Earlier this past week, Stellantis N.V. announced that it would be holding a press conference on Thursday, July 8th, to discuss the future of the company’s brands and the direction it plans to take in the form of electric vehicles (EVs). Entitled “EV Day 2021“, the event should give the public their first look at the Stellantis organization and its future since coming together from the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and Peugeot S.A. (PSA) identities.
Among the hot topics, will be the future of the Dodge//SRT brand and its lineup of muscle cars. While we expect the Dodge brand will adopt a lineup offering plug-in hybrid (PHEV) options for each of its three core models (Charger, Challenger, and Durango).
The long-awaited turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder from the company’s Global Medium Engine (GME) family of engines is expected to be a game-changer and is expected to finally debut in the form of a PHEV variant of the new Jeep® Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer (WS) later this year.
We wouldn’t be surprised if we see details about the upcoming compact Dodge Hornet SUV, a new midsized rear-wheel-drive UV, the next-generation of Charger and Challenger on the new STLA Large architecture, and a new body-on-frame Durango on the STLA Frame architecture. Dodge has mentioned that it has something special planned for the July 8th date.
The Chrysler brand is another important brand we will be focusing on. With the Chrysler minivan lineup (Pacifica, Voyager, and Grand Caravan) being the only prevalent part of the iconic brand’s lineup that will be left after 2023. We expect that the next-generation minivans will adopt the STLA Large architecture and will more than likely offer a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) option.
The Chrysler 300 will not return to the lineup after 2023, but we expect the recent Unifor agreement’s acknowledgment of a new electrified vehicle will be produced at the Windsor Assembly facility. We expect that vehicle to be a new Multi-Purpose Passenger Vehicle (MPV) in the lines of the Chrysler Portal Concept and Chrysler Airflow Vision. We expect such a vehicle will probably utilize the STLA Medium platform.
With products like the all-new electrified Ford F-150 Lightning coming to market this year, the Ram brand is expected to counter with an electrified option. We believe that the Ram 1500 will opt to build a PHEV variant of its award-winning half-ton, before a BEV variant. With the new Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer PHEV SUVs coming to market, we expect the new electrified Ram 1500 to offer a similar powertrain and capabilities, as it would ultimately be the easiest and fastest way to production.
The question remains, will Ram adopt the Wagoneer’s independent rear suspension (IRS) or will it go with an electrified solid rear axle, like Magna recently showed off to the public. An IRS system will be used on the new Lightning and might be the cheaper option. IRS is used on electric trucks due to the electric motor being bolted to the rear axle in most applications.
There is also the question of the Heavy Duty lineup and what is to come of the Ram 2500, 3500, 4500, and 5500. Hopefully, EV Day 2021 will have some answers.
The Jeep® brand has already started launching a lineup of electrified 4xe models for its portfolio. So far, these have included the Renegade, Compass, Wrangler, and Grand Commander. By the end of 2021, the Grand Cherokee, Gladiator, Commander, Wagoneer, and Grand Wagoneer are expected to join the electrified lineup.
With the adoption of the new STLA architectures, we expect a new sub-compact model to join the lineup in 2024 for Europe and Asia. A new midsized Cherokee (KM) is also expected to join the lineup around 2021, it is unknown if that vehicle will adopt a new STLA architecture.
The FIAT brand has already mentioned that it will adopt an all-electric portfolio starting in 2024. Olivier François made the announcement that the automaker would make the switch surrounding World Environment Day 2021.
“It is our duty to bring to market electric cars that cost no more than those with an internal combustion engine, as soon as we can, in line with the falling costs of batteries,” said François “We are exploring the territory of sustainable mobility for all: this is our greatest project. Between 2025 and 2030, our product line-up will gradually become electric-only. This will be a radical change for FIAT.”
It is unknown if the company will make the complete switch in the European market only or globally. Some countries in South America where the FIAT brand is popular, still don’t have a strong enough infrastructure to support electric cars, so it will make it interesting how the brand will plan to solve this issue.
Alfa Romeo –
According to multiple sources around the web and our own, the Alfa Romeo brand is expected to follow in the footsteps of the FIAT brand with a switch to a fully electrified lineup. This means anything after 2025, would be offered with electric powertrains only.
It is also expected that the Italian brand will introduce several new vehicles in the lineup, including a new series of SUVs like the new sub-compact Alfa Kid, the new Tonale, an all-new Stelvio, and a full-size SUV that has been in the rumor mill for years. As for the Giulia, it is expected to return to the lineup after 2024 as well.
The Maserati brand has made it no secret that it will offer an electrified lineup of vehicles. The current Ghibli and Levante have already adopted a mild-hybrid system. The new MC20 super sportscar will also adopt a new electrified powertrain option for 2023. Of course, the new Grecale midsized SUV and GranTurismo coupe are scheduled to join the lineup for the 2023 model year and will feature PHEV and BEV technology according to insiders.
Needless, we expect most of the vehicles coming from Stellantis will be at least PHEV capable at the end of 2024.
July 8th will provide a lot of answers for fans of all the brands. For us petrolheads, it is a trying time. While it won’t be the last of the combustion engine, it looks like the days of big supercharged HEMIs are coming to an end.
The addition of electrified vehicles brings a lot of questions to the table. Will the cost of vehicles rise to the point where not many people can afford them anymore? Can our infrastructure be able to take on electric cars? How can electric cars be charged in rural areas with not much of a power grid? How will getting the raw materials to build the batteries and then disposing of them affect the planet compared to regular combustion cars?
Not all of us agree on the switch to electric vehicles, but it is something several automotive manufacturers have made a 100% commitment to. For Stellantis, it should be answered on July 8th, so stay tuned as we will be covering everything announced from the meeting.