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Even If Supercharged Dodge Hellcats Go Extinct, HP Wars Will Continue

In the world of Dodge, flagship models get to possess supercharged V8 engines, putting down more than 700 horsepower like it’s no big thing. Meanwhile, some other carmakers will barely offer you half that, even with their highest-spec models.
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It’s safe to say that the Dodge people are quite proud of what they’ve accomplished with the likes of the Challenger and Charger Hellcat, the Demon, and more recently, the Dodge Durango Hellcat. However, according to company chief executive Tim Kuniskis, the Hellcat powertrain is going extinct, in part thanks to tightening fuel economy requirements but also the rise of electric vehicles.

“The whole world is going to shift to electrification, right? We know this is coming,” he told CNBC during a recent interview. “The whole world’s going to get there and when it does, the price point of that technology is going to come down and ...the crazy people are going to take the electrification that has now become accessible from a price point and make that performance-based, instead of economy-based."

His optimism comes from his belief that electrification (whether it’s hybrid power or battery electric) can actually help muscle cars going forward.

As it stands now, Dodge’s current lineup holds multiple supercharged V8 models, with some producing more than 700 or even 800 horsepower, in the case of the Challenger SRT Super Stock. The latter is America's most powerful production road car, at least until the Tesla Model S Plaid goes on sale. Hot on the Super Stock’s trail is the Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye, which is good for 797 hp.

“What Hellcat has done is way beyond what our initial expectations were because it’s way beyond what a traditional, very high-end trim does,” added Kuniskis. “In the last five years or so, we’ve sold well over 50,000 Hellcats. That’s a lot of Hellcats in five years if you think about, you know, the price point of that car.”

Even though there aren’t any fully electric or even plug-in hybrid offerings within Dodge’s lineup at the moment, Kuniskis said that would change, without offering any additional details. We suspect Stellantis will make that happen for them.

Now, if you're wondering just how quick a fully-electric or plug-in hybrid Dodge flagship could end up being, consider the Challenger SRT Demon as a benchmark. On paper, it could hit 60 mph (96 kph) in just 2.3 seconds from a standstill, so it wouldn't surprise us if a future Hellcat EV might be able to do that without you even having to purchase the most exclusive/expensive variant. As for power figures, they should easily surpass the 1,000 hp mark and keep going.


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