Yesterday, Mopar/Direct Connection surprised us with the introduction of multiple crate engines ranging from the new twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter Hurricane I6 engines, to the new range of HELLEPHANT HEMI V8s, and even a licensed partnership with Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) to create a blown 1,500 horsepower HEMI V8 option.
So to say the HEMI V8 is completely dead within the Chrysler Group is far from the truth. But unfortunately, that only goes for the aftermarket. Ultimately, the new Hurricane engines will replace most of the automaker’s HEMI V8 offerings in many of its passenger cars, SUVs, and half-ton pickups. But to say that the Chrysler Group is embracing the switch to the new turbocharged I6 engines is an understatement.
One of the important things we learned from yesterday’s announcement, is the Chrysler Group engineers are hard at work on the development of a new race version of the Hurricane dubbed “CAT X”. CAT being short for ‘category’ a play on words for the strength of an actual Hurricane, the new HurriCrate engine will be a race-oriented engine that is currently “under review” according to internal documents released by the automaker.
While the documents don’t list an official production date, it does say it will be under the hood of the next-generation Mopar Drag Pak.
The last Dodge Challenger Mopar Drag Pak model in 2021, featured a supercharged 354 HEMI V8 with a 3.0-liter Whipple twin-screw supercharger, upgraded forged internals, and a new front accessory drive. That engine is rated at 630 horsepower by the NHRA and is approved for NHRA FS/XX and NMCA FSS competition.
The NHRA mandates engine-factored horsepower ratings for vehicles that compete within specific NHRA-sanctioned class(es) to achieve parity within each race class and do not represent actual engine output capability. With that being said, the 354 HEMI produces somewhere around 1,400 horsepower in competition.
According to the document, Chrysler Group engineers are targeting output levels somewhere in the mid-1,000 horsepower range. This would put the HurriCrate CAT X engine on par with the 354 HEMI.
It also states that the CAT X will feature an aluminum race block and head design, as well as, full-race derivative turbo, powercell, and bottom-end upgrades.
The engine should not be exclusive to the Drag Pak either. Just like the supercharged 354 HEMI V8, it will be available for order through the Direct Connection catalog once it becomes available. So we can expect to see the engine in other racing applications as well.