A couple of years ago, we brought you news that Chrysler was planning a supercharged HEMI V-8 engine to lift the performance of its SRT models closer in line with rivals from Chevrolet and Ford.

While we’re yet to see such an engine from Chrysler, news of the supercharged HEMI’s existence is once again making headlines.

Automotive News (subscription required), citing unnamed sources at Chrysler, is reporting that a supercharged HEMI V-8 displacing 6.2 liters is in development and is expected to debut in the Dodge Challenger SRT8.

The engine is said to be capable of power levels approaching the 640 horsepower of the 8.4-liter V-10 in SRT’s Viper supercar, and if installed in the Challenger SRT8 should finally give the Dodge muscle car the firepower to take on the likes of the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and Ford Mustang Shelby GT500.

It is reportedly being developed as a last hurrah for the current HEMI V-8, which is also built in 5.7-liter and 6.4-liter sizes. It’s not clear what engine(s) Chrysler has planned to succeed its current HEMI V-8s, though smaller capacities and increased use of forced induction are likely.

It’s also not clear when we’ll see the supercharged HEMI, which is said to carry the code-name Hellcat. One possibility is with the launch of a track-focused Challenger, which SRT boss Ralph Gilles revealed in April would be hitting the market soon.

Another possibility is with the arrival of the next-generation Challenger, due around 2015. According to the latest rumors, this model will spawn a Barracuda SRT model and share its rear-wheel-drive platform with the recently revealed Maserati Quattroporte and Ghibli sedans.

Stay tuned for an update.


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