Unfortunately, probably no new 426 hemi coming for street use and here’s why electricity wikipedia simple english


There is a rumor going around the internet that insists that FCA is working on a new, naturally-aspirated 426 Hemi V8. Some rumors insist that this engine will be offered in the Ram trucks, others point to the Challenger, but I don’t think that any of these reports are going to prove to be true – and it isn’t just because of emission regulations.

Let me start by saying that none of my insiders are currently aware of a project to develop a naturally aspirated, 426 cubic inch Hemi V8 for street use. Mind you, these insiders provided me with information on many vehicles including the Hellcat cars and the Demon in advance, yet they don’t have any info on a new 426 street engine. Because of that, I truly do not believe that we will see a return of the big-cube Hemi to the FCA production vehicle lineup, but insiders aside, there are a few reasons why I don’t think that we are likely to see a new 426 Hemi in the Ram 1500 or Challenger.

To get an idea of what kind of power levels we can expect from a modern 426 Hemi, let’s look at the biggest engine offered by Ma Mopar, the biggest modern Hemi and a comparable engine from General Motors. Of course, I am talking about the 8.4-liter Viper V10, the 392 SRT Hemi and the 7.0-liter LS7 engine from the C6 Chevrolet Corvette Z06.

When the Viper left production last year, it was powered by a naturally aspirated 8.4-liter (512 cubic inch) V10 that delivered 645 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque. That was the most powerful NA engine ever offered by a Chrysler Group brand while the most powerful modern Hemi is the 6.4-liter, 392 cubic inch SRT engine that produces 485 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque.

Of course, the rumored new 426 Hemi could feature new technology to make it more efficient than those engines, but it seems highly unlikely that the SRT team could develop a 7.0-liter, naturally aspirated Hemi to make more power than the 512-cubic inch Viper engine. Figure that with the 426 being about 9% larger than the 392, it is reasonable to expect that the company could get a similar engine volume-to-power ratio. The 392 makes about 1.24 horsepower per cubic inch, which would lead to a 426 engine with roughly 528 horsepower. Even if FCA could get the 426 engine to deliver 20% more power than the 392, it would only be making around 582 horsepower.

10 years ago, if someone told me that the SRT engine masterminds were working on a naturally aspirated 426 Hemi with 606 horsepower, I would have told you that it would be an awesome option for those looking to drive a big cube, big power Mopar muscle car. However, with the Hellcat cars delivering 707 horsepower and the Demon packing 840 horsepower, this naturally aspirated engine would fall well short of either of those two smaller supercharged V8s.

Imagine that the rumored 426 Hemi has 610 horsepower and 570 lb-ft of torque. It would not appeal to those prospective buyers looking for the most power, as the Hellcat engine offers considerably more and there are far more credible rumors that another Hellcat is on the way with more than 707 horsepower. The 426 Hemi would be designed for the buyer who is most concerned with nostalgia, wanting to drive a “modern 426 Hemi Challenger” than a Hellcat Challenger.

Now, some of you might be thinking that you would buy a 2020 Dodge Challenger SRT 426 if the price was right, but the odds are overwhelming that this engine would cost more than the Hellcat models by the time that you got out of the dealership.

Many people assume that CAFÉ laws are the biggest obstacle preventing a modern naturally aspirated 426 Hemi and while they do play a small part, the 426 Hemi would be low enough volume that it wouldn’t have any real impact on Dodge’s CAFÉ scores. It would, however, have to meet emission regulations in all 50 states, including those 11 states that share California’s strict emission laws.

Some people assume that the 426 cubic inch Hemi from the Challenger Drag Pak program could be adapted to function as a street engine, but we have to keep in mind that the big Hemi in question isn’t street legal anywhere in the US. To make it legal, the engineers would have to design a spread of emission components and they would have to conduct all of the testing required to prove that the engine meets all of those requirements. That kind of project from beginning to end easily costs a company millions of dollars and all of those costs are rolled into the cost of the engine package.

When you couple those high costs with low sales projections, this would be an incredibly expensive engine. Right now, the non-street legal 426 crate motor from Mopar has an MSRP of $19,275 with official ratings of 600 horsepower and 575 lb-ft of torque. After the costs associated with making the engine road-legal, this production option would almost surely cost more than the Hellcat Hemi, while producing far less power.

Figure that the 426 Hemi package would likely be built on the SRT 392 Challenger, similar to the Hellcat package. The Hellcat package costs $13,500 more than the SRT 392 package, so if the 426 cost more than the Hellcat upgrade, it could be up around the $75,000 range – for a package that has considerably less power than the Hellcat Hemi.

It would be cool to see a modern Dodge Challenger with a factory-equipped 426 Hemi, but in the end, it would almost surely be the most expensive engine option while offering less power than the less-expensive supercharged models. That isn’t the start of a great business case, as the company would be charging more for less performance and I just don’t see that happening with the end of this generation on the horizon.

Frankly, I would love to see a new 426 Hemi Challenger and Charger and Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee, but I’m not going to get my hopes up without some sort of major change in US emission regulations or some gigantic breakthrough in NA engine technology.