Inline-six cylinder engines are back in favour as automakers look to deliver the same power and torque as V8 engines, but in a more efficient package.
Officially known as the GME-T6, the new Hurricane straight-six shares its bore, stroke and cylinder spacing with the GME-T4 Hurricane 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, which is available in the Wrangler, Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid, Cherokee and Grand Cherokee 4xe plug-in hybrid.
The Hurricane six-cylinder engine will initially be available in two states of tune. The Standard Output engine will generate at least 298kW (400hp) and 610Nm. An electronic limiter stops the engine from operating above 5800rpm.
In High Output form the motor will make at least 373kW (500hp) and 644Nm, with 6100rpm being the maximum engine speed. Exact power and torque outputs will vary from vehicle to vehicle.
According to Stellantis, Hurricane straight-six engines generate 90 per cent of their peak torque from 2350rpm to the redline.
As with the four-cylinder Hurricane engines, the straight-six version will also be used in plug-in hybrid drivetrains. Details about PHEV applications have yet to be released.
The Hurricane six has a cast aluminium block, forged steel crankshaft and connecting rods, and an ultra-thin Plasma Transfer Wire Arc low-friction coating for the cylinder bores. Automatic engine stop/start is also standard.
In order to reduce turbo lag, there are two low-inertia turbos each feeding three cylinders. The turbos in the standard engine deliver a maximum 22psi of boost, while the high output version maxes out at 26psi.
Other upgrades for the high output engine include forged rather than cast aluminium pistons, dual injection pumps, a diamond-like coating for the pins, and a 9.5:1 instead of a 10.4:1 compression ratio. Premium unleaded is required for the high output engine, but only recommended for the standard engine.
The new engine will be built in the Saltillo Engine Plant in Mexico, and will be used primarily in larger North American-made vehicles, including future vehicles based on the STLA Large and STLA Frame architectures.
If the company’s configurator slip up is anything to go by, the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer will likely be the first vehicles to use the new engine.
According to screencaps taken yesterday, the Hurricane straight-six will be a US$2000 ($2660) upgrade over the 351kW/617Nm 6.4-litre V8.
The engine is expected to make its in-the-flesh debut at next month’s New York motor show.
In time the Hurricane six will likely find its way into the Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 pickup truck ranges. It could also feature in the replacements for the Dodge Challenger coupe and Charger sedan.
Eventually the new straight-six will likely displace most Hemi V8 engine options from the automaker’s range.