In the latest news on the 2017/2018 Jeep Wrangler update, a turbo 4-cylinder packing 300 HP will be making its way into the new Wrangler. Code-named the “Hurricane”, the engine is supposed to be a 2.0L turbocharged, high-output, direct-injected inline-four with variable valve timing and a twin-scroll turbo.
Originally reported by Larry P. Vellequette at Automotive news, the aluminum block engine is supposed to be the more fuel efficient alternative to the current 3.6L Pentastar V6 that produces 285 HP and tops out at 21 MPG.
2018 Wrangler Engine Production
Back at the end of April, Fiat Chrysler announced it would invest $75 million into its Trenton Engine Complex in Michigan to make the new four-cylinder engine on a flexible line at the plant– the same line that has been making the 3.6L Pentastar V6. An unnamed source with knowledge of the project said that the “hurricane” engine had been previewed to investors at a presentation by Bob Lee, FCA’s global head of powertrain development. One must wonder if the recent test mule that was spotted last week was packing the “hurricane” engine.
FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne had hinted before at the possibility of a turbo 4-cylinder finding its way into the next gen Wrangler. Taking the purported weight savings of the new aluminum body and pairing it with the new 8-speed automatic that would be mated to a turbo 4-cylinder would mean the new Wrangler should see huge increase in fuel economy, bringing up the line’s overall average fuel economy.
Fuel Economy Regulation and Off-Roading
Given the increasing government regulations on improving fuel economy, it makes sense that FCA would try and diversify their engine offerings for the Wrangler to increase the average fuel economy for the line as a whole. However, after news of this engine initially broke, there has been some minor backlash from the enthusiast community about using a motor like this.
A turbo 4-cylinder making around 300 HP is impressive, but the main concern for any off-roader is torque, the force that gets you over and around obstacles on the trail. The unnamed source who leaked information on the new engine did not comment at all on potential torque output of the new “hurricane” engine, which leaves one to wonder what kind of torque this motor would make.
What should also be considered is that this engine may not be marketed at or towards your quintessential Jeeper who enjoys off-roading. It seems like an engine offering like this one will be marketed towards your more casual Jeep owners, who are more concerned with commuting in a fun vehicle than conquering the trails of Moab, flexing their suspension along the way.
2018 Wrangler Diesel Engine?
There has still been no definitive word on a turbo diesel 3.0L engine option, however that does not mean one is not coming. FCA has been fairly tight-lipped throughout the whole development of the new Wrangler, teasing details but not offering up a lot to bank on. It stands to reason that with FCA making a 4-cylinder turbo engine that there is a strong possibility we will see more options the closer we get to vehicle release.