Cars by name
Trucks and Jeeps

Engines / Trans
Repairs / Fixes
Tests and Reviews

GME Inline Six: The Mopar “Tornado”?

by David Zatz

Rumors of a new inline six-cylinder have been flying around Auburn Hills and FCA plants for months. Referred to as “Tornado” (which won’t necessarily be its official name), the engine seems to be real — at least, if engineers’ resumés are to be believed.

Progress appears to be proceeding to durability testing, based on what engineers have put into their personal profiles; and it should be included in the Wagoneer, when it comes out.

A new straight-six would have to fit into some tight spaces, so it couldn’t be a “four-cylinder with two more holes tacked on.” Major design changes would be needed to keep the package from getting too long, and to keep the crankshaft at a reasonable length for high-performance variants.

Mercedes recently joined BMW in the straight-six club, making a new in-line engine more likely for Alfa Romeo and Maserati. Whether it hits Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram is still a matter for speculation.

comau video

The rumors claim that the engine will be just under 3.0 liters (the Hurricane Four is just under 2.0 liters), without iron cylinder liners; it would presumably use the “SmartSpray” plasma transferred wire arc process (PTWA) sold by FCA’s Comau division.

A Dodge/Ram/Jeep/Chrysler standard-performance version would have different heads than the Maserati/Alfa Romeo and SRT versions; the Italian premium companies would have changes to the block, too, if past experience is any guide. However, the main differentiator would likely be the heads and any forced-induction setups.


space-saving design, patented years ago, might reduce vertical space.  

We were unable to confirm that the American brands would see this engine at all — indeed, we could not definitively say that a straight six was in the works at all, at least not for the near future. Still, straight sixes are inherently smoother than V6s, and have a bit of snob appeal, given their use by BMW and Mercedes; and the company needs a V6 producing V8 power, at lower cost than the current Ferrari solution and with higher output than the Pentastar-based Maserati mill.

As for the Hemi, the rumor mill claims an update is in the works, but it’s increasingly going to be a niche motor rather than aiming for the mass market.

Know & Go screens
Employees created new FCA US app—first available to Ram TRX

Newest Ram Built to Serve models honor the U.S. Air Force

Former Ram chief engineer Michael J. Cairns

More Mopar Car
and Truck News