Few engines have character anymore, as automakers are looking for ways to improve fuel efficiency and provide drivers with a more refined experience. Dodge, though, isn’t like other (mainstream) automakers and still has an eye on performance. It’s time that Dodge shared the love across the entire FCA family.
The Hellcat engine is one of the best motors on sale today. The 6.2-liter supercharged engine, as we all know by now, cranks out 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. That’s enough grunt to make the land yacht of the Challenger a real competitor against high-performance machines. The engine also plays the role of a miracle worker in the Charger, turning the sedan from a pedestrian vehicle to a deranged daily.
Interestingly, Dodge has decided to start giving its engines to others under the FCA umbrella, mainly Jeep with the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. In a world that’s starting to get crowded with high-performance SUVs, Jeep has managed to stick out with its 707-hp brute. The engine clearly has the Midas touch, turning anything, regardless of how heavy, boring, or mundane it may be, into a tire-roasting monster.
Dodge should spread the Hellcat love
Now, reports claim that Dodge will even stuff the glorious Hellcat engine into the Ram Rebel, essentially creating a road-ready version of the Rebel TRX Concept we saw at the end of 2016. I’ve been begging Ram and FCA to put the motor into a Ram pickup for awhile, and hearing that it’s actually in the works is thrilling. If it’s like any other machine with a Hellcat engine, it’ll be a riot.
It’s good to see Dodge letting others use its engines, but I think it’s time to continue to spread the love – especially to Chrysler. Have you looked over the automaker’s lineup recently? It’s disturbingly small. Ever since Chrysler pulled the plug on the 200, which was an awful car that was plagued with numerous problems, the brand’s lineup has dwindled down to just three offerings – the 300, Pacifica, and Pacifica Hybrid.
The Pacifica is the star of the show, as it’s one of the better offerings in the once loved minivan segment. While I’m all for the Hellcat everything lifestyle, even I don’t think it makes a lot of sense to put a supercharged V8 engine into a minivan – it would be badass, though.
The Chrysler 300 could use some extra love
What I’m proposing is for Dodge to hand its wonderful motor over to Chrysler, which would then shove it into the front of the 300. I may be in the minority here, but I’m not a fan of the 300. I don’t think it looks every good, I don’t like the interior, and I’m not a fan of how the brand is just letting it age. The only thing the 300 has going for it, is its performance and Chrysler should capitalize on that.
The 300 is second in line to the Charger or Challenger when it comes to being the most-seen car in Michigan. They’re everywhere, but they don’t really do anything besides sit there and look odd. People ragged on the Chevrolet SS for its timid looks, but I think Chevy’s offering was so much more potent than the 300. When I think of the 300, I think of a lukewarm cup of coffee or tea. And no one likes lukewarm anything.
Chrysler does offer the 300 with a 5.7-liter Hemi V8, which puts out a respectable 363 hp and 394 lb-ft of torque, but just imagine what it would be like if it had 707 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque. Chrysler could also do something with the sedan’s looks, giving it larger fenders, a more aggressive front end, and a nice pair of massive exhaust outlets at the back. Then, the vehicle would actually be worthy of being Walter White’s car in “Breaking Bad.”
At the moment, the 300 is kind of in lala land. It appeals to those that have a diehard need to go with something that has an American badge, but it’s not really attractive to anyone else. A supercharged V8 engine and some new styling cues would change that.
Instead of letting Chrysler stick around like your neighbor’s poor 15-year-old dog that can’t walk and has glaucoma, FCA should either put the brand down for good or inject some life into it. The Hellcat engine has enough juice to not only bring the 300 back to life, but the brand as a whole, as well.