Production for the current generation Dodge Charger and Challenger is coming to a close in just two months, meaning everyone will be saying farewell to the legendary LX muscle cars. But they won’t entirely be disappearing, and no, we aren’t talking about the fully electric Charger Daytona cars featuring the new Banshee electric powertrain. We’re talking about the Hurricane twin-turbo inline-6 engines coupled with hybrid power to reach those beautiful performance numbers that Dodge fans have come to love. Though Dodge has kept quiet about the arrival of its next-gen muscle cars, a recent photo leaked by scatpackclub on Instagram of the body of the next-generation Dodge Charger / Challenger differs slightly from that of the Dodge Charger Daytona Banshee concept.
For starters, the front end appears to be shorter, and so is the rear of the car, meaning that the aircraft carrier memes for the outgoing Challenger will lose modern relevancy. Based on the lines for the shape of the metal, we can see that it is still similar to that of the Banshee concept. We can also see that the rear window is shorter, meaning customers will have the kids-only rear seats we’ve all grown accustomed to in two-door muscle cars.
Now, it would be silly to think that Dodge isn’t cooking up a four-door version. After all, the current Charger outsells the Challenger roughly 2:1, and together they currently take the top spots in the muscle car sales charts.
Next-Generation Dodge Charger / Challenger Muscle Cars: What To Expect
While this is a visual confirmation that there will be an ICE-powered Dodge muscle car in the near future, that doesn’t mean it will have a Hemi V8. Unfortunately, regulators have punished Stellantis for building cars and trucks that people want (V8 power), and were forced to pay $235.5 million in CAFE penalties for 2018 and 2019 model year, more than any other automaker. And if the parent company of Dodge, Ram, Jeep and Chrysler didn’t do something about that (as we now see with electrification and smaller engines – the Dodge Hornet is a prime example), then it stands to pay an estimated $3 billion USD, based on upcoming corporate average fuel economy standards set forth by the Biden Administration. Making the business case for Hemis, Hellcats and hooning a nonexistent one. Elections matter.
With smaller engines and electrification methods standing as the viable solution to appease regulators, the next-generation Dodge Charger and/or Challenger are expected to have various outputs of the new Hurricane TTI6 engine, with some variants likely to see electrification in order to boost both power output and fuel economy. In the Hurricane engine’s High-Output configuration, it can generate around 550 horsepower and over 500 lb-ft of torque, which would make a next-gen Dodge Charger or Challenger more powerful than a Mustang GT or Dark Horse. But they would definitely be missing that V8 bass tone. A plug-in hybrid system could take power levels to the 700 hp mark, eclipsing the Hellcat.
This also means that customers can expect to pay significantly more than they were used to for a last-gen Scat Pack or Hellcat. Because they’re not paying for a cast-iron eight-cylinder hammer anymore. They’ll be paying for a twin-turbocharged supercomputer. Also, inflation. Elections matter.
To tie this all together, Dodge also secretly ran a Hurricane-powered Challenger Drag Pak during the annual Roadkill Nights festival this year, which was likely for testing purposes. A video of the car making a few runs was posted to YouTube, giving us a good idea of what to expect with these new internal combustion engine-powered muscle cars that will help pave the way to the arrival of the fully-electric Banshee powertrain in the coming years.
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