Dodge is Getting an Electric Vehicle
If someone told us one day Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) was going to take its muscle car brand model, the Dodge Challenger, and turn it into an electric vehicle (EV) a year ago, we would have laughed. The only known Dodge EV to date is the Dodge Omni, a rebadged version of the European Chrysler Horizon that only lasted a little over a decade. Back then, the best one could get was a 23 horsepower eco-cruiser and call it an all-electric vehicle. There has been talk of the Dodge Challenger being evidently put down by the next generation, and with emissions regulations strangling the SRT Hellcat, Mike Manley, CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, has confirmed that the Dodge Challenger and the Dodge Charger will be replaced with electrified vehicles within the next decade.
That’s some kind of news to drop on muscle car enthusiasts. Manley told The Detroit News that the current generation of these muscle cars won’t enter 2020 the same as they’re known today. Only a year away, and the range of engines running from a 3.6-liter V6 to a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 will be no more. Instead, things are gonna get shaken up to make room for electrified powertrains.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) revealed their plans for hybrid and electric vehicles soon after the passing of the late Sergio Marchionne. Many of the auto brands under the FCA umbrella will be developing hybrid and electric motor variations of some of their most successful brands, including Jeep® and Maserati. With this in mind, Dodge may also have to finally move things along.
“The reality is those platforms and that technology we used does need to move on…New technology is going to drive a load of weight out, so we can think of the powertrains in a different way. And we can use electrification to really supplement those vehicles.” – Mike Manley.
This isn’t the end of muscle cars, however. Manley also added, “”I think that electrification will certainly be part of the formula that says what is American muscle in the future…What it isn’t going to be is a V8, supercharged, 700-horsepower engine.”
During the interview with The Detroit News, they also reported that the next Dodge Challenger will get an electric boost with early speculations pointing to FCA’s new 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine as the placeholder for the gasoline part of the new powertrain. With the Jeep Wrangler Plug-in Hybrid aimed for release by 2020, the auto market will get a better feel for the transition of popular vehicles turning into electrified variants of their roots. With the Jeep Wrangler currently powered by the same gasoline found in the the Pacifica plug-in hybrid powertrain, many assume it will use the same 3.6-liter V6 eHybrid engine powertrain set up with the V6 and a 16 kWh lithium-ion battery.
One could wonder if the loss of horsepower can be balanced out with an increase of torque. FCA recently started to equip Jeep vehicles and Ram trucks with their new mild-hybrid system, eTorque. Being that torque is what turns the wheels and actually gets the car moving, could all the muscle car glory known for drag racing be kept alive if the new Dodge Challenger or Dodge Charger came equipped with the same mild-hybrid system? After all, it already gives the 2019 Ram 1500 a kick in the pants, adding 130 lb-ft of torque to the 5.7-liter V8 HEMI engine for a total of 530 lb-ft of torque.
It’s all speculation now. 2020 is a whole year away from now (January 2019). This is the first mention of Dodge getting electrified vehicles, so we won’t expect anything solid to come out in the news anytime soon. What do you think of an electric or hybrid Dodge Challenger? Sure would help with the insurance costs. Join the discussion on Aventura Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram social media.