6.1 L HEMI Specifications

by Justin Cupler
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dodge challenger prototype image by Jorge Moro from Fotolia.com

The 6.1 liter HEMI is the largest gasoline engine currently offered in any Chrysler or Dodge vehicle. The term HEMI is short for hemispherical, which means that the combustion chamber inside the cylinder head is rounded in shape. In 2011, the 6.1 liter engine is to be exceeded by the 6.4 liter HEMI, thereby ending its run as the largest Dodge engine.


The 6.1 liter HEMI engine is placed in both Chrysler and Dodge vehicles. This engine is utilized in the SRT-8 trim line of the following models: Chrysler 300C, Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger.


The 6.1 liter HEMI is not shy when it comes to overall horsepower. When it was first developed and released in 2006, it was by far the most powerful engine placed in modern muscle cars. With the Camaro and Trans Am out of the picture, the only competition Dodge had was the Ford Mustang GT, and the 6.1 HEMI beat it with 425 horsepower to th Mustang's 300 horsepower. Just for bragging rights, Dodge pushed the 6.1 HEMI to beat the base-model Chevy Corvette by 25 horsepower. In more recent history, the newly released 2010 Camaro caught the 6.1 liter, matching its 425 horsepower, but the Mustang still falls short at 315 horsepower.


Horsepower is important when looking into a new vehicle, but torque is what wins the race as it is the twisting power of the engine. The harder the engine can twist, the harder the drive wheels turn, causing the vehicle to launch from a stop. The 6.1 HEMI does not disappoint there either; it produces 420 feet-lbs. of torque at 4,800 rpm. The rival Mustang GT's 4.6 liter only produces 325 feet-lbs. at 4,250 rpm and the Camaro's 5.7 liter matches the 6.1 at 420 ft-lbs. of torque.


When thinking about muscle cars and large V8 engines, fuel economy is typically not the first thing that comes to mind. The 6.1 liter HEMI enjoys guzzling premium fuel at the rate of 13 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway. This falls a little short of the rival Camaro's 5.7 liter and Mustang GT's 4.6 liter in 2010; both engines are rated at 16 mpg city and 24 mpg highway.

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