• Sep 13, 2006

Despite the pop culture status of the HEMI, Chrysler now has to cut production on the beefy V8 engines by 20 percent. The lagging sales have been prompted by high gas prices and consumer interest in more fuel efficient vehicles, which have hurt sales of light trucks and SUVs. For Dodge, the numbers tell the story, with a 41.1 percent drop in sales of the Durango, an 11.7 percent dip in Ram pickup sales, and a drop of 12.9 percent overall in light truck and SUV sales compared to this time in 2005.

The HEMI engine hasn't always been a problem child for Chrysler, quite the opposite, as its reintroduction in 2001 sent Ram pickup sales up to a record 450,000 units sold. It's also something of a "halo" engine, because while not everyone is opting to purchase vehicles with the HEMI, it gives the Chrysler Group's light trucks and SUVs a tougher and more desirable image.

[Source: Detroit News]



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  • 13 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      The 5.7L hemi provides fantastic fuel mileage with the MDS. 300C/charger 17city, 25 highway. What I do not understand is why not expand on the success? Why didn't they replace the 4.7L with a motor design with MDS and a smaller V-8 4.0L with MDS? Both FFV/E-85 capable. Why don't they make MDS part of the next gen V-6 motors? Would a pt cruiser be better off with a narrow 60deg. V-6 3.3L hemi MDS motor over the 2.4L with veriable valves? Providing more torque when nessessary and better fuel mileage like a 1.7L when the power isn't needed. If chrysler made a hemi V-6 MDS 2.6L for hybrid use for sebring/ptcruiser/compass size vehicle. The motor at an idle would be a 3cyl 1.3L to charge the batteries. But when power is needed both gas motor and electric motor will provide power. Or can somehow the I-4 be made to be MDS? Currently only pushrod motors are MDS. Variable valve motors with OHC can not or have not. Unless they float the valves open like honda hybrid.
      • 8 Years Ago
      A short-lived American blowout as usual. Good riddens.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Silly people! The Hemi is just as fuel efficient as the high output rice burner 4 cylinder engines. Compare MPG for the Civic Si or the WRX to the milage for a Hemi Magnum. The mileage is so close it is laughable. Put a hemi in a Civic and you'd probably get better gas mileage than the high-strung 4 banger Honda sticks in it, and it would be bullet proof for 250,000 miles.
      • 8 Years Ago
      hate to confuse the issue with facts here.

      I have a 2006 Dodge 1500 pickup with the Hemi engine; it averages between 18-20 miles per gallon, with several tanks over 21 miles per gallon.

      by the way, a large percentage of these engines are in Chrysler 300s and Magnums, and the highway MPG is 26, the same as a Honda CRV.

      obviously, ingorance shines supreme with the "rednecks and pickup trucks" comments. I drive about 150,000 per year, always towing a flatbed car hauler that weighs over 5,000 pounds. the Hemi (this truck replaces a 2003 Dodge V-10) gets excellent fuel ecomony, and has plenty of power to do the job.

      for those who have never done any towing, the object here is to have an engne big enough to do the job. a small engine would be a poor choice, as it is working to death, and will return economy in the 6-8 MPG range when towing.

      you will now see Hemi production returning to normal as gasoline prices subside, and sales of little teeny cars drop like a rock.

      not my opinion here; just history repeating itself. I've lived thru every gas crisis since the first one in 1973, and the same thing is happening again.

      Mike
      • 8 Years Ago
      My favorite time is with the two people i know that bought a car with this engine in it, while they brag that there car "got's a hemi", I ask them just what it is.

      Counting them and the countless other people that talk about "this thing got's a hemi", i have identified no more than three of them that know what "a hemi" is.

      Hurray for marketing.
      Dave C
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Doens't chrysler 'recommend' 5w-20 oil and doesn't use platinum spark plugs in the 5.7? come on."

      There are sixteen Spark plugs in both the 5.7L and 6.1L engines. I imagine the Copper cores were put in to keep the Bean Counters happy.

      5w20 Oil is required on the 5.7L for the smooth operation on the MDS collapsable lifters. The non MDS 6.1L uses 0w40.

      I'm quite happy with my 5.7L Charger. 19 mpg combined and plenty of Oomff. The engine does not have "Hemispherical combustion chambers" but the Valves are in the right place in the head and it makes merging onto the highway a blast.
      DriftPunch
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Hemi" has always been a marketing thing... The fabled 426 Hemi got its reputation not only because of the hemispherical combustion chambers, but mainly because it was a completely beefed up engine in the first place (all components). Kind of funy how the combustion chamber seems to get all the credit, when everyone is ignoring the two giant 4 barrel carbs sitting on top. Marketing is a wonderful thing... (Don't all Hondas have a hemispherical chamber?)

      These comments are weak. At least the enviros have a decent reason for their grief. It's always comical when a WRX (as an example) enthusiast constantly harps on how useless trucks are, totally ignoring that his car is purpose built for violating every traffic law available (ergo: just as useless in the greater scheme of things). Where is fun defined as useful?
      • 8 Years Ago
      This is wonderful news. And it keeps coming...each and every day yet another flush down the toilet.

      I feel like a kid at Disneyland!!

      I love these stories of desperation, reduction, crack-whores on dope running the US Auto Industry.

      Brilliant!

      • 8 Years Ago
      Let's see 340 horsepower returning 25mpg or better on the highway? Sounds like pretty good engineering to me.

      Leon and Jones sound like a couple of douche bags!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Good to hear. The Hemi is a wonderful V8 but in today's uncertain times and high gasoline prices, it just doesn't make sense anymore.

      -Stoneman

      http://www.stonemanautoreview.com
      • 8 Years Ago
      Kinda sad with all the commercial and advertising this engine didn't make it big.
      • 8 Years Ago
      rednecks, pickup trucks, marrying your cousin. good riddance i say. bring me a short stroke v8 with pneumatic actuated valves, and then we'll talk.
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