Since the moment Dodge rolled out the electric Charger Daytona SRT concept car in 2022 and proclaimed it was done making gas-powered muscle cars, people have wondered: Really? Dodge, builder of supercharged V8s and seller of over two million Challengers and Chargers, is just going to stop? As it turns out, no. Rumors have swirled about this for a while, and now The Drive can report that the next-generation Dodge Charger will offer both a full-electric version and a gas version powered by the company's 3.0-liter "Hurricane" twin-turbo inline-six engine.
This news comes to us by way of a source connected to a supplier with firsthand information of Dodge's production plans. The source agreed to speak about the next-gen Charger program in exchange for anonymity and shared a number of details confirming their identity and position. We'll only be publishing the most significant information about the car.
"They're keeping gasoline engines. The official designation for the vehicle platform is LB and it will have the new GME-T6 Hurricane inline-six in RWD and AWD," the source said. "It will be using the Stellantis Gen 4 transmission that's also rolling out to Mack Assembly, Jefferson North Assembly, and Toledo North."
To recap, the current Dodge Charger and Challenger and their Hemi V8s go out of production at the end of 2023, and Dodge has made a big deal out of that being the end of the road for gas-powered muscle cars. It even shot down reports that the next-gen models would get an internal combustion option by saying, and I quote, "the story is incorrect... the next generation will be BEV." Then CEO Tim Kuniskis copped that the STLA Large platform underpinning the new car could technically accommodate both electric and gas powertrains, but claimed that wasn't the plan. Well, turns out it is. Can't let the Ford Mustang have all the fun for the rest of the decade.
Our source can only confirm the standard output inline-six being on tap, which puts out 420 horsepower and 468 lb-ft of torque in its current Jeep applications. They noted there's no manufacturing reason the high output version, rated at 510 hp and 500 lb-ft, can't be dropped in too. We certainly expect it will, especially given the Ford Mustang currently tops out with a 500-hp Coyote V8 in the Dark Horse model.
The Charger's Gen 4 transmission is a new version of the venerable eight-speed automatic; sadly, there's no sign of a manual, nor of the rumored "updated" V8. We also can't confirm how closely the final design sticks to the look of the concept, or if the gas and electric versions are visually distinct.
Both the gas and electric Dodge Charger will be built at Windsor Assembly in Canada, where our source says retooling is already well underway, on the same lines as the next Chrysler Pacifica. Here's where we should acknowledge one point of confusion: what's happening to the Challenger name? Right now the Challenger is a coupe and the Charger a sedan, while the Charger Daytona SRT EV concept is a coupe with a very sedan-like roofline. It was speculated that the production version would have four doors, but then those leaked body shell photos pictured above showed a proper coupe, and our source says that is indeed the Charger, so... we'll see.
As for what to make of Dodge's past denials about a gas engine, well, a cynic would say the hype around the Charger Daytona SRT concept reveal and the Charger/Challenger Last Call models might've been different if people knew a six-cylinder sequel was coming. We won't know for sure until Dodge publicly reveals the car, likely sometime next year.
The all-aluminum inline-six is capable of big power; the high-output version has a completely forged bottom end and is set to be a favorite for tuners. Stellantis already plans to offer a 1,000-horsepower crate version of the engine. But will it have the same cultural resonance with enthusiasts as the 6.2-liter Hellcat V8? We've already seen a Ram TRX running around testing the Hurricane engine, and it is a little odd to hear anything but the thrum of a V8 coming from that tailpipe. Then again, maybe people will just be happy Dodge isn't waving the white flag on internal combustion just yet.
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