Dodge Challenger set for electrification


The current Challenger has been a big success story for Dodge. In the ten years since its introduction, it's flown out of US showrooms - ranking second only to the Ford Mustang for sales in the segment- and brought global attention to the brand with its stonking performance. But even a range that is headed by the 800hp Hellcat Redeye can start to look a bit long in the tooth, so naturally conversation is beginning to turn to its successor.

"What it isn't going to be is a V8, supercharged, 700hp engine," is how FCA boss Mike Manley described the next Challenger at the Detroit motor show, which might surprise and disappoint some people. "The reality is [the current platform] and that technology we used does need to move on. They can't exist as you get into the middle-2020s."


For most of us, such statements are commonplace. But for proper American muscle car enthusiasts, the sort that don't climb out of bed for anything less than eight cylinders, that's likely to cause some hurt. Manley suggested to The Detroit News that industry pressures have encouraged a controversial switch to "electrification", but that "new technology is going to drive a load of weight out, so we can think of the powertrains in a different way", suggesting performance will at least take a step forward.

The current Challenger is based on 13-year-old Chrysler-designed LX architecture, but the next car will use FCA underpinnings that have been developed from the offset to be compatible with electrification. It's likely the next Challenger will therefore come with a twin-turbocharged version of today's 3.6-litre V6, boosted by electric power. Of course, there's still a chance a V8 will be retained for special edition models, even if only to appease the die-hard Challenger fans.

The Challenger won't be the only pony car to integrate electrification into its powertrain either, because the next Mustang is due with a hybrid four-cylinder. Given that this shift is happening across the whole automotive market, it might leave muscle cars looking a little insignificant. Don't you think?


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Comments (30) Join the discussion on the forum

  • HorneyMX5 22 Jan 2019

    Electrification will make muscle cars a styling choice more than anything, every other car will be just as good in a straight line.

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens to the likes of the RS and M cars of this world and Gen we’re fully electric. Will it just be trim and suspension that seerstws them from the run of the will saloons and estates? Will saloons and estates even survive?

  • irocfan 22 Jan 2019

    if they're electric you'd (almost certainly) be missing a huge part of their appeal - NOISE!

  • mrbarnett 22 Jan 2019

    A muscle car without any muscle is about as relevant as an off road car without any off road ability. I'm sure it'll sell by the bucket-load mad

  • thebigmacmoomin 22 Jan 2019

    irocfan said:
    if they're electric you'd (almost certainly) be missing a huge part of their appeal - NOISE!
    That could be faked, just like a lot of cars do now with engine sounds piped in through the speakers.

  • Clivey 22 Jan 2019

    mrbarnett said:
    A muscle car without any muscle is about as relevant as an off road car without any off road ability. I'm sure it'll sell by the bucket-load mad
    Sadly true in today’s style over substance market. When you can’t buy a new Land Rover on mud tyres and when even Volvo are fitting dual branch exhausts to 1.6 diesels, you know something’s wrong.

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