As the world looks to the future of electric vehicles, it’s important to remember that the transition to this new technology will take time. So, what are automakers doing in the meantime? While some companies have lineups that are ready to adapt to the change, others are in need of immediate updates. Brands like Jeep, Chrysler, and Dodge, for example, have aging internal-combustion engine lineups that need attention now.
Enter Stellantis, the global automotive powerhouse that has recently invested in a new family of engines called the Hurricane. This new lineup features an all-new 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-six engine that is sure to impress even the most skeptical car enthusiasts. With Stellantis’ investment in this project, these engines are sure to bring new life to Jeep, Chrysler, and Dodge models for years to come.
While the future of the automotive industry is certainly electric, the reality is that it will take time for this technology to become mainstream. In the meantime, Stellantis’ investment in the Hurricane engine lineup is a great example of how companies are finding creative solutions to keep their products relevant and competitive. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for this exciting new family of engines.
Stellantis, has made a bold commitment to have 50% of its vehicle lineup be electric by 2030. However, they soon realized that they needed a solution for the other 50% of their portfolio that would not rely on their current internal combustion engine (ICE) technology. In 2019, a small team of engineers in Auburn Hills, Michigan, took on the challenge of designing a new engine from scratch, resulting in the impressive Hurricane engine. This clean-sheet design engine serves as a stopgap solution for Stellantis’ non-electric vehicles and promises to deliver exceptional performance and efficiency. The Hurricane engine is a testament to Stellantis’ commitment to innovation and sustainability in the automotive industry.
As such they introduced the Hurricane engine, a new family of twin-turbo, 3.0-liter I-6 engines, with both standard output (“SO”) and high-output (“HO”) versions set to go into production. The first production engine was launched in November 2021, and it was initially thought to be named the “Tornado.” However, the engine has been officially named the Hurricane.
According to Stellantis, the standard output Hurricane engine will deliver over 400 horsepower and more than 450 lb-ft of torque, with a maximum of 5,800 rpm. The high-output variant, on the other hand, will provide more than 500 horsepower and over 475 lb-ft of torque, with a maximum of 6,100 rpm in their initial configurations. These figures are comparable to the power output of Hemi engines, which may worry V-8 enthusiasts.
Moreover, the Hurricane engine can be paired with hybrid variants, although it will not be launched with a hybrid configuration. The engine is engineered to maintain at least 90% of peak torque from 2,350 rpm to redline, ensuring a smooth and efficient ride.
“As Stellantis aims to become the U.S. leader in electrification, with a 50-percent battery electric vehicle (BEV) sales mix by 2030, internal combustion engines will play a key role in our portfolio for years to come and we owe it to our customers and the environment to provide the cleanest, most-efficient propulsion possible,” said Micky Bly, Stellantis Head of Propulsion Systems. “The Hurricane twin-turbo is a no-compromise engine that delivers better fuel economy and an important reduction in greenhouse gases without asking our customers to give up performance.”
Stellantis designed the Hurricane engine family to meet all current North American emissions requirements, and additionally future-proofed the line with provisions for more stringent standards in the future. For example, company engineers say there is room for a particulate filter, but it will not be equipped unless it is required.
North America will be the initial market for the engine, with some exports to other global markets in specific model lineups. Stellantis claims the SO puts out 15 percent less CO2 than larger displacement engines within the company portfolio, and the HO produces 13 percent less. The new engines should help the company’s brands stay on target for their Carbon Net Zero by 2038 initiative.
The engineers behind Stellantis’ new Hurricane engine took inspiration from the Willys “Hurricane” I-4 engine that powered the CJ-3, -5 and -6 vehicles. The older engine boasted 30 horsepower per liter, a figure that was “game-changing” at the time. However, the new Hurricane engine makes that figure look unremarkable, delivering over 133 horsepower per liter in the standard output (SO) version.
The Hurricane engine is not just an updated version of its namesake; it is an entirely new engine that utilizes state-of-the-art technology to achieve such impressive performance figures in a compact package. The engine block is constructed from lightweight cast aluminum, with plasma transfer wire arc (PTWA) technology used to spray a vaporized steel alloy onto each cylinder wall. This technology provides an almost perfect metal-on-metal bond and a coating with ten times the wear resistance of traditional coatings, while being 50% thinner.
According to Stellantis, the PTWA coating saves three pounds per engine block compared to a traditional iron liner. Engineers were impressed with the coating’s durability, which remained pristine even after rigorous testing. The new Hurricane engine is an excellent example of Stellantis’ commitment to innovation and sustainability in the automotive industry, providing exceptional performance without sacrificing efficiency.
The company did not reveal any specific vehicles that would feature the new engines. Instead, the company stated that individual brands would soon make announcements about the vehicles that will use these engines. However, we do know that the new STLA Large and STLA Frame vehicle platforms, which are expected to underpin future D-segment vehicles and pickups respectively, are confirmed to use the Hurricane engine family. This suggests that Ram trucks, as well as Dodge and Jeep SUVs, may be among the first vehicles to feature these engines. Given that SUVs and crossovers are highly in demand and a key part of Stellantis’ product mix, it’s no surprise that the company has developed an all-new engine line specifically for these vehicles.