Introduced in 2003 as a replacement to the 5.9 L Magnum engine, Chrysler Corporation's 5.7 L HEMI boasted a hemispherical combustion chamber that allowed bigger valves and more efficient placement of the spark plugs for maximum power output. The motor made its debut beneath the hood of the Dodge Ram pickup, but starting in 2005, Chrysler later offered it on cars, as well.
The latest-generation 5.7 L HEMI has appeared in the Chrysler 300C since 2005. The 300C produced 340 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and twisted the rear wheels with 390 foot-pounds of torque at 4,000 rpm. Chrysler's Multi-Displacement System allowed the 300C to run on as few as four cylinders depending on load. Thanks to MDS and a five-speed, electronically controlled automatic transmission, the 300C returned highway gas mileage in the mid-20s, despite its 4,046-lb. curb weight.
The 5.7 L HEMI V-8 also appeared in the Charger, Dodge's version of the Chrysler 300, since 2006. Just like in the 300C, the Charger's Hemi produced 340 horsepower and 390 foot-pounds of torque in a rear-wheel drive configuration. The five-speed automatic transmission in the Charger was the same as the 300 as well, with electronic controls and a manual-shift option that allowed the driver shift control without the use of a manual clutch. With its massive power output, rear-wheel drive and spacious interior, the Charger became popular with police agencies as an alternative to Ford's Crown Victoria.
Dodge Magnum R/T
In 2005, the 5.7 L V-8 began appearing in the Dodge Magnum station wagon, where it also produced 340 horsepower and 390 foot-pounds of torque. The five-speed AutoStick transmission and MDS system available on the Chrysler 300C and Dodge Charger were also part of the Dodge Magnum R/T package. Starting in 2006, Dodge also offered the Magnum wagon with a four-wheel drive option. With aggressive styling and a powerful motor, the Hemi Magnum wagon constituted an attractive alternative to the truck-based sport utility vehicles that were popular at the time.
Riding a wave of muscle-car nostalgia that had driven sales figures of Ford's 2005 Mustang redesign and the approaching debut of Chevrolet's redesigned Camaro, Dodge ventured into retro territory with the 2009 Challenger. A rear-wheel-drive coupe, the Challenger boasted 375 horsepower from the 5.7 L HEMI and came equipped with an optional six-speed manual transmission or the corporate five-speed automatic. The Track Pack option deleted the MDS system but still returned highway fuel economy of approximately 24 mpg and city fuel economy around 16.
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