A month ago at the Detroit Auto Show, Ford Motor Company (FoMoCo) unveiled its seventh-generation Ford Mustang (S650) lineup. To much surprise, Ford ditched its original plans of offering all-wheel-drive (AWD) and hybrid technology, in favor of the traditional rear-wheel-drive (RWD), V8 muscle car formula. And without a single production unit rolling off of the Flat Rock Assembly Plant line yet, FoMoCo has not only created a ton of buzz for its upcoming model with Dodge clearly in its crosshairs.
With rumors surrounding Chevrolet Camaro coming to an end after 2023, it leaves the focus between Dodge and FoMoCo in a head-to-head battle in the American muscle car segment.
Unlike Ford, Dodge has completely different plans for its 2024+ Dodge Challenger and Charger. Moving forward with electrification, Dodge looks to use electrification as more of an evolution of performance rather than a saving the planet move. To help put all those “kilowatts” down, both cars will continue to offer AWD variants.
Dodge claims that it will offer up to at least three core electrified variants (each available with three different performance upgrades through its Direct Connection catalog). Seem satisfying enough to make the jump to electric?
If not, Dodge has yet to confirm it, but it will still offer internal combustion engines (ICEs) as well. But don’t expect a HEMI V8 to be under the hood. Instead, we should see both variants of the new turbocharged 3.0-liter Hurricane I6 engines, now found in the Jeep® Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. Both I6 engines make both more horsepower and torque and produce 15% fewer emissions than the HEMI V8 engines they replace. The latter part is more of the reason for the move to I6 engines.
The change in the traditional muscle car formula has a lot of Dodge loyalists on edge. Since Ford’s announcement, social media has been blowing up with fans in both camps praising Ford for continuing to push the traditional muscle car values forward.
Hopefully, Dodge is listening to its fan base.
On a positive note, Dodge has been good about building upon its vehicles as they continue in production. The current L-Series cars are a perfect example of that, with a 425 horsepower 6.1-liter (370 cubic inch) HEMI V8 being the top powertrain choice early on.
Since then, we have seen an 840 horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter (376 cubic inch) Demon HEMI V8 making its way into the Challenger SRT Demon. Rumors have the L-Series going out with a big bang, with a 909 horsepower in another drag racing-oriented model coming later this year.
We can only hope, that some type of V8 will return to a future Dodge muscle car. Kind of makes us wish that Dodge would have kept the V8 and gone the hydrogen route. But we do look forward to seeing more innovation from Dodge in the future.
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