As carmakers ramp up their investment of batteries and electric vehicles, spending on new internal combustion engines, with the exception of emission controls, has slowed, leveled off or dropped altogether.
Except for Stellantis.
Micky Bly, Stellantis head of propulsion systems, explained during a briefing for reporters the automaker will launch a new family of turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engines with lightweight aluminum blocks and pistons, dubbed the Hurricane. The new engines emit less emissions, use less gasoline than larger engines but are capable of producing V-8 levels of power.
The carbon dioxide emissions will drop by 13% and fuel economy will improve by 15% and the engine will pack more power per liter than rivals, Bly said.
New engine is part of Stellantis strategic plan
“The Hurricane twin-turbo is a ‘no-compromise’ engine that delivers better fuel economy and an important reduction in greenhouse gasses without asking our customers to give up performance,” he said.
The Hurricane’s robust architecture allows Stellantis Propulsion Systems to deliver two distinct variants — one tuned for efficiency and another tuned for performance, Bly added.
The two low inertia turbochargers power the Hurricane’s rapid response to throttle inputs along with enhanced torque output for chores such as towing without sacrificing fuel economy.
The state-of-the-art technologies utilized in the engine’s construction include sprayed-in cylinder coating and high-pressure gasoline direct injection. The cleaner running Hurricane twin-turbo moves Stellantis towards its commitment of a 50% reduction of emissions by 2030 and net zero by 2038 key elements of the Dare Forward strategic plan, Bly said.
However, the High Output version, which use premium fuel, is optimized for performance with 500 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque. The Standard Output iteration produces 400 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque, officials noted.
Overall, the Hurricane will deliver better fuel economy and more power than competitors naturally aspirated V-8 engines and boosted 6-cylinder powerplants.
First vehicles getting new engine
The specific uses of the engine will be detailed in next few months but broadly speaking they will be used in Stellantis light-duty trucks, sport-utility vehicles and muscle cars, said Bly, who was not prepared to offer any more details but said the various brands would outline the future plans for the new standard output and high-output versions of the Hurricane.
Bly said the first vehicle with the Hurricane, which will be assembled at the Stellantis plant in Saltillo, Mexico, will reach dealerships this year, and the new engine will be replacing the 5.7-liter and 6.4-liter Hemi engines in Stellantis products as well as the existing Tigershark engine.
“As Stellantis aims to become the U.S. leader in electrification, with 50% battery electric sales by 2030, internal combustion engines will play a key role in our portfolio for years to come and we owe it to our customers and the environment to provide the cleanest, most efficient propulsion, possible,” said Bly, who noted development of the Hurricane engine began in 2019 and continued through the use of virtual tools through the pandemic.
The use of the virtual, computer driven tools reduced the need for physical prototypes, he noted, which expedited the development of the new engine.