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6.4 Hemi Ram: Reality, but not yet? (updated)

by David Zatz on


It has been at least a year since Allpar was last told that a non-SRT version of the 6.4 liter V8 engine was being developed for use in heavy-duty Ram pickups, the idea being to get a more powerful gasoline engine to counter similar models at Chevy and Ford — not for high speeds, but for better towing and hauling. Like the 5.7 Hemi that’s now available, it would be able to drop down to four cylinders when loafing around, saving fuel.

Reader Zach sent in this screen shot from the Ram Build & Price site, which we could not reproduce when we went. It’s unlikely that the SRT version of the 6.4 Hemi engine would be included in this truck, and the five-speed automatic is gone for 2013 (replaced by a similar six-speed). The most popular engine, a diesel, isn’t there, and there are other Ram 2500 transmission options that are missing.

When we first posted this, we felt  that, once again, Chrysler’s US web sites were set up incorrectly, taking the powertrain codes from the Dodge Challenger and accidentally including them with the Ram 2500. The Challenger SRT8 powertrain options look exactly like the ones you see above — the transmissions are completely different but it does have a six speed manual and a five speed automatic. There are also two engines — the 6.4 with fuel saver technology (cylinder cutoff), on the automatic, and the same engine without it, on the manual.

Edgardo Campos Mota wrote in to confirm this theory: he was able to specify a Dodge Dart with a Hemi V8, something which has not been available to the general public, well, ever. Though it would certainly solve any complaints about power, we’re pretty sure this will never be a “build and price” option for this generation of Dart.

That does not mean we will never see Rams with 6.4 liter V8s. The continuing sojourn of gasoline prices in the “reasonable” end of the spectrum and the lack of any actual fuel shortage (barring local natural or political disasters) since the 1970s means that many pickup buyers simply don’t care about gas mileage when faced with big horsepower and torque figures. We believe there will be a Ram 1500 with a 3.0 diesel, and it’s possible that the same setup will be applied to Ram 2500, giving it two diesels; but there is probably a lucrative market for the 6.4 V8 as well. (Another source told us to expect it sometime in the next year or two.)

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