Can you hear that? That’s the bell tolling for the combustion engine. And naturally, big, gas-guzzling V8s will be among the first to go, which is bad news for certain car brands in particular.
Dodge is one of them. It now has just three models, all of which are focused on power and performance: Charger, Challenger and Durango. But instead of burying his head into the sand or lamenting the demise of the famous Hellcat engine, among others, CEO Tim Kuniskis is talking about an opportunity to seize.
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"The days of an iron-block, supercharged 6.2-litre V8 are numbered," he told American reporters during a recent interview. "They're absolutely numbered because of all the compliance costs. But the performance that those vehicles generate is not numbered."
For die-hard fans of the combustion engine (and the sounds that are like music to the ears), it will be the end of an era, for sure. The head of Dodge thinks we could very well see a new golden age of muscle cars, however.
"The whole world is going to shift to electrification, right? The whole world's going to get there and when it does, the price point of that technology is going to come down, and … the crazy people are going to take the electrification that has now become accessible from a price point and make that performance-based instead of economy-based."
In other words, the V8-powered Chargers, Challengers and Durangos are not going to die. Rather, they will enjoy a rebirth, according to Kuniskis.
When exactly? That’s a very good question. In spite of a design that is several years old, Dodge’s muscle cars will likely soldier on in their current form for some time. When the next generation comes, though, you can definitely expect electrification to be part of the mix.
Jeep has already announced a plan to electrify its entire lineup by the end of 2022. Dodge could use the same technologies, or potentially benefit from parent company Stellantis’ leadership in Europe.