Last year, Dodge announced that the new Hurricane inline-six would join the Direct Connection crate engine lineup, alongside various Hemi crate engines. Those who can’t get over the possible demise of the Hemi refuse to see any upside to the new Hurricane engine, but for those who are happy to have an internal combustion engine in the future of the brand, this engine presents an opportunity.
If nothing else, the fact that Dodge is discussing this engine is proof that the brand doesn’t plan to go all-electric in the immediate future. The trio of Hurricane crate engines, one of which is slated for the next generation Drag Pak car, shows that these engines will pack a serious punch.
The first production application of the Hurricane inline-six engine family was the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. In the big Jeep, the “base” Hurricane pushed out 420 horsepower and 468 lb-ft of torque while the Hurricane 510 in the Grand Wagoneer delivers 510 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque. Those engines effectively replace the 5.7-liter Hemi in the Wagoneer and the 6.4-liter Hemi in the Grand Wagoneer, and each of the smaller engines pack more power than the V8s that they are replacing. The 5.7-liter Hemi in the Wagoneer offers 392 horsepower and 404 lb-ft of torque while the 6.4-liter Hemi in the Grand Wagoneer delivers 471 horsepower and 455 lb-ft of torque, so there are significant increases in both horsepower and torque when comparing the Hemi to the Hurricane in the Wagoneer line.
The two production-based Direct Connection crate engines are the HurriCrate Cat1 and the HurriCrate Cat3. The Cat1 is similar to the engine in the Wagoneer: a 3.0-liter engine running on 22 pounds of boost pressure to deliver 420 horsepower. The Cat3 is similar to the Grand Wagoneer engine, but there emust be some changes between the Jeep and Direct Connection crate engines, based on the preliminary power estimates.
Dodge has stated that the HurriCrate Cat3 will be a 3.0-liter engine running on 26 pounds of boost, just like the Grand Wagoneer, but the Dodge says that this engine could deliver up to 550 horsepower. That is a 40-horsepower increase over the Jeep numbers, but with the same engine displacement and boost pressure; we imagine that the Dodge version has some unique components on the intake or exhaust side (or both). It’s also possible that the Direct Connection HurriCrate Cat3 will simply have a more aggressive tune, yielding more power with the same boost levels.
In short, the Hurricane-based crate engines from Direct Connection will offer a power advantage over the popular 5.7-liter and 6.4-liter Hemi crate engines when they are all in “stock” form from the manufacturer. However, while being smaller than the Hemi engines, these HurriCrate engines have a key advantage that makes it much easier to add gobs of power in a hurry – Boost.
One of the reasons that the Hellcat Hemi has been so popular with the aftermarket crowd is that it is very easy to quickly increase the output by a large amount. By simply swapping the supercharger pulley, adding larger fuel injectors, and tuning the new combination, the Hellcat Hemi output easily climbs from the 700s to the 800s and with a few other relatively minor changes, the output of the blown V8 can climb comfortably over the 1,000 horsepower mark.
While the Hurricane engines are less than half the displacement, coming from the factory with forced induction will make it easier for owners to add power without many big changes. Increasing boost pressure with a turbocharged vehicle can often be done by adjusting the factory components or by adding a simple boost controller. Like a supercharger, a turbocharger has a maximum internal RPM and a maximum boost level; but the space between the turbo being maxed out and the “factory” boost pressure of 26psi leaves room for tuners to add power. As a result, the HurriCrate Cat3 could yield way more than 550 horsepower by increasing the boost pressure and adjusting the engine tune, while more elaborate changes to the fuel system and other engine components could allow the production-based 3.0-liter engine to produce Hellcat-like power in crate form.
10 thoughts on “Direct Connection Hurricane Crate Engines Offer Big Power Potential”
I also wonder if stellantis will offer kits for this to work in the older chargers 11 and newer. Potentially with stage kits as well.
As genuinely excited as I am about the next gen EV charger, I’m equally excited about the possibility of a Hurricane powered variant as well. Honestly, the sky is the limit when it comes to making power with turbo cars and technology for turbocharged performance has come a long way. I’m from an era of the 2JZ-GTE Supra Targa top coupes and RB26DETT R34 Skyline GTR coupes so I remember alot of companies like Greddy, HKS, AEM and others all making crazy aftermarket parts for Turbo cars that would boost those engines to the moon! Even in this emissions-crazy time we’re living in, not only could the aftermarket boost performance but so could Direct Connection. I’ve said it before a potential 4Xe style hybrid system on the back of a Hurricane-6 HO engine would produce well over 600hp by itself without Stage kits. Add Stage kits to that vehicle and you’re staring hellcat numbers in the face without ever loosing your warranty. Honestly with Dodge dropping V8s, they’re opening themselves up to having more performance options with better performance than any other vehicle manufacture on the market. Period! Not only that, they’re positioning themselves to be way more competitive in every single market they’re going to be in. Dodge is still going to be king of the Horsepower pile, no matter what they’ve got under the hood.
