Ram Heritage: Tracing the History of the HEMI®

Hemi engine for 2011 Ram 1500

Now in its third design generation, the legendary HEMI® V8—as available in the 2014 Ram Trucks lineup—is one of the most storied engines in history. Here’s a little background.

First offered in the company’s trucks back in 1953, the HEMI in its original form was known as the Red Ram V8. Somewhat small in displacement for a V8 at 241 cubic inches (barely 4.0 liters in today’s metric units) but advanced for its time, the Red Ram HEMI punched well above its class, developing 140 horsepower.

Now contrast the original Red Ram, impressive as it was, with the latest 5.7-liter HEMI V8 available in the 2014 Ram 1500. This velvet brute develops 395 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 410 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,950 rpm—while also achieving fuel-economy ratings of 15 miles per gallon in the city and 22 mpg on the highway (with TorqueFlite 8 transmission). The HEMI V8 employs some world-class technology to achieve these impressive levels of efficiency and performance.

For example, there’s Variable Valve Timing, VVT. A hydraulically operated camshaft phaser is employed to alter the valve opening and closing events, reducing engine pumping losses and widening the torque curve for optimum drivability and response.

Another high-tech HEMI development is Fuel Saver Technology. Enabled by powerful electronics, a cylinder-deactivation system automatically selects a four-cylinder mode when power demands are relatively low, switching to full V8 mode when conditions require more muscle. Fuel economy is maximized without compromising power or capability.

Couple the HEMI V8 with additional advanced features including TorqueFlite eight-speed transmission, Parasitic Loss Reduction, and Active Aerodynamics, and the Ram 1500 offers an unbeatable combination of performance and efficiency.

Learn more about this impressive engine in person. Visit your closest dealer today!

  • Jesse

    did dodge separate from ram