Chrysler is reportedly working on an ultra-high-performance supercharged variant of the Hemi V-8, dubbed the Hellcat by insiders. The 6.2-liter supercharged engine will reportedly be used in the next-generation Dodge Challenger and could go into other vehicles that currently use the 6.4-liter naturally aspirated Hemi engine. It's unknown whether this engine will be sold in addition to, or replace the 6.4 Hemi.

The engine will finally give Chrysler a legitimate powertrain rival to the Camaro ZL1's 580-hp LSA supercharged 6.2-liter V-8, and Ford's massively powerful 662-hp, 5.8-liter DOHC V-8 in the Shelby GT 500. A Chrysler engineer described the engine as a "last hurrah" to Automotive News before the next step of Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards kick in.

The Hellcat could potentially find its way under the hood of the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, the Chrysler 300 SRT, and the Dodge Charger SRT sedan. A revival of the Barracuda musclecar from the 1960s and '70s has been rumored for several years, and such an aggressive, high-performance powerplant seems like a natural fit. The engine could also be utilized in a high-performance variant of the Ram pickup, similar to the Ram SRT-10 model built from 2004-2006, powered by the Viper's 8.3-liter V-10 engine.

The engine is expected to go into production some time in 2014, for use in 2015 model-year vehicles.

Source: Automotive News (subscription required)