That thing got a Hemi? It does now
Mopar engine kits enable dealers to grab aftermarket work
DETROIT -- The Mopar parts and service brand is expanding its crate engine offerings, now allowing owners of pre-1996 Chrysler Corp. vehicles and newer Jeep Wranglers to install a factory-authorized Hemi engine into their vehicles.
For dealers, the new crate engine offerings are an opportunity to grab lucrative service work that enthusiasts would normally send to an aftermarket tuner.
"Dealers are always our main channel, so by definition, whatever we put in the market in terms of new product, the hope is that dealers will be able to pick up these opportunities and grow the business," says Pietro Gorlier, head of Mopar. "Not all the dealers are really into that particular type of business. But we have a number of dealers who are very good in terms of extreme customization."
Chrysler will offer a new emissions-compliant 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 that can be mated to automatic or manual transmissions in vehicles built before 1996.
Gorlier: Dealer opportunities
The Street Spec Hemi, as the company calls it, does not include the factory version's cylinder deactivation system, but it does deliver 375 hp and 400 pounds-feet of torque.
The crated Hemi comes in a $6,800 kit that includes updated performance and emissions control components, wiring harness and exhaust components to comply with current air quality standards.
Mopar also now offers a pair of crated Hemi V-8 kits for 2007-11 model Jeep Wrangler Unlimiteds, adding two extra cylinders, more power and more torque to replace the off-roader's standard V-6.
The 5.7-liter Hemi kit delivers 375 hp and 400 pounds-feet of torque in the four-door Wrangler when mated to the existing six-speed automatic or manual transmissions. A larger 6.4-liter Hemi kit provides 470 hp and 470 pounds-feet of torque in the off-roader.
The 5.7-liter kit for the Wrangler retails for $15,599 while the 6.4-liter Wrangler kit retails for $18,599. Each engine kit requires 12 or more hours to install.
Gorlier said a number of aftermarket companies -- including Michigan-based American Expedition Vehicles -- already offer Hemi-powered Wranglers. Even Mopar itself has regularly installed its high-powered V-8 engines into specialized Jeeps it builds for the annual Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah. But the factory-authorized engine kits will allow dealers to meet an enthusiast demand in-house.
"The whole powertrain of our vehicles is becoming more complex, so you're forced to have more controls and checkpoints in the [computers] inside the engines," Gorlier explains. "That's generating a barrier for the aftermarket to play with our powertrains" and enabling dealers to fill the void.
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