Hurricane Crate Engines Plans Suggests A New Dodge Drag Pak

In addition to a trio of new Hellephant Hemi crate engines, Dodge introduced three new crate engines based on the Hurricane inline-six engine family that will also be offered through the Direct Connection catalog. The Hurricane engines were introduced in production form in the 2023 Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, and with both of those vehicles riding on a chassis platform that is shared with the Ram 1500, it is expected that the half-ton trucks will soon feature some variation of the new inline-six engine family as well.

While it is widely expected that the Dodge brand will also use the Hurricane engine family in some capacity, it was unclear how it would be used. The next generation Charger has been introduced in concept form as a pure electric vehicle and there has been no word on a next generation Challenger.

However, with the news that Direct Connection – which is exclusive to the Dodge brand – will soon begin offering the Hurricane crate engines, it seems likely that there will be a production model with this engine.

The only hint as to what Dodge vehicle will feature a Hurricane engine comes from the SEMA Show crate engine news, as one of the Hurricane crate engines is being developed for the next generation Drag Pak. The information doesn’t actually state that the next generation Drag Pak will be a Challenger, but with the Drag Pak being a Challenger since the program was introduced, it seems likely that the next generation Drag Pak would be based on a Challenger.

Dodge has made it clear that the current Challenger will be discontinued after the 2023 model year, so if there is going to be a Drag Pak beyond 2023 based on a Challenger, it would likely be the next generation of the legendary muscle car.

This news of a next generation Drag Pak comes from the announcement that Direct Connection will soon begin offering the HurriCrate crate engines. Playing off of the hurricane name, the engines are rated by “category”, with the first three options being Cat1, Cat3 and CatX.

HurriCrate Cat1 is similar to the engine offered in the 2023 Jeep Wagoneer, with the twin turbo, 3.0-liter engine delivering 420 horsepower at 22 pounds of boost. The HurriCrate Cat3 is similar, yet slightly more powerful than the engine in the Jeep Grand Wagoneer, with this crate option delivering 550 horsepower at 26 pounds of boost.

For comparison, the Grand Wagoneer offers 510 horsepower with this engine and boost level. HurriCrate Cat3 is expected to be available in Q2 of 2023, followed by the Cat1 in Q1 of 2024.

Finally, the HurriCrate CatX has a unique aluminum engine block and cylinder head along with unique turbochargers and an upgraded bottom end. Dodge is targeting the mid-1,000 horsepower level from this inline-six engine, although like the current engines in the Drag Pak Challenger, the displacement will likely vary from the production engines.

With the unique block, the CatX will likely be bigger than 3.0 liters, but in any case, it will make enough power to rival the supercharged 354-cubic inch Hemi in the current Challenger Drag Pak. There is no availability date on the CatX, but it isn’t likely to arrive as a crate engine until after the next gen Drag Pak debuts – whatever it might be.

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Patrick Rall

Industry News Editor Patrick entered the Mopar world when he bought his 1983 Mirada back in 1994, installing a mild 340 a year later that would eventually be built up into the range of 500 horsepower. Today, Patrick daily drives a Hellcat Challenger, but he still has his 340-powered Mirada, as well as a 1972 Demon 340 and a Hemi Ram.