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Jan20

The Internal Combustion-only Dodge Challenger’s Days Are Numbered, Manley Says

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Are the sixty six,716 People who helped take the venerable Dodge Challenger to a brand new gross sales document in 2018 simply Luddites, rebelling towards a rising tide of electrification and autonomy? Perhaps, however the period of a Challenger line powered solely by gasoline is drawing to an in depth.

Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley addressed the muscle car’s future at this week’s Detroit auto present, admitting that, sooner or later, the Challenger must develop greener. Meaning venturing into the unsexy world of electrification — an unthinkable act for some American muscle purists.

Chatting with The Detroit Information, Manley stated the Challenger, regardless of having fun with an enduring reputation that’s uncommon within the business — no less than for a car mannequin, should change with the occasions if it has any hope of lengthy-time period survival.

“The actuality is these platforms and that know-how we used does want to maneuver on. They will’t exist as you get into the center-2020s,” Manley stated of the Challenger’s getting older LX structure and trio of V8s. “New know-how goes to drive a load of weight out, so we will think of the powertrains differently. And we will use electrification to actually complement these automobiles.”

Image: FCA

It’s not like nobody noticed this coming. There’s a plug-in hybrid Jeep Wrangler within the works, and FCA’s 2019 revamp of its profitable Ram 1500 line noticed the debut of “eTorque” delicate-hybrid variants of its three.6-liter Pentastar V6 and 5.7-liter Hemi V8. Dodge’s Challenger and Charger makes good use of those displacements and, with some weight shaved from a modified LX platform and a lightweighted physique, the Wrangler’s turbocharged Hurricane 4-cylinder might grow to be a brand new addition to the engine lineup.

FCA’s Brampton, Ontario meeting plant ought to start producing subsequent-era Chargers and Challengers in 2021, minus the Italian platform initially slated for the fashions. Late FCA boss Sergio Marchionne admitted final June that platforms sourced from Alfa Romeo or Maserati wouldn’t have the ability to deal with the extreme torque of hello-po Mopar purposes.

Whereas a Hurricane 4 mated to an eTorque system is one low-finish powertrain risk talked about in our piece, Manley suggests the corporate’s unsullied 6.four-liter and supercharged 6.2-liter V8s should give approach to electrified options within the coming decade.

2017 Dodge Challenger GT AWD, Image: FCA

“I think that electrification will definitely be a part of the components that claims what’s American muscle sooner or later,” he stated. “What it isn’t going to be is a V8, supercharged, seven hundred-horsepower engine.” Take that, Hellcat followers.

Take solace, too. Manley claims a transfer in the direction of electrification isn’t an indication of Dodge handing in its man card.

“Electrification deployed to extend the efficiency of the vehicle as its main objective – with the added advantages of fuel financial system – could be very totally different, as an alternative of the opposite approach round,” he added.

Whereas the transfer in the direction of efficiency automobiles outfitted with a fuel-saving electric “increase” is gaining in reputation amongst excessive-finish European producers, some analysts marvel the place the identical technique will go over properly with American shoppers. Particularly shoppers of a product as quintessentially purple-blooded because the Challenger.

Kelley Blue Guide analyst Karl Brauer isn’t having it.

“There’s an extended-standing rule about what constitutes American muscle, however electrification just isn’t a part of it,” Brauer informed The Detroit Information. “I want one thing that will get my blood pumping.”

He continued, “The Challenger is now difficult the Mustang for gross sales primacy with a V8. Who would have thought that? When it comes to gross sales, the supercharged V8s have labored nicely.”

A potential alternative for Dodge’s massive boys might be an extended-rumored twin-turbo V6 (or inline-six), provided with or with out hybrid help.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

– The Internal Combustion-only Dodge Challenger’s Days Are Numbered, Manley Says –

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