Dodge is set to close the book on its petrol-powered Charger and Challenger muscle cars, with the final cars rolling off the production line in 2024.
The iconic Charger, which featured in the Dukes of Hazzard, and the Challenger, have been produced by Dodge (with some hiatuses) from 1966 and 1969, respectively.
However, the Detroit-based company is planning to replace the models with a plug-in hybrid which will go into production late next year, while concepts for the first Dodge electric muscle cars will appear early in 2022. A third “significant new vehicle” will also follow, according to Motor Trend.
The news is part of a plan called Never Lift which has not gone down well with some in the Dodge community. CEO Tim Kuniskis has apparently received death threats from some.
The pure electric muscle car will be revealed in the next four to five months, according to Kuniskis, and is set to be a “high-performance, drivable, testable concept,” according to Motor Trend. Dodge is also promising a range of 500 miles from a single charge.
It will also be the first all-electric vehicle for the brand, despite falling under Stellantis’ improbably wide umbrella.
The new plug-in hybrid, on the other hand, will be a whole new car – rather than an update to an existing model.
We have no details on the third, and closely guarded new model. However, Kuniskis did say that it will “be a very, very, very significant car at the end of the year.”
Dodge, of course, has seemingly been fighting electrification for a while, rolling out last hurrah cars such as the Challenger SRT Demon which produces as much as 840 horsepower and 770 lb-ft of torque from a supercharged 6.2-litre V8.
How Dodge customers will react to the new EV muscle cars remains to be seen. While they might miss the noise from the V8 motors, it seems unlikely that the new cars will be sluggish.