Dodge Affirms Electrification Plans for Muscle Cars
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV’s Dodge unit plans to offer a mix of hybrid and all-electric powertrain options in future Dodge Challenger and Charger muscle cars.
The “absolute future” of these cars and a key part of their performance will be some form of electrification, Tim Kuniskis, who heads FCA’s global passenger cars operations, tells Automotive News. FCA CEO Mike Manley made similar comments in January.
However, Kuniskis notes that battery costs need to come down before Dodge launches a mainstream hybrid or full-electric car. He says electrified performance vehicles to date primarily have been limited to high-end models from Acura, Ferrari and Porsche.
Previous reports suggest Dodge’s electrification plans will start with a 48-volt mild-hybrid version of the top-end Challenger Hellcat, which generates 707 hp and 540 lb-ft of torque from its 6.2-liter Hemi V-8 engine.
The next-generation Challenger and Charger are due early in the next decade. The vehicles could share a platform with Alfa Romeo’s rear-wheel-drive Giulia midsize sedan.
Lithium-ion batteries have become the technology of choice for EVs, and falling costs and rising energy levels could keep them on top for nearly two decades.
Hyundai enters the American market with a new parallel hybrid system that uses lithium-polymer batteries and the same six-speed automatic found in non-hybrid versions of the 2011 Sonata.
Although the term “continuous improvement” is generally associated with another company, Honda is certainly pursuing that approach, as is evidenced by the Accord, which is now in its ninth generation.