Report: New Hemi 6.4-Liter V8 Only for SRT Models, Not for Ram

Report: New Hemi 6.4-Liter V8 Only for SRT Models, Not for Ram

Originally scheduled for use in the SRT and Ram Heavy Duty pickups, a newly developed 6.4-liter V8 gasoline engine is now only headed for high-performance car duty. According to Joe Veltri, Chrysler’s VP of product development, the new engine is designed for high performance and not the sort of physical labor that a truck requires. While no specifics have been provided on the engine, it is believed that the 6.4-liter Hemi (which is set to replace the 6.1-liter Hemi) will get Fiat’s Multiair variable valve timing technology as well as cylinder deactivation to significantly improve fuel economy.

Instead, Chrysler appears to be looking at ways to improve the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 currently available to give it added capability. While Veltri sees a need for continued availability of a gasoline engine in the HD trucks, Chrysler is also currently in talks with Cummins to produce a smaller diesel engine that could be used in both the standard Ram 1500 models and as an alternative base engine in the heavy duty trucks.

Being that Chrysler is now owned by Fiat and the importance European automakers place on diesel technology, we expect to see more diesels pop up in the Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep range in the future. A while it’s still not likely that diesel cars will catch on in North America, more diesel engines on the truck side could help Chrysler to become a more competitive player with the other big-two.


  • Portitas

    mistake. i don’t think the euros understand how goofy US buyers get about comparing those manly measurables. A lot of people are gonna buy the truck with the most power, whether it makes sense or not. Since the HEMI has so much tuning headroom, Ram should just keep offering the trucks with the most power – it’ll be easier and cheaper for Ram to do this than the other truck makers and people will buy ’em for that reason alone.

  • jzEllis

    what are you talking about? the “Hemi” engines are behind GM (big time) and Ford when it comes to aftermarket support. you can’t even get aftermarket heads for the new Hemi engines. except for bolting on a supercharger there’s not really much else to do as far a really big pwr gains on the cheap. besides, a high hp, performance motor would self destruct under towing, and HD use. so Chrysler did right on this move. also the average truck weigh 5500-6000+lbs these days. no matter what engine u stuff between the fenders it would hardly be considered sporty.

  • Portitas

    Although I presume you already know this, ‘hemi’ refers to ‘hemisherical’ – which in turn refers to the shape of the head chamber. The hemispherical shape is superior to other (typically wedge) shapes because: 1) it provides the maximum surface area for ports without diminishing transfer of energy to the piston top and 2) the gas intake and exhaust are the straightest possible – thereby improving gas flow in and out of the combustion chamber. The drawback to the hemi shape is that it is more difficult and expensive to machine than a wedge shape and the mechanisms for opening and closing valves can be more complex and, again, more expensive.

    When I talk about ‘headroom,’ I’m refering to FACTORY increases in power by simply altering the intake, valve timing and/or compression profile of an engine. I’m not talking about Joe Dip-sh*t going to Kragen and buying something (cheaply or otherwise) to bolt on to his motor. In this respect, with all other things being equal (passive air intake, similar displacement) a hemi configuration is superior to all others for making power. If you don’t believe me, take a look at Mopar crate motors and take note of the fact that hemis were banned from NASCAR in the 70’s because no one could compete with Chrysler (Ford tried – remember the Boss 429?)

    An engine maker can increase the advertisable ‘MAXIMUM HORSEPOWER’ by: 1) narrowing the torque band of the motor and 2) increasing the RPM at which the motor produces its maximum power (more power is generally produced at higher RPM’s). A MAX HORSEPOWER number may look good on a TV ad, but the best motors have wide torque curves and produce the most power at RPMs where the motor most often is used (for most people, lower). In this regard, the hemi really shines because Dodge/Chrysler/Ram (Mopar) can make a hemi engine with a broad torque curve with high power at usable RPM’s that will nonetheless porduce MAX HORSEPOWER numbers comparable to the competition – which brings us back to ‘headroom.’ Because of the superior performance characteristics of the hemi configuration, Mopar has more room to narrow torque curves and increase RPM’s to produce an advertised MAX HORSEPOWER increase than the other domestic manufacturers do with their wedge head motors.

  • bighemitex


    i’m sure you are used to being wrong so this won’t hurt much. you’re wrong about the hemi platform being behind in aftermarket, their are aftermarket heads available from at least 4 people I can think of off the top of my head, there are also many people making cams for the hemi as well. if something can be modified on a newer hemi it has been and it is available for purchase by the public usually. it’s no different from any other platform now. people are even stroking 5.7s and 6.1s to incredible displacements. the hemi crowd even has custom tuning options available. now you know.

  • Kraigol

    I wanted to point out something here about the article. The writer makes one false statement. Chrysler is not owned by Fiat. It is partnered with Fiat. Fiat holds a 20% interest in Chrysler. Far from ownership. Now by the same token, Sergio Marchionne, the President and CEO of Fiat has taken over the top spot and is making giant leaps and bounds in making Chrysler competitive worldwide. Again this is a partnership. The US government will not allow a foreign company to buy or absorb one of the big 3. That’s exactly why the Daimler experience didn’t work. They tried to absorb chrysler altogether.

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