Let’s hope it’s merely a generational change

Rumor has it Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is killing off the venerable and well-respected 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 sometime after the 2018 model year. The word comes from Allpar, a news source dedicated to Mopar and FCA news with close ties and inside sources inside the automaker. Allpar says several of its sources agree the 5.7-liter Hemi is slated to leave production next year.

As a reminder, the 5.7-liter Hemi is used in everything from the Dodge Challenger and Charger, and the Chrysler 300 to larger vehicles like the Ram 1500, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Dodge Durango. The engine relies on tried-and-true technology like a cam-in-block design with overhead valves with variable timing. It even has cylinder deactivation for fuel savings.

The rumor further details FCA’s ramp in Hemi production to create a stockpile before assembly is forever closed. But why would FCA discontinue one of its most popular and widely uses engines?

The first and most obvious answer would be the introduction of a new V-8. This new engine could have far more modern technology like dual overhead cams, forced induction, a variable pressure oil pump, direct fuel injection and a smaller displacement. FCA might even include its MultiAir valvetrain technology for more control of the intake valves.

Though a turbocharger and dual overhead cams would require more room under the hood, both would help improve efficiency while giving the engine more power. The current 5.7-liter is rated at 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque in the Ram 1500 pickup. Other Hemi-powered vehicles have tunes tailored to their needs.

Currently Ford holds top honors for technological wizardry with its second-generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6. It pumps out an impressive 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque thanks to a twin-turbocharger setup, yet still, achieves nearly 26 mpg on the highway. Ram would be smart to benchmark the EcoBoost.

The second theory, and one far less attractive to V-8 fans, would be the introduction of an EcoBoost-like turbocharged V-6. Ford has had major success with the EcoBoost and FCA might be following that lead. However, it’s hard to imagine FCA – a company devoted to displacement and horsepower – dumping the V-8 for something less iconic.

It’s worth noting the rumors also say the 6.4-liter and supercharged 6.2-liter Hellcat V-8 will continue production.

Either way, FCA should reveal its plans within the next year or so. The Ram pickups are scheduled for a full generational change for the 2019 model year, so it’s highly likely we’ll see any powertrain updates coordinate with a mid-2018 launch.

Continue reading for more information.

Why it Matters

Chrysler, Ram, and Dodge owe much of their success to the Hemi V-8. From those silly commercials with the redneck guys saying, “That thing got a Hemi in it?” to the modern 392 Hemi and 6.2-liter supercharged Hellcat engines. Abandoning these would be a major paradigm shift for Dodge and Ram’s muscular theme.

Our bet is on a new generation of V-8, be it Hemi-branded, or not, a powerful V-8 will surely power future Dodge and Ram products for years to come.

What do you think? Would ending production of the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 without a proper replacement hurt FCA? Let us know in the comments below.

Hat tip to Truck Trend.

Source: Allpar

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