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After The “Bachelor Party” Phase Of ICE-Powertrains Is Up

2020 Dodge Challenger 392 Widebody
Photo copyright

As electrification becomes part of an undeniable future for the automotive industry, the fates of our favorite V8-powered muscle cars appear to be all but written. That said, the muscle car segment is currently experiencing what could easily be called its brightest moment since their historic “golden age” of the late 1960s and early 1970s. And when you think of the current crop of these V8-powered machines, none are more true to their roots than the Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger. As you might expect, the very character of these big, beloved American brutes are inseparable from their powerful Hemi V8 engines. But it appears a change in formula is imminent.

2021 Dodge Muscle Car Family Durango Hellcat Charger Redeye Challenger Super Stock
Dodge Durango SRT, Dodge Charger SRT, and Dodge Challenger SRT. Image via Stellantis.

The Future Of Dodge Muscle Cars

“There hasn’t been a date drawn in the sand saying you’ll no longer be able to buy an iron block Hemi anymore, but everybody knows it’s coming and they want to enjoy (today) while they can… it will come to an end, but the replacements are going to be so much more exciting,” said Matt McAlear, head of Dodge Sales Operations in an interview with MC&T.

If you take a look at the current Dodge Challenger and Charger lineup, you’d be hard pressed to know that the industry is embracing hybridization and electrification. The Dodge muscle cars are available with three different V8 engine options, ranging from 375 horsepower up to 797 horsepower in the Hellcat Redeye models. That isn’t to say that Dodge isn’t gearing up for an electric future, but they realize their customers want to be able to experience the best V8 engines they can with the time we have left.

2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye Muscle Car
Photo copyright Manoli Katakis, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

“I think more than anything people are looking for the next generation,” said McAlear, on the broad trend of the shrinking muscle car segment. “Everybody knows electrification is coming, we’ll reinvent the muscle car as far as Dodge is concerned. I’m extremely excited about where the future is going, but right now everybody is enjoying ‘the bachelor party.’ This is the last hurrah.”

Several key figures at Stellantis have also made remarks about the what the future of the Dodge muscle car family will look like, including CEO Carlos Tavares and celebrity design chief Ralph Gilles.

6.2L Hellcat Redeye Hemi V8 Engine.
Photo copyright Manoli Katakis, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

The End Of An Era?

It’ll be a sad day when the last Hemi V8 rolls off of the production line, but we’ll never forget the impact they’ve had on the industry. But, as McAlear mentioned, there’s no clear line in the sand just yet (provided certain policymakers don’t get their way).

If this is truly the end of the line for the V8-powered Dodge Challenger and Dodge muscle cars, we couldn’t have asked for a better send-off. The current crop of models are genuinely some of the most enjoyable American vehicles money can buy.

As for whether or not there’s enough rare earth minerals to go around for the auto industry to make batteries, that’s another conversation.

“We’ll leave that to smarter people,” he said.

Dodge Challenger Scat Pack RT Widebody 392 Hemi Muscle Car F8 Green   Photo copyright Steven Pham, Muscle Cars & Trucks

Written by Lucas Bell

Lucas holds a journalism degree from Wayne State University, and is a Automotive Press Association scholarship recipient. While an American muscle fan through and through, he once wrote a fascinating comparison review about eScooters.


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  1. “When the industry embraces electrification” How about when no one buys your electric crap! Besides supplying government vehicles your sales will drop like a rock! Good luck! When the next President gets in office all this BS will come to an end!!

    • Be sure to buckle up when Dodge releases their next generation of muscle car. The torque and power of the electric engine will leave the gas powered Hemi in the dust.

      To think people like yourself want a president to tell companies what they will manufacture… Sounds like communism.

      Dodge clearly understands the limits of gasoline powered engines and is ready to give the free market something faster than their Hellcats.

      You sound like a bigger government guy than you wish to admit.

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