4 Classic Candidates for a 500-Horsepower ‘Hurricrate’ Engine Swap

I’m a big fan of classic, straight-six engines. So I was excited to learn that Stellantis‘ V8 replacement is an inline six-cylinder (I6) called the Hurricane. Get this: it uses twin turbochargers to make 500+ horsepower with just 3.0 liters of displacement. Then Stellantis announced it would offer this engine to hot-rodders as the “Hurricrate.” Oh, the possibilities! You could obviously swap this compact, powerful engine into many vehicles. But here are four classics from various Stellantis brands that had an I6 from the factory–each of which would make for a very cool Hurricate engine swap project.

Jeep Cherokee XJ

A gray Jeep Wrangler 4x4 SUV parked on a grassy hillside, rocky outcroppings visible in the background.
Jeep Cherokee | Erik Sampers/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

One of the most beloved I6 engines of all time was the torquey, naturally-aspirated 4.0-liter found in Jeeps from 1986 through 2006. Because the first Stellantis vehicle to offer the new Hurricane I6 is the Wagoneer by Jeep, it would only be fitting to swap a Hurricane into an older Jeep SUV. I think a Cherokee with some manual transmission would be the coolest pairing, but that’s just my preference. The 4.0 weighed 483 pounds and made 190 horsepower. The Hurricrate, making 500+ horsepower at 441 pounds would be a major engine swap upgrade.

Dodge Pickup Truck

My first car was a 1964 Dodge Dart. Its trusty “Slant 6” engine is entirely to blame for my obsession with the I6. This bulletproof I6 was the entry-level engine for nearly every Chrysler Corporation vehicle made during the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s. This led to some reliable but slightly underpowered pickup trucks. I’ll bet you dollars to donuts Ram offers the Hurricane I6 in its next generation of half-ton trucks. If you were to swap a Hurricrate engine into an old Slant 6 Dodge truck you would have one of the quickest restomods around, and all its components would still be from the greater Stellantis family.

Alfa Romeo 2600 Sprint

Guess who else is in the Stellantis family: Alfa Romeo. Like Aston Martin and Mercedes-Benz, this Italian automaker built some incredible I6 engines for its early grand touring cars. One of its final I6 cars was the 1962-1968 2600. The 2600 Sprint was a muscular coupe variation which, unlike the Spider convertible, can still be had for under $50k. You might even be able to find one without an engine. Obviously swapping a Hurricrate truck engine under the hood would take a ton of modification. But where there’s a welder, there’s a way. Alternatively, you could carve up a Maserati 3500 GTI from the same era and make all kinds of enemies among the Italian car purists.

Chrysler Valiant Charger

This one is even more niche, but hang with me! Australia levied an early tax on V8 engines, so Detroit automakers built some high-powered I6 muscle cars to export. One of the coolest of all is the Chrysler Valiant Charger. Though its name sounds like Mopar Mad-Libs, it’s one of the gnarliest muscle cars of all time. It rode on an A-body chassis (think Dodge Dart Demon sized) with a factory widebody kit. One engine option was an I6 with a “Six Pack” carburettor upgrade that made 302 horsepower–setting a six-cylinder record. Just imagine swapping in a Hurricrate engine to bump this unique Charger to 500+ horsepower.

Stellantis' HurriCrate turobcharged I6 engine.
HurriCrate engine | Stellantis

Next, learn all about the Hurricane I6 engine or see it in action in the video below:

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