Dodge Brand CEO Tim Kuniskis tells MotorTrend that the Dodge Charger sedan and Challenger coupe will go out of production in 2024 and will be replaced by new battery-electric cars on new platforms. The news has not been well received among the Dodge muscle car faith.
Kuniskis says he has received death threats because of the news. “I juggle knives because I have to keep two different large factions happy, because at some point the two factions will meet. The problem is that no one knows when they will converge. My job is to give confidence, in over the next 24 months that we will do this. “
“These cars, as you know them today, will go out of production when we reach 2024,” says Kuniskis. The exact date of their deaths is still in the air and there will still be vehicles in stock at the dealer’s lots, but Dodge will stop building the current lineup by the end of 2024 – maybe sooner.
The old cars will be replaced by new vehicles on new platforms. Kuniskis will not say whether the new models will retain their old names, but he knows there is a lot of equity in names like the Charger and Challenger, just as Ford has utilized the Mustang name for its first electric SUV, the Mach-E.
Do you want to know more? Check out this entertaining and very heavy video from Dodge, and pay special attention to the last few seconds.
Did you see that? None? OK, go back and watch the last part again and tell us how many tires are emitting smoke? If you said “four”, go to the class leader. Dodge tells us clearly that whatever cars follow the Charger / Challenger twins will be four-wheel drive beasts capable of swallowing huge chunks of asphalt by touching your right toe. The message is that the company is not working hard on some wood-cutting climate nuts, it is taking car performance to the next level. If you loved the first show, you will adore the sequel!
Oh, the lit red logo that looks a bit like the rotor on a Wankel engine? It’s called a Fratzog, and it was used on some Dodge models in the 60’s. The name was invented because they had to call it something when it was first used. “It still means absolutely nothing and also has no relevance or significance to why we use it now,” Kuniskis says. But, backlit and in 3D, “it looks cool and high-tech and modern and looks like it represents electrification.” It will be the designated logo for Dodge electric cars in the future.
3 new models
A concept of a pure electric Dodge muscle car will be unveiled already in the first quarter of 2022, but not later than in the second quarter. It will be a high-performance, drivable, testable concept that will include a number of new electric car patents. The electric muscle cars – marketed under the eMuscle banner – will be built on the STLA Large platform, one of four electric car toolkits available from the Stellantis group. It will reportedly have a potential range of 500 miles, but it will depend a lot on how hard and how often the driver presses the pedal.
There should also be a plug-in hybrid and a third vehicle with a plug that Dodge is very quiet about. “The third will be a very, very, very, significant car by the end of the year,” he says. The logic suggests that the PHEV will be an SUV / minivan. After all, the current Chrysler Pacifica is available as a plug-in hybrid.
And of course, Dodge is also working on a battery-powered version of its popular Ram 1500 pickup. With Ford and GM also introducing electric pickups, it can not afford to be left out of that market. The first question informed readers will ask is, “Where does Dodge get its batteries from?” GM builds battery factories with LG Energy Solutions. Ford builds battery factories with SK Innovation. And Dodge builds battery factories with … who?
Pleases its base
Dodge does not completely escape the combustion game. It will continue to sell high-performance parts and sets through a select number of dealers who will become known as Power Brokers. They will be required to meet the requirements to sell and service the high performance parts of enthusiast vehicles in a manner that does not violate exhaust emissions regulations or void warranties.
Dodge is starting a pilot project with 100 dealers, and once Kuniskis is sure he can get the amount of parts he needs, he will expand the number of dealers. Look for Dodge to rebrand brand cars and events as powered by Dodge Power Brokers.
“Some of the buzz models, for the person who is excited about it, they will be super pumped. For the average person, it will not be such a big deal,” says Kuniskis. They will be “cool and interesting,” he says. .
Yes, it has a Hemi!
My brother-in-law, Steve Fortuna, has a 2016 Dodge Challenger in his garage. I call it Purple People Eater because it’s light purple, sounds like a dragster, and goes like it’s shot out of a cannon. It runs at just under 1200 rpm at 70 mph, but lower a gear or two (or three if you’re really busy), pedal on the joy pedal and hang on while your ears are pampered with an 8-cylinder concerto.
It’s a shame that those sounds will soon disappear. Some of my best memories behind the wheel involve the sound of my XK-E climbing Mount Tamalpais, or my Miata equipped with an Ansa exhaust system blasting down back roads in New England on an autumn run. There are two things about cars that arouse our passions – the sound of a roaring exhaust and the force that pushes us back into our seats during acceleration.
The first will be a distant memory as the EV revolution moves forward, but the second will be amplified by the instantaneous, tireless torque provided by electric motors. The people who send death threats to Tim Kuniskis may want to wait for the new electric cars from Dodge to arrive before carrying them out. To their surprise, they may find electric cars just as entertaining as their gasoline-powered predecessors. Dodge will take care of that.
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