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Predictions are somewhat hard, as published long-term plans tend to go out of date very quickly, engine programs are somewhat unpredictable, and security in Auburn Hills has tightened up quite a bit, but the Hurricane at least is known to be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