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The trademarked Hemi is built with hemispherical-shaped chambers, which improves cylinder flow. Made popular by Chrysler and more recently Dodge, the Hemi is one of the most powerful engines utilized by street-legal cars and those running the race track circuit. How long has it been around, and is Dodge killing it from the lineup?

Dodge, which uses a V8 Hemi in select cars, logo.
Dodge logo | Getty Images

History of the Hemi V8 engine

The Hemi V8 is not only a powerhouse, but it’s an icon that dates as far back as the early 1950s. Back then, it could only produce 180 hp, but that was a lot for the time. Buick was probably the closest competitor with an engine that generated 140 hp, significantly less for a muscle car. 

In the 1960s, the Hemi V8 put out an even more impressive 425 hp. This one was huge and used in cars built for drag racing, including the Plymouth Fury and Dodge Dart. When these vehicles stopped production in the 70s, the Hemi engine paused for a few decades. 

In 2003, it returned to life again and began a string of improvements. Starting with a 5.7-liter, it evolved to the 6.2-liter that we’re familiar with today, seen in the Dodge Charger and even Ram pickups

Is the Dodge Hemi V8 really dying off?

Dodge performance cars and Hemi V8 engines are a powerful combination, but the Dodge CEO says that the Hemi will be retiring in the near future for electrified models instead. According to Autoblog, since there’s a squeeze for emissions control, most automakers are going down the electrification path nowadays. It shouldn’t surprise us, but it might be sad news for some. 

However, Tom Kiniskis, the CEO of the Dodge brand, reports that it won’t be happening too soon. This current generation is supposed to continue until late 2023. But, the next generation of Dodge cars will likely be a hybrid version of sorts. 

It might even be possible to see the Hemi again for the next generation if Dodge decides to go with a mild-hybrid system, per Stellantis’ design. This would include a 5.7-liter Hemi with eTorque and the revolutionary Fuel Saver Technology. 

What will that mean for the future of Dodge muscle cars?

According to Mopar Insiders, Dodge muscle cars will likely follow in the footsteps of the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4xe, which is a PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) model. It combines two electric motors, a battery pack, and a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Paired with this system is an eight-speed automatic transmission. 

However, Dodge may go with an Inline-six instead of the four-cylinder. Reportedly, it will help improve fuel efficiency, weight, and reliability compared to the Hemi V8 engines. Will a hybrid bring the same amount of power as the Hemi? It appears so since some modifications will occur when the Hemi is phased out. 


Dodge Just Killed the Charger

For example, plans include replacing the alternator with a liquid-cooled motor-generator unit. This promises to aid not only in fuel savings but also in the start and stop operation. It should even generate a small amount of electricity for the battery pack to keep it going. 

The Hemi V8 engine is slowly getting phased out of plans for Dodge, but it won’t be gone overnight. If you want that last grand experience with the powerful V8, you can still get it in the next couple of years, but it will be gone in one of the upcoming generation models.