Dodge’s HEMI is Powerful in Throttle Response and Marketing Punch

With the advent of the new 2004 F-150, it has been widely accepted, by the press at least, that Ford makes the best light-duty full-size pickup truck. But according to a recent story in Detroit News, the blue oval brand doesn’t think it’s quite good enough.

What’s the problem? Its optional 300-hp 5.4-liter Triton V8 with 365 lb-ft of torque might be able to keep up with Chevy’s 300-hp 6.0-liter V8 with 360 lb-ft of torque, but it isn’t powerful enough to match Dodge’s brutish 345-hp 5.7-liter HEMI with 375 lb-ft of torque. Toyota’s Tundra V8 is smooth and refined but doesn’t come close to any full-size pickup rivals, but Nissan’s Titan offers a standard 5.4-liter V8 with a commendable 305-hp and best-in-class 379 lb-ft of torque. The world’s number two automaker has been toying with an alternative V8 that would dwarf its rivals if deployed, or so Ford states. Displacing 6.2 liters, the new powerplant has been dubbed Hurricane by the automaker’s insiders.

No matter how powerful Ford makes its Hurricane, however, it will have a hard time creating the all important talk on the street Dodge’s legendary HEMI has since its revival two years ago in the brand’s heavy-duty truck line. Since then the HEMI is offered in the ½ ton Ram 1500, as well as the all-new Durango SUV, in which it makes up 60 percent of sales. A version of the HEMI will find its way into the completely revised 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee this fall, while it may also be offered as optional equipment in the next-generation Dodge Dakota.