Future Mopars: Hemi or GME-T6?

Nearly four years ago, I wrote about the “Tornado,” as the turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine then being development was coded (not after the Jeep engine, but the airplane, in line with other Chrysler engine projects).

Insiders were certain that the 5.7 Hemi, which was overdue for upgrades—upgrades which had reportedly been at least partly created, but not final-tested—would be dropped, so Chrysler could boost its fuel economy ratings. As it is, FCA US has subsidized Tesla surprisingly well, with lavish payments the company probably now wishes it could have paid to the government as fines.

The straight-six was developed to fit into tight spaces; it was only slightly longer than the four-cylinder, so it could have been used in transverse mounts, if needed. The main targets, though, were Ram pickups and Jeeps—in Mopar/FCA US form—and Alfa Romeos and Maseratis, in no-expense-spared FCA Italy form. Perhaps the Charger, Challenger, and 300 would get it; perhaps they would not.

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Reliable insiders told me that the company had even assigned plants for the Tornado (GME T6) assembly lines, but then… all lines went dead, and I, at least, have not heard a word about the engine for months.

So, is the “Apache” 5.7 Hemi going to get a renovation and stay in the lineup, or has it been judged sufficient until battery-electrics and serious hybrids are available for Ram pickups and large cars? The large cars are going through 2024 or so before they are replaced, and likely don’t have enough margin to have a unique midlevel V8. The question then becomes the Ram 1500, Wagoneer, and Grand Cherokee, which do need either a 5.7 Hemi V8 or something close to it in power.

It is quite possible that, looking at real-life power and economy figures from the GME T6, Stellantis leaders decided that the extra smoothness of a straight-six (assuming it is smoother than the Hemi) coupled with a moderate increase in horsepower and torque were not worth losing the marketing cache of the Hemi V8. Instead, perhaps, they will end up using a version of the Pentastar PHEV system in the minivans, or a more performance-oriented hybrid setup—or perhaps we will finally get those upgrades to the 5.7 Hemi.

If you have any news, drop us a line below.

David Zatz started what was to become the world’s biggest, most comprehensive Mopar site in 1994 as he pursued a career in organizational research and change. After a chemo-induced break, during which he wrote car books covering Vipers, minivans, and Jeeps, he returned with some friends to create StellPower.com, which is intended to end up as an enduring partnership. Contact him at (973) 925-6058 or check out the new junkyard/slant six book he edited.

4 thoughts on “Future Mopars: Hemi or GME-T6?”

  1. I believe that there is more that could be done with the Hemi in terms of fuel mileage,emissions and performance. It takes a financial commitment to get it done. There could be other near term considerations as well. It may be too far along in product cycles, but the bar needs to be raised. FCA really did a poor job with the Chrysler business. I really hope somebody in Auburn Hills gets it and make some moves.

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  2. I could care less about “power”. I need to move a 500 lbs piece of equipment frequently that fits in the truck bed perfectly and reduces the fuel economy penalty if i tried trailering it. I have zero brand loyalty. The reason I am shopping the 2.7 in an f150. The i6 would compete with that engine. Since ford is putting it in the new Bronco, it might help the jeep products compete. At least Toyota figured out, if all the rumors hold up on the 2022 Tundra, that all that old school push rod v8 tech isn’t efficient and buying credits from Tesla to appease the government regulators gets expensive.

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  3. Dropping the turbo i6 is a shame. Bmw, volvo, and others use an i6. Ford engines are far advanced while Jeep and Ram mull along with aging engines and bottom feeder fuel economy. If rumors hold up on the new Tundra, ram will be behind. Hybrids are expensive. It is a pipe dream to have a crew cab ram 1500 with a phev set up for less than 45k. To think we could get a Jeep gladiator for that price…. funny. So for those who aren’t willing to pay small mortgage for a vehicle, and due to circumstances can’t drive a car, we live with bottom end engines and lower trim packages. Give us the i6. It would be a great in between engine and alternative to the 5.7 without breaking the bank. I hate gm and Chevrolet but even their 2.7 is a more attractive set up.

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    • I have always found it interesting that people complain about Chrysler engines for fuel economy but then say how they enjoy that the engine has more power than their previous GM, Ford or whatever. Fuel consumption and power go together as does your right foot…

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