The automotive industry is rapidly changing and one of the signs of these changes is the impending demise of the V-8 as a powerplant for cars of the future. The famed Hellcat Hemi engine is set to be the latest victim of this trend, as it’s reported to be discontinued after 2023. Although there is a possibility that a version of the Hellcat engine could power a next-generation Dodge model for a short time.

Stellantis, Dodge’s parent automaker, produces the Hellcat engine and has committed to electrification as the primary means of propulsion for its future cars, trucks, and SUVs. This, combined with ever-tightening state and federal emissions mandates, has made the extinction of the Hellcat and the rest of the automaker’s related Hemi engines all but inevitable.

The Last of the Hellcat-Powered Cars

For the 2023 model year, there are four vehicles that still fly the Hellcat flag: the Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger, the 710-hp Hellcat-powered Dodge Durango SRT, and the off-road Ram TRX. These vehicles provide the closest look and feel of the classic Dodge muscle cars, with the Hellcat engine mirroring and improving on their upsides while eliminating the drivability downsides.

The Replacement: The Banshee Powertrain

The reported replacement for the Hellcat engine is what’s being called the Banshee powertrain, an 800-volt, all-wheel-drive EV system reserved for the most powerful future models. The Hurricane, an all-new twin-turbo I-6, is the short-term replacement for the lower-tier Hemi engines, which put out 420 hp and 510 hp. The Banshee’s all-wheel-drive setup means that any future Dodge EV car’s power can be far more effectively used, almost certainly meaning a huge performance jump in the process over the outgoing rear-drive Hellcat-equipped cars.

Production Numbers

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, who owned Dodge through the vast majority of the Hellcat’s run, didn’t release production numbers, but it’s safe to assume given the insider production estimates that in the neighborhood of 100,000 Hellcat-powered vehicles have been built over the eight years the supercharged Hemi has been in production.

The Hellcat’s Legacy

When the first supercharged Hellcat Hemis appeared in Dodge models for the 2015 model year, 707 horsepower in any production car was extreme, and it shook the auto industry. The Dodge Charger family sedan, with its 6.2-liter supercharged Hellcat V-8 pumping out 700-plus horses under the hood, came priced at a point where owning one was actually attainable. The Hellcat not only made massive horsepower fashionable, but the engine and the subbrand it spawned also became a hugely profitable revenue stream for the company. The Hellcat-powered Chargers and Challengers became normalized sights within a year or so, and the Hellcat engine left a lasting impact and legacy on the automotive industry.

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