By Patrick Rall
Back in January we talked about the “Hellcat” 6.2L Hemi that is expected to serve as engine of choice in the next generation of the 8-cylinder powered Street and Racing Technology vehicles beginning with the new Challenger in 2014. Rumors originally indicated that the Hellcat Hemi would pack roughly 600 horsepower and 550lb-ft of torque but the folks at Allpar are reporting a new range of power for the newest modern Hemi V8.
While the early estimated figure of 600 horsepower is still far from out of the question, an unnamed source within Chrysler told Allpar that the Hellcat Hemi would offer somewhere in the area of 550 to 640 horsepower. When we first heard about the Hellcat offering 600 horsepower, I was surprised to see that the non-Viper SRT models would be treading so closely to the Viper. But the suggestion that the 6.2L V8 could make as much power as the Viper’s V10 brings about some interesting new possibilities.
We should first point out that the range of 550-640 horsepower could only have been thrown into the rumormill to give us all something to talk about while adding to the level of enthusiasm around the new engine. The initial rumor of 600 horsepower could be right on the mark – or perhaps the company has more than one variation of the Hellcat headed to production. The 2014 Challenger SRT8 could pack 550 horsepower and be substantially more powerful than the current 6.4L-powered Challenger SRT8 while still leaving plenty of room between itself and the 2013 SRT Viper. The next gen Challenger could instead offer the 600 horsepower while still not encroaching on the Viper…but what about 640 horsepower?
But what if the Hellcat packing 640 horsepower is not intended for the Challenger but instead – the rumored SRT Cuda? There have long been rumors that SRT would introduce a second vehicle that would be based at least somewhat on the Dodge Challenger. Perhaps the Cuda will meet production and, like the SRT Viper, the SRT Cuda will pack 640 horsepower but from a supercharged V8 rather than a V10. While the power output would be identical, the 2-passenger Viper and 4-passenger Cuda would be marketed to very different crowds so in-house competition wouldn’t be a big concern.
With the next generation Dodge Challenger SRT8 expected to debut at the 2014 New York Auto Show, we could be waiting quite some time before we get any official information on the new 6.2L Hellcat Hemi. However, many expect that the non-SRT Challenger will debut ahead of the SRT models; perhaps we won’t have to wait until next year’s Big Apple show to learn more about the future of the mighty Mopar muscle cars.