The Dodge Challenger and Ram 1500 Could Get a Much Needed Bump in Hemi Power
The folks at Allpar recently reported that their insiders have informed them that the 5.7L Hemi that powers the Dodge Charger, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Durango, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chrysler 300 and Ram 1500 will be tweaked a bit to offer more power and possible better fuel economy. When the modern 5.7L Hemi was introduced in the mid 2000s with 340-350 horsepower (depending on the vehicle application), it was one of the most powerful and most efficient V8 engines available in the US market. However, the past few years have seen new motors from Ford and General Motors that have made comparable models more powerful and – in some cases – more efficient. Engines like Ford’s 5.0L V8 in the Mustang, Chevrolet’s LS3 V8 from the Camaro SS and most recently, the new 6.2L truck engine offered in the half ton truck lineup all offer more power than the Mopar competition and although the SRT lineup has the larger and more powerful 6.4L Hemi for the Challenger SRT, the Charger SRT and the Ram 2500 HD, the high volume models that rely on the 5.7L Hemi are often at a disadvantage when pitted head to head with the competition.
Fortunately for the Mopar faithful – new rumors being discussed around the automotive water cooler suggest that the Charger, Challenger, Ram and other models relying on the 5.7L Hemi could soon be getting a jump in horsepower to help them better match up with the competition. Unnamed sources have confirmed the improvements in power and efficiency to Allpar and TorqueNews insiders have also stated that the 5.7L Hemi is on track to be revamped in the next couple model years. None of these sources have explained what Chrysler Group engineers will do to squeeze more power out of the 5.7L Hemi nor have any concrete power numbers been quoted but based on what the Hemi is capable of in the aftermarket performance world and when looking at what the competition has to offer – we can make some guesses as to what we might see in the future high volume Hemis.
The 5.7L Hemi currently at work in the Dodge Challenger R/T offers 372 or 375 horsepower (depending on the transmission chosen) and 410lb-ft of torque while the four door Dodge Charger R/T packs 370hp and 395lb-ft of torque. There is really no domestic competition for the Charger but the Dodge Challenger has to compete with the Ford Mustang GT which offers 420hp and 390lb-ft of torque and the Chevrolet Camaro SS which packs 426hp and 420lb-ft of torque. My sources have indicated that the 5.7L Hemi engines being tested right now offer “over 400 horsepower” and “more torque than the current Challenger R/T”. Even if the new 5.7L Hemi only jumps to 410 horsepower and 425lb-ft of torque – both of which are very realistic figures with some minor tweaks here and there – it would go a long way in closing the gap between itself and the powerful V8 muscle car engines offered by the cross-town rivals. Dodge has proven that the Challenger will sell with less power than the competitors so the Chrysler Group doesn’t necessarily need to beef up the 5.7L Hemi to beat Ford’s 5.0 and GM’s LS3 but if they can close the gap between the Challenger and the other American muscle cars – it could pay off in the sales race.
Over in the truck segment, the 5.7L Hemi from the 2014 Ram 1500 offers 395 horsepower and 410lb-ft of torque and while that is enough to best both Ford and GM’s highest volume truck engines – Ford’s 6.2L V8 (411hp/434tq) and GM’s 6.2L V8 (420hp/460tq) both offer a big advantage over the Hemi Ram. As the owner of a slightly older Hemi Ram 1500, I know that a simple tune, intake and exhaust package can greatly increase the output so increasing the output of the current 5.7L Hemi in the 2014 Ram 1500 to a level that will allow it to beat out Ford’s 6.2L V8 shouldn’t be all that big of a problem. On the other hand, juicing the Hemi to best the new 6.2L V8 from the Chevy Silverado and the GMC Sierra could prove to be a bigger challenge but having the bragging rights of being the most powerful will make a much bigger difference for the future Ram truck lineup versus the competition than it will for the Chrysler Group Hemi-powered cars. Because of that, I fully expect to see the Ram 1500 with a standard Hemi V8 in the next few years that offers at least comparable figures to those offered by the Silverado and Sierra.
While we don’t know what the Chrysler Group engineers will do to the 5.7L Hemi to offer more power in the Dodge Challenger, Charger, Durango and Ram 1500 – the company needs to do something to help keep up with the competition and packing more power into all of these vehicles should do the trick.