Dodge Is Killing off the Hemi V8: Will a Hurricane Wipe Out the Muscle Car?

It’s a name so synonymous with American muscle car culture that it has its own ad campaign-inspired phrase: “that thing got a Hemi?” That’s right; the characteristic powerplant has motivated Mopar muscle for decades. Unfortunately, Dodge and Stellantis are sending the Hemi V8 engines from their Charger and Challenger to the graveyard. So why is this happening, and will the Hurricane replace it for the next generation of muscle cars? 

Why is Dodge discontinuing the Hemi V8?

Dodge is pulling not only its 5.7L Hemi but the 6.4L Apache and supercharged 6.2L Hellcat V8 from its duo of cars. The loss of the Mopar motors is a direct result of the push for efficient propulsion and alternative energy, like battery electric vehicles (BEVs).

However, the Hemi engines aren’t alone; Dodge and Chrysler are shedding the cars themselves after the 2023 model year. From the Chrysler side, the 300 is heading to the chopping block. It’s doubly depressing, as the 5.7L Hemi option in the 300S will cease to exist.  

Is Dodge really discontinuing the Challenger?

Dodge will discontinue the Challenger after the 2023 model year. As a result, the current chapter of the Hemi V8-powered muscle car will come to a close before 2024. 

Still, Dodge is under the impression that muscle cars don’t have to be V8-powered gas guzzlers. Instead, the automaker wants to produce the “first electric muscle car.” Enter the Daytona SRT EV, a classic Charger-esque EV coupe with the potential to be an exciting path for American performance cars. It even has a controversial “Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust System,” which creates a unique idling and revving soundscape. In fact, Car and Driver called the sound “a 126-decibel cacophony worthy of the SRT badge.”

A gray 2023 Dodge Challenger shows off its Mopar muscle car lines.
Dodge Challenger | Stellantis

Is the Dodge Charger getting discontinued?

Like the LD-platform Chrysler 300 and Hemi V8 engines, Dodge will discontinue the Charger after the 2023 model year. However, before the Charger heads out of production, Dodge will release a limited run of “Last Call” models. 

A Dodge Charger's supercharged Hemi Hellcat Engine.
A Dodge Charger’s Hellcat engine | Stellantis

Three Last Call models will be Chargers, and four will be Challengers. However, the aptly named special editions mark a bittersweet closing of the modern Mopar chapter. The future will have a very different soundtrack. 

What is Dodge going to replace the Hemi with?

One of the high-horsepower powerplants that will remain in the mix is the Hurricane. It’s a twin-turbocharged 3.0L inline six-cylinder engine with over 500 horsepower in the high-output variation. However, the Hurricane won’t likely find its way into a muscle car, as Dodge and Chrysler are discontinuing them. 

A Hemi-replacing Hurricane shows off its twin-turbo platform.
A Hurricane Engine | Stellantis

What the Heck Is a Hemi?

Moreover, Dodge will dabble in fully electric BEVs to replace the naturally aspirated and supercharged V8s from the latest Hemi-powered generation. While that is a bittersweet transition, it does have the potential to open the door to savagely powerful and grippy multi-motor performance car applications. 

What do you think of the changing times at Dodge? Are you excited about electric performance cars, or will you miss the manic whine of a supercharged V8? Tell us in the comments below!