Dying Breed

Chrysler's HEMI headed for history books

First the Imperial, now the HEMI? Blame the whole “green is the new black” movement on the upcoming death of a Chrysler living legend. Yes folks, it’s with a heavy heart that we tell you the famed V8 is headed for greener pastures. Changing fuel efficiency standards has brought word that Chrysler will not be using the tried-and-true HEMI for any of its future applications. Hammering an early nail in its coffin, co-president Jim Press has publicly declared, “The Hemi is not the powertrain of the future.”To replace the gas-guzzler, Chrysler will apparently be putting their money on newly developed “Phoenix” V6 powerplants. These Phoenix engines are scheduled to hit production in 2009. The engine’s death certificate was written by its inability to adapt and increase its efficiency. A HEMI’s large combustion chamber and dual valve structure leads to blow-by of unburned fuel, thus producing large levels of undesired emissions. Using dual spark plugs has improved burn in the engine’s combustion chamber, but it’s a solution that increases cost and complexity… factors that Chrysler just can’t justify.There’s no word yet on when the last HEMI will roll off Chrysler’s production line but it’s safe to say that it’s gonna be a sad, sad day in the automotive world. Come on, we know we gotta save the planet, but does it have to happen like this?Source: Automotive News (subscription required)