GME-T6 coming to Saltillo; 5.7 Hemi leaving?

It might be the last truly new engine made by Stellantis—the engine coded Tornado, after the British fighter. Four years ago, I wrote about this turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine for Allpar.  At the time, people in the company said this powerplant would replace the 5.7 Hemi. There were six advantages of this engine over the Hemi:

  • Higher fuel economy ratings which would reduce FCA’s lavish support for Tesla via emissions credits
  • Lower weight
  • More space for suspension articulation on either side (an advantage for Wrangler and Rebel)
  • Greater torque at lower revolutions
  • Possibly greater durability over 200,000-plus miles
  • Maintained power at high altitudes

The straight-six could be transverse-mounted, in theory, given its length.

The main targets were originally Ram pickups and Jeeps, with a no-expense-spared Alfa Romeo/Maserati version as well. Some believe it was also aimed at the company’s large cars, currently believed to be leaving production in 2023 or 2024.

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Saltillo, where Rams and Hemi V8s are made, was targeted as the high-capacity line for the engine; another plant was still to be chosen for a low-capacity additional line. That was when things went quiet for a time, but Saltillo is still earmarked as the primary, and possibly only, source of these engines. The ITP II plant in Indiana, which makes the related 2-liter GME engines, is, according to an insider, going to be fully engaged in making those four-cylinders.

For some, the big question is whether the GME T6 will have a new line, or replace the 5.7 line. The 5.7 could be kept on for quite a while as an option for V8 diehards.

The GME T6 appears to be back on track, with noise and vibration issues, possibly related to the compact size (which theoretically would have thin cylinder walls), resolved. The larger, more powerful Hemi V8s—the “392” (6.4 liter) and the Hellcat (6.2 liter) versions are not endangered by a straight-six projected to max out at a bit over 400 horsepower. If it is durable enough, one can, though, see the six-cylinder replacing the 6.4 liter “truck Hemi.”

We did not contact Stellantis for comment on this speculative article.

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.

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