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Future of the 5.7 Hemi

by David Zatz on

Will the 5.7 liter Hemi V8 continue?

The company once known as Chrysler has long been working on an “Apache” V8 upgrade, but the odds of it appearing are growing longer; while the forced-induction V6 (most likely turbocharged) is coming closer and closer to fruition.

Hemi 50th anniversary

The turbo Pentastar V6 engines will almost certainly be able to out-power the Hemi, with a good wide torque curve and better fuel economy.  They may cost more to make, but once they are in production, the 5.7 may well be dropped to simplify parts counts and production.

There are already two 392 cubic inch engines, one for trucks and one for cars. Allpar reader “HotCarNut” noticed that the gas mileage difference between the 5.7 and 392 V8s, in the Dodge Charger, is just one mile per gallon, city; their highway figures are the same.

Hemi engine with ZF HP8 8-speed transmission

Swapping a standard 392 into the Charger, 300, Challenger, Ram, and other cars would have many costs — brakes, shocks, struts, exhaust, cooling, and related systems would all cost more, the added weight would take a toll on handling, and that one mile per gallon would add up quickly in the hot-sellings Rams, Grand Cherokees, and such, further dropping the company’s fuel economy numbers.

In the long run, we expect the turbo V6 to replace the 5.7 Hemi in cars around calendar-year 2018;  what will happen in trucks remains to be seen. The truck 392 could conceivably be retuned with an economy tune, and become the sole V8 for the Ram line.

Under the hood of the 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8, the new 6.4-liter

As for the upgraded version of the Hemi, rumored for years and years now, it may well have been put onto the back burner — a good project, but with too few people and too little capital, one that isn’t as important as pushing through blown fours and sixes.

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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