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Engine rumor roundup

by David Zatz on

With the official 2017 model year announcement just one day away, and attention to be focused on the cars and trucks, it seems like a good time to look at what’s under the hood. From biggest to smallest:

  • The Viper V10 is likely to simply be dropped, closing the final chapter on pre-Daimler Chrysler engines.
  • There’s plenty of chatter about a Hellcat upgrade, but that has to wait for the Challenger to gain enough traction for it to matter. The schedule for that is anyone’s guess, but if there’s a 2018 model-year update — as many expect — it would be a logical time.


  • The Hemi V8 was supposedly to end production in calendar year 2018, but this seems increasingly unlikely now. Truck buyers seem to still be demanding a conventional V8, and Charger and Challenger, which were to be replaced in 2018, are soldiering on until 2020-2022, so expect the Hemi to stick around.
  • The Pentastar V6 is supposed to get direct injection; indeed, that’s long overdue, and many are speculating that the delay is to allow the United States and Canada to switch to low-sulfur gasoline. We expect to see direct injection in calendar year 2017 or 2018, but then, we expected it in early 2016, too.
  • The turbocharged Pentastar, with a twin screw turbocharger, reputedly has a 400 horsepower goal, setting it neatly above the Hemi V8. If and when that engine appears, expect the Hemi to get a hefty surcharge (assuming the hot six gets better mileage) as Hemi buyers are charged for CAFE fines.

  • A new(ish) “GME” (Global Medium Engine) four cylinder is nearing arrival. The turbocharged Hurricane 2.0 four is reportedly in this series, which borrows from the current 2.0/2.4, the Fiat TwinAir, and lessons learned from the Pentastar. The launch of the Hurricane is still apparently some time off, but calendar-year 2017 seems likely.
  • The new GSE (Global Small Engine) is also coming; this is most likely almost entirely an Italian effort, and is to replace the 1.4 and other small engines.

Predictions are somewhat hard, as published long-term plans tend to go out of date very quickly, engine programs are somewhat unpredictable, and security in Auburn Hills has tightened up quite a bit, but the Hurricane at least is known to be a forthcoming reality.

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