As of right now, alot of people are upset that the current Charger and Challenger are leaving us at the end of the year and we’re getting at least a new Charger to replace the beloved big body V8 muscle cars. The mighty Camaro is also leaving us in 2024 leaving the Mustang as the sole v8 performance car in the market for now. While people are upset about the end of the V8s and the potential end of the Challenger, lets look at some things. The Challenger, although depending on the trim level could beat the average GT in a straight line, that was honestly all it could do performance wise. it was way more comfortable and useable but performance wise it was limited. In GT trim, the upcoming mustang is said to make 480hp & 415lb-ft of torque with a whole 5.0L V8 engine. Those numbers aren’t all that impressive when compared to the standard 3.0L Hurricane that makes 420hp and 468lb-ft of torque. I’m quite certain if a 5-door hatchback family sedan AWD twin turbo Kia with only 368hp and 376lb-ft of torque can stomp all over a 460hp/420tq 5.0L Mustang, then I’m sure if Dodge put even the base 3.0L I-6 twin turbo under the hood of an STLA Medium AWD coupe, they could walk all over the Mustang GT even if it had 480hp and yet only 415lb-ft of torque and still be emission compliant and still be able to recieve Stage 1 & Stage-2 Direct connection upgrades and be better on the track and everywhere else. Bringing a car like that back would be alot like the Dart 340-Demon or even the SRT4 Neon or anything under the GLH umbrella. Small Giant killing engines in lightweight small to midsize cars (don’t tell the guys over on the EPA board, but those were what they called pony cars!) It may just be me, but from what I see, Dodge is really still pushing for crazy performance even without the Hemi engines. Cards played right and this could be the biggest and best era of high performance yet! Even within the constraints of emissions and EVs we are still looking at loud, powerful 500hp-1,000hp street legal vehicles. They have a 2.0L Hybrid that pushes 375hp and 470lb-ft of torque and that’s without a single aftermarket or performance tuned upgrade. Just think if Dodge brought back a Dakota, that would definitely outperform the 2.3L ecoboost in a Ranger. Throw even the 3.0L S.O in it and you’re outdoing the Ranger Raptor. Even with all of my praising of the new engines, I do recognize the potential shortcomings of not having V8s, especially in the truck world. For the average person with a 1500-series truck i feel like the 3.0L S.O & 3.0L H.O will be more than adequate along with the EV variants. Most people who own these trucks don’t use them to their full capabilities anyway so for the home depot DIYers, campers, hunters and fishermen that aren’t pulling huge trailers or mega-yachts across country, I feel like these powertrains are more than sufficient. For the rest of the segment that uses their trucks to the max, I don’t know how well these new small displacement engines will do. Don’t get me wrong, they may do fine but in these instances, I’m not going to try to make a quarter horse do the work designed for a Clydesdale. Call me crazy & nostalgic, but I would love to see a modern version of the 5.9L Turbo Diesel I-6 engine put under the hood of the new Ram 1500 pickup along with a 4.0L twin turbo Inline-6 with a hybrid setup. I feel like a 4.0L Twin turbo with an E-torque system, electric assist turbos and a hybrid 4Xe type system behind it would be able to compete (work-wise) with a 5.7L Hemi powered pickup why offering the improved efficiency, reduced emissions and everything else the EPA is looking to achieve by ridding the world of those “dirty old American V8 engines.” When I say work-wise, I’m not talking about sheer numbers and raw strength, I’m talking endurance and durability. Those are two things a V8 engine has over alot of other engines currently on the market and what a percentage of the truck market is concerned about with this new switch. Just like my reference to the quarter horse and a Clydesdale. Both are immensely powerful animals and in their element they’re amazing, soul stirring, majestic animals. Now I’m sure a Clydesdale isn’t what you would call a slow animal but I’m not going to bet a horserace on a Clydesdale, the same way I’m not going to use a quarter horse as a draft horse. So while the 3.0L is fine for about 90% of truck owners The Ram 1500 should have an optional 4.0L E-Torque 4Xe style hybrid and a 5.9L I-6 Cummins Turbo diesel as options and just make the 2500-plus series trucks strictly diesels with the 5.9L or 6.7L options.
