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By Dave Ashton

The muscle car world is currently going through a long drawn-out transitional phase. Arguably, there hasn’t been a bigger transition in the car world since we went from horse and cart to the internal combustion engine. Now, the future push is towards electric motors or other renewable forms of energy production. With the likes of Dodge discontinuing ICE engines in 2024, it’s unclear to consumers if they should stay invested in the internal combustion engine or go all-in with electric.

Getting the right sound.

Along with the other 5 billion caveats of why most muscle car fans are not looking forward to an electric muscle car landscape, is the lack of V8 sounds. Electric engines have instant torque, less components to go wrong, and more futuristic components than the starship Enterprise. However, they have no low-end rumble. Those low-end frequencies are going to be hard to replicate, but Dodge is currently beavering away with a possible solution.

During a recent presentation, Stellantis stated that they will install a soundtrack in every car that we can, ‘hardly imagine.’ While there are no specific details as yet, one possible route is to hook up a Bluetooth speaker to the gas pedal. while a pre-recorded audio soundtrack is never going to be as good as the real thing, we can’t truly comment on the results until the first electric Dodge muscle cars start shipping in 2024.

Is Electric the Only Way?

Hydrogen engine

Not everybody thinks a fully electric powertrain is the way forward. Hydrogen technology is another possible option, up to now having the emphasis on hydrogen fuel cells. However, Yamaha Motors and Toyota Motors are currently looking into a hydrogen-powered 5.0L V8 engine. Toyota will be making the block, with Toyota developing things like camshafts and cylinder heads to produce an engine capable of 449 HP and 398 lb-ft of torque.

As stated by the development engineer Takeshi Yamada, engines that use hydrogen fuel have a unique performance characteristic. Hydrogen engines could also be a happy medium between the traditional ICE and electric. Other developments by Toyota are to produce viable sources of hydrogen, from the likes of public household sewage, along with more robust forms of hydrogen storage.

What, no Manual option.

Recently, Dodge dropped the option of a 6 speed manual from their online configurator. The situation is apparently a temporary one, as Dodge say the 6-speed option is being recalibrated. The situation seems to be only about the Dodge Challenger.


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