The Hurricane I6 comes in two forms, standard output (beating the 5.7 Hemi) and high output (beating the 6.4 Hemi’s 485 horsepower by 25 hp, and its 485 pound-feet of torque by 15). Acceleration is said to be thrilling, with strong torque throughout the engine’s rev range. But what about gas mileage?
According to EPA filings, the 2023 Grand Wagoneer will achieve 13 city, 18 highway with the 6.4 liter gasoline engine. The Hurricane Six not only increases acceleration; it returns gas mileage of 14 city, 20 highway. (Going to the Grand Wagoneer L drops that by 1 mpg on the highway for the Hurricane; there is no 6.4 listing for the “L.”)
Some may say that the Hurricane represents a lot of work and cost to gain 1 mpg city, 2 mpg highway, and they would be correct—but that gain is more substantial than it may seem. The EPA estimates it drops the owner’s fuel cost from $4,650 per year to $4,100. That’s $550 per year—or, if you prefer, 2.3 barrels of oil per year. They’re using a 15,000 miles per year, 55% in stop and go traffic, $4.65/gallon (premium) scenario to get those numbers. We plugged in 12,000 miles per year, with 60% of that in stop-and-go traffic and $4.75 per gallon for premium fuel, and the savings ran to $500 per year.
For those concerned about supporting countries like Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Venezuela, and Iran, saving over 110 gallons of fuel per year, per vehicle, can justify the new engine—even if we ignore the Hurricane’s greater acceleration. What’s more, every mile per gallon of increase is more money that doesn’t have to be spent buying fuel-economy credits—which subsidize future Chrysler/Dodge competitor Tesla’s growth.
In gas mileage, there is a definite advantage as well, though it’s not as pronounced as some may hope. The EPA figures for Hurricane-equipped Wagoneers, rounded off to integers, are reportedly 17/23 for rear wheel drive, 16/22 for four wheel drive for the Hurricane.
Looking at the standard Wagoneer, the Hemi, which again has lower power ratings, has fuel economy of 16/22 with rear wheel drive. The Hurricane adds one mile per gallon city and one mile per gallon highway with the same setup. That ends up at around 100 gallons per year. Both take midgrade fuel, which at $4 per gallon is around $400 per year.
Multiply a savings of either 110 gallons (premium fuel) per year or 100 gallons (midgrade fuel) per year by a 15 year vehicle lifespan and 60,000 vehicles per year, and you have a hefty amount of gasoline—around 100 million gallons for a year‘s production of Grand Wagoneers, for example. Was the Hurricane program worth it? One has to say, given these savings plus better acceleration, that it was quite the success.
9 thoughts on “Hemi vs Hurricane: Grand Wagoneer, Wagoneer mpg (6.4 and 5.7 vs 3.0T)”
What would be the benefit if the I-6 had no turbo at all?
A three-liter straight six generating maybe 260-300 hp? That would seem to be handy for base power in Rams.
The pentastart 3.6 has 305hp and its a dawg in the Ram. No way a none turbo 3.0 would be less then that.
He was talking about the 420hp model…
Cool. When will standard output Hurricane be available in Grand Cherokee?
What about real world towing numbers?
It’s my hope that Stellantis is successful with this new engine family. I worry about turbocharging when it comes to reliability and longevity. Although I note that Ford has been selling turbo six pickup trucks for around a decade now, I also know these are not without their problems. Big, lightly stressed V8 engines may not be the best when it comes to emissions and fuel economy, but they generally last for the life of the vehicle. I hope that will be the case with the Hurricane I6 series.
In a few way, I must agree with Geoff’s comment above about the durability of this new powertrain. We have seen Ford struggle with certain aspects of it’s ecoboost powertrains, however when I think about the architecture of the new Hurricane I-6 Twin turbo powerplants, I don’t forsee these engines having the same issues as the engines from Ford. Beyond my bias against the blue oval brand and most of the vehicles they produce, Stellantis is using a similar technology that Ford used on the Voodoo 5.2L FPC V8 with the wire-arc technology on the cylinder walls for greater durability. Also, this is an inline engine and not a V engine, which has historically proven to be a fairly decent, if not superior design to V-engine configuration in alot of cases. This holds true for high powered engines as the majority of your HD Diesel engines in tractor trailers and other large vehicles that are used for grunt work, have inline engines. I’m no engineer so I’m not even going to pretend to understand all of the reasons why, all I know is that it seems to be a superior design. As far as performance, there have been alot of Inline-6 powerplants that can stand up to serious horsepower as we’ve seen in Japanese engines such as the 2JZ-GTE engine of the legendary Toyota MK-IV Supra TT and it’s equally legendary Rival, the Automotive world’s Godzilla, being the Nissan Skyline with the RB-26DETT. Even in Australia, Ford had major success with an Inline-6 twin turbo that should have made it’s way to the states, that engine family being the Barra engine family. And then of course, there’s that Bayerische Motoren Werke AG company, better known to us as BMW that makes some fairly nasty Inline-6 twin turbo engines. I’m fairly sure that Stellantis is going to produce quality products as they seem to do on a regular basis.
As far as the economy side of this goes. We’re only seeing a small glimpse of what the new engine family is going to offer. We’re basing this off of a full size luxury SUV. Are the number good, I’m guessing so, if the company is projecting these kinds of savings where fuel is concerned. But the thing is, what other vehicles will this powertrain go in and what other configurations will we see with this powertrain family. Obviously if this is in the Grand Wagoneer and Wagoneer, we are going to see this engine family end up in the Ram 1500 and of course, the possibility of a Ram branded SUV (yes we’re all hoping for a Ramcharger, at least I know I am). Done correctly yes this would be a great vehicle to combat the Tahoe/Suburban while the Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer definitely plays more in the same sandbox as the Yukon Denali/Cadillac Elephant, er, I mean Escalade. What we have yet to see is what will this powertrain be like in the STLA large platform and whatever vehicles that platform may bring. To say this powertrain is a success is a bit premature. Because we know so little of what is truly going on behind the scenes, it’s hard to really make any kinds of accurate statements. I’m not sure if the brand is scared of what the public’s reaction is going to be or what but unfortunately we are going to have to wait and see if this is going to be as great as they’re hoping or not.
So grateful for the deep insight that Zatz brings. The engine must be an engineering marvel beyond the amazing Pentastar but how much of the EPA 1 mpg is just weight savings and maybe a little less aerodynamic drag. The aluminum straight 3.0 must weigh less than the iron block 5.7 and even the 3.6 V6. The EPA ratings are very sensitive to weight.
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