All in all, the point I’m making is that The American Stellantis brands are truly in a position where they can still come out on top without V8 engines and move into other markets that they may not have been able to before or haven’t been in for quite some time. Yes it would have been nice to see Dodge bring out a smaller displacement high tech V8 but they decided to move in a different direction, which overall was a much wiser move than trying to push forward with the Hemi V8s. Doing things this way mean that the Dodge brand can live on and keep producing amazing vehicles like they’ve always done, V8 or not!
I am wondering if the new hurricane engine is going to be able to keep from blowing head gaskets ? I hope they remember the turbos from the 80’s and they still have there notes, that’s going to be a lot of power….I owned a new dodge Daytona Shelby Z back in the day , I remember well……
bla bla bla it has more h/p. So what? what motivates big heavy vehicles? Torque, torque is king and I see no mention of the torque ratings comparing old and new and at what rpm? The hi strung small displacement engines can and do make great h/p and torque. But….for how long and again at what rpm?
I addressed the torque as well, and the Hurricane engines both make more torque than the Hemi engines that they effectively replace.
Also, Ive tested the Grand Wagoneer with the Hurricane back to back with the Grand Wagoneer with the 392 Hemi. This is likely the heaviest vehicle that the Hurricane will power and it does a great job, even when compared to the Hemi. The NA V8 obviously has more initial pop from a stop, but the Hurricane spools quickly and gets the big Jeep up to speed more quickly than the Hemi.
I dont love the shift away from the V8, but the Hurricane engine seems to be a good alternative to those who dont want electric.
See in 2003 i had the opportunity to drive a 360 ram and a hemi ram. I planed on towing and wanted low end grunt. After driving the two it was obvious to me that the hemi was a car engine and the 360 much more truck like. IE made a lot more low end grunt. But as luck would have it when i went to order my truck they had already disavowed the 360. My concern with the Hurricanes is where the torque comes in. Is it real low like the 360 or higher like the hemi. I have never liked the hemi for low end grunt but on the highway it does great and “probably” gets better mpg. But since i dont drive the truck that much i want that low end without having to pay for the stupid price of a cummins.
A used truck is the best alternative to those who don’t want electric. While the Hurricane is on paper an interesting engine in a vacuum, where no other competitors exist, in the real world it’s got to compete with the likes of the Coyote V8 and the LS/LT series engines, plus the used Hemi-powered vehicles of which they’ve made hundreds of thousands. The Hurricane comes with significant complexity over the Hemi design for the forced induction it relies upon to make adequate power, and I suspect that it won’t make more than an MPG or two’s worth of difference compared to a Hemi in the same vehicle *as actually used.* Unless the rules of physics have been changed, there is only so much energy in a gallon of gasoline, and in order to make the same power level you’re going to burn roughly the same amount of it. Gasoline engine efficiency is what, about 35% at best under optimal conditions?
Let’s face it, we’re being forced to accept this engine because it has been designed to pass an emissions test under laboratory conditions. Because of the stranglehold the EPA has over the industry, they can mandate changes like this with little or no regard for actual consumer needs. I’m sure it will make a fine light duty vehicle engine, but I want a V8 in any truck I purchase, especially when they cost north of $60K.
In the real world, the 3.0L Hurricane will compete with the Ford Ecoboost 3.5L V6, the Ecoboost 3.0L V6 and the Ecoboost 2.7L V6 along with the 3.5L I-Force engines in the New Tundra as the truck market is quickly turning to boosted V6 powertrains along with hybridization. GM even did something crazy and put a 2.7L Turbo-4 in the Silverado 1500 as an option and is currently considering dropping the V8 engines from their 1500-series truck and replacing them with turbo-6 engines as well. I’d say within the next 2-3 years, there won’t be any v8 trucks on the market. Ford has already dialed back production on the 5.0L V8 for the F150 because the market demand for it is abysmal.
I’ve driven both the Chevy turbo four Silverado and the Ford 2.7L turbo F150. Do they make the power? Yes; higher up in the RPM range, but they have it. It’s about where in the RPM band the torque lives, and the area under the torque curve. Am I being picky? You bet. I’ve been driving a succession of V8-powered vehicles for the last 15 years or so, and I’m addicted to low-end grunt. We’ll see if enough people agree with me to keep the V8s around or not, I guess. I will tell you this much: with what’s happened to vehicle prices and the changes coming in what’s available for purchase, my willingness to preserve and repair my existing vehicle has multiplied.
The engine sounds pretty cool, big question were they smart enough to have the bellhousing match the Hemi and old LA engine 727 transmission bolt pattern.
Or will you need an adapter of some kind.