When Stellantis unveiled the 3-liter, twin-turbocharged Hurricane inline six earlier this year — the engine designed to replace the 5.7- and 6.4-liter V8s in Dodge, Ram, and Jeep’s arsenal — a lot of people understandably replied “these would work great in a Challenger!” And then Dodge decided to not do that. But the brand knows not everyone is on board with the whole “e-muscle” thing, and it’s for perhaps that reason that CEO Tim Kuniskis offered a glimmer of hope that the new straight-six will one day find a home in the Charger Daytona, or whatever Dodge’s forthcoming production muscle car is.
On Tuesday, both The Drive and Carscoops separately reported Kuniskis’ comments about the Hurricane engine from a media question-and-answer session last week. The upshot is that the STLA Large platform on which that future EV will be built can still support an internal-combustion powertrain, and so Kuniskis doesn’t necessarily have his hands tied if he wants to rip out the batteries and electric motors and stuff the Hurricane in at a later date. Courtesy The Drive:
“We said that our next generation cars are built on the STLA Large Car Platform. The STLA Large Car Platform is a multi-energy platform. It has the ability to run an ICE engine,” said Kuniskis. “I can take the floor pan out. I can take the battery out. I can put a drive-shaft tunnel in there. The platform is made to be able to do that. It’s modular,” he explained.
Kuniskis demurred, though, noting that “I can put an ICE engine in it. It doesn’t mean we’re going to.” Dodge currently has no official plans to use the Hurricane in a muscle car application, and Kuniskis was very clear on that point. “We’re certainly not launching with anything like that. We’re launching full battery electric,” he added.
And that’s the rub — Dodge isn’t doing any of this yet, even if its chief executive wants you to know that it can. Kuniskis and company are hoping the Dodge faithful get used to the idea of EVs in time, so it maybe won’t have to. Credit to the 1969 Dodge Charger Guy, who pretty much scoped this out yesterday before these stories were ever published.
It’s a risky play. On one hand, people tend to warm up to things more quickly when they have no choice. On the other, I don’t know that the pining for internal combustion will ever die down over time within this audience. Could be quite the opposite, actually. So, think of the Hurricane as a last resort — a card Dodge will pull if and when it needs to, before tightening emissions controls eventually take the Hurricanes away from us, too. You can start sending your letters to Mr. Kuniskis now — just save the death threats, please. Jesus Christ.