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HellCat: next-generation Hemi?

by David Zatz on

Long-standing Allpar source “Danno” wrote that the supercharged “HellCat” 6.2 liter V8 Hemi engine is much more different from existing Hemi V8s than many would have thought. The new engine is set to produce far more power than the 6.4 liter — how much more, is a matter for conjecture. Until now, though, we had assumed that it was essentially a modified 6.4, adapted to work with a supercharger and strengthened as needed for the increased power.

Now, it seems that the all-aluminum engine will share little with the existing Hemi family, using different motor mounts, different heads, and very few interchangeable parts.

Two possibilities are brought up by this revelation. First, the conservative guess, is that the changes are needed to maximize power and minimize weight, and the company is willing to do whatever it takes to get the “top dog” engine in the class. This would bring SRT closer to its target of competing against the best the world can offer in production cars, period, and justify setting the brand off on its own.

One can also speculate that what we will see when HellCat is released (sometime in 2014, we believe) is the first of a  next-generation Hemi series. Using efficiency upgrades, the new series of Hemis could be smaller and more robust, yet still produce similar power. That would provide Chrysler with a smaller, lighter V8; the current 5.7 liters are quite large in comparison to GM and Ford’s smallest eights.

Whether HellCat is the first Generation IV Hemi engine is still a matter for debate; it has been a few years, though, since the last Hemi redesign, and in the highly competitive pickup market, a strong engine is a key differentiator. It doesn’t hurt to have a small, powerful V8 in cars, either.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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