Don't expect a 700-hp supercharged V8 to power next-gen Challenger.
We figured this day would come and this new report from The Detroit News has confirmed it. The next generation Dodge Challenger will receive an electric motor, according to Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley. Also according to Manley, the current generation Challenger's (and Charger) time is limited but refused to offer a precise timeline as to when its hybrid successor will arrive. All he would reveal was that the new Challenger will debut sometime in the next decade.
"The reality is those platforms and that technology we used does need to move on. They can't exist as you get into the middle-2020s," Manley said last week at the Detroit Auto Show. "New technology is going to drive a load of weight out, so we can think of the powertrains in a different way. And we can use electrification to really supplement those vehicles."
The current Challenger and Charger went on sale 13 years ago and both ride on even older rear-wheel-drive platforms. That platform, of course, can accommodate a lot of horsepower, such as the supercharged 6.2-liter Hellcat V8. But future fuel emissions standards will force automakers to make many changes, as we well know. Take Ferrari, for example. Its LaFerrari is powered by a naturally aspirated 6.3-liter V12 paired to an electric motor and kinetic energy recovery system (KERS).
This formula proved lots horsepower and performance can be obtained this way, and other more mainstream automakers have taken notice. "I think that electrification will certainly be part of the formula that says what is American muscle in the future," said Manley. "What it isn't going to be is a V8, supercharged, 700-horsepower engine."
No specifics were provided, unfortunately, but we also know that cross-town rival Ford is also working on blending electrification with high-performance. Its luxury Lincoln brand is said to be working on an EV utilizing the Mustang's RWD platform. Not long ago, we also learned that the Challenger's 5.7-liter Hemi V8 could soon be replaced by an inline-six, but when we asked Dodge and SRT exterior design chief Mark Trostle about this at Detroit, he refused to comment.
Chances are he was waiting for his boss, Manley, to make the big announcement regarding the upcoming hybrid Challenger. Now that the cat is out of the bag regarding at least one aspect of the Challenger's future, the speculation will now begin as to which engine and platform will be called for duty.