Dodge, no rush to bid farewell to classic V8s

Dodge, no rush to bid farewell to classic V8s


The Stellantis announcements on the great farewell to heat engines, seen last month, are becoming less and less definitive or high-sounding. Reflecting the doubts we talked about yesterday, the CEO of the Dodge brand, Tim Kuniskis, also calls for caution. Although the next arrival of the “eMuscle” line (with the concept you see below) has been announced, it is neither imminent nor does it represent a definitive change for the home of muscle cars. The first electric car heir to Challenger and Charger will debut in 2024, as announced, but the other internal combustion cars will not be abandoned immediately.

Kuniskis himself specified this when speaking to the American magazine MuscleCarsAndTrucks, precisely about the "painful ”Switch to electricity. Dodge knows what kind of (mostly negative) response last month's ads got and doesn't want to abandon their audience. Especially now that its models are very popular thanks to the wide choice of engines, options and special versions. Given the tradition of V8 engines, deafening noise and racing modifications asking fans to say goodbye to all of this seemed like an affront (for many stars and stripes purists).

And in fact Dodge intends to support the first EV models to traditional muscle cars when they are available (ie within three years). For the first months / years after the introduction of electric muscle cars, petrol versions will continue to be available unless there is a dramatic drop in sales. This should "sweeten" the fans and gradually convince them of the big leap, however complicated it remains. Muscle cars remain a classic of the country with the stars and stripes, and it is difficult for a quieter car to replace them completely.

But Tim Kuniskis does not want to hear reasons on this last point: the farewell to the classic V8 has only been moved further in time. After 2024, the new internal combustion models will be fewer and fewer until they disappear completely, as dictated by the rules dictated by the top management of Stellantis. Before that, the definitive version of the Challenger and / or Charger may arrive, with the absolute maximum in power and performance. The reference is to what we have seen with the Viper (now retired): the ACR model ready for the track was the last series, before the final farewell.

Dodge’s Electric Muscle Car Could Be Sold Alongside Current Charger And Challenger

Dodge’s all-electric muscle car could be sold alongside the current Charger and Challenger.

The car manufacturer has made no secret of the fact that it will launch its first performance EV in 2024. Recent teasers suggest that the vehicle will have a retro design that could be inspired by the 1968 Charger, complete with a full-width front grille.

The guys over at Muscle Cars & Trucks recently had the opportunity to speak with Dodge chief executive Tim Kuniskis and discovered that the electric muscle car will likely be sold alongside the ICE-powered Charger and Challenger, at least initially.

Read More: Dodge Teases Electric Muscle Car Concept, Looks Like A ’68 Charger

“The new platform comes in 2024,” Kuniskis confirmed. “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.”

It is unclear if the electric Dodge will be a two-door like the Challenger or a four-door like the Charger but Kuniskis did suggest that there could be one last hurrah for the two outgoing models before they are retired and they may sell in strong numbers just like the final Viper.

“There’s probably some (run on ICE vehicles)… I’ll tie it back to Viper,” Kuniskis explained. When we announced Viper going away, and we announced ACR at the same time, it was the best and highest price-point Viper sales ever… that was a run on Vipers. Is there a run on ICE? I don’t know, maybe when we get closer to the end. But not right now, especially when we said 2024.”

For a brand as synonymous with high-powered V8 muscle cars like Dodge, shifting to electrification won’t be easy and Kuniskis acknowledged that not all customers will be pleased with the move.

“The reception that I’ve gotten from customers… when you make a big change, there’s going to be people that just aren’t going to follow you, at least initially,” he said. “But a lot of those people will return eventually when they see we’re serious, and we’re going to be Dodge first.”