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The Brotherhood Of Muscle Is A Brotherhood Of Love, Too?

2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye

Dodge makes up roughly 3 percent of new vehicle sales in the US market. But according to Tim Kuniskis, head of FCA Passenger cars, that’s fine. If you couldn’t tell by now, the muscle car brand is not trying to appeal to everybody. But those who have joined the three-percent ranks of the Brotherhood of Muscle, are looking for exactly that. Dodge is currently offering a concentration of the unapologetic, most charismatic and most horsepower-focused vehicles on the market today.

“The customer base has been absolutely amazing,” said Kuniskis in an interview with MC&T, pointing out that the brand’s portfolio is largely based on a horsepower hierarchy, and little else. “The variants of Dodge’s vehicles are largely based on power and not ‘this one has leather and this one doesn’t.’ That has been very important for our growth,” he added.

The fun-having aura of the Dodge brand is also amplified by its focus straight-line speed and performance, which is a conscious decision on their part. And one that resonates more with customers than, say, the arguably more technical road-course-oriented approach that other brands like to concentrate on.

2021 Dodge Muscle Car Family Durango Hellcat Charger Redeye Challenger Super Stock

“What our customers want and the reason we went into the (drag racing) space is because seven times the amount of customers ‘identify’ with drag racing, compared to road course racing,” said Kuniskis. “It doesn’t mean they’ve ever been to a drag strip in their life. And it’s not because they’ve even been in a fast car. It’s because they’ve all been at a stop light, and all tried to race their buddy next to them.”

Green. Stomp. Go. Ugga Bugga. A winning formula.

Dodge currently offers some of the quickest and fastest cars in the world when it comes to sheer straight-line speed. While it’s not a 9-second car like the Demon, the Dodge Challenger Super Stock muscle car can achieve a quarter-mile time of just 10.5 seconds. Meanwhile, the new 2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye is the fastest sedan in the world with a top speed of 203 miles per hour. Still, many vehicles in the Dodge muscle car portfolio largely look the same. Despite some criticism, Kuniskis claims it’s all part of the plan.

“I want you to mistake a $30,000 Challenger for a $90,000 Redeye… you don’t only have a Hemi 5.7, you have a Challenger. You are part of this team,” he said. “It’s very important for everyone to feel part of that thing,” he said. Does that mean the Brotherhood of Muscle is also a brotherhood of love? Based on what its leader has to say, it certainly seems like it.

“I want the brand to be super inclusive. If you can afford a $30,000 car, I want you part of this family. I want you coming in and having you feel like something cool that’s bigger than your car. And your purchase is part of this lifestyle known as Dodge.”

Just as well, Kuniskis seems to be a fan of all performance cars. Just so long as they’re around.

“I’ve been waiting for a mid-engine Corvette since I was 15 I think… I love performance cars,” he said. “I’d love to drive a mid-engine Corvette. I’d love to drive a GT500. I don’t care who builds them.”

2021 Dodge Challenger Super Stock Hellcat

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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