Chrysler woke up and gave us a jolt this week with the surprise announcement of the 2023 300C, packing the 475-hp 6.4-liter Hemi V8 that powers Scat Pack versions of the Dodge Challenger and Charger. Of course, we’re a greedy lot, and a mere 475 hp will hardly do when we know Stellantis has a 707-hp supercharged engine that fits just about anywhere the 6.4 can go. So why no Hellcat 300? The answer is disappointingly mundane: Hellcat engines, like old-growth lumber and anthracite coal, are a non-renewable resource, and when they’re gone, they’re gone.
This week, I reached out to Chrysler’s PR department to ask specifically why the automaker took the coward’s route and stuck a non-supercharged engine in the 300's engine bay. The official answer from Chrysler was “capacity constraints played a role in choosing the 6.4-liter Hemi engine.” Armed with this rather vague answer, I spoke with someone inside Stellantis who knows what’s up, and who told me a little more about the situation.
See, Stellantis committed to build a limited number of 6.2-liter supercharged Hellcat V8s, and while they’ve found homes in a frankly astounding array of Stellantis vehicles — Challenger, Charger, Durango, Ram 1500, Grand Cherokee — the automaker has already earmarked every Hellcat engine it plans to build. From what I was told, this is not an arbitrary limit, either: Stellantis is truly building every last Hellcat engine it can make.
I wasn’t able to get a clear answer as to exactly what limits Stellantis’s ability to make Hellcat engines. Is it limited availability of a certain engine component? Does it have to do with regulatory constraints regarding corporate average fuel economy? We know Dodge found a way to keep stuffing Hellcats into a new model year of the Durango, after swearing up and down that this would be a one-year-only vehicle.
Whatever the reason may be, the facts are clear: The world is sitting on a limited and dwindling supply of Hellcat engines, and that’s why Stellantis is showing uncharacteristic restraint and withholding the supercharged 6.2 from the 300. Now you know.