Dodge Charger to Continue Legacy with New EV and Gas-Powered Muscle Variant

Dodge remains steadfast in its commitment to its traditional, gearhead, high-octane Charger, and Challenger enthusiasts with the forthcoming generation of muscle cars.

On Tuesday, the automaker unveiled the new Dodge Charger, which will be available both as an all-electric vehicle and as a next-generation gas-powered muscle car. This marks Dodge’s first foray into the realm of all-electric cars.

Since late 2022, there has been speculation surrounding the fate of the longstanding Charger and Challenger models, following Dodge’s announcement that production would cease at the end of the previous year. At that juncture, the company hinted at an electric replacement while remaining tight-lipped about the potential for future gas models.

By offering both EV and gas-powered versions of the vehicle, Dodge aims to enhance production flexibility, particularly in light of the slower-than-anticipated growth in sales of all-electric vehicles. Following the launch of the initial models, more gas and electric-powered Chargers will hit the market, including the much-anticipated “Banshee” EV.

Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis hailed the EV as a “game changer in the industry.” Meanwhile, the new gas-powered models are poised to surpass their V-6 engine predecessors and even rival some of the V-8 variants in terms of performance.

Modern design: Inspired by the 2022 concept car, aerodynamic yet muscular, and features a distinctive “R-Wing” front end. (Credits: Electrek)

During a media briefing, Kuniskis emphasized, “We’re taking the performance of the ‘golden age’ that you know today that you judge everything by and we’re taking the technology of the future to make sure [the Dodge brothers’] legacy doesn’t die. The Banshee is going to be our ultimate performer.”

The 2024 Charger EV, known as the Daytona, is set to hit the market this summer boasting up to 670 horsepower, 627 foot-pounds of peak torque, and an impressive 0-60 mph time of 3.3 seconds.

Initially, the two-door EV versions will debut, followed by the four-door models in the first quarter of next year. Gas-powered Chargers featuring a new inline-six engine are slated to go on sale in 2025.

All iterations of the next-generation Charger will eventually offer both two- and four-door options, serving as replacements for the current four-door Dodge Charger and two-door Challenger models.

Pricing for both the EV and gas-powered models will be disclosed closer to their production dates, as indicated by Kuniskis. Presently, starting prices for the Charger and Challenger gas models span roughly from $33,000 to $96,000.

The transition to offering two- and four-door variants for both EV and gas models is expected to streamline parts and reduce costs, aligning with a directive from Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis, the parent company of Dodge. Dodge has announced that all EV and gas models will share interior and exterior designs, a move aimed at simplifying production and cutting costs.

When questioned about the profitability of the EV, Kuniskis echoed statements made by Tavares, affirming that the company will not sell electrified vehicles at a loss to inflate sales figures or meet federal fuel economy standards.

“PowerShot” feature: Standard on Charger Daytona, adds 40 horsepower for 15 seconds. (Credits: Electrek)

While many brands have shifted towards smaller, more fuel-efficient engines, Dodge has distinguished itself with the rollout of Hellcat models and other high-performance vehicles. However, these models have contributed to the automaker’s carbon footprint, necessitating the purchase of carbon credits from companies such as Tesla.

Stellantis’ “Dare Forward 2030” strategic plan outlines a shift towards electrified and more efficient propulsion systems, intending to reduce its global carbon footprint by 50% by 2030 and achieve net carbon zero by 2038.

Kuniskis clarified that there are no plans for V-8 or plug-in hybrid electric models for the new Charger, which will be manufactured at a Stellantis assembly plant in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

The Charger Daytona EV will debut with initial offerings in “R/T” and “Scat Pack” models, boasting 496 horsepower and 670 horsepower, respectively. Dodge anticipates ranges of 317 miles for the R/T and 260 miles for the Scat Pack on a full charge.

A notable feature, dubbed “PowerShot,” will come standard on Charger Daytona models, providing an extra 40 horsepower for 15 seconds upon activation.

“We are going to displace superchargers and replace them with kilowatts and PowerShots,” remarked Kuniskis.

The design of the new Charger draws heavily from a concept car unveiled by Dodge in August 2022. It presents a modern yet nostalgic interpretation of the current Dodge Challenger, characterized by a more aerodynamic yet muscular aesthetic. Particularly distinctive is the front end, featuring a sizable opening dubbed the “R-Wing” for optimal airflow.

Kuniskis described the concept car as the “production car hiding in plain sight,” an effort to acclimate customers to the new design.

Regarding sound, Dodge is still refining how the EV will audibly perform. The objective is to preserve the distinctive roaring sound and driving experience synonymous with Dodge’s current gas-powered Charger and Challenger models.

While EVs are known for their swift acceleration and impressive 0-60 mph times, they often lack the driving dynamics cherished by many performance car enthusiasts. This challenge has been a focal point for auto executives navigating the industry’s transition to electric vehicles.

The gas-powered Charger will feature a 3.0-liter twin-turbo “Hurricane” inline six-cylinder engine, also employed in other Stellantis vehicles such as the Jeep Wagoneer and Ram 1500.

The only discernible difference between EVs and gas vehicles may be the use of a “Fratzog” split deltoid logo for EVs, as opposed to Dodge’s current dual racing stripes. Kuniskis mentioned that the company is still deliberating whether to incorporate the Fratzog—a term originally coined by Dodge from 1962 through 1976—into the gas models.

Sajda Parveen
Sajda Parveen
Sajda Praveen is a market expert. She has over 6 years of experience in the field and she shares her expertise with readers. You can reach out to her at [email protected]
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