An all-new Hemi-fighting V-8 has the green light at Ford Motor Co. and will be built at the auto maker’s engine plant in Romeo, MI, under the code name Hurricane, a company source tells Ward’s.

The Romeo facility, located some 40 miles (64 km) north of Detroit, currently turns out 4.6L and 5.4L V-8 engines for various cars and trucks in the domestic lineup.

The Hurricane’s displacement and timetable are unclear, but reports indicate the engine could be a 6.2L mill initially tagged for the F-Series pickup lineup, with output trumping anything in Ford’s domestic light-duty V-8 family today.

A Ford spokeswoman says the auto maker is “not planning any announcements regarding engine programs at this time.”

But the source says the company is beginning to work out the details for adding a bigger engine to Romeo’s menu.

Ford recently pumped $192 million into Romeo in order to ready it for the modular 3-valve 4.6L V-6, which powers the ’05 Mustang GT. The investment covered the installation of a new cylinder-head line and the conversion of an existing assembly line to produce the Mustang engine.

Eventually, Romeo’s Hurricane engine could matriculate throughout other Ford-affiliated brands, much like Chrysler Group’s popular 340-hp 5.7L Hemi V-8, which first found life in the Ram pickup and then moved onto SUVs and cars.

Whether Ford stays with the Hurricane moniker is a matter for internal discussion, a separate source says. With Hemi’s strong brand identification and a bigger, 425-hp, 6.1L V-8 Hemi on the way later in 2005, Ford’s naming process likely will be a sensitive issue.

Chrysler Group may have even more to say about the Hurricane name than originally expected. The moniker was used for a 670-hp Jeep concept that bowed in Detroit Jan. 9 at the North American International carrying a pair of 5.7L Hemi engines – one located in the front and one in the rear. (See related story: Jeep Surprises With Hurricane Concept)