If the rumor mills are true, then the 5.7L V8 that brought Chrysler out of the front-wheel-drive era and into V8 happiness is due to be axed next year, and honestly, that’s kind of a sad affair. The 345 cubic inch mill certainly isn’t the powerhouse that it was when it debuted in the LX platform cars in 2005, but part of that is due to it’s overshadowing by the 6.1L, 6.4L, and more recently Hellcat 6.2L siblings. In current form, the 5.7L produces 363 horsepower and 396 ft/lbs of torque in the Chrysler 300C, and a few horses more in the Dodge Charger. In 2005, those were fantastic figures. Nowadays, there are V6s that will show their ass to a 5.7L powered stocker no questions asked. And it’s not like the truck market is faring any better. Ram is working on a much-needed new platform for 2019, and the 5.7 only exists to fill a slot between the bare-bones 3.6L Pentastar V6 and the 6.4L Hemi in heavier-duty applications.
So what to do with an engine that has sold millions, has amortized it’s development costs and can take a good beating? FCA is stockpiling a good amount for sales and later use, but surely there can be some room for a V8-powered something or other that isn’t a huge sedan or monstrous SUV, right? The question is, then, what? And that’s where we ask you, the solid minds reading, for ideas. As much as we like the idea of a twin-turbo Pentastar six (rumor mill fodder), there is something lost when transitioning to a V6…namely, the noise and excitement of a V8. There have to be some concessions: compared to what FCA has now, it’s got to be lighter than what they currently have, and size should be an issue dealt with as well. Unless you’re going to jam a Hemi into a new Pacifica…then don’t change a thing but the powertrain and watch every minivan-ashamed dad start screaming, “Take my money!”
V8 Viper? Dakota replacement? A new use for all of those unsold Chrysler 200s? Or do you have a brand-new car or truck in mind? Let’s hear your ideas below!