It’s here just in time to replace the Hemi V8!
If you’ve been loving the hard-hitting Hemi V8-powered Dodge muscle cars, better go scoop up whatever you can while they’re still around. That’s right, the very thing I predicted last year and was told was just some crazy conspiracy theory has just been revealed by Stellantis. The French-Italian-American automaker last week unveiled the Hurricane, a twin-turbo inline-six engine which “delivers V8 levels of power” – or so they tell you. However, the company doesn’t even have the decency to just come right out and say no more Hemis will be put in Dodges, even though we all know that’s what this means.
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All this is, of course, being done to save the planet. Just like during the last policy-induced oil crisis, we’re being told snails replace cylinders. Look, having owned several turbocharged vehicles myself, I can say I love forced induction but it doesn’t replace cylinders. Trust me, turbocharged V8s are wonderful things. However, if you just look at peak output specs and pretend it’s all that matters when it comes to performance, keep in mind the High Output Hurricane engine produces 500-horsepower and 475 lb.-ft. of torque, a far cry from the Hellcat Redeye’s 797-hp and 797 lb.-ft. of torque. Even when faced with that indisputable fact, there are still people celebrating this as progress for Dodge performance. Let’s face it, when SRT was broken up that was the curtain call for modern Mopar muscle cars.
That kind of mindless celebration is exactly what the Stellantis stenographers, I mean my fellow automotive journalists, have been doing. They’re dutifully spreading the good news about this new way to have all the fun you want behind the wheel while conserving gas and cutting emissions, because Dodge told them to say that without questioning anything. See, you can be into cars and also hug rainbows while playing with unicorns!
Of course, the Hurricane engine is being marketed as technologically-advanced, so if you aren’t super excited for it you must be anti-progress. I’m not saying this will turn out like those really awesome Chrysler-Mitsubishi turbo engines from the 80s because this time around the French and Italians are onboard to make sure everything runs great for the first 70,000 miles. Or maybe 90,000 miles if you’re lucky. All that time you’ll be thanking your lucky stars you don’t have two extra cylinders because you’re a good little consumer.
The true test of the Hurricane engine will be how it lasts in the hands of the public. After you’ve worked in this industry for a while, you start to realize automakers always make their new products sound like the best thing since sliced bread, so you stop buying into the hype machine. Just look at all the marketing copy describing the disastrous Mazda CX-7 when it was first launched. There are many, many more examples, but you probably get the point.
With the Hurricane set to be released this year, we won’t have to wait too long to see what this engine is all about. For now, the automaker isn’t saying what models will get the twin-turbo inline-six first. It would be truly hilarious if they drop these in the Ram 1500, which is probably coming soon, following in the footsteps of Ford. Those EcoBoost F-150s have worked wonderfully for anyone who doesn’t need to tow or haul anything significant, or who doesn’t pay too close attention to their fuel consumption, so why not?
When it comes right down to it, the Stellantis Hurricane engine is all about inclusivity. Those Hemi V8s were way too toxic and exclusionary for reasons that won’t be explained because logic is no longer fashionable. So do as you’re told and like, nay love, the upcoming crop of Mopar muscle cars or you’ll be labeled a bad person until the next social media trend makes everyone forget about this until their engine magically blows up.