Chrysler's new line of Hemi engines is a worthy successor to the legendary status of the Hemi of yore. Not convinced? If the stock performance of the new powerplant isn't enough to get your attention, get the wrenches out and you'll find the Mother Lode of easy power. We did, and judging by the numbers, the Hemi is in a league of its own in terms of small-block power. We've been on the dyno plenty with traditional small-block engine packages, and if the criteria is to make power from a production based engine, Chrysler's new Hemi reigns among the best. The stock power output just hints at the potential within.
We had the opportunity to tap into some of that hidden potential, thanks to the new line of cams just off the grinders at COMP Cams. These are not radical Pro-Street race grinds, mind you, rather hotter grinds aimed squarely at street performance, with duration numbers ranging from a conservative 208-degrees, to a moderate 224-degrees; hardly the type of wicked 'shafts that will rattle your teeth. It didn't take a crystal ball to predict that the Hemi would be hungry for the extra lift and duration, what with its stingy factory cam specing out at meager 196-degrees duration at .050. What was shocking was just how much power and rpm was waiting to let go. We closed dangerously near the 500 hp and 7,000 rpm mark with the largest of these sticks. That the Hemi would belt out these kinds of numbers borders on the astounding, considering the modest 9.6:1 compression ratio and 346 cubes.
There's power to be had with this Hemi engine, maybe more than you bargained for.