In a post at the Petty Racing site, “SpacemanSpiff” described why Petty Racing is not using the new Mopar NASCAR engine, as Penske is.
Several factors are involved. First, it appears that development was curtained by GEM for a time due to doubts about Dodge’s continued NASCAR involvement and Gillette’s commitment to Dodge.
The new engine, R6P8, is the sixth generation R-block and eighth generation polyspherical head; it is very different from the previous generation, and requires a major redesign to the car. The engine is also 100 pounds lighter, so the weight distribution in the cars needs to change, requiring more development time and making it inappropriate, again, to attempt to put the new engines into cars designed for the existing ones.
NASCAR’s Car of Tomorrow, according to this source, is less forgiving regarding handling and weight distribution, and there is a ban on testing at NASCAR tracks, which makes the situation more difficult. Penske did run the engine last year in some races, but apparently does not share their information with other Dodge teams.
The R5 was a left-bank-leading engine, while the R6 is a right-bank-leading engine, due to NASCAR’s many specifications; the distributor moved to the front of the engine, and many parts were designed for an integral cable-driven fuel pump drive (electric pumps not being allowed). The R5 was retrofitted to allow this, but the R6 was designed for it. The R6 also has a shorter block, despite slightly wider bore spacing, and has a narrower head casting; some external oil lines were replaced by internal passages. There is now more coolant flow through the engine, and it can be directed by engine builders as needed via orifices (as can oil flow; there is room for oil restrictors as well). This engine therefore has more consistent horsepower for longer periods.
(Thanks to “Hemi Magnum” and “Mopar Bob.”)
Dodge and SRT are rejoining the Trans Am Series, with Miller Racing fielding two new Dodge Challengers at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 15 and 16. Driving will be four-time series champion Tommy Kendall, making his first Trans Am start since 2004 in the TA2 series class. The cars appear to be driven by 5.7 liter Hemi engines. [...]
Though the Ram 1500 just had major upgrades, another refresh is due in 2017, to deal with the new F-150s and a possible Chevrolet Silverado update. So far not much is known about these trucks, except that they will likely include the Pentastar engine upgrade, might include the rumored 5.7 Hemi V8 upgrade, and are likely to have undergone weight reduction therapy [...]
With the supercharged 6.2 Hemi delivering 707 horsepower to the Dodge Charger and Challenger, the Viper boys are reportedly looking for ways to get back on top. While the Viper may be superior on a tight racing course, the straight-line performance of Charger and Challenger, in five-seaters with all the amenities, large trunks, and automatic or manual transmissions, is a challenge for Team [...]
Artist suzq044 has provided an alternative view of what the 2017 Ram may look like. This refresh will counter new F-150s. The trucks will almost certainly include the V6 engine upgrade, might include the rumored 5.7 Hemi V8 upgrade, and are likely to have more high-strength steel and aluminum to cut weight. The 2017 Ram is also likely to have aerodynamic improvements to increase highway [...]
It has been years since Allpar first reported on the future launch of a new Jeep Wagoneer, and the dropping of the Dodge Caravan. With Wagoneer on the books, Chrysler planners may have had mixed feelings about the sudden success of the Dodge Durango. They wanted to drop the Durango for a more-profitable Wagoneer (essentially a Durango with the Grand Cherokee suspension design [...]