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DODGE CEO EXPLAINS ‘DEAD COYOTE’ ON 2-YEAR NEVER LIFT CALENDAR

It Was Not A Diss On The Ford Mustang

Dodge Dead Coyote Never Lift Campaign Hemi Charger Challenger V8 Engine Tornado

Dodge, Jeep, and Ram love themselves some easter eggs. We’ve spotted several over the years. Whether they’re physically found on vehicles, subliminally embedded in photos, or even outlined on a 24-month calendar, it’s a mind game that remains continuous. But sometimes these easter eggs can me misinterpreted entirely, and that’s exactly what seems to have happened with regard to the “dead coyote” image that can be found at the bottom of Dodge’s 24-month Never Lift Campaign calendar. Turns out, it’s meant to be a clue for another Roadkill collaboration.

“It really bothered me that people thought this was some kind of shot at Ford. If you really dissect it, that coyote is the logo of Roadkill,” said Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis when we asked him about deceased coyotes. “That’s their logo for the show. It had nothing to do with Ford, it had nothing to do with the Coyote engine. That was total blind spot on our side that we were talking about Roadkill and not about Ford. You’ll never hear me talk shit about any competitor.”

Dodge Never Lift Campaign Dead Coyote Roadkill Nights

Kuniskis has long championed the muscle car and American performance car community as a whole, and events like RoadKill Nights, the Dodge Chief Donut Maker competition, and even have a drag racing contingency program for weekend warriors.

“A lot of people know this about me, I love performance, and I love performance cars. I’ve owned F-bodies, I’ve owned Chevys, I’ve owned Pontiacs, I’ve owned a Mustang. I’ve raced Mustangs. I love performance cars and I love this community, period. You will never hear me badmouth a competitor, you’ll never hear me badmouth those cars. They do things differently than we do. We’re trying to do something different, and that’s what makes it fun for everybody.”

Speculation swirled that Dodge posted a dead coyote on the Never Lift calendar as a means to signify that its new products would render the 5.0L Coyote V8 in the rival Ford Mustang as irrelevant. This diverted into media thinking that future Dodge products would get the new 3.0L Hurricane twin-turbo inline six engine that debuted in the Jeep Wagoneer earlier this month. While that’s unclear if that’s actually happening, what is happening for sure is that Dodge will reveal an electric muscle car this year, after teasing it in the summer of 2021.

Electric Dodge Charger Challenger Muscle Car 2023 2024
Screenshot via Stellantis.

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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