Chrysler's Hurricane engine coming in 2016

Chrysler Group has planned a hurricane for 2016, and like a parched Texas ranch, frankly, it could use the rain.

The Hurricane coming three years from now is actually a rework of the company's base 2.0-liter I-4 engine, or, more specifically, the 2.0-liter engine's cylinder head, code-named Hurricane.

The new head, according to Chrysler documents, "is an engineering challenge which uses many new technologies to achieve excellent fuel economy."

What those technologies are we don't know yet, but it wouldn't be surprising to see Chrysler aiming for big boosts in power and torque above the current 2.0-liter's 160 hp and 148 pounds-feet of peak torque.

A company spokesman declined comment.

The Hurricane engine will apparently continue to use its existing aluminum block, which it shares with the re-engineered 2.4-liter "Tigershark" engine launching in the 2014 Jeep Cherokee.

Both the 2.0- and 2.4-liter engines were extensively re-engineered between 2010 and 2012 to improve fuel efficiency and performance. In the overhaul, the 2.4-liter was outfitted with Fiat's latest electrohydraulic variable valve lift technology, called MultiAir 2, while the smaller-displacement 2.0-liter was not.

Both I-4 engines are evolutions of the World Gas Engine project, a partnership between Mitsubishi Motors, Hyundai Motor Co. and then-DaimlerChrysler in the early 2000s to jointly develop four-cylinder engines for North America.

I've now driven the reworked 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter engines in their current forms -- the smaller engine in a Dodge Dart and the larger in the Cherokee.

I think there's plenty of room to further refine and improve both these engines, and Chrysler is wise to spend money to do so.

You can reach Larry P. Vellequette at -- Follow Larry P. on Twitter: @LarryVellequett

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