Why Doesn’t Stellantis Offer A HEMI® PHEV Engine?

PHEV HEMI® Engine, Would Offer Electric Benefits While Still Preserving V8...

In the fast-paced world of automotive innovation, few engines hold the legendary status of the HEMI® V8. Stellantis has a rich history of producing high-performance vehicles powered by these iconic engines. Recently, our article “Why Can’t Stellantis Build A Next-Gen HEMI® Engine?” generated a flurry of responses, with many enthusiasts and experts pondering a compelling question: Why not combine the power of a next-gen HEMI® V8 engine with plug-in hybrid (PHEV) technology? 

2025 Ram 1500 REV Tungsten 4×4. (Ram).

The HEMI V8 engine has long been synonymous with raw power and uncompromising performance. By infusing it with PHEV technology, Stellantis can create a marvel of engineering that marries tradition with innovation, setting a new standard for high-performance vehicles.

Integrating PHEV technology with the next-gen HEMI® V8 engine could be a game-changer. This hybrid setup can offer enhanced torque and horsepower by providing an electric boost and unprecedented performance levels. This combination would elevate the driving experience and exemplify Stellantis’ commitment to cutting-edge engineering.

Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Banshee eStage 2 Concept.

One of the key concerns with electric vehicles (EVs) is range anxiety. PHEVs, on the other hand, provide a seamless transition between electric and gasoline power. This means enthusiasts can enjoy electrified driving without worrying about running out of charge, making the technology more accessible and practical for a wider audience.

While the EV charging infrastructure is rapidly growing in urban areas, rural regions and off-road destinations still face limitations. The PHEV’s ability to rely on gasoline when charging stations are scarce makes it a versatile choice, allowing drivers to explore without restrictions.

2024 Dodge Hornet R/T PHEV Blacktop eAWD. 

Refueling a PHEV with a next-gen HEMI® V8 engine is as quick and hassle-free as filling up a traditional gasoline-powered vehicle. This familiarity is a boon for fans of Stellantis’ brands, providing a seamless transition into the world of hybrid power.

PHEVs tend to be more affordable than their all-electric counterparts, aligning perfectly with Stellantis’ commitment to providing value to their customers. This means more enthusiasts can experience the thrill of next-gen HEMI® power without breaking the bank.

The Direct Connection HELLEPHANT HEMI C170 Crate Engine. 

While PHEVs may not be completely emissions-free, they represent a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional gasoline vehicles. Moreover, using smaller battery packs in PHEVs mitigates some environmental impacts associated with battery production, providing a balanced approach to sustainability.

Recently, GM has used this innovative approach with the new Corvette E-Ray, a car that showcases a bold step towards electrification in high-performance sports cars. GM has retained the beloved V8 engine by incorporating a hybrid powertrain while seamlessly integrating electric technology. The E-Ray utilizes a sophisticated PHEV system, providing the Corvette with a substantial electric-only driving range. So if GM can do this, why can’t Stellantis?

2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray. 

It is our hope that Stellantis remains attuned to the voices of its customer base and remains flexible in adapting its objectives to align with their desires. Failure to do so could potentially result in losing core customers to rival American automakers actively embracing electrification while preserving the traditional V8.

Robert S. Miller

Robert S. Miller is a diehard Mopar enthusiast who lives and breathes all that is Mopar. The Michigander is not only the Editor for MoparInsiders.com, 5thGenRams.com, and HDRams.com but an automotive photographer. He is an avid fan of offshore powerboat racing, which he travels the country to take part in.

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I think a better question to pose is why doesn't Stellantis offer a hybrid V8, not specifically a "Hemi" I've commented in other places that a modern DOHC 5.2L (and/or 5.9L DOHC) V8 forced induction (twin turbo) V8 powertrain could potentially be a decent idea. Not saying that it would happen but it wouldn't be the worst idea in the world for a couple of reasons. For the more emotional reason, the 318ci (5.2L) V8 was one of the engines that really survived during the original EPA vs Muscle car war of the 1970's when we went through pretty much the exact same thing we're going through right now, along with the Slant-6 225ci (3.7L) engine. There was also a 360ci (5.9L) V8 that slipped through the emissions cracks in a Dodge pickup known as the Li'l Red Express that was kind of a Hero engine of it's time. While it would be cool to see a 5.2L V8 and a 5.9L V8 slide in and save the V8's day, the real question is where (and how) would this engine fit in the lineup with the new powertrains coming out? The brand already has a 375hp 2.0L Hybrid, a 420hp 3.0L SO, a 510-550hp 3.0L HO in the lineup so you already have the 5.7L Hemi, 6.1L Hemi and 6.4L Hemi replaced right there. As far as it's American competition, that already beats out anything with a 3.5L HO in Ford's lineup, any of the production 5-Liter vehicles (Mustang GT, Mustang Dark Horse and F150 pickup) and all of the smaller Ecoboost powertrains and outpowers the naturally aspirated 6.2L GM V8 small blocks from the Corvette to the pickup trucks. The only real competition a 318ci V8 would have from Stellantis would be the now-extinct Shelby GT500 mustang and the Ford F150 Raptor R. While that business model would seem to make a bit of sense as it is already a business model that is proven to be working by the blue oval brand, would the price be accessable to most people? The answer to that would be a resounding no. It would be a high-price, low production powertrain similar to a redeye, however with that kind of setup, the power levels could be very similar and with a twin turbo hybrid setup, it would have very low emissions readings coming out of the tailpipes.

On the other end of that equation, you have the upcoming full battery electric powertrains coming into play. Just to guestimate the power of a hybrid twin turbo 5.2L V8 at even the same 760hp that the Ford GT500's 5.2L puts out with more torque because it's a hybrid. That would put it above the Charger EV Daytona 440 Stage-2's 500Kw or 670hp and seeing that we don't know what the Banshee will be putting out (although a safe bet would be somewhere in the vicinity of 884hp since each of the STLA Large EDMs puts out a max of about 442hp and if a tri-motor setup gets a green light, we could see a "1320" package putting down an estimated potential of about 1,326hp on an 800V system which would put even the Lucid Air Sapphire in it's rear view mirror.

While it would be cool and very nostalgic to see this happen and it is mostly a proven business model by the competition, As much as I think alot of us would love to see Stellantis do something like this and have a complete "balance of power" so to speak, the chances are that this is very unlikely for the brand. It's definitely something that could easily work, especially if the brands were cleaned up and repurposed properly with just Dodge and Jeep. But again the likelihood of this happening isn't very high. But, as I've said before, we'll just have to wait and see what happens. Hopefully our beloved brand will pull through and produce a next generation of vehicles that will be profitable and enjoyable and affordable, along with being customizable on all trim levels so that everyone at any level of Dodge ownership can truly have something unique and awesome. Here's hoping!

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FCA built more Hemi PHEV Ram pickup trucks for the DOE study last decade, than Chrysler Corp did with the Turbine cars in the 1960's. I'm sure the results of the study are still on the internet somewhere, but now pure battery electric is the only power train which fits the only allowed narrative. It is interesting that following the Ram PHEV program, FCA went with ZF for transmissions (the Ram PHEV pickups used a GM supplied transmission.) and also started designing a new inline six cylinder engine.

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The problem is that 5.7 hemi has fatal flaw in it's oiling system causing lifter failure. Stellantis would have to redesign the existing block and new tooling. The costs would be hard to swallow and possibly open them up to lawsuit to 5.7L owners.

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It probably has to do with the government forcing the hand of the automakers, but I totally agree with the article. Or Stellantis management is buying into the Elon Musk cult. But whatever it is, we deserve a low stress V8, augmented and made better with some electrification, especially if they can find a way of doing it in a simple and cost-effective way. Even if they downsize the HEMIs a bit, it would still be powerful for most non-SRT applications. I'd like to see a simple in-transmission hybrid with one efficient HVAC system, one method for starting the engine, and a clean engine bay for once. Use electrification to make it better, smoother and more efficient, and not needlessly complicating everything. Maybe this is a glorified start/stop feature that throws away the belt-driven eTorque system. First and second gear could be heavily boosted by the electric motor while smoothly starting the engine again. If you could get lighter batteries, and an efficient and simple HVAC system it would help.

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The BSG isn't going anywhere. Even with the ZF based hybrid systems, the BSG allows smooth, coordinated starts on the fly. Supposedly, the next generation ZF transmissions will offer mild hybrid system with an electric motor in the transmission. There can't be a better HVAC system without going to a 48V or a high voltage hybrid. Battery electric vehicles are also high voltage.

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