1 Full-Size ‘American’ Pickup Truck May Ditch Its V8 for an I6 Built in Mexico
Nothing says American pickup truck like the rumble of a V8 engine. And at the moment, you can option trucks from all of the Detroit Three with a naturally-aspirated V8. But for the 2022 model year, Toyota tossed its Tundra’s V8 in favor of a turbocharged six-cylinder. Now it looks like Ram will follow suit sooner rather than later, deleting its beloved HEMI in favor of the new 3.0-liter Hurricane engine.
Is Ram making a new engine?
The HEMI V8 has been around since 1951. The latest 5.7-liter HEMI V8 is an option in the 2022 Ram 1500. But in March 2022, Ram’s European-based owner (Stellantis) unveiled an apparent V8 replacement: a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline six-cylinder called the Hurricane.
Stellantis announced, “The Hurricane twin-turbo I-6 is the primary internal combustion power plant of the future in North America for vehicles using the STLA Large and STLA Frame platforms.”
The STLA Large platform is a global chassis shared across Stellantis’ 14 brands. It will be for 4×4 SUVs and American muscle cars. The STLA Frame chassis is for Stellantis’ full-frame vehicles, such as the Ram pickup trucks.
Stellantis went on to say that this, “twin-turbo I-6 is produced at Stellantis’ Saltillo Engine Plant in Mexico.” Chrysler corporation first opened its Saltillo factory in 1995. Today, Saltillo builds all heavy-duty Ram trucks and many of the Ram 1500 Classic trucks. The 49-acre facility includes the Saltillo Engine Plant which has built several variations of the HEMI.
Is the Hurricane more powerful than the HEMI?
The new Hurricane engine is a turbocharged I6 that is available in either a 400+ horsepower and 450+ lb-ft of torque tune or a high output version. The performance-oriented edition makes 500+ horsepower and 475+ lb-ft of torque. These two engines outperform the 5.7 and 6.4-liter HEMIs in every metric.
Here’s a comparison of the power you can expect from the 5.7-liter HEMI V8, the 6.4-liter HEMI V8, the standard output 3.0-liter Hurricane I6, and the high output 3.0-liter Hurricane I6:
|5.7-liter HEMI V8||SO “Hurricane” I6||6.4-liter HEMI V8||HO “Hurricane” I6|
|Displacement||5.7 liters (345 cubic inches)||3.0 liters (approx. 183 cubic inches)||6.4 liters (392 cubic inches)||3.0 liters (approx. 183 cubic inches)|
|Horsepower||363-395 horsepower||400+ horsepower||470-485 horsepower||500+ horsepower|
|Torque||394-410 lb-ft||450+ lb-ft||470-475 lb-ft||475+ lb-ft|
|Turbocharger Boost||Naturally-Aspirated||22 psi||Naturally-Aspirated||26 psi|
Motorheads will want to know not just how much power the twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter makes, but how it delivers this power. The fact of the matter is that the new engine makes 90% of its available torque by 2,350 rpm, and maintains that power level through its red line.
Is Ram doing away with the HEMI?
Stellantis has said that the new Hurricane I6 engine will be the “primary” power plant of future Ram trucks. But the automaker has not revealed its plans for the HEMI V8. This may be because it has yet to decide.
The very first vehicle available with the new Hurricane inline engine will be the Grand Wagoneer L. The Ram 1500 may offer this new engine as soon as the truck’s 2023 refresh. Or perhaps Ram will debut the fuel-efficient engine in its fleet-oriented heavy-duty trucks.
Stellantis has pledged a 50% decrease in its new vehicle fleet’s total carbon emissions by 2030. The turbocharged Hurricane will be instrumental in meeting this goal. But if the company is exceeding its benchmarks for this goal, perhaps it will continue to offer special edition Ram trucks with HEMI engines, such as the Ram 1500 TRX. Or perhaps it will continue to offer some sort of Ram Classic with a V8.
Ford and General Motors both already offer efficient turbocharged truck engines alongside naturally-aspirated V8 options. That said, both of Ram’s American competitors tend to offer more engine options than Ram. There is a very good chance that by 2023 or 2024 (Dodge’s date to phase out its own V8s) Ram has tossed its HEMI V8 engines in favor of the Hurricane I6.
Check out Dodge’s historic slant-six engine or see the latest on the new Hurricane I6 in the video below: