The Dodge Charger and Challenger have been a staple for car lovers everywhere. As one of the most iconic muscle cars ever, these vehicles have long been the crown jewel for many car collectors. Whether you're going all-in with a Hellcat model, or buying a more reasonably priced standard model, the Charger and Challenger have become a key part of car history.
While the models will still be around for the foreseeable future, big changes are on the horizon. Stellantis, Dodge's parent company, recently announced that by the end of 2023 they will be cancelling production of gas powered, internal combustion engine models. Instead, they will be switching over to electric models.
General Manager of Strathmore Dodge Trevor Gonsalves says it's exciting to imagine what the future holds, but disappointing to see an iconic line of cars die out.
"It's going to be sad to see that internal combustion go away, but we're happy to embrace the electric future that is eventually coming," he said.
That being said, Chargers and Challengers will still be in production, just without internal combustion. It is currently unknown whether the new line will be purely electric or some type of hybrid engine, but Gonsalves said the future of performance is looking bright with this engine switch.
"We're going to see things like the ability to put all wheel drive into these performance vehicles. You're going to have the ability for instant torque without the ability to spool a supercharger, turbocharger. You're going to have incredible performance capabilities that even current Hellcats, hyped up V8's can't replicate."
Gonsalves explained that these new electric models could see 0-60 times break into the two-second or low three-second range. For comparison, even the powerful Hellcat 6.2 litre supercharged V8 typically sits in the 3.5-second range. This is because the Hellcat doesn't have all wheel drive, which the new electric model will have.
"It's not that the power (of a Hellcat) can't generate a faster 0-60 time, it's about getting the power to the wheels and that's where the future of the hybridization and electrification of the platform will allow for even bigger performance gains."
One of the huge appeals of muscle cars is the sound and low rumble that comes with an internal combustion engine. Gonsalves understands how important this is, and says the electric vehicles will be able to replicate the engine sound by using high tech "Fratzonic" speakers.
"What you're going to be able to do is even despite the lack of internal combustion, we're still going to deliver that muscle car feeling, that muscle car sound, that head turning, neck snapping ability to say 'what is that and how do I get one'."
As for the rumble that you get when sitting in the driver's seat, Gonsalves says this could possibly be replicated as well.
"With modern subwoofers being able to produce that low end sound, it wouldn't be out of the question to have that low rumble that we're used to with that beautiful V8 sound."
With the current gas powered cars set to end by December of 2023, Dodge will be unveiling special edition models for the last year of production for enthusiasts and collectors, but will also continue to supply high quality, affordable Chargers and Challengers that everyone will be able to afford.
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