With the current Dodge Challenger (LA) and Charger (LD) in their last year in production, the era of the modern HEMI muscle car looks to come to an end in December 2023. Instead, Dodge like all other major automakers looks towards electrification as the answer forward.
In a recent interview with Muscle Car & Trucks (MC&T), Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis shed a few important notes about the future direction of the brand.
Kuniskis, who is not afraid to stir the pot from time to time, informed MC&T that the future of the brand could expand past the four-vehicle lineup that the 2023 model year will consist of.
“I will tell you that it’s more than today. And not even a little bit more than today,” Kuniskis told MC&T.
“By the way, we’re going to share our future long-term plans with our dealers early next year. And we would love to believe that all this stuff is top secret when we do it, but it’s not,” Kuniskis went on to say.
Going into 2023, Dodge will gain its first all-new model since 2011 in the United States and Canada with the Hornet (GG). The new C-UV will be a cornerstone for the brand, bringing in people from the mass market, something the brand hasn’t had since the discontinuation of the Dodge Journey (JC) and Dodge Grand Caravan (RT) in 2020.
The Hornet joins the aging Gen3 Durango (WD), now in its 12th year in production. And although the Durango received a second mid-cycle action (MCA) or “refresh” in 2021, it is starting to show its age against the competition.
Rumors have placed the next-gen Durango moving the nameplate back to a body-on-frame (BoF) architecture and being built alongside the current Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer. This would be beneficial to Dodge, as Dodge continues to be a key player in law enforcement vehicle sales. As agencies move to bigger and bigger SUVs, an even bigger SUV would keep Dodge in the play for the segment against vehicles like the Ford Explorer Police Interceptor and Chevrolet Tahoe Police Pursuit Vehicle (PPV).
With a new C-segment UV with the Hornet and the current E-segment SUV with the Durango, there is also the possibility of a third SUV joining the fray. The SUV segment is the biggest niche in the world and as the passenger car segment continues to decline, there is plenty of room for another SUV.
As the Chrysler Group has shown, it will expand its UV portfolio over the next couple of years with its new STLA Large architecture. STLA Large is the same platform that the next-gen Dodge Challenger and Charger will set on when they come to market in 2024. As for UVs, both Chrysler and Jeep have shown upcoming battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) with the Chrysler Airflow, Jeep Recon, and Wagoneer S. So why not a Dodge vehicle?
Nevertheless, it sounds like Dodge will have at least one more additional vehicle outside the Hornet joining the current nameplate portfolio is exciting news for Dodge fans.
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