Detroit’s straight-six is back (in a crate) for 2023
Remember Chrysler’s inline “Slant Six” engine, so named because the block leaned at a 30-degree angle? It was introduced in 1959 as a replacement for the Chrysler flathead straight-six that essentially got its start in 1925 and it lasted, in one form or another, until the overhead-valve Slant Six replaced it. The Slant Six made it until 2000, when V-6s replaced the overhead-valve engine that originally came in everything from pickup trucks to passenger sedans. It had a deserved reputation for being bulletproof, and it made a lot of friends.
The 225-cubic-inch (3.7-liter) Slant Six was never much for hot-rodding, although some very successful dragsters and land-speed vehicles used a modified version of it.
Now comes Stellantis’ twin-turbo, 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder called the Hurricane, named one of Ward’s 10 Best engines for 2022, a prestigious award. And in the near future, Dodge’s Direct Connection aftermarket performance arm will market the “HurriCrate” engine, a hot-rodded version of the straight-six for, well, hot rods, restomods, and other performance vehicles. Debuting at the 2022 SEMA show, the HurriCrate, so named because it arrives at your garage in a crate, will be offered as a Cat 1 or Cat 3 model. The Cat 1 is expected to offer up to 420 horsepower, while the HurriCrate Cat 3 delivers up to 550 horsepower.
The Cat 1 utilizes the inherent torque advantage of the Hurricane engine’s twin-turbo, inline six-cylinder design to deliver 468 lb-ft of torque by 2500 rpm, while the Cat 3 delivers its max 531 lb-ft of torque at just 3500 rpm. If that isn’t enough, there are plans for a racing variant, the HurriCrate Cat X crate engine, including a future Drag Pak option.
Both HurriCrates employ two low-inertia, high-flow turbochargers for rapid response, plus Plasma Transfer Wire Arc (PTWA) coating in the cylinder bores for an ultra-thin, low-friction wear surface, and high-pressure direct fuel injection. Both have engine-mounted water-to-air charge coolers with a dedicated cooling circuit.
Both of the Mexico-built versions also have dual overhead camshafts with wide-range, fully independent variable valve timing, and dual water-cooled exhaust manifolds integrated in the cylinder head. The Hurricane, known internally as the GME T6, debuted in the new Jeep Grand Wagoneer L, with 510 horsepower.
The performance version of the Hurricane could also be used in a car, but that seems like a long shot. After all, the Hurricane is the closest internal-combustion replacement for the Hemi V-8 as Stellantis is expected to have, as that company, along with everybody else, transitions to electricity.
So some fast aftermarket versions the inline-six are here, and somewhere William Weertman, father of the Chrysler Slant Six, must be smiling. HurriCrate prices have not been announced.
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