I know custom truckers generally fall into two categories, those whose first question is "What's under the hood?" and those who ask "Who's bags are you running?" Count me in the first. Yeah, okay, layin' frame is cool & all, but I'd rather lay rubber.
When the new Dakota came out for the '05 model year, many were hoping and expecting that the Hemi would be offered as an option eventually. Okay, so it didn't offer it right out of the gate. All right, we're willing to wait. So now three years have come and gone, and still no Hemi. They're trying to placate us now with a "high output" 290-horse 4.7L V-8. (Yawn.) Okay, great. Next?
Let's face it, the new Dakota is a porker. Even a stripped-down base model hits the scales at around 4,300 pounds. Fully-loaded 4x4 Quad Cab models are nearly 5,000 pounds. You can't tell me that much weight can't use a Hemi. Okay, it's up to nearly 300 horsepower now. Not too shabby, but even at that level, those ponies are going to be saddled with plenty of weight to haul around.
Maybe the leadfoots in Auburn Hills are secretly cooking up an SRT version with the full-boat 425-horse Hemi. The Dodge boys are known to keep a few surprises up their sleeves. But I must say that after 3 years of waiting, I was hoping I could buy a Dakota and legitimately say, "Yeah, it's got a Hemi."