Boy, timing is everything! On the very day we're learning about new strict new CAFE and emissions regulations, here comes more rumblings about a bigger HEMI slated to go in the 2010 Ram Heavy Duty series of trucks.
The chain of reports started at www.PickupTrucks.com and spread like crazy because there is still great interest in pickups despite the down economy and housing market. The fact is that big trucks like the new 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 (and other Heavy Duty Dodge Rams) require big power to move big loads.
Back in 2007, Dodge introduced an improved 6.7-liter Cummins diesel engine that meets 2010's tough NOx emissions standards. While the diesel fits the needs of some truckers, to remain competitive, gasoline-powered (and less expensive) versions of the biggest Dodge pickups need more power than the 5.7-liter HEMI can provide, hence the need for something more.
According to the speculation, the bigger HEMI will be based on a bored and stroked version of the 6.1-liter mill found in many high-performance SRT branded vehicles from Chrysler LLC. Displacement will grow to 6.4-liters. Horsepower is expected to be in the 450-500 range. A new automatic would be required, and might be sourced from German specialist ZF. Expect six forward gears to help with fuel economy.
The reality is that plans for this new engine could quickly evaporate for any number of reasons. If the new EPA regulations don't kill it, perhaps Fiat will mandate using a modified Tipo engine. We'll see soon enough, won't we...