By Patrick Rall
For ages now, some Mopar lovers have suggested that the Chrysler Group should produce a Dodge Viper with a Hemi V8 rather than the familiar V10, but the biggest factor preventing that was the lack of available, reliable and street friendly power. Over the past few years, the most powerful Hemi from Chrysler was the 6.4L SRT mill with 470 horsepower and 470lb-ft of torque, which fell well short of the 600+ horsepower offered by the various Viper V10 engines from the past two generations. However, with the introduction of the Hellcat Hemi with more than 600 horsepower, the Chrysler Group now has a Hemi V8 with enough power to motivate the Viper and that brings us to our Question of the Week.
Should Chrysler consider the incredible new Hemi instead of the V10? Chrysler has been able to gradually increase the power of the V10 over the years to keep it atop the American performance car segment, but with the new supercharged V8 in the 2015 Corvette Z06, the Viper will need an injection of power to beat the new Vette. They could likely squeeze a bit more power out of the current V10 engine platform, but at some point they will have to worry about engine emissions and fuel economy to some extent. The new Hellcat V8 could offer bigger power in a smaller, supercharged engine but that engine would offer the same wow factor or high level of exclusivity as the V10.