Dodge Transforms V8 Chargers and Challengers to EV Muscle in 2024

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We say a tearful “goodbye” to a pair of muscle supercars as Dodge converts their iconic octane street kings to electricity. No more hemis, no more superchargers. We’ll miss ya — especially the sound of my neighbor’s Hellcat when he fires it up. 

In a move toward an electric future that isn’t fully unexpected, Dodge recently revealed plans to create an electric version of their famed muscle car duo. Sadly, that means retiring the internal combustion V8 — but Dodge quickly noted that adopting electrification won’t immediately drive the Challenger and the Charger out of existence — but it certainly marks the beginning of the end for these models. The new EV versions may look the same, but their beating hearts will belong to a new generation. Just how long the octane versions will hang around is unclear.

Dodge attempts a move ahead, carefully…

“The new platform comes in 2024. We didn’t say that the current cars are going to die in 2024. There might be a little overlap, but you’re not going to have years and years and years of the classic and the new one at the same time,” said Dodge boss Tim Kuniskis in an interview with Muscle Cars & Trucks.

That timetable suggests there might still be a V8-powered Charger and Challenger for the 2025 model year, though nothing is official at this point. Dodge’s plans for the future of its muscle cars are murky; all we know at this stage is that new variants of both cars are on their way, and that they’ll remain production in Canada until at least 2023.

Dodge’s definition of a new design is vague. It could be referring to a trim level, an option package, or a more comprehensive redesign. Although the Challenger turns 13 in 2021, it’s been constantly freshened with design updates. But its days are numbered — its successor will exclusively be offered with an electric powertrain. It will be built on the STLA Large platform developed by parent company Stellantis to underpin all-wheel-drive performance cars. This chassis can’t be rejigged to take a 6.2-liter supercharged V8.

The gamble: 

Whether true muscle car lovers (and buyers) will accept Dodge’s upcoming EV remains to be seen. Kuniskis admitted the model won’t please everyone, but he hopes it will bring enough new customers to the fold to make up for the dropouts. We shall see…

“Some people won’t follow, it’s just the way it is, but we’re hoping that we can fill that with new people that are coming in,” he told Muscle Car & Trucks. “When you make a big change, there are going to be people that just aren’t going to follow you, at least initially. But a lot of these people will return eventually when they see we’re serious, and we’re going to be Dodge first,” he concluded. Time will tell whether this bet will pay off.

Dodge admitted electrification is on its way, but it’s not going all-in on EVs. Non-electrified models will play a big role in the coming years, and an unverified report claims a plug-in hybrid model named Hornet is around the corner.

The end of the famed Hellcat

The Hellcat supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 makes anywhere from 702 to 840 horsepower in cars such as the Challenger and Charger SRT Hellcats. Dodge is preparing an electric muscle car for 2024, and a concept will be revealed next year. Dodge is preparing to launch an electric muscle car for 2024 under what it’s calling eMuscle, and a concept car will be revealed next year.

As if that news was hard enough for diehard muscle car fans, Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis confirmed to Motor Authority that production of its Hellcat supercharged V-8 will end the year before the electric car arrives.

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