That Thing Got a Semi-Hemi?

Justin Berkowitz
by Justin Berkowitz

There's some good news from Chrysler for all those pisotnheads who prefer old-fashioned horsepower to silly things like low CO2 emissions. In the past, the Hemi's V8 alternative was really only hanging around to provide genuine torque for a lot less dough: 290 ft-lbs. of twist to be specific. Unfortunately, the 4.7-liter mill's horsepower clocked in at a relatively puny 235. The combo was best suited to Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Dakota owners pottering over hill and dale, towing lifestyle gear and little else. And so Chrysler, post-35 by 2020 Energy Bill, have upgraded the 4.7 liter V8 from ground chuck meat to New York strip steak. For the 2008 model year, the 4.7's horsepower has been raised by 70 fillies, rising to 300hp. Torque takes a nice little jump as well, ascending to 330 ft.-lbs. Since the improvements come from mechanical features borrowed from the 5.7 liter Hemi, Mopar fans are taking to calling the new 4.7 the "Semi-Hemi." Since neither of them has hemispherical combustion chambers, no harm, no blasphemy. No word on the effect on mpgs, but Chrysler's revamped MDS (multi-displacement system) should make it seem frugal enough. Bottom line: Chrysler's got a nice V8 to to slot into the majority of its vehicles as a genuine alternative to Hemi power. Now all they need is a midsize car, a compact car, an interior makeover for the Charger and 300, and some profits.

Justin Berkowitz
Justin Berkowitz

Immensely bored law student. I've also got 3 dogs.

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4 of 9 comments
  • Windswords Windswords on Dec 03, 2007

    blautens : December 3rd, 2007 at 11:00 am "More HP is great. But did they also fix the horrible oil sludge problems that caused so many of the previous generation 4.7L V8’s to fail between 25k to 50k miles?" blautens, define "horrible". How many out of how many sold? Really, this is news to me, and I own a vehicle with the 4.7. As bad as Toyota?

  • Sajeev Mehta Sajeev Mehta on Dec 03, 2007

    I wonder if it has the wasted-spark ignition to go with the inherently wasteful HEMI-ish heads.

  • PerfectZero PerfectZero on Dec 03, 2007

    Is the hemi really that useful of a design anyway, or is it just a complete marketing ploy?

  • Blautens Blautens on Dec 05, 2007

    windswords: Google is your friend...try "Durango sludge" and spend the next hour sharing other people's misery. I don't know the exact numbers in terms of percentages betweem the two. But the difference is, Toyota issued a recall and EXTENDED the warranty - Chrysler actually denied coverage while it was still under the 3/36 warranty in many cases, blaming faulty maintenance, even if you produced oil change receipts. Two companies, two engines, somewhat similar problems, two VASTLY different ways of treating customers.