Dodge and Mopar have a history of offering some nice crate engines, and there are no signs of slowing down. In the coming years, the engine range will be expanded with options for both eight and six cylinders. Yes, the Hurricane twin-turbo six cylinders introduced on the Jeep Wagoneer will be available on their own for use in anything you can fit them in. But Dodge isn’t done with V8s just yet, as the brand’s ultimate Hellephant engine will have four variants.
The Hurricane engines, dubbed the HurriCrates by Dodge, are pretty much exactly what you’ll find in those big jeeps, albeit without the jeep. The base, called Cat 1 (do you understand?) is the base engine that makes 420 horsepower and 468 pound-feet of torque, just like the base Jeep Hurricane. As with all Hurricane engines, it has an aluminum block and head, the latter of which is a twin-cam piece. The exhaust manifolds are integrated into the head and are liquid cooled. The intercooler of both is also liquid cooled. Particularly on the Cat 1 engine, the turbos produce a boost of 22 psi. The pistons are cast aluminum and the compression ratio is 10.4:1.
The Cat 3 gets a number of upgrades over the Cat 1. It features forged aluminum pistons and ring lands, plus low-friction coatings on the wrist pins. The fuel injection system has been upgraded to allow more fuel to flow, and the intercooler coolant circuit has an additional intake. The compression ratio has been reduced to 9.5:1 and the boost has been bumped up to 26 psi. Estimated power is 550 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque, both of which are quite a bit more than the powerful Hurricane engine in the Grand Wagoneer L.
There’s even a race-spec Hurricane coming, called the Cat X. Details for that are meager, but Dodge estimates over 1,000 horsepower for it. But the bike probably won’t be street legal.
The first of the HurriCrates to be launched is the Cat 3, which will be released in the second quarter of next year. The Cat 1 will take longer, with an estimate of the first quarter of 2024. Pricing for both engines has yet to be determined. Dodge will also have updated eight-speed automatic transmissions available for this engine, the first of which will be called DC1 and will accommodate engines with torque up to 560 pound-feet. The other is the DC2, rated for motors with torque over 560 pound-feet. That’s important, because these transmissions also fit Hemi V8s.
You want one of those DC2 transmissions for each of the new Hellephant engines. And yes, what was once a wild supercharged 426 cubic-inch (7.0L) V8 will be a quartet of wild supercharged engines. The main difference is the choice of an aluminum block like the Hellephant that we all know. But now there is a cast iron version. The cast iron model has a smaller displacement of 376 cubic inches (6.2 l), but makes up for that with a smaller 3.02-inch blower pulley (3.17 on the aluminum engine) on the 3.0-litre supercharger and larger 105mm (vs. 92mm) throttle body. While the displacement of the Hellcat engine is shared, the iron Hellephant has a number of improvements to the valves, connecting rods, bearings and main bearing caps.
The other difference between the engines is what fuel type it is set for. The base engines are tuned for premium pump gas, while the high-performance engines are tuned for E85 ethanol. In terms of name, the aluminum engines start with ‘A’, the cast iron ones with ‘C’. The suffix for each refers to the fuel based on the alcohol proof number for what each will tolerate. The pump gas limit is E15, so 30 proof, and E85 is 170 proof. So you have the A30, A170, C30 and C170.
The C30 has the lowest horsepower at 900 horsepower, and the C170 brings things up to 1,000 horsepower. The A30 starts at 1,000 hp and the A170 gets 1,100 hp.
Full specs and pricing have not yet been announced, and like the HurriCrate engines, the rollout is taking a long time. The A170 will be launched first in the second quarter of next year. The C170 will follow in the third quarter and the C30 in the fourth quarter. The A30 will not be released until the second quarter of 2024. While the price is not yet known, we have the old Hellephant for reference, which started at just under $30,000. We bet the aluminum motors will be the same price, and the cast iron motors will probably be a bit more affordable.