Is the Jeep Wrangler Getting a New I6 Engine?

One of the most beloved Jeep engines of all time was the 4.0-liter inline six-cylinder. The 4.0 powered the Wrangler and Cherokee until 2006. The Grand Wagoneer L will be the first vehicle to offer Stellantis’ new turbocharged “Hurricane” I6. So will the Wrangler get an I6 swap as well? Here’s what we know for sure.

Will the Jeep Wrangler get the new Hurricane I6?

Stellantis’ new Hurricane engine is a gnarly, twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter, inline six-cylinder beast. The project is targeting 500 horsepower. Unfortunately, it’s engineered for trucks and likely will not fit in the Jeep Wrangler.

Red soft top Jeep Wrangler parked on the beach, facing the ocean.
Jeep Wrangler | Anvesh via Unsplash

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The Hurricane I6 is Stellantis’ V8-replacement engine. Instead of displacement, it makes V8-like power with twin turbochargers. To rival the throttle-response of a naturally-aspirated engine, Stellantis engineers opted for two smaller turbochargers, each of which feeds three cylinders.

The Hurricane I6 is also a relatively large engine. The size and spacing of its cylinders is identical to the 2.0-liter I4 already available in the Jeep Wrangler. There’s just two more cylinders, and 33% more mass to the new 3.0.

The Hurricane I6 will be available in a Jeep-family SUV: the first vehicle to offer the new engine is the Ram truck-based Grand Wagoneer L. But it is likely too large to ever be available in a Jeep Wrangler or Gladiator.

Will the Jeep Wrangler get a new I6?

The I6 engine layout is known for torque, durability, and ease of maintenance. It’s a perfect match for the Wrangler. And rumor has it that Stellantis is engineering a second 3.0-liter I6, compact enough for vehicles such as the Jeep Wrangler.

Gray Jeep Wrangler parked in the desert while someone opens its tailgate.
Jeep Wrangler JK | Clark Tibbs via Unsplash

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According to the unofficial Stellantis news site, Stellpower, the automaker is designing an additional I6. This one is not called the Hurricane, it is called the Tornado or the Global Medium Engine Turbo 6-cylinder (GME T6).

Stellpower suggests that the engine is taking longer to develop than the new Hurricane because Stellantis is engineering it to fit in a smaller engine bay: think a Jeep Wrangler or the next-generation Dodge Challenger. Stellantis has not shared a target horsepower for this new engine. But if the 500 horsepower Hurricane is any guide, the less-powerful Tornado should handily beat the current Jeep V6’s 285 horsepower.

Conclusion

Red Jeep Wrangler driving through mud while off road.
Jeep Wrangler JL | Jeff James via Unsplash

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So is the GME T6 Tornado on its way, or is it just a cancelled project or baseless rumor? The sleuths at Stellpower discovered the GME T6 accidentally included in the list of engines going into production at Ram’s Saltillo, Mexico plant. This clue makes it look as if the engine is far beyond the development phase. That said, Stellantis has removed mentions of the GME T6 from its media sheets. Does this signal a rename or was the engine postponed until after the Hurricane’s sales numbers come in? We’ll just have to wait to find out.

In the meantime, see the new Hurricane I6 by the numbers.

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