You'd expect an engine named Hurricane to be fairly powerful.

And Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has dropped hints that it would launch a new 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine since as far back as 2013.

Now it appears that engine is getting closer to production—and could boast nearly 300 horsepower.

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The first application for the 2.0-liter Hurricane engine will be the next Jeep Wrangler, according to Automotive News (subscription required), which cited an anonymous source with knowledge of the project.

FCA already has an engine that approaches the Hurricane's reported output in its lineup.

A 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with 276 hp will debut in the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia sedan.

Jeep Wrangler Level Red

Jeep Wrangler Level Red

To get the aluminum-block Hurricane beyond that mark, FCA will reportedly employ direct injection, variable valve timing, and a twin-scroll turbocharger.

Initial deployment in the Wrangler makes sense, given FCA's need to put greater emphasis on fuel economy for the model as part of an upcoming redesign.

The next Wrangler will likely get an eight-speed automatic transmission, and may also feature an aluminum body as a weight-saving measure.

ALSO SEE: 2016 Volvo XC90: Gas Mileage Review Of Luxury Seven-Seat SUV (Sep 2015)

As well as the Hurricane 4-cylinder powertrain, the Wrangler is also expected to get diesel and hybrid variants.

The diesel will come first, followed sometime later by a 48-volt mild-hybrid model.

Jeep is simply following an industry-wide trend, with more makers turning to downsized, turbocharged 4-cylinder engines to do the work of larger, thirstier V-6s and V-8s as fuel-economy requirements continue to rise.

2016 Jeep Wrangler

2016 Jeep Wrangler

Jaguar Land Rover and Volvo have launched their Ingenium and Drive-E efficiency-focused engines, respectively, in a wide variety of models.

Volvo in particular wants to use only 4-cylinder powertrains in virtually every model it sells.

MORE: Volvo's Triple-Turbo Four-Cylinder Engine: 450 HP From 2.0 Liters (Oct 2014)

The large XC90 crossover SUV and S90 luxury sedan both make do only with 4-cylinder engines, some as part of plug-in hybrid powertrains.

The Swedish carmaker has also built a triple-turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that produced 450 hp, although that was only a prototype.

High-output 4-cylinder engines were previously limited to performance cars, but they'll likely continue to show up more frequently in mainstream models as carmakers work to improve fuel efficiency everywhere they can.


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