The Hemi V8 engine returned in 2003. Could the Slant-6 be next?
Fan and insider website Allpar.com reports that Fiat-Chrysler is secretly working on a new inline-6-cylinder to replace its current line of V6 motors in several vehicles. Straight-sixes are typically smoother and use fewer parts than a V6 of similar displacement, but are longer and can be harder to package in an engine bay. The only ones currently available in the U.S. are found in BMWs, Mercedes-Benzes and some heavy diesel trucks.
Then-Chrysler Corporation’s legendary “G-engine” line was first introduced in 1959, and got its Slant-6 nickname from the 30-degree tilt to its cylinder bank. This allowed for lower hood designs and repositioning of some components to reduce its overall length. The last vehicle it offered with it in the U.S. was the 1987 Dodge Ram pickup, but the automaker continued to sell Jeeps powered by a different inline-6 that it inherited from its takeover of American Motors until 2006.
The new 3.0-liter engine is expected to be turbocharged to deliver as much power as the automaker’s 5.7-liter V8. Sources suggest to Allpar.com that it could debut in the upcoming rebooted Jeep Wagoneer, but may also be used in the new Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger and Ram 1500 pickup. Small, closely-spaced cylinder bores and a low-profile head may be used to create as compact of a unit as possible.
As far as the name is concerned, there’s no information that the engine is designed to lean on its side or that there are plans to refer to it as a Slant-6. In fact, it's codename is allegedly "Tornado," and Fiat Chrysler doesn't own any trademarks related to the Slant-6 name.
That said, the combustion chambers of modern Hemi V8s aren’t anywhere near the pronounced hemispherical shape as the ones in the 1960s, but Fiat-Chrysler knew a good branding opportunity when it saw it. So even a 1-degree list to the new motor could give it an excuse to unlock the classic name when the Wagoneer also returns in 2021.