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Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis Clues Us In On What To Expect Come 2024

2024 2023 Dodge Charger Challenger Barracuda Cuda 'Cuda EV Electric Muscle Car Vehicle Tim Kuniskis STLA Large Platform
Screenshot via Stellantis.

Like many of you, we at MC&T are wondering if this is the true end of the muscle car, with the internal combustion engine increasingly endangered. And going forward, it begs the question: can a muscle car still be called one without the drama, noise and power of a eight cylinders, mechanically timed to set off captive explosions in a designated firing order? Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis seems to think so. Provided that the performance numbers are comparable, or even better than what we see today.

“You gotta divorce yourself from the technology,” said Kuniskis in an interview with MC&T during Roadkill Nights 2021.”When we talk about Redeyes, Hellcats, Super Stocks and Demons… we do that to sell down the range… the same thing will apply if I can get you great performance.”

The Stellantis executive recognizes that the strong branding that has been pushed forward by the Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger muscle cars, highlighted by their abundance of V8 engine options. Kuniskis hopes that enough customers will follow Dodge into an electric era, hopefully not at the expense of the past ten years of effective marketing.

“Whether it’s electrified, non-electrified, a certain type of electrification, whatever. As long as I can deliver on brand positioning I’ll be okay. If I lose my brand position, we might as well not be a brand.”

Electric Dodge Charger Challenger EV Stellantis Teaser

Dodge Electric Muscle Car May Not Move Everybody

The July 8 announcement didn’t seem to have all members of The Brotherhood of Muscle in favor of the electric transition. Emotionally charged comments around Stellantis EV day can be found through all social media channels, with some pages even turning the comments off.

“The reception that I’ve gotten from customers… when you make a big change, there’s going to be people that just aren’t going to follow you, at least initially,” said Kuniskis. “But a lot of those people will return eventually when they see we’re serious, and we’re going to be Dodge first.”

Of course, if some Dodge customers leave because of an electric vehicle, then perhaps new ones will show up for the same reason. Kuniskis and company have been vocal in sharing that electrification can improve the performance of a muscle car, but customers have to be willing to pay for the upgrade.

Electric Dodge Charger Challenger Muscle Car
Screenshot via Stellantis.

“Some people won’t follow, it’s just the way it is, but we’re hoping that we can fill that with new people that are coming in,” he said.

However, there might be a bit of a grace period for those seeking the Dodge Charger and Challenger generation beyond 2024.

“The new platform comes in 2024,” said Tim. “The new car comes in 2024. We didn’t say that the current cars are going to die in 2024. 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.”

Earlier rumors have also claimed that the current-generation Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger muscle cars would stick around past 2023. It was unclear at the time that their replacements would be electric cars.

2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye Muscle Car
Image copyright Steven Pham, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

A Run On ICE Vehicles?

It’s a fair question at this point if this massive, policy driven automotive industry shift from internal combustion engine (ICE) to electric is causing some erratic customer behavior towards ICE vehicles. So we asked it.

“There’s probably some (run on ICE vehicles)… I’ll tie it back to Viper,” Kuniskis began to explain. “When we announced Viper going away, and we announced ACR at the same time, it was the best and highest price-point Viper sales ever… that was a run on Vipers.”

“Is there a run on ICE? I don’t know, maybe when we get closer to the end. But not right now, especially when we said 2024,” Kuniskis continued.

What To Expect Next

Dodge plans on sharing more details with the world on its future electric vehicle plans soon, so watch this space in the coming days and weeks for more announcements, and exclusive interviews just like this one.

2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye Ubly Dragway
Image copyright Steven Pham, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

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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