Stellantis has just announced that it will invest a total of $99 million in three North American plants to produce a new four-cylinder turbocharged engine for an HEV powertrain. Investments will be made at the Dundee Engine Complex in Michigan, the Kokomo Casting Plant in Indiana, and the Etobicoke Casting Plant in Toronto. These announcements come before the official debut of the Dodge Hornet, which will occur in the coming weeks during Speed Week. This “entry muscle” small SUV is expected to feature a hybrid powertrain that’s coincides with this announcement.
Stellantis: $99 Million Invested For New HEV Powertrain
The new engine is a 1.6-liter I-4 turbocharged unit with direct fuel injection and flexibility for hybrid-electric vehicle (HEV) applications. Based on a current Stellantis production engine in Europe, this engine will power two future North American HEV models, one expected to be the Dodge Hornet and the other likely to be a Jeep. This will be the first HEV engine produced for the company in North America, and production is expected to begin in early 2025. The 1.6L turbo HEV powertrain can be found in other Stellantis vehicles such as the Peugeot 508 Hybrid, which is sold in Europe.
Nearly $83 million has been invested into Dundee Engine, which will be retooled and made the final assembly location for the new engine. In addition, the Michigan plant will continue production of the 3.6L Pentastar Upgrade engine for the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Grand Cherokee L. Meanwhile, the Tigershark 2.4L I-4 engine will build out in the first quarter of 2023.
Engine blocks will be cast at the Kokomo Casting Plant, one of the world’s most extensive facilities of its kind. Over $14 million will be invested to convert existing die-cast machines and cells for the new engine. Lastly, Etobicoke Casting will produce the oil pan for the new engine. Nearly $2 million will be invested to support the development and installation of new tooling and equipment upgrades.
These investments will support Stellantis’ Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan of delivering innovative, clean, safe, and affordable mobility solutions.
Dodge Hornet: Details
The Dodge Hornet is expected to begin production for the 2023 model year, but it’s expected to be built in Italy and exported to the United States. Considering that the 1.6L hybrid powertrain is already built nearby in France, we can speculate that the upcoming SUV will still launch as a hybrid model. If not that, the Hornet could feature the smaller 1.3-liter turbocharged I-4 also found in the Alfa Romeo Tonale, which produces 272 horsepower with electric assistance.