Everyone is talking about Dodge’s transition into the electric age as we wait for the automaker to reveal three electric concepts at Speed Week in August. However, a new report claims that the days of the Hemi V8 are far from over, as the next-generation Charger and Challenger are claimed to stay true to old-school ICE power. While Dodge representatives have made it clear that they are focused on EVs and that the Hellcat is nearing the end of its life, here’s what the new rumors suggest.
The latest report comes from Motortrend, noting that “a new generation of rear-wheel drive V8-powered muscle machines is coming.” The post cites unnamed sources, similar to previous reports from last year that claimed the models will have a turbocharger built in. Motortrend believes the V8 will be reserved for the best Hellcat, with versions of the Hurricane six-cylinder for use in the rest of the lineup. According to them, the V8 will be mated to an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox that sends power to the rear axle, with the optional AWD system.
Nobody is claiming that the new generation Charger and Challenger will use an updated version of the existing foundations. This architecture dates back to the early 1900s, so it is expected to die in 2023, along with the 12-year-old Charger and the 15-year-old Challenger.
The new generation of Dodge models is likely to transition to the larger STLA modular architecture, which will support eight new models by 2026. In support of this claim, it has been confirmed that Stellantis’ Windsor and Brampton plants in Ontario, Canada will produce electric vehicles based on the architecture. STLA large after investment retooling.
We spoke last year to a Dodge spokesperson who said, “The platforms for the Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger vehicles as you know them today, along with the Hellcat powertrain, will continue production through 2023. In 2024, Dodge will transition to new platforms, electric new muscle cars. “. When we asked him about the possibility of using the BEV and ICE variants, he replied, “The brand only said BEV.” Also, in late 2021, Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis confirmed to Motor Authority that the Hellcat V8 would die in late 2023.
Both of these statements leave little room for speculation. However, while all STLA platforms were initially announced for electric vehicles, some Stellantis brands will use them for ICE-powered vehicles that feature some type of electric, meaning the chassis is compatible with both types of engines. The problem is that if Dodge wants to roll out more plug-in hybrids alongside the already-confirmed Hornet SUV, it won’t have much chance of cross-brand collaboration given that most Stellantis will be EV-only by 2030 in Europe.
The truth is that you can never be sure when writing about the future of Stellantis. At the moment, the scenario regarding a plan to extend the life of a V8 engine seems unlikely, even in an electrified form. What could happen though, is rumored Challenger Demons running on E85. This special edition could be a fitting farewell to the powerful V8, before electric motors bring more power and torque to the Dodge range, along with a new kind of “shocking” sound.