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The V8 formerly known as Hemi will continue as the 5.7-liter V8

In the heyday of the muscle car era, the Hemi in the Plymouth and other Mopar muscle cars was one of the most desired power plants on the car market. As the fuel crisis of the 70's heated up, the Hemi eventually died out with the other gas guzzling power plants of the late 60's and very early 70's.

When Chrysler decided to revamp its image and appeal to buyers who wanted more power (and remembered the Mopar Hemi engine from the muscle car era), the automaker brought the Hemi back to the market. Many will recall the commercial featuring the pair of rednecks asking, "That thing got a Hemi?" that helped cars and trucks packing the engine to sell very well for Chrysler.

The problem today with the image of the Hemi is that many consumers and automakers are now starting to focus on green vehicles with better fuel economy and less focus on performance and power. With the entire image of the Hemi built on power and performance, Chrysler is now reportedly retiring the Hemi moniker again.

The Wall Street Journal reports that some dealers have stated that the Hemi name is being retired, but the 5.7-liter V8 engine that bears the name will live on in cars and trucks. Rather than the vehicles wearing the Hemi badge and marketing, the vehicles will simply be sold with a 5.7-liter V8.

The WSJ reports that the retirement of the Hemi name is a reflection of the changes being made under the new management from Fiat with more focus on fuel economy and features making the vehicles using the V8 easier on the wallet and environment. One of the features that will be touted is displacement reduction that can turn off cylinders when not needed to improve fuel economy. 

Unlike Chrysler, Ford is reviving its famous performance name “5.0” for its new 2011 Mustang. The new Mustang GT gets a potent 5.0-liter V8 engine with 412 hp and very impressive fuel economy offering power and green features in one package while the new V6 packs in V8 levels of performance while sipping fuel.

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RE: Retire the name?
By djc208 on 7/9/2010 7:11:05 AM , Rating: 3
They're not a true hemispherical chamber but they are based on the same design in that the valves are located opposite each other vice adjacent as in a normal push-rod style V8. This is what makes the design so good, valves are unshrowded for better flow, air flow paths in and out of the valve are better, and the spark plug moves to a more central location.

These benefits also apply to a multi-valve "pent-roof" style head, but with more moving parts and complexity than the HEMI.

The primary reason Chrysler moved away from the HEMI in the 50's was that it was more complex to manufacture and maintain than a conventional wedge-type head.

Ironically they went back to this design for the new HEMI because it was cheaper than an OHC type design with multiple valves, but offered similar power levels. It also allowed them to more easily add the mulit-displacement system, all in a smaller package than an overhead cam engine.

The Hemispherical combustion chamber is still one of the best designs for producing power. Just look at every top-fuel dragster on the track. They all run special racing engines with hemispherical heads.

Problem is combustion efficiency isn't the best, I read it was hard to get the new HEMI to pass emissions, and is probably one reason it has two spark plugs per cylinder, but that's not an issue a drag-racer is concerned about.

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