Chrysler is certainly wrenching on a new 6.4-liter "Hemi" V-8, but contrary to early reports, the engine will most likely not make it into the engine compartment of a Ram pickup.
When Chrysler first discussed the engine during the rollout of its five-year plan, executives -- including Fred Diaz, CEO of the Ram brand, indicated the engine would eventually be applied to the 2500 and 3500 lines. According to Pickuptrucks.com, that sentiment has shifted considerably, as the engine would require quite a transformation to make it suitable for heavy-duty work.
"I'd love to have a 6.4-liter engine for trucks, but it's designed for performance, not low-end torque" said Joe Veltri, vice-president of product planning at Chrysler. "It's a struggle to recrank that engine to make it a truck engine."
Does that mean there isn't another gas option in Ram's future? Not at all -- in fact, Veltri says the automaker is seeing consumers slowly move away from diesel engines based upon cost alone. A light-duty diesel -- like the V-8 reportedly under development with Cummins -- may provide another option, but a larger-displacement gas motor is a priority.
Currently, the largest gas engine Chrysler offers for its trucks is the 5.7-liter V-8, rated at 383 hp and 403 lb-ft of torque. Veltri claimed this engine could be cheaply modified to produce more power. We're anxiously awaiting to see what Chrysler's next move is.