Dodge earlier this year revealed plans to put an electric spin on the muscle car. It also warned it will need to ditch the V8, but it noted that adopting electrification won't immediately drive the Challenger and the Charger out of its range.
"The new platform comes in 2024. The new car 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.
His timeline 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. Surprisingly, the same documents confirmed the Chrysler 300 will remain in production through 2023 as well.
Dodge's definition of a new variant 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, the firm has done a spectacular job of keeping it fresh with design updates. Its expiration date is nearing, however, and 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.
Whether muscle car enthusiasts 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.
"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.
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