If you've spent any time up close and personal with
massive new Grand Wagoneer SUV, then you won't be surprised to hear that its fuel economy isn't what we'd call stellar. It's huge, heavy, shaped vaguely like a brick and powered by the lovely-but-decidedly-old-school 6.4-liter Hemi V8, which produces 471 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque. But what if there were a better, more efficient way to get your GrandWag moving down the road?
There is, and it's called the Hurricane 510 inline-six-cylinder engine. It produces a wildly impressive 510 hp and 500 pound-feet, and according to the EPA (as initially reported by Autoblog on Monday), it does that more efficiently than the V8 version. How much more efficiently? By around 2 miles per gallon, according to FuelEconomy.gov.
The Grand Wagoneer in two-wheel drive form with the 6.4-liter engine manages to return 13 mpg city, 19 mpg on the highway and 15 mpg combined, while going to all-wheel drive cuts a single mpg from the highway figure. The 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder version will return 15 mpg city, 21 mpg highway and 17 mpg city in two-wheel drive form, and again that highway number drops by 1 mpg when you go to four-wheel drive, while city drops by 1 mpg as well.
More power and more efficiency seem like a no-brainer, right? Well, without having driven the Grand Wagoneer with the new engine, it's hard to say. The 6.4-liter engine very much suits the character of the luxe Jeep, but if the Hurricane can do its job quietly and make the driving experience feel closer to effortless, then Jeep likely has a winner on its hands.
Of course, there is the $2,000 price premium that Jeep is asking for the smaller six-cylinder engine, which, despite its other bonafides, may not compute in the minds of some American SUV buyers, but still, we're extremely excited to get some wheel time with the new drivetrain.