ratio of 10.4:1 and spins at 5,800 rpm. It will run on regular fuel, but with reduced performance; 91 octane is recommended for maximum output. The high-output variant has a compression ratio of 9.4:1 and will spin at 6,100 rpm. This one will require a bounty.
The benefits of the new I6 go beyond base horsepower. Every engine in the Hemi family currently in production is based on an iron block design, so they are heavy. The I6 aluminum block reduces the weight of the whole engine, although some of it is added thanks to the turbos and their associated plumbing. Standard output I6 weighs 430 pounds, Stellantis engineers told us; high output adds just another 11. Fully-dressed 5.7-liter V8s are in the ballpark of 550-560 pounds, and 6.4-liters are closer to 600 pounds.
You might be wondering, “Why a virgin gasoline engine now, when the industry is turning to battery-powered electricity?” A valid inquiry, and a Stellantis was ready to respond. Although the company is looking to electrification over the next decade, it won’t be instantaneous. This engine family was designed with electrification (hybrid or plug-in) in mind, but Stellantis wouldn’t say when we’ll see these hybrids. Think of it as a bridge between ICE and BEV.
In fact, the company’s propulsion team has been incredibly tight-lipped about what to expect in terms of apps. In practical terms, it’ll fit anywhere the 3.6L Pentastar V6 or Hemi fits, provided you’re talking about RWD platforms. For those who want to make their own measurements, the standard outlet Hurricane measures 33.4 inches x 28.7 inches x 32.7 inches. The high yield registers at 33.9″ x 29.0″ x 33.4″.
That said, don’t expect Stellantis to start ditching the 3.6-litre in favor of the 3.0TT in its mainstream cars. Just because he can fit does not mean that Stellantis will; look how long it took us to get a Hemi in a Jeep Wrangler. And don’t expect it to appear in foreign-made Stellantis products, either. This engine family was designed primarily for North America; only US-built export models will be in contention at this time.
We won’t have to wait long to find out exactly where it will appear. Stellantis finally confirmed rumors that the engine has been in production since November and says the first products using it will materialize in months, not years. We’re supposed to see the first – a Jeep, and the smart money’s on the new long-wheelbase Wagoneer — at the New York International Auto Show in April.
Stellantis isn’t quite ready to say goodbye to gasoline, but the new “Hurricane” inline-6 is far more efficient than its aging V8s.