A grand V8 finale unlike anything else.
Dodge understands the V8 engine as we know it is on borrowed time. While the transition to an all-electric vehicle lineup will take several years, hybrids and plug-in hybrid setups will serve as stop-gap measures. With the FCA-PSA Groupe merger now complete, the newly created Stellantis is moving fast towards electrification. The Jeep Wrangler 4xe is proof and, further down the line, a production-spec version of the just-revealed Wrangler Magneto EV concept. Muscle cars cannot escape the new reality.
But there is a little time left until the Biden administration finalizes new EPA emissions standards, and Dodge intends to move fast with one final, non-electrified V8 hurrah. The automaker has just confirmed plans to launch the ultimate Dodge Charger SRT Ghoul for the 2022 model year.
What started as an April Fool's gag was taken seriously by the brand because, hey, who wouldn't want a 1,000 horsepower Charger powered by the Hellephant V8 crate engine? Torque output will be around 950 lb-ft. A heavy-duty Allison transmission routing power to the rear wheels will be standard. Hellephant production, initially limited to only 100 units priced at $29,995 a pop, will be re-launched, though in small batches once again; Dodge will only build 100 Ghouls priced at around $200,000 each.
A final figure is still being determined. Buyers will also have to pony up for the gas guzzler tax, but we doubt any of them will care. The regular Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, which now comes standard with the widebody treatment, will remain in production for the new model year.
The Ghoul will also be widebody only and some significant suspension and chassis adjustments are necessary in order to accommodate the extra power. But there's another important reason why Stellantis gave the Charger SRT Ghoul the production green light: it's actually a smart business case. Because the Hellephant engine was initially built in such low numbers, FCA didn't fully recuperate its investment. Even with the required suspension upgrades, the Ghoul's high price tag will thus close the money gap.
"We could not be more excited to bring the once-in-a-lifetime, all-powerful Dodge Charger SRT Ghoul to market for a very select few customers," a company spokesperson said. "They're in for a treat unlike anything else." Reservations will begin April 1, on a first-come, first-serve basis.