Since Dodge began offering industrial-grade Cummins turbodiesels in its RAM trucks, the two brands have become almost synonymous. Now Ram is trying to gain some attention with his own 500-plus-horsepower I6: the Hurricane. But instead of a diesel, this engine is a 3.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine. This inline-six “Hurricane” is on track to replace the HEMI V8 in the next generation of Ram light and heavy-duty trucks and could even convert some turbocharged Cummins I6 fans.
The ‘Hurricane’ is a convincing V8 replacement
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Ram’s latest parent company is a conglomerate called Stellantis, formed when Fiat Chrysler Automobiles merged with Peugeot Group. The global company harnessed its important turbocharged I4 technology in a new 500-horsepower straight-six engine. This engine will power the full frame vehicles of many Stellantis brands.
The Hurricane I6 is a feat of modern engineering. It’s an in-line six cylinder with only 3.0 liters of displacement and a redline of 6100 RPM. It has two turbochargers, each feeding three cylinders, to rev faster and eliminate lag. The entire engine weighs just 441 pounds.
So far, there are two tunes from the new engine. The standard Hurricane makes 22 psi of boost, resulting in 420 horsepower and 468 pound-feet of torque. The Hurrican High Output (HO) makes 26 psi of boost, which translates to 510 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque.
Stellantis is not yet putting Hurricane engines in Ram trucks. Although it’s building the new I6 at Ram’s plant in Saltillo, Mexico, it will debut in the 2023 Jeep Wagoneer full-frame SUV. Here’s how the new I6 compares to current HEMI V8s.
|5.7-liter HEMI V8||OS “Hurricane” I6||6.4-liter HEMI V8||HO “Hurricane” I6|
|Displacement||5.7 liters (345 cu in)||3.0 liters (approx. 183 cubic inches)||6.4 liters (392 cu in)||3.0 liters (approx. 183 cubic inches)|
|Horsepower||363-395 horsepower||420 horsepower||470-485 horsepower||510 horsepower|
|Torque||394-410 foot-pounds||468 foot-pounds||470-475 foot-pounds||500 foot-pounds|
|Boost||naturally aspirated||22psi||naturally aspirated||26psi|
Cummins is still the king of torque
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It’s impressive that Stellantis makes 500 pound-feet of torque to the high-performance tune of its turbocharged gas-powered Hurricane I6. But this is still a long way from a Cummins. Cummins’ current high-performance trim of its 6.7-liter I6 diesel produces a whopping 1,075 pound-feet of torque. The standard output version produces 850 lb-ft.
Diesel engines, even low-output variants, generally make more torque than their gasoline counterparts. The high displacement and long stroke of the Cummins I6 give it high torque. This low-end growl gave the Cummins I6 and Ram trucks their reputation. This reputation may be part of why Stellantis chose the I6 design for its Hurricane engine.
Ram may be courting Cummins fans with its turbocharged Hurricane I6
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Ford first introduced a 3.5-liter turbocharged “EcoBoost” V6 in the 2011 F-150. With plenty of low-end torque when you need it and fuel efficiency when you don’t, this engine turned countless V8 fans into turbocharger fanatics. It’s no surprise that Toyota ditched its naturally aspirated V8 and focused on a 3.4-liter V6 for its redesigned 2022 Tundra.
It looks like Ram is going in a different direction, with its turbocharged I6 instead of a V6. With their love for the turbocharged Cummins I6, Ram fans may be quick to embrace the new engine if it proves nearly as reliable.
Ford was able to bump its turbocharged V6 up to 570 pound-feet of torque when they paired it with an electric motor in their PowerBoost hybrid transmission. Toyota’s i-FORCE MAX produces 583 lb-ft. Stellantis is already designing a full-size hybrid powertrain for its Grand Wagoneer 4xe. If this includes the Hurricane I6, there’s no reason it shouldn’t make 600 pound-feet of torque or more. It will be interesting to see how well the $10k Cummins diesel option will compete with such a powerful inboard engine.
Find out why the straight-six engine is making a comeback below, or learn more about the hurricane in the video below:
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