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Diving into new Mopar V8s

by David Zatz on

Rumors of a new Mopar V8 engine have been flying around for a while. This mysterious engine, to replace the entire Hemi series, is largely an unknown; but we’ve collected some rumors and speculation. None of this has been verified.

First, our industry experts say that, while they might try to keep the efficient Hemi crossflow design, hemispherical heads are unlikely at best because of how hard it is to control regulated pollutants.

Second, word is that any new V8 would be smaller than the giant 392 cubic inch SRT motors. The company is striving for smaller engine bays, lower weight, and better handling; six-liter V8s don’t fit into that equation.

FCA executives have hinted or said that V8s will be premium options; an early presentation made it clear that they were moving towards “two fewer cylinders and a turbo” across the board, so V6 buyers would get a four-cylinder turbo, V8 buyers would get a six-cylinder turbo, etc. This is a general industry trend; four-cylinder turbos are producing over 300 horsepower with smooth torque curves, meeting or beating naturally aspirated V6 engines, with lower weight and less space needed.

This chart was part of an early Chrysler-and-Fiat investor presentation

According to rumor, the company will try to make the Hemi in just one size, rather than the current three (5.7, 6.2, 6.4). The current Hemi design also has years of life in it, with revisions still being rumored.

Making the V8 more of a premium engine could help pay for “exotic” materials and features that would reduce their weight and size, without cutting power from current engines.   That still leaves the question of whether there would be a cheaper version for Ram pickups, and whether the supercharged V8 would end with the Hellcat. Electric superchargers would probably be explored.

We do expect stop-start to be standard, via belt-starter generators, if there is a new V8 family.

As for the creation of this beast, we suspect any future FCA V8 would be created by a team of former-Chrysler, former-Fiat, and Ferrari people, with very different versions for Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep/Ram and Maserati/Alfa Romeo.

Have you heard anything? Let us know!

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