The old AMC inline-6 was called Tornado. This one is called a hurricane because, you know, a hurricane is more than a tornado or something.
Developing a new engine from the ground up is an extremely complicated and expensive task, but so far relying on old designs for new engines can only deliver efficiency. Sometimes going back to the drawing board can yield something much better suited to today’s needs. That’s part of why Stellantis did all the work to create an all-new inline-6 gas engine.
Say hello to the hurricane. Built in part to phase out larger engines, as Stellantis strives for greater efficiency, the Hurricane is said to offer V8 performance at a bargain price with two cylinders. When it comes to market, this double overhead cam engine will be offered in both efficient standard-output (SO) form and a performance-oriented high-output (HO) variant.
The two engines share 96 common parts, including the block, exhaust camshaft and spark plugs, but each variant has dozens of unique parts designed to get the most out of each variant. That said, the more efficient version isn’t exactly going to be sluggish, as Stellantis claims it will be capable of over 400 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque. The powerful Hurricane, on the other hand, will be able to make more than 500 horsepower and 475 lb-ft. Both should have a nice, flat torque curve that cranks up almost all of its available spin at 2,350 rpm.
The high-output hurricane looks just a little sturdier than the standard-output hurricane shown above.
Two small turbos sit on the side of the Hurricane, which Stellantis chose over a single, larger turbo to boost faster and at lower engine speeds. The SO and HO variants will each carry unique turbochargers, with the SO’s slugs coming in at 22 psi, while the HO compressors offer a bit more pressure at 26 psi.
The two Hurricanes share some 96 different parts, including the engine block, exhaust camshaft and coolant pumps. But there are still major differences between the two. The Hurricane SO will rely on cast aluminum pistons and a compression ratio of 10.4:1; regular unleaded will suffice here, but Stellantis recommends premium for a small output boost. The Hurricane HO, on the other hand, uses forged aluminum pistons with a compression ratio of 9.5:1. It only sucks up 91 octane and higher.
2022 Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer: The Full-Size Fancy-Pants Jeep
View all photos
For those of you wondering where the electricity comes in here, don’t worry, it probably will. Although Stellantis did not launch the Hurricane with electric variants, the carmaker promises that the engine was built with electrification in mind. Whether that refers to a mild hybrid or a plug-in hybrid remains a mystery, but based on Stellantis’ work in the PHEV space over the past few years, it’s not obscene to assume the Hurricane could end up as part of a plug-in solution.
It’s also unclear at this point exactly which vehicles will use the Hurricane, but we have some ideas. The first vehicles with this under-the-hood technology will arrive at dealerships this year, so it will likely land in a 2022 or 2023 variant. Stellantis did say it will become the engine of choice for future US cars on the global platforms STLA Large and STLA Frame. That would make it an excellent replacement for the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 in, say, a future Ram 1500 or Jeep Wagoneer, but again, we’ll have to wait for Stellantis to give us more information before that is confirmed.
Receive the Roadshow newsletter
Check out the latest cars and automotive trends, from supercars to SUVs. Delivered Tuesday and Thursday.