Once the V8 is gone, then what?
The powertrain of the future has been decided. After more than a century, the internal combustion engine has begun its phased withdrawal. Battery-electric technology will take its place. Existing non-BEV passenger vehicles will either have to adapt or retire as well. For brands like Dodge, which relies heavily on powerful V8-powered muscle cars, the stakes couldn't be higher. But this technological shift also presents huge opportunities and Dodge is determined to embrace this path. Speaking to Muscle Cars and Trucks, head of Dodge Sales Operations, Matt McAlear, acknowledged changes abound. But not all change is bad.
"Everybody knows electrification is coming, we'll reinvent the muscle car as far as Dodge is concerned. I'm extremely excited about where the future is going, but right now everybody is enjoying 'the bachelor party.' This is the last hurrah."
He admitted no specific date exists yet when buying a new iron block Hemi will no longer be possible, but the countdown clock has definitely started. But the more important part of his statement is actually one word: reinvention. As we all know, achieving significant amounts of horsepower and torque is not especially difficult in an EV.
Look no further than the 1,100 horsepower Tesla Model S Plaid and its 0-60 mph time in about 2 seconds, if not slightly less. The Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock, to compare, has 807 hp and reaches 60 mph from a standstill in 3.3 seconds.
For some Challenger and Charger fans, the very idea of them existing without a Hemi seems farfetched, if not outright impossible. Thing is, times change and muscle cars like these must do the same in order to survive. Enthusiasts will still be able to enjoy incredible power and performance, just with a very different type of powertrain. It's important for automaker executives like McAlear to acknowledge reality because many of their customers refuse to see it.
V8s aren't going to disappear overnight so it's best to enjoy them while we can. But a fully electrified muscle car allows for all kinds of interesting possibilities and it's reassuring Dodge is on board with that.