Could an Electric Dodge Charger SUV Challenge the Ford Mustang Mach-E?

Dodge Charger SUV 1 photo
Photo: Andrei Nedelea for autoevolution
The Ford Mustang Mach-E all-electric SUV got a surprisingly positive reception, so this has undoubtedly sparked other manufacturers’ interest to mimic the formula.
Proof of how well it was received is the fact that the Mach-E First Edition, costing $61,000, is now listed as sold out on the manufacturer’s site. Ford doesn’t say how many First Edition Mach-Es it intended to make, but the fact that they sold out in just nine days after the vehicle’s public unveiling is certainly telling.

Ford definitely took a gamble when it decided to develop a Mustang-inspired SUV that wouldn’t come with a V8. It added two important twists to the traditional Mustang formula: it not only turned the vehicle into a high-riding SUV, but it also made it available exclusively powered by batteries - both were gambles, and it seems they are going to pay off.

Now I’m sure that other manufacturers that up until this point had been wary of adopting a similar path (we’ve known Ford was making the Mach-E for over two years) are now changing their view on the matter. And I’m specifically referring to the two other American automakers, Chrysler and General Motors.

What the latter could do to catch up to Ford was discussed here and I even made a rendering of what its (Camaro-inspired) SUV might end up looking like. Chrysler could do the same thing, and it could make its own Charger-inspired EV SUV to take the fight to Ford.

Besides, calling this vehicle "Charger" would be in keeping with the fact that you'd have to plug it in to charge it all the time.

In case you were wondering how the fact that Fiat-Chrysler was recently acquired by Peugeot was going to affect the hypothetical creation of this vehicle, well, I think it would actually help. The French automaker’s electrification programs are quite a bit more advanced than what FCA was doing.

Peugeot now has actual desirable and credible electric vehicles on the market, whereas FAC does not. Now I’m not sure what PSA platform could underpin this Dodge Charger EV crossover, but I’m sure Peugeot is working to electrify vehicles of all sizes in its range - right now, the only fully-electric Peugeots you can buy are quite small cars (the e-208 and e-2008).

The French automaker’s plan is to have either a hybrid or fully-electric version of all the models in its range by 2024, and now that Fiat-Chrysler (and all its brands) could be part of the Peugeot group, it should include them too. This also means PSA has plans to have larger electric vehicles, so maybe a bespoke EV platform or one that could accommodate an all-electric powertrain is in the works as you are reading this.

Peugeot’s current largest car, the 508 sedan, is only available as a plug-in hybrid, not a fully-electric model. So maybe the all-electric Dodge Charger SUV could share its platform with another future Peugeot sedan, possibly the rear-wheel drive-biased model I described (could theoretically happen) in this article.

From my point of view, I feel that Ford has opened the flood gates when it comes to re-using iconic sports car nameplates to sell vehicles totally different from the original formula. It might not have immediate effects that we’ll be able to see in the next few months, but in the next half-decade, I think the appearance of the Mustang Mach-E will have shown its impact.

On top of this, it will be really interesting to see what happens to the Dodge lineup after its parent FCA is taken over by PSA. I mean it still sells a car that was launched in 2006 (the Challenger two-door) and its entire range could really do with a revamp and refresh, especially since Dodge is a renowned automaker that has many iconic models in its past, that could be revitalized and reinterpreted for the present market context.
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