In an interview released this weekend, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) CEO Mike Manley told the Detroit Free Press at last weeks North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) that the next generation of Dodge muscle cars were coming and that they would be assisted with electric power.
“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 to the Detroit Free Press. “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.”
FCA has been very vocal to its plans of using electric power in its future applications. While we certainly doubt that a full-electric muscle car is in the works for the next generation of muscle cars from Dodge. FCA has been showing us lots of current applications with electric assist. Vehicles like the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, Chinese-market Jeep Grand Commander PHEV and the upcoming 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited PHEV are great examples of the new electrification programs put forth by FCA. We don’t doubt that the next generation Challenger and/or Charger would have a similar system using both gas and electric hybrid systems, that would allow the customer to run their vehicle solely on electric power for so many miles.
FCA has also introduced new electric assisted technology in many other vehicles as well. The Ram 1500 and Jeep Wrangler (JL) offer eTorque mild hybrid systems on select powertrains. The eTorque system combines belt-drive motor generator unit with 48-volt battery pack to enable start/stop function, short-term torque assist and brake energy regeneration.
We also know FCA has been hard at work on their next generation powertrains. FCA US has been working on their “GME-T6” motor. This engine is 3.X-liters in displacement and will be a turbo inline-six cylinder engine. FCA released some data about a couple of the systems that our source have said that the new GME-T6 engines will use. One of which is called, E-Booster. E-Booster is for turbocharged engines that uses electronics to assist in building up boost pressure so there is zero turbo lag.
But we wouldn’t doubt that the new GME-T6 engine program will also have options like eTorque available as well.
So while some of the media is saying that it sounds like the 6.2-liter Supercharged HEMI HELLCAT V8 is out of the picture in the future, it is still very much a key powertrain well into the mid-2020s. FCA has already announced a HELLCAT-powered Ram TRX coming in 2022. We have even heard about another FCA vehicle getting equipped with the 700+ horsepower engine in 2021 (more details to follow).
With gas prices being low in the United States and regulations being pushed back, there is no need to completely get rid of the V8 from any of the muscle cars. Other countries like China, where the government has imposed restrictions that in order for a company to sell cars there must have 20% of its sales in the form of hybrid options by 2020 are going to benefit from the electrifcation of vehicles. Canada gas prices also keep going up as well and it might also be a good alternative for those who live north of the United States.
Both Ford and Chevrolet have announced that they will be producing hybrid muscle cars in the years to come, it only makes sense for Dodge to as well. However, don’t count the V8 out… not just yet!