Stellantis definitely not done with engines yet

Incoming 520hp twin-turbo straight-six is merely the tip of 'growing capacity' combustion iceberg

By PH Staff / Friday, 20 October 2023 / Loading comments

Stellantis, the corporation that encompasses 14 brands and ranks as the world’s fourth-largest carmaker, has been bullish recently about its electrification roadmap. In the aftermath of the UK’s decision to delay the ban on new petrol and diesel car sales, it was one of the manufacturers that repeated its commitment to ending the sale of combustion engines in Europe by 2030 – regardless of what legislators might be inclined to say or do. But the world is a large and complicated place. And while it claims to be on track to launch 75 EVs globally by the end of the decade, the firm has just this week confirmed that it is continuing to invest in future combustion engines in the face of increasing demand. 

Speaking to its plans for electrification, Micky Bly, senior vice president and head of global propulsion systems, said: “We have to balance this approach. ICE is here to stay for a period of time. We are growing capacity, adding capacity, for South America, the Middle East and Europe and Asia Pacific.” Bly explained that the merger of PSA and FCA had left the firm with ‘a lot of engines’ and it had been necessary to rapidly streamline the lineup, especially where units were ‘not performing well on our CO2 roadmap’. This process accounts for the demise of the much-loved 6.4-litre Hemi V8. 

“The Hemi doesn’t have all the attributes we needed. We could go and redo the Hemi, but we realized we needed to downsize the engine and bring up the power.” The solution is ‘Hurricane’, the 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six Stellantis unveiled last year. Automotive News confirmed that a more powerful derivative (in ‘standard’ format it produces more than 400hp) is set to deliver 520hp – although Bly suggested that the development team had extracted an even larger output from the unit, “we just haven’t released it yet”. 

Needless to say, that engine will provide the centrepiece for the next generation of musclebound Dodge, Chrysler and Ram products – but interestingly Bly confirmed that Hurricane would also spawn a new 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, which ought to lend itself more readily to global applications. Additionally, Stellantis plans to introduce a three-cylinder unit in North America based on ‘an existing European engine’. Oil burners aren’t dead either, with “a low-displacement diesel and a big diesel that’s coming in the future.” Fewer combustion powertrains then, and smaller certainly – but absolutely relevant to the hereafter. “We have to do it all,” conceded Bly.

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