Sources suggest the next generation Charger and Challenger will be made available with V8 power and rear-wheel drive.
If governments and environmental agencies have their way, the internal combustion engine is doomed. Even Dodge, makers of some of the most ludicrous performance vehicles in the USA, has had to accept this. The Stellantis-owned brand is readying all-electric variants of the much-loved Challenger and Charger, in a move that has led many to believe the venerable V8 would die. But it seems Dodge isn't giving up just yet. Sources have told MotorTrend that the next-generation Challenger and Charger will be made available with eight-pot power and rear-wheel-drive.
This will most certainly be music to the ears of any Mopar fan but, if you think about it, this decision makes plenty of sense. While other Stellantis carmakers have committed to being electric-only in the next few years, Dodge has only pledged to make a similar move by 2030, giving them plenty of time to buckle down and embrace EVs.
UPDATE: Dodge has confirmed that the information published by MotorTrend was not accurate. A source from the company confirmed to CarBuzz that the unnamed replacement will be EV-only, and there will not be a V8 available.
That doesn't mean we won't see any battery-powered vehicles from the brand anytime soon, though. An electric muscle car is slated for a 2024 model year introduction and will most likely be sold alongside the ICE-powered variants in an attempt to coax traditionalists over to silent, electric propulsion.
It's very possible that Stellantis will shoehorn a refined version of the current supercharged 6.2-liter V8, which does duty in the Hellcat models. We're guessing, however, that stricter emissions regulations will see the much-loved mill receive improved tuning. Hopefully, clients will receive more power, too.
Elsewhere, it would make plenty of sense for the company to employ the newly-developed Hurricane inline-six motor. Already used in the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, the frugal but feisty six-cylinder is available in two states of tune - a Standard Output variant has 420 horsepower and 468 lb-ft of torque, while the High Output variant boasts a muscly 510-hp and 500 lb-ft. This is more than enough to power lower rung Challenger and Charger models and should boost gas mileage too.
The platforms on which they will be based, however, remain a mystery. We already know Dodge's parent company is developing the STLA Medium and Large architectures which will underpin a variety of vehicles, from future Alfa Romeos to the upcoming electric Chrysler 300 and its Dodge-badged twin.
While Stellantis would most likely want to keep development costs low, we can't imagine the company will prolong the life of the outdated LD/LA platforms. Perhaps a new rear-wheel-drive platform is in the cards? After all, it could be shared with Maserati and several other Stellantis brands.
Another unknown is what these vehicles will look like when they arrive. Sources told the publication that the styling and final design have not been frozen, but the company is conscious of the fact that the imposing style of the existing vehicles has played a big part in their success.