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Could The Next Dodge Challenger Be Electric??

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By Dave Ashton

The Dodge Challenger has been flying the flag for the muscle car many a year now. More popular than ever it sold 66,716 models in 2018, but now the platform is due for an update, probably around the mid 2020s. As part of the new design of vehicles they may even be a hybrid version.

As reported by the Detroit News in an interview with CEO Mike Manley, it was stated that the new platform will incorporate lightweight technologies, giving scope for an electric model. The likelihood is that a 2L four-cylinder engine would be used alongside an electric powertrain. The electric model would probably slot into the lineup around the base models at a similar pricing.

Bob Gritzinger, propulsion analyst for Ward’s Intelligence proposed that a twin-turbo V6 would most likely be mated to an electric motor.

Mike Manley went on to say, ‘The reality is those platforms and that technology we used does need to move on. They can’t exist as you get into the middle-2020s,’ ‘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.’ ‘Electrification will certainly be part of the formula that says what is American muscle in the future.’

One of the standout statements giving a hint of the future, ‘I think that electrification will certainly be part of the formula that says what is American muscle in the future,’ said Manley.

Electric variations are definitely coming and from all the big three makers. Ford are planning an electric SUV and a possible hybrid for the Mustang. The Corvette will get a mid-engined hybrid ‘Zora’ possibly producing up to a 1,000 horsepower.

However, the good news for muscle car purists is that a fully electric muscle car from Dodge is probably a long way off. Manley further says, ‘electrification can’t be the dominant part (of a muscle car). Electrification deployed to increase the performance of the vehicle as its primary goal – with the added benefits of fuel economy – is very different, instead of the other way around.’

Kelley Blue Book’s Karl Brauer also commented on the future of electrification of muscle cars stating, ‘There’s a long-standing rule about what constitutes American muscle, but electrification is not part of it,” he said. “I need something that gets my blood pumping.’

Lessons come from the past when Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca of the late 70’s moved the mighty V8 to front wheel drive V6 variations, losing traction in sales until 40 years later when the V8 is now more popular than ever. In other words,the powers that be are well aware what makes an American muscle car and although electric powertrains are coming, they won’t take over the full muscle car line up.

It’s clear that the mighty V8 is not going to be phased out any time soon, but hybrids are definitely on the horizon in one shape or form.

Original source – Detroit News


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