We have all heard the hype and seen the cool commercials with the beat-up Duster, the new Hemi-powered truck, and even a front engine dragster sporting a first-generation Hemi, but does the new Hemi engine live up to our expectations? While we really doubt the 5.7 Hemi-powered full-size Dodge truck would smoke a front engine digger (even with the chute deployed), the 345hp rating did pique our interest. We know modern fuel injection and electronics can make a relatively small displacement V-8 far more efficient than a carbureted version, but we felt the power and economy this engine produces had to be attributed to more than computers.

When it comes to engines, we know the best way to see what makes them tick is to go inside and take a look. I must say, we were impressed by what we found in the latest version of the most powerful production V-8 in the world.

Any die-hard Mopar fanatic knows the prowess of the Hemi engine. The Chrysler engineers really did their homework when they designed cylinder heads utilizing hemispherical combustion chambers. As it turns out, the design created the most powerful internal combustion engines ever. The next time you see an NHRA drag racing event, take a look at the top two classes of Top Fuel Dragster and Fuel Funny Car. Regardless of the sponsor of the car or the body on the car, the powerplant is a Hemi. That's right, John Force's Mustang Funny Car is powered by a Hemi with the same design as the 426 version introduced by Chrysler in 1964, albeit with a few enhancements. Why the Hemi? It's the only engine that makes enough power to be competitive in drag racing's top classes. Does Chrysler's newest version of this engine live up to its name? If judged by horsepower and torque ratings alone, the answer is yes