Focus on Hurricane Engine Could Hint to Next Gen Dodge Challenger

Dodge has made a collection of big announcements for the Direct Connection catalog at the 2022 SEMA Show, which opens today in Las Vegas. There are four Hellephant engines coming to the catalog along in the next two years with three “HurriCrate” engines, which are based on the new Hurricane inline-six engine family that is currently only in use in the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer.

Next Gen Drag Pak Engine

One of those HurriCrate engines, named the CatX, is earmarked to be the engine for the next generation Dodge Drag Pak, per Tim Kuniskis. He didn’t actually say that the next generation Drag Pak would be a Challenger, but every Drag Pak in the history of the program was based on the modern Dodge Challenger, so another Challenger is the most likely candidate for the next generation Drag Pak with inline-six power. That might sound crazy, but Kuniskis also pointed out that the HurriCrate CatX is expected to offer somewhere in the “mid-1000” range in terms of horsepower, which makes sense. The current Challenger Drag Pak with the supercharged 354-cubic inch Hemi officially makes 650 horsepower, but in actuality, it is making well over a thousand horsepower to put the Mopar muscle car in the 7-second quarter mile range.

The 2021 Dodge Challenger Mopar Drag Pak

Dodge is also showcasing the HurriCrate engine in the Direct Connection Grudge Match at Roadkill Nights 2023. Right now, Dodge has no vehicles with the Hurricane engine, but they plan to use it in the next generation Drag Pak, they plan to offer it as a crate engine with a bunch of other factory-issue engines and they plan to showcase the engine in the same way that they did the Hellcat and Redeye engines in past years.

Hurricane Inline-Six Engine

All of those signs point to Dodge using the Hurricane engine in one of their products very soon and the fact that the engine will also be in a Drag Pak model suggests that the next generation Dodge Challenger could be that vehicle.

Hurricane Inline-Six Engine

Of course, there is also the possibility that the next generation Charger, which was introduced in concept form as an EV-only model, could be transformed into the next gen Drag Pak. The only downside to that is from a marketing standpoint, as offering an ICE-powered race car alongside an all-electric production road car lineup will frustrate those who would prefer a new Charger with spark plugs and a gas tank.

21 thoughts on “Focus on Hurricane Engine Could Hint to Next Gen Dodge Challenger”

  1. Patrick, any chance of revealing the prices, trims (3) and spec’s of the ‘23 Durango Hellcat? Read them on “another” website last week. Base trim starts @ $91,165.+Destination. ^$10,170. from ‘20. Thanks!

  2. This DC announcement is beyond encouraging, it points to the salvation of the Dodge brand. Most Dodge fans, like myself, will never embrace an “all electric” outcome at Dodge. Given the latest rumors that the Hemi is still being considered for the next generation Challenger (take that Mustang) and these definitive plans for the Hurricane line up for Dodge, even with the electric Banshee in the mix, gives Dodge a viable future based on gas powered engines.
    The all electric future may be fine for Tesla fans, but us Dodge muscle heads, it must be gas and lots of noise for us. A Hurricane Drag Pak, that made my day.

    • Great comment, Bill! I would just like to remind you and our family of Dodge muscle heads that “Little Timmy’s” motto is: “Over promise, Under deliver” (See: Last Call Editions on hold indefinitely (Blown engines) and LCE #7 (SEMA reveal) not happening. Also,NONE of the DC engines will pass CARB or 49 State emissions as stated for the past two years. Don’t forget what a wise man (or woman) once said: “Don’t count your chickens”. Not a hater (if you have seen my past comments), just a bearer of bad news. Take care and be safe my (former) Dodge muscle head.

      • I am most buoyed by the turbo six, now in use on other Mopar stuff, as being developed in high performance versions that will likely find their way extensively into Dodge muscle cars. Most exciting is the Drag Pak announcement, first off the continuing participation of Dodge, hopefully in a more aero and lighter Challenger, in the NHRA class and second, using a turbo six in the class, certainly cementing these engines as Challenger mainstays. You do not bare bad news, you simply have been discouraged by Dodge in their misguided path to politically motivated electrification. I share these sentiments but see that glass half filled by definitive evidence even with Tim pouring the juice. Keep the faith.

        • Agree 100% Mr. Burke. I am and always have been a glass half empty kind of guy. I guess it’s my N.Y. upbringing and all of the tragedy that I’ve seen in my professional life as a police officer, firefighter and paramedic. Anyway, this old man loves those “NEW”straight sixes with more than 90 H.P. Can’t wait to take one down the track. Have a good one and be safe!

  3. The news is exciting for sure. I’m honestly excited about both this and the EV. My biggest question now is what cars will actually get the Hurricane powertrains

  4. Direct connection sells a body in white challenger. No vin. Never needs to be updated for new crash regulations. They could sell that until 2999 if they want. Perhaps that’s the home of all these crate engines.

  5. T.K is being overly cryptic for no reason right now. “yeah we could put it in the new charger, but it doesn’t mean we’re going to…” Ok so unless they’re building something else that they’re really keeping super close to the chest, there’s really no point in promoting the performance aspect of the Hurricane 6. The engine itself has incredible potential for both factory and aftermarket performance both in regular ICE and hybrid variations and we all know that the Gen-4 8-speed is a modular unit with hyrbid capability. So yes, the STLA large platform is modular for ICE, hybrid and full electric powertrains, the 3.0L fits and it can be hooked up to a hybrid-ready transmission so if not the Charger then what? This Cryptic nonsense is beyond frustrating. I will say Iike what Dodge did with the EV charger alot more than what Ford did with the Mustang Mach-E. But there is still a living breathing gas powered mustang in Ford’s stable. T.K says about the fact that Dodge is a niche brand, it won’t be if they don’t offer something to keep their loyal customers actually happy! I, for one, actually like the EV car. I can be honest, yes I like it. Do i think it needs a bit of work, absolutely, but I like the direction they’re taking and offering something that offers something a bit different in the electric realm of things and as the electric market grows, I’m glad that the Mopar brand is going to be right in the mix of things causing trouble and being the badass it has always been. Yes, when the world switches to EV only, I’m glad to know that Dodge will have an offering that will harken back to the days of real cars while being an all electric vehicle. However, I am still a huge fan of ICE vehicles and if I had the choice, I’d choose ICE or ICE hybrid long before I would choose an EV and I think most people would genuinely agree. As of right now though, this is absolutely frustrating and honestly disappointing to say the least.

    • Internal leaked rumors indicate that a Hemi V-8 is being considered for the next generation Challenger as an option due to Mustang offering a V-8. Nuanced description of last call models as “in its current form” could be intended to protect Dodge from legal issues from buyers who believed these last calls were the last Hemi powered Dodges ever. Perhaps not.
      The assumption that Dodge or many many other brands will be all electric ever is another assumption based on carefully worded and deliberately obscure politically compliant statements.
      The assumption though that the Hurricane lineup will be a Dodge mainstay well into the future is a sound one as evidenced by this latest DC press release. Stay tuned!

      • Your first and second paragraphs are something that I’ve been thinking for awhile now. While the “Hemi” may be going away and the current V8 platform may be leaving, The Magnum was name of Dodge’s V6 and V8 engines for quite some time. There was also the Hemi-6, which was a family of inline-6 engines famous in Australia.
        With T.K not showing much interest in putting the Hurricane-6 in the Charger, it makes me wonder just what exactly they are up to? It makes no sense to showcase the Hurricane as the powerhouse that it is and not put it in a performance vehicle. We’ve been hearing about how the STLA platform is modular, how the new Gen-4 8HP transmission is modular and accepts hybrid tech, we have the hurricane family of vehicles with the new Hurricane 3.0L H/O making now 550hp/530tq in the HurriCrate3. That kind of power obliterates not only the Mustang GT, Mach 1 and anything less than a GT500 in the Ford camp, but also stomps on the Camaro SS, and even the Corvette Stingray’s new LT2 V8 engine, which is an absolute unit of a small block pushrod V8. It also handily outpower the 392 and lesser v8s from Mopar. This is all tangible stuff, not even what if possibilities of things that could happen or concepts. If it’s not going in the Charger then what is it going in? We got the statement from T.K saying that nobody wants cars anymore they want UVs. Not entirely accurate, but okay sure, we do see alot more SUVs and crossovers on the roads than sedans but Chargers are still everywhere and so are 300s. the Charger just went to an EV coupe and word on the streets is that this is going to replace the current gen charger/challenger. Ok cool. The L-platform and the current variation of Hemi engines leaves after this gen, Ok cool. Durango may possibly go BOF (body on frame). Not the best idea but whatever. Dodge brought out the Hornet thingy as the new direction of Performance (like Jeep another name used from the very much gone AMC brand). So where does that leave us other than sitting here scratching our heads wondering what the heck is Dodge actually doing? I don’t really see the brand completely forcing it’s loyal fanbase to completely turn to the dark side with this EV charger. As cool as it is and as much as I actually love the new Charger EV, a hurricane powered version would definitely send sales through the roof. I don’t see Dodge bringing out another coupe or using the Charger name on two different cars. I do see a new Jeep Wrangler getting the hurricane engines but the publications from Dodge state that the Hurricane power plants are going to be the mainstay of the STLA large platform. So to me, that says either Dodge is BS’ing about not trying to put this in the Charger, OR, something else is coming that they’re playing close to the chest. Or, that unlike what they say, they really don’t care about their current fan base. This isn’t something that they can base off of what Ford did with the Mach E. People who bought the Mach E aren’t performance oriented gearheads or even car enthusiasts. They’re people who wanted a cool looking SUV with a name, a move that truly diluted and angered the mustang’s core fan base all for a few sales. While I don’t think this new Charger will do exactly that, the point is, this car, while being awesome will leave a huge void and I feel like they know this

        • Is this all deliberate to keep things close to the cuff or are the Dodge suits in a panic, confused and conflicted? The announcement on Hurricane hints to me that there is a plan and it is fluid.
          My thinking is, as I have stated, Hurricanes are the mainstay, electric as a halo niche powerhouse and a Hemi in the wings if things get nasty and Mustang V-8 causes a problem. Can’t have that.
          I’d love to be a fly on the wall, but pretty confident in my analysis. Tim, though, seems a bit corporate obligated with a glint of fear in his mannerisms. Hope he has the guts to stay the Dodge course for Dodge lovers. Anxiety seems baked in for the near future for us vbondjr1.

      • It’s a case of the Li’l Red Express all over again. Government officials mandating emissions and Dodge finding a loophole in the system. But I also wonder if this is a way for foreign automakers to curb and put an end to the rebelious American spirit that Dodge has. As T.K said, this is the EV “They” don’t want us to have. Who are they? It is truly obvious that Dodge is in a bind right now and they’re trying to work within the constrains of what they’re being tasked to do and I believe it’s why they’re putting so much on this car so they can still offer what they’ve always offered as rebelliously as they can without going outside of the borders of what they’re being forced into. Ford Complies, caters and kowtows to the European and Chinese markets and mandates and shows its belly to companies like Tesla and tries to mimick in follow everything it sees. Dodge is kind of a big middle finger to comformity and doesn’t follow much of anyone and I think honestly, alot of other companies don’t like that. I mean seriously who else offers almost 900hp in street cars that cost under $100K? No other car company has the character or charisma of the Dodge brand and I feel like it has rubbed alot of corporate people the wrong way. The car still screams good old fashioned Red White and Blue with a Feral Rebel Yell as big a Texas itself. I think what’s really happening is the suits of the corporate world are trying to kill all that is left of what Dodge truly stand for and the Brand is saying in a loud voice “WE WILL NOT GO QUIETLY INTO THE NIGHT! WE WILL NOT VANISH WITHOUT A FIGHT! WE’RE GOING TO LIVE ON! At one point in time, it was Chevy that was the Heartbeat of America, that era is gone. Ford was never really about America, the brand strived to be a european brand all it’s life. Mopar pretty much stayed the course. Yes it competed with other brands and still does but it has done so with American styling and flare. I pray we do get a Hurricane powered Charger with all the cool stuff. But I also think we owe it to the brand to get behind what they’re doing with this new car and the new stuff that they’re being forced to bring out, if not, we could loose the last brand that’s trying to still offer something for “We the People” in spite of what they’re being forced to do. We need to be vocal in saying hey, we see you guys! and if this is the lemons that they’re giving us, we’re going to bring the alcohol and spike the lemonade that we gotta make and continue to be loud like we are right now! We have to find a way to push the aftermarket to be all in on whatever Mopar is being forced to bring out so we can continue to support the brand and keep it alive and rebellious as possible no matter what. As I’ve said before would I prefer ICE powered vehicles, I sure would. I’d love to see the Hurricane engines and a few Hydrogen powered V8s live on and everything, but if that can’t happen, let’s support the brand we love through this tough time and get through this together as “The BROTHERHOOD of muscle.” yeah slightly cheesy but I think anyone reading this will get the point. Instead of being mad and saying it will fail, lets see what we can come up with (within the constrains of what Dodge is being forced into) and help the brand stay strong.

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