Chrysler Not Satisfied With Current Hemis, Will Slap on a Supercharger For 2014
Chrysler’s 6.4L Hemi V8, from Dodge
Any car costing less than $100,000 and packing obscene power numbers under the hood is going to be at the top of the heap from a cost-to-horsepower standpoint, and that number doesn’t get much lower than in a muscle car. While modern muscle cars place a heavier emphasis on creature comforts than their forebears, anybody cross shopping a Mustang GT and BMW 3 Series knows exactly what the tradeoff is between performance and comfort. Normally, a car packing 470hp under the hood for $45,000 would be a fine addition to any fan of American muscle, but the Challenger SRT8 392 is lacking somewhat compared to its Ford and Chevrolet brethren. At around $54,000 each, the Shelby GT500 and Camaro ZL1 produce 662 and 580hp, respectively, making them at least 100hp more potent than the large, sedan-based Challenger. While certainly undercutting its competitors in price, the SRT8 takes third place in performance; Mopar fanatics have been forced to look to Hennessey or other tuners to run with the big boys. Tired of that money going elsewhere, Chrysler is developing a supercharged 6.2L Hemi V8 to keep up in stop light drag races.
Chrysler fan site Allpar reports that while originally slated to make its debut in the rumored 2015 SRT Barracuda, the mill will bow early in the LX-derived cars, so expect to see the supercharged V8 in the Charger, Challenger, and 300C SRT8s as early as next year. Expected figures range between 500 and 600hp, but with the six-figure Viper making 640hp, expect the the supercharged V8 to make somewhere in the mid-500s so it won’t infringe upon Chrysler’s high-end sports car.
As corporate fuel economy standards continue to increase, the days of cheap, obscenely powerful cars created by major auto manufacturers are slowly coming to an end. Naturally aspirated V8s are becoming less relevant as turbocharged V6s can easily replicate the horsepower numbers of their less fuel efficient siblings. In the near future, automakers will have to wean the American public off the V8s that have become such an integral piece of our culture, but we should enjoy the ridiculous power of the GT500, Cadillac CTS-V, and Corvette ZR-1 while we still can. They are not destined for our world much longer, so revel in the muscle car as it delivers its (loud, heavy metal) swan song.