Is Ram Dumping its V-6 & V-8 For A Boosted Inline Four- & Six-Cylinder?
Rumors suggest FCA is revamping its powertrain lineupby Mark McNabb, on
Bob Dylan said, “the times, they are a changin’” back in 1964, but the singer/songwriter’s words have never been truer than today. Rumor suggests Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is expediting development of the new turbocharged four-cylinder engine dubbed the Hurricane and its big brother, the turbocharged inline six-cylinder named Tornado. The high-tech engines are said to be replacements for the well-loved 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and the legendary 5.7-liter Hemi V-8.
Sadly, this isn’t the first we’ve heard about the Hemi getting the axe. Back in February, Allpar cited its multiple insider sources saying FCA was stockpiling 5.7-liters ahead of a planed discontinuation of the V-8 engine sometime after the 2018 model year. Allpar is now reporting the Hemi’s replacement, the Tornado, could be ready within four to five years. There’s a rather large discrepancy between those dates, but it’s easy to speculate FCA is planning some big changes. The Pentastar reportedly has a slightly longer lifespan, lasting another six to 10 years before it’s completely replaced by the Hurricane. The fates of the larger 6.2- and 6.4-liter Hemis are still unknown.
Continue reading for more information.
Will High-Tech Trump Old-School Cool?
The venerable, third-generation Hemi V-8 has been a staple of Dodge, Ram, and Chrysler vehicles since 2003. The 5.7-liter version and its various upgrades have been the mainstay of the engine family, with similar engines branching off with larger displacements. These include the 6.0-liter Hemi, the 6.2-liter Hemi, the 6.4-liter Hemi, and of course, the 6.2-liter Hellcat Hemi. It’s hard to image the FCA brand without its bread-n-butter V-8s, but it appears their time is drawing near.
The rumored replacement is codenamed the GME Tornado. The inline six-cylinder is said to be extremely compact, nearly fitting into the same space as a four-cylinder. It’s also presumed to be constructed from high-strength, lightweight materials like aluminum. The engine will feature modern technology like direct fuel injection, a twin-scroll turbocharger, a belt starter/generator for auto stop/start systems, and variable-flow water and oil pumps. Displacement hasn’t been discovered, but Truck Trend suggests it could measure between 3.0 and 3.6 liters. Power output could potentially surpass 400 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque.
The inline six-cylinder is said to be extremely compact, nearly fitting into the same space as a four-cylinder.
The Hurricane four-cylinder engine, codenamed GME, will feature many of the same power-adding and fuel-sipping technologies. The engine’s relation to the Tornado could go so far as a shared architecture, much like General Motors’ Atlas engine family, which included four- five- and six-cylinder variants all sharing the same basic design and many of the same parts. The validity of that rumor remains unfounded. Nevertheless, the Hurricane turbo-four should be nearing production. The next-generation Jeep Wrangler JL due for the 2018 model year is expected to offer the Hurricane as one of several engine options.
FCA Engines Up for Replacement
|ENGINE||3.6-LITER PENTASTAR V-6||5.7-LITER HEMI® V-8|
|Type and Description||60-degree V-type, liquid-cooled||90-degree V-8, liquid-cooled|
|Displacement||220 cu. in. (3,604 cu. cm)||345 cu. in. (5,654 cu. cm)|
|Bore x Stroke||3.78 x 3.27 (96.0 x 83.0)||3.92 x 3.58 (99.5 x 90.9)|
|Valve System||Chain-driven DOHC, 24 valves and hydraulic end-pivot roller rockers||Variable-cam timing, pushrod-operated overhead valves, 16 valves,|
hydraulic lifters with roller followers
|Fuel Injection||Sequential, multiport, electronic, returnless||Sequential, multiport, electronic, returnless|
|Construction||Aluminum deep-skirt block, aluminum alloy heads||Deep-skirt cast-iron block with cross-bolted main bearing caps, aluminum|
alloy heads with hemispherical combustion chambers
|Power (SAE net)||305 HP @ 6,400 RPM||395 HP @ 5,600 RPM|
|Torque (SAE net)||269 LB-FT @ 4,175 RPM||410 LB-FT @ 3,950 RPM|
|Max. Engine Speed||6,400 rpm (electronically limited)||5,800 rpm|
|Fuel Requirement||Unleaded regular, 87 octane (R+M)/2, E85-compatible||Unleaded mid-grade, 89 octane (R+M)/2 — recommended
Unleaded regular, 87 octane (R+M)/2 — acceptable
|Oil Capacity||6.0 qt. (5.7 liter)||7.0 qt. (6.6 liter)|
|Coolant Capacity||14.0 qt. (13.25 liter)||14.0 qt. (13.33 liter)|
|Emission Controls||Dual three-way catalytic converters, heated oxygen sensors||Three-way catalytic converters, heated oxygen sensors|
and internal engine features
|EPA Fuel Economy mpg (city/hwy)||17/25||15/22|
Likewise, displacement of the Hurricane is unknown but is rumored to be roughly 2.4 liters. Two engine management tunes are expected to deliver between 240 and 260 horsepower on the low end, and around 300 horsepower on the high end. The lower tune would be utilized in more conventional vehicles designed to sip fuel like the Chrysler Pacifica, while the 300-horse iteration would offer more guts in vehicles like the Wrangler and Ram 1500.
Displacement of the Hurricane is unknown but is rumored to be roughly 2.4 liters.
It is interesting FCA would choose an inline-six over a V-6 layout due to packaging and crash standard constraints. These two issues were major factors in the early demise of GM’s Atlas engines when the GMT360 platform (Chevy Trailblazer, GMC Envoy, etc) was discontinued in 2009. The long straight-six simply didn’t fit in GM’s more modern, unibody crossovers that replaced the GMT360. Product planners also couldn’t justify using the Atlas in GM’s pickup line since its base 4.3-liter V-6 was so closely related (and therefore easy to manufacture) to the 5.3-liter V-8. Still, if FCA can design an inline-six to fit into tight spaces, both longitudinally and transversely, then perhaps the concept is worthwhile. And it’s seriously doubtful FCA would design a VR-6 engine similar to those from Volkswagen.
Ford 2.3-liter EcoBoost Engine from 2017 Ford Mustang
While enthusiasts will undoubtedly mourn the Hemi V-8’s death, forced-induction, small-displacement engines have proven their worth. Ford’s 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder makes a whopping 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque in the Focus RS hot-hatch. The F-150’s new 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 leads the half-ton class with an impressive 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque – and that’s not even the high-output version found in the F-150 Raptor which makes 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. Those are numbers the naturally aspirated 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 could never reach without some serious overhauling.
Regardless of the details, it will be interesting to see FCA’s bad-boy, muscle-car marketing change as the Hemi ends production. After all, so much of Dodge, Ram, and Jeep’s image is based on the old-school, cam-in-block mojo thumping from the V-8’s exhaust.
What do you think? Is FCA smart for adopting smaller-displacement engines with forced induction? Should it continue to build the Hemi V-8 as a range-topping engine in a handful of models? Let us know in the comments below.
Hat-tip to Truck Trend for contributing information to this report