Electrification is the Future for Dodge
No need to worry just yet, but it appears that the days of gasoline-powered HEMI V8 engines on Dodge muscle cars are counted. In an interview with AutomotiveNews, the current head of passenger cars for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), Tim Kuniskis, stated that “electrification is the absolute future for these cars” when referring to the Dodge lineup. Of course, this won’t be happening any time soon, but FCA does have a five-year electrification plan in the works for the time being. Kuniskis didn’t mention a specific timeline – as is customary with production plans etc. – as he left everything up to interpretation. The only thing Kuniskis did share is the fact that no changes will take place until the cost proposition is right and where it needs to be.
While unveiling the Charger Scat Pack and SRT Hellcat widebody models Kuniskis said “I think the absolute future is electrification of these cars. But I am a firm believer that electrification will be the key to high performance in the future.”
Kuniskis did clarify that the electrification he is referring to could be in the form of traditional gas-electric hybridization, plug-in hybridization, or even the use of innovative “e-axles.” E-axles are when individual drive axles are equipped with electric motors. Another possibility that FCA could consider is the incorporation of electric motors into innovative transmission cases. In fact, one of the major transmission suppliers – ZF – recently signed a deal with FCA. The deal in question renews the automaker’s relationship with ZF and includes the supply of hybridized transmissions. Regardless of the currently unknown specifics, Kuniskis was clear that electrification will be part of Dodge’s future.
Diehards may feel alarmed when reading this initially, but electrification would not necessarily be a bad thing from a performance point-of-view. Famed automakers such as Tesla, Porsche, and even Ferrari have all proven that electrification can be as important to performance as it is to fuel efficiency. The instant torque that electric motors can supply on demand should be enough to satisfy power-hungry enthusiasts who are already obsessed with the smoke-inducing, tire-roasting HEMI V8 power that comes with the latest Charger and Challenger offerings. As it stands now, the Hellcat variants of the Charger and Challenger are standing in defiance of the green mobility wave, but it looks like the power of electrification will be victorious in the end.
Kuniskis did imply that one of the biggest challenges of electrification and electrification innovation is cost. Cost issues arise because the components are considerably more expensive than those of traditional gasoline-based powertrains. One of the biggest draws of Dodge Charger and Challenger vehicles is the amount of performance that buyers can get for their dollar. “We don’t have the price points of the batteries down to a place where, quite honestly, it’s a mainstream proposition. You do see it in the upper end. You see it in the new Ferrari that just came out, you saw it in the LaFerrari before that, you saw it in the 918, you saw it in the NSX. So there’s absolutely a performance advantage to it, it’s just a question of when the consumer acceptance is going to be for that. And I think it’s going to be as soon as the price points come down, it becomes a mainstream viable option,” Kuniskis said.
While we wait on Dodge to provide more official news about electrification, don’t miss out on the excellent muscle car lineup the brand currently offers. Check out the Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger inventory at University Dodge and schedule your test drive today! Follow University Dodge on social media to stay up to date on the latest news.