Dodge’s Future Ferrari-Engined Muscle Cars are Not the End of the V8 World

When non-car people ask me why I get so angry whenever something threatens the all-mighty V8, I tell them this: “Imagine you’ve fallen into the sea, but you can’t swim. You’re heading towards the bottom and while you can still see the surface, you’re about to lose your breath. How badly do you want to get out - wouldn’t it be nice to have some V8-powered contraption to take you to the surface right NOW?”
That’s what I feel whenever I get behind the wheel and accelerate. And HEMIs are one of the best ways to quench this thirst for motoring life. Well, I intend to carry on enjoying driving even after 2019, when Dodge is rumored to kill off both the 6.4-liter and the Hellcat V8.

As most people I know, I’ve always hated doomsday prophets or preppers, and I’m not going to turn into one just because SRT will downsize its engines. And there’s more than one reason to get over this way before it even happens.

When this rumor first showed up earlier this week, I didn’t want to believe it. But I had to. After all, I had spent an entire evening at the beginning of the month, browsing Mr. President’s clean power plan and thinking about the White House’s proposal to keep us all alive and healthy.

I can only imagine the pressure placed on each head of state when an international climate change convention takes places. After all, I can get by with a V6, if this is what it takes to keep people from geting killed by tornadoes and wildfires, or starvation.

Especially if that V6 happens to be designed by Ferrari. The pathway here is simple. Dodge’s future bad boy offerings will be built on the modular rear-wheel drive architecture of the Alfa Romeo Giulia. And instead of squeezing the current pair of HEMIs in there, the cars will also borrow the Italians’ 3-liter twin-turbo V6.

When Enzo Ferrari gave us his famous “aerodynamics are for people who can’t build engines” line, the pride he took in his company’s engine-designing skill was obvious. And people may have mocked him for his remark, but here we are, talking about muscle cars powered by Maranello-designed hearts.

Perhaps if he was still among us and could see Fiat Chrysler’s 2019 plan, he would take it as revenge on American go-fast machines. That would probably be the only thing that would make him get over his defeat at Le Mans. I’m willing to bet taking revenge on Dodge for Ford’s racing deeds would satisfy the man.

I know, I sound like I’ve gone mad. And that because, partially, I have. I know the V6 units Ferrari build for Maserati, Alfa Romeo and even for themselves in the future, are nothing short of exquisite. But they’re not V8s. And Ford has already gone down this route.

The Blue Oval was always more cunning that its two Detroit rivals - just think of the superior position they had during the bailout period. Remember what Ford did back in January?

Instead of talking about downsizing like Dodge’s SRT, Ford Performance swiped us off our feet with the drool-worthy Raptor and the Aventador-biting 2017 GT. Both come with V6 power, but it’s not like you hear people complaining.

And just like Dodge did with the Hellcat, Ford made a somewhat smaller V8 effort by building on a previous development, when they came up with the VooDoo V8 in the Shelby GT350. The pattern is obvious here. The SRT people will also divert our attention from the downsizing with plenty of new cool stuff, such as the return of the Barracuda.

Still, how can the vee-eight slabs of America under the hoods of Mopar machines be headed for the trash? Well, I don’t think this is a Mad Max kind of situation, where we are talking about “the last V8”.

Sure, it seems like that is just the case, but try to remember the ridiculous past predictions about the time in which we live now. Forget the oil crisis, let’s move further to the global downturn that hit us back in 2007-2008. Who would have though that, in less than a decade, Dodge would build a 707 hp motor and make it affordable too?

Politicians know people need valves to blow off the steam from time to time, so the V8 won’t be retired for good, at least not so soon. Ford and Dodge engineers could build a V8 with incredible fuel efficiency right now, but it would end up costing McLaren money. So slowly phasing out our current V8s is a better temporary solution.

In the end, I’m confident we’ll still get to enjoy our combustion fetish for some nice years to come.

But I can’t lie to myself. Grabbing a V8 in the mid-term future won’t be nearly as easy as it is today. Only those who can’t live without a V8 will get to enjoy one.

That means maturity. And I have to admit the stability it brings is the next best thing to being able to guzzle gas all day long without any worries.
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About the author: Andrei Tutu
Andrei Tutu profile photo

In his quest to bring you the most impressive automotive creations, Andrei relies on learning as a superpower. There's quite a bit of room in the garage that is this aficionado's heart, so factory-condition classics and widebody contraptions with turbos poking through the hood can peacefully coexist.
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