Since Dodge first began offering industrial-grade Cummins turbodiesels in its Ram trucks, the two brands have become nearly synonymous. Now Ram is trying to win some of the spotlight with its own 500+ horsepower I6: the Hurricane. But instead of a diesel, this engine is a 3.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine. This “Hurricane” straight-six is on track to replace the HEMI V8 in the next generation of light-duty and heavy-duty Ram trucks and might even convert some turbocharged Cummins I6 fans.
The ‘Hurricane’ is a compelling V8-replacement
Ram’s latest parent company is a conglomerate named Stellantis, formed when Fiat Chrysler Automobiles merged with Peugeot Group. The global company leveraged its substantial turbocharged I4 technology into a new 500 horsepower inline-6. This engine will power the full-frame vehicles across Stellantis’ many brands.
The Hurricane I6 is a feat of modern engineering. It is an inline six-cylinder with only 3.0-liters of displacement and a redline of 6,100 RPM. It has two turbochargers, each feeding three cylinders, to spool up faster and eliminate lag. The entire powerplant weighs just 441 pounds.
So far, there are two tunes of the new engine. The standard Hurricane makes 22 psi of boost, resulting in 420 horsepower and 468 lb-ft of torque. The high-output (HO) Hurrican makes 26 psi of boost, which translates to 510 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque.
Stellantis is not yet putting Hurricane engines in Ram trucks. Even though it is manufacturing the new I6 in Ram’s Saltillo, Mexico plant, it will debut in the 2023 Jeep Wagoneer full-frame SUV. Here’s how the new I6 stacks up to the current HEMI V8s.
|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||420 horsepower||470-485 horsepower||510 horsepower|
|Torque||394-410 lb-ft||468 lb-ft||470-475 lb-ft||500 lb-ft|
|Boost||Naturally-Aspirated||22 psi||Naturally-Aspirated||26 psi|
Cummins is still the king of torque
It’s impressive that Stellantis is making 500 lb-ft of torque with the high-output tune of its turbocharged gasoline-powered Hurricane I6. But this is still a far cry from a Cummins. Cummins’ current high-output tune of its 6.7-liter I6 diesel produces a whopping 1,075 lb-ft of torque. The standard output version makes 850 lb-ft.
Diesel engines, even low horsepower variants, usually make more torque than their gasoline counterparts. The Cummins I6’s high displacement and long stroke lend it to high torque. This low-end grunt gave both the Cummins I6, and Ram trucks it’s powered, their reputations. This reputation may be part of why Stellantis chose the I6 layout for its Hurricane engine.
Ram may be courting Cummins fans with its turbocharged Hurricane I6
Ford first debuted a 3.5-liter turbocharged “EcoBoost” V6 in the 2011 F-150. With lots of low-end torque when you need it and fuel efficiency when you don’t, this engine converted countless V8 fans to turbocharger diehards. It’s not surprising that Toyota tossed its naturally-aspirated V8, focusing 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 of the turbocharged Cummins I6, Ram fans may be quick to adopt the new engine if it proves nearly as reliable.
Ford was able to bump its turbo V6 up to 570 lb-ft of torque when they paired it with an electric motor in its PowerBoost hybrid drivetrain. Toyota’s i-FORCE MAX makes 583 lb-ft. Stellantis is already engineering a hybrid full-size powertrain for its Grand Wagoneer 4xe. If this includes the Hurricane I6, there’s no reason it shouldn’t make 600 lb-ft of torque or more. It will be interesting to see how well the $10k Cummins diesel option will compete with such a powerful in-house engine.
Next, find out why the straight-six engine is making a comeback or learn more about the Hurricane in the video below: