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Fear Not, the Challenger and the Charger Will Be Around Until at Least 2024

Dodge plans to join the inevitable march toward electric muscle cars, and that means saying adios to the V8 sooner than later, but electrification won’t spell the instant mothballing of the coveted Challenger and the Charger models.
Dodge Challenger 7 photos
Photo: Dodge
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And as to what that will mean to gearheads, you need only cast your mind back to the epic chase scene in the 1971 film Vanishing Point. Two fast and loud Dodge Challenger R/T’s raced across the desert, and in the process, the Challenger R/T became legend.

Since then, the Challenger has suffered downs and enjoyed glorious moments of ascendant victory. The first generation of Dodge Challengers hit the streets hard in 1970, and many consider it the single most successful muscle car ever built. While the first idea off the board for the Challenger featured - of all things - a turbine engine, the design team ultimately decided to go with a pair of wildly divergent options. One, a puny and vile inline V6 which put out a wretched and sad 145 horsepower from an anemic 225-cubic-inches.

But the mill that made the Challenger a hero was the 440-cubic-inch V8 which produced a lusty (for the era) 390 horsepower.

Over the course of the next four model years, Challengers came in uglier and less powerful and appealing versions.

But enough of that.

"The new platform comes in 2024. The new car comes in 2024. We didn't say that the current cars are going to die in 2024,” Tim Kuniskis, Dodge majordomo, told Muscle Cars & Trucks. “There might be a little overlap, but you're not going to have years and years and years of the classic and the new one at the same time."

Though Kuniskis said the V8 Charger and Challenger could still be on for 2025, nothing is yet written in stone.

But the end is nigh and the successor to the lines will only be offered with electric powertrains. He says those updates will be loaded on top of the Stellantis STLA Large platform, which the company designed for all-wheel-drive performance rods.

And Kuniskis knows an electric version of one of the most coveted and iconic fossil fuel breathing V8 muscle cars will cause more than a touch of blowback, but he says he’s pinning his hopes on finding a slew of new customers to make up the loss of the dissenters.

"When you make a big change, there are going to be people that just aren't going to follow you, at least initially. But a lot of these people will return eventually when they see we're serious, and we're going to be Dodge first," he said.
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Editor's note: Gallery shows various Dodge models

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