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Sorry, no 368 horse Hurricane Four

by Michael Volkmann on

Recently, FCA shocked the Mopar and Jeep communities by claiming that the Hurricane Four would have 368 horsepower, in a filing to the NHTSA.

This revelation was met with both great excitement and cynicism. Rather than debate whether the number is accurate or not, we began seeking other sources to verify (or disprove) the filing.

2018 Jeep Wrangler JL

Based on the filing, the available engines for the 2019 Wrangler JL, at launch, will be:

The 3.0L diesel was not listed. We understand that it is probably going to be late availability. Still, there is a different issue.

According to two separate and trustworthy sources, the 2.0L Turbo I4 will use the Chrysler-produced 850RE transmission — the same transmission used by the Pentastar V6. Why is this significant? Because of the transmission’s maximum power ratings.

The Pentastar V6 is listed at 285 horsepower, with 260 pound-feet of torque.  The Alfa Romeo Giulia (280 hp, 306 pound-feet) uses a different engine (though in the same four-cylinder family), and it uses the ZF-built 8HP50. The 850RE and the 8HP50 are similar transmissions, and are both rated at a maximum of 368 ft lb (500 N m) of torque.

The 5.7L Hemi (390 hp, 410 lb-ft) and the VM 3.0L diesel (240 hp, 420 lb-ft) use the 8HP70 transmission in the Ram 1500.  The 8HP70 is rated at 516 ft lb (700 N m) of torque.

Since the original filing was obtained, Chrysler has sent an amended version to the NHTSA which replaces the “368” with a “not rated” value.

Will the JL Wrangler come with a 368 hp Turbo I4 cylinder engine? Anything is possible, as there is a 350 hp version of the engine available in Europe for the Giulia…  but it seems rather unlikely, especially since it would come far too close to the torque limits of the transmission in this application.

Is it a coincidence that the transmission’s torque capacity is the same as the original “horsepower number”? This, and the exact specifications of the engine itself, will be revealed soon enough. Automotive News cited insiders as saying it would be around 300 horsepower, though — about the same as the V6, but presumably with better economy.

Michael Volkmann, a mechanical engineer in the steel industry, autocrossed and road-raced Neons. Michael has drag raced his 1971 Duster 340, 2009 Challenger R/T, and Neons, of which he’s owned seven — one SRT4, three ACRs, and three Sport Coupes.

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