The HEMI engine: it is an acronym well known by both hardcore and many casual car enthusiasts. Just hearing the four letters conjures up images of raw, brutish power. The HEMI is almost synonymous with American muscle. Many will take it a step further and argue if you plan on getting a Dodge Ram or Charger, getting one that’s outfitted with a HEMI is the only way to go.
The HEMI is based on a hemispherical design when it comes to the top of the combustion chamber, allowing for less heat generated to escape and higher peak pressure. This is the source of the HEMI’s power in comparison to the more traditional flat head engine designs that dominated the automotive industry before its inception. The HEMI built its legacy on sheer power – like a thoroughbred right out of the gates at the Derby. It’s an engine built far from finesse – and one built for pure, sheer horsepower.
There are a number of cars under the Dodge banner that provide a HEMI option, but this article will focus specifically on the Ram pickup. In particular, we want to look at some of the best cold air intakes for the 5.7 HEMI Ram 1500 (more in-depth reviews here) – aftermarket products that will turn your truck into more of a beast than it already is.
- K&N Performance Intake Kit (71-1533)
This kit is for those who would like a boost in power but also conscious of or are required to maintain a certain level of emissions (i.e. CARB exempt). There is a potential to gain just over 9 HP and will keep the emissions under an acceptable limit.
- K&N Performance Air Intake System (63-1561)
If you’re going for a more significant power boost, then look into this option. It’s going to give you the power that turn even Dom Torreto’s head. It is designed to work with 2009 – 2019 Ram models and K&N states that it could potentially power increase of roughly 15 horses. The cotton filter will help with its shelf life – not that you would want to keep this potential power boosting option on the shelf! It isn’t too surprising that this is not exactly a CARB exempt option but if that works where you live, then perhaps this is something to look into.
- AF Dynamic Cold Air Intake System
Of course, what would our list of recommendations be without a budget, easier to install option? We live in a world where budgeting is always a concern and we are consistently trying to make the most out of our hard-earned cash. However, picking a budget option may not fit for your particular goals or scenario as horsepower gains and CARB exemption may need further clarification or verification. There is always a bit of a risk when you go budget but you may just as well find a diamond in the rough.
There are many more intake options out there. Ultimately, you should consider your own goals for your vehicle, your budget, and consider discussing aftermarket products and installation procedures with your mechanic. The HEMI is legendary that has proven itself on the track – so maintaining it and boosting performance appropriately is only fitting for such a storied engine.