The new Stellantis inline six-cylinder engine has pretty much reached “open secret” status within the auto industry, but we’ve yet to see concrete plans for its introduction. Well, the wait is coming to an end. Jeep appears ready to debut its new Hemi replacement at the New York International Auto Show in April.
During a media roundtable in Chicago, Autoblog asked Jeep brand chief Jim Morrison whether he had anything to share regarding the new turbocharged engine; Morrison answered our question with another: “Are you coming to New York?”
While not a hard confirmation in the strictest sense, that’s about as good as it gets when it comes to discussion of future product. So, we know it’s coming. But in what? The turbocharged inline engine is widely expected to be phased in as a replacement for the 5.7-liter Hemi V8. Jeep’s newly redesigned Grand Cherokee and new-new Wagoneer are the only models in the lineup currently offered with the 5.7-liter, making them the likeliest candidates. There’s a compelling case for either (or both).
Grand Cherokee would benefit most from Hemi replacement, provided it’s lighter and more efficient than the old iron-block V8. It also sells in volumes that make it appealing to Stellantis from a CAFE standpoint. On the other hand, the Wagoneer has recently been spotted testing in long-wheelbase guise, meaning Jeep could be just about ready to show it. Why not debut it with a trick new engine that will help bring the Wagoneer’s curb weight down without sacrificing power?