The new V6 would be more powerful and cheaper than the entry-level V8. Uh oh...
Allpar is reporting that FCA’s engine lineup could be in for a big change when the automaker makes its 2017 MY announcement. The biggest rumor of the bunch is that a turbocharged Pentastar V6 making 400 hp is in the works. This would be a direct threat to the 5.7-liter HEMI V8. That engine makes 375 horsepower in the Challenger and 370 horsepower in the Charger. However, Allpar says that while the HEMI V8 was supposed to die in 2018 its popularity saved it. Truck buyers love it and the Charger and Challenger still need an entry-level V8 option.
FCA will be adding direct injection to both its turbo and non-turbo Pentastar V6 which makes the former an even more enticing option should the new engine make its way into the Charger and Challenger. While Dodge won’t be ditching its V8 Allpar does expect the engine to cost more, should the V6 deliver better gas mileage. FCA needs to even out those CAFE fines some way. Other noteworthy news is that the Viper’s V10 engine is expected to be dropped from the lineup entirely which isn’t all that surprising given that there’s no longer a car to put it in. Oh, and the Hellcat could possibly be updated but that is more likely to happen next year. Anyway, let’s talk about that big V6 news some more!
While we agree that Dodge still needs an entry-level V8 to offer Charger and Challenger buyers we have a hard time understanding why anyone would opt for it should a cheaper and more powerful turbo V6 be on offer. Yes, the V8 will always sound better and is the quintessential muscle car engine, but spending less to get more power is the dream! A fair compromise could be a tune for the 5.7-liter HEMI. Currently there’s a huge power gap between the 6.4-liter engine—it makes 485 hp in both the Charger and Challenger—and the 5.7-liter engine. Maybe the engineers at Dodge could even this out somewhat? The 6.4-liter unit still needs to be the bigger boy as it’s in more expensive models.
But the 5.7-liter V8 will need something to keep it relevant to consumers who care more about price and performance and less on the sound their engine makes. Needless to say we’ll be eagerly waiting to hear what, if any, engine changes and additions FCA announces for 2017.