Fiat Chrysler patent shows a turbocharged inline-six engine

The 3.0-liter Global Medium Engine codenamed 'Tornado' looks real

The rumor that Fiat Chrysler is developing an inline six-cylinder surfaced on Allpar more than a year ago. In a follow-up report in December last year, Allpar tapped its sources to add more information, like the codename "Tornado" and the plan for the turbocharged motor to replace the 5.7-liter Hemi V8. Even so, it only made sense to speak of the engine as a rumor at the time. Now we have our first bit of circumstantial evidence, Mopar Insiders having found a patent issued to FCA that uses drawings of an inline-six to describe a system for tracking elements in exhaust gases in a turbocharged inline-six. FCA applied for the patent on November 1, 2017, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted it April 2, 2019.

As with everything else in a patent application, the drawing cannot be an accident. The U.S. PTO granted two other engine-related patents to FCA on March 19 and April 2 this year, and FCA used drawings of a V6 in both of those applications.

The December Allpar report presumed one version of the Tornado engine would get a single, twin-scroll turbo and slot into service with Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram. Another version with twin turbos, and perhaps revised heads, could do time with Alfa Romeo, Maserati, and perhaps SRT. Mopar Insiders doesn't break down turbo count, but cites its sources as revealing an output range of 360 horsepower up to 525 horsepower. FCA's E-Booster technology, originally mentioned as a way to help a revived Alfa Romeo 8C get 700 hp, will enable larger turbos on performance versions of the Tornado I-6. E-Booster electrifies some aspect of the turbocharger — FCA hasn't got into the details yet — to eliminate lag while providing 25 percent more power. Mopar Insiders' output figures would give the engine long enough legs to replace the 3.2-liter and 3.6-liter Pentastar V6s, as well as the 5.7-liter Hemi V8. The site said the Tornado will also replace the canceled 7.0-liter Banshee V8.

The 3.0-liter Tornado Global Medium Engine Turbocharged 6 (GME T-6), based on the Hurricane 2.0-liter GME four-cylinder (GME I-4), is expected to go into FCA products around the world. We'll wait to see how the PSA merger might affect allocation. Displacement will come in a hair below three liters so as to avoid tax thresholds in certain countries, and it was said engineers were trying to keep the inline-six no more than three inches longer than the 2.4-liter Tigershark four-cylinder. The initial application could be in the next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee, or in the Jeep Wagoneer, although it could be late availability on both since the straight-six isn't predicted to arrive for a few years. 